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Rob Newman Fires Back!

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Not the greatest weather at Whilton but at least it stayed dry. Such a gresat facility too. And now with nice new tarmac in the paddock. Great for drivers, great for viewing. What more could we ask for? Here’s how the day unfolded. First up, the Lightweights.

The Road to the Finals

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Good to see Dave Cottrell back in a Kart and his renaissance began with pole position for the first heat of the day. He led the opening lap too before slipping behind Christian Laner. Mike Coppin was on a charge though working his way up from grid nine and staying out of trouble. With three to go he moved ahead of Laner for the lead and then pulled clear taking the win over a second and a half clear of Laner. Aaron Clarke crossed the line next but his had been a fraught race and he found himself excluded after two ABC penalties. Cottrell was promoted to third ahead of Sam Lovelace and Stef Theodorou.

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Justin Draper led the second heat for much of the race chased by Andrew McWilliam and James Martin. Mc William put a move on Draper for the lead two from home. Draper defended slowing them both and allowing Martin to slip by. Once at the front Martin pulled clear leaving Draper and Mc William to continue battling and allowing Bryn Alban and Luke Philips to close in. Martin crossed the line over two seconds clear from Draper, Mc William, Alban and Philips.


Rob Newman opened his account for the day with the win in Heat 3. Dan Seager led for much of the race before Newman went by sixth time around. He immediately began to put clear air between himself and Seager who now had to contend with the rapidly closing Championship leader Dante Dhillon who finally took second on the final lap. Andrew Ward and Charlie Summers completed the top five.

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Ed Barrs made no mistakes on his way to a comfortable win in Heat 4 crossing the line over five seconds clear of Ben Lambeth. His fastest lap was the quickest of the heat winners giving him the advantage in the race for pole. Lambeth was a comfortable second ahead of Christopher Powell. Cameron Watson was next over the line but a six place penalty saw him drop down the order promoting Joshua Sangster to fourth and Louis Stagg to fifth.

Heat 5 was something of a procession with Hussain Rashid at the front from lap one. Aaron Clarke tailed him home followed by Liam Nolan who almost got caught by Sam Lovelace on the finish line. Stef Theodorou took fifth.

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Mike Coppin took a big win in the sixth heat with another faultless drive. Starting from the second row he was at the front within a few corners of the start and then motored away. Rob Newman followed him home but he’d started from grid nine and took half the race to work his way up to second. Once there he edged closer to the leader but Coppin had easily enough pace to keep himself well clear. Christopher Powell had another strong run to third with Matt Ellis and Russell Cooper next.

Poleman George Lawlor comfortably claimed the seventh heat with fellow front row sitter Harrison Kirkham second. Bryn Alban started third on the grid and finished there albeit over three seconds back from the front two. Adam Brittain was fourth having run there for over half the race but well off the pace of the leaders with Callum Martin fifth after working his way up from grid ten.

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Dante Dhillon started the eighth heat from the second row but after a couple of laps of the shortened race he was at the front with front row starter James Martin in his wheeltracks and third row starter Ed Barrs up to third. It was nose to tail for a couple of laps before Barrs nipped by Martin for second on the penultimate lap and homed in on Dhillon. Up the hill for the final time and Dhillon defended to the right. Barrs stayed left and then just tucked under Dhillon for the lead as the latter ran out of room. Dhillon fought back but Barrs held him off for a well taken win with Dhillon second from Martin. Ben Lambeth and Justin Draper completed the top five.

With two wins each Mike Coppin and Ed Barrs led the fight for pole with Coppin just ahead courtesy of a better fastest lap.

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Yousuf Bin-Suhayl led the pack away chased by fellow front row starter Sam Lovelace with second row starter Samuel Essery third. And for a couple of laps that was how they ran but Mike Coppin was on a charge and moved passed Essery for third at half distance and then quickly dispensing with Bin-Suhayl and Lovelace to take over at the front. Lovelace chased him hard but nothing was going to stop Coppin taking his third win of the day and throwing down the gauntlet to nearest rival Ed Barrs in the race for pole.

Front row sitter Ashley White led the first lap of the tenth heat but was back to fourth two laps in as Rob Newman took over at the front with Ed Barrs second from Sam Morris. White was quickly back up to third whilst Barrs got ahead of Newman. But only for a lap. The two of them battled hard over the latter stages with White third and ready to capitalise on any errors. But it was Newman who took the win by just 0.093 with White third. The top three were covered by just a couple of tenth. Newman’s win stopped Barrs from taking pole the latters result got worse after the application of a bump and pass penalty early in the race dropped him to sixth. Dan Seager, Mathew Cockerham and Sam Morris completed the top ten.

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Dante Dhillon claimed the penultimate heat after working his way forward from the third row to take the lead from early pacesetter Andrew Ward three from home. These two were the class of the field with Christopher Powell having another strong run to third ahead of Bryn Alban who had run as high as second at one point. Luke Philips completed the top five.
The final heat went to Ben Lambeth. Starting from the second row he went to the front three laps in and was never headed despite a late race charge from Anthony Mc William, who also set fastest lap. Joshua Sangster was third from Nikolas Laka sas and Dave Cottrell, up from grid eleven.

The Finals

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C Final
(All drivers in C3 unless otherwise noted)

C2 Andy Bushell on pole from James Brittain with C2 Dean Everest and James Scanlon on the second row. C2 Jake Wilkins was alongside Ryan Williams on the third row followed by C2 James Dunnett and Keaton Ford on the fourth row. Row five had C2 Andy Orford alongside Jonny Fletcher followed by Lewis Marchant and Patrick Millman on row six. Harrison Earl was alongside C2 Kym Eley on the seventh row with Mark Hensler and Mortaza Hassan on row eight. James Browning and Penny Millman shared row nine ahead of Luke Fletcher and C2 Toby Smith on row ten. Prash Alphonsus and Jake Hicklin occupied the eleventh row with the penultimate row shared by Nick Cvetkovic and Ranveer Gill. Clifton Malcolm and Joanna Meliou were on the final row with the latter having her first outing in a CLUB100 round having successfully completed her assessment earlier in the day. First four to qualify for the B Final and a trophy for the winner.

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Bushell led the pack away and quickly opened up a sizeable gap up the hill as the following pack sorted itself out. End of the lap and Wilkins was up to second with Bushell and himself already running clear of the pack now led by Everest from Brittain and Orford. Third time around and Brittain tried a move on Everest but was rebuffed. He immediately lost momentum and Orford nipped by for fourth. Bushell and Wilkins were in a race of their own with Everest over two seconds back and a couple of tenths up on Orford. Brittain was still in touch and running well clear of Scanlon with Eley next. Orford began to put some pressure on Everest for fourth to give himself a cushion back to fifth whilst Wilkins, despite being over two seconds clear of the third placed man decided to push for the lead. Is a trophy that important when you could ruin your chances of another race? Down into Ashby Wilkins went for the inside but Bushell held him off and Wilkins fell back.

Mid race and the front runners had settled down. Eley was homing in on Brittain but looked to be too far adrift of fourth placed Everest to qualify for the B Final. But she wasn’t giving up. Scanlon was running with them but he had a penalty and had no chance of another race. With three to go Bushel still led from Wilkins with Orford still third and leading a train of drivers. Everest was still in the final qualifying spot from Brittain, Eley and Scanlon with just one and a half seconds covering third to seventh. Eleventh time around and Wilkins put a move on Bushell for the lead as they rounded the Boot. Orford demoted Everest who was hanging on to fourth by the narrowest of margins as Brittain, Eley and the penalised Scanlon all piled on the pressure.

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At the front Bushell decided he wanted first place back and piled the pressure on Wilkins. But it was holding them both up and the pack were hunting them down. Final lap and Wilkins was ahead. Bushell was next with Orford almost tied to his rear bumper. Everest still held fourth from Brittain, Scanlon and Eley. Top of the hill and it was getting very messy. As they ran down into Ashby Brittain went down the inside and lost control sliding across the front of Everest and onto the grass. Everest did well to keep going as did Scanlon whilst Eley nipped by them all for fourth. Wilkins crossed the line to take the win punching the air with delight with Bushell second from Orford and Eley with the unlucky Everest fifth. Sixth went to Hassan with Dunnett seventh whilst, Earl, Fletcher and Williams rounded out the top ten.

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C Final Winner – Jake Wilkins

B Final
(All drivers in C2 unless otherwise noted)

Liam Nolan on pole from Callum Martin with C1 Matt Cockerham and Sam Morris on row two. Row three had Cameron Watson alongside Charlie Summers with Adam Brittain and C3 Yusuf Soeharjano on row four. Russell Cooper shared row five with C3 Marcel Chmielewski followed by Greg Smith and Matt Ellis on row six. Row seven was occupied by Jeremy Deeks and C3 Samuel Crump with Nikolas Lakasas and Aaron Clarke on row eight. Dan Grocott was on the ninth row with C3 Adam Sheargold followed by Louis Stagg and Yousuf Bin-Suhayl on row ten. Stephen Westwood shared row eleven with C3 Tommy Lee and then the four qualifiers from the C Final, Wilkins, Bushell, Orford and Eley. First two to qualify for the A Final and a trophy for the winner.

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Nolan led the pack away with Martin tucking in behind. Cockerham was forced wide and lost ground but made a quick recovery and was back to fourth by the end of the lap. Watson spun to a halt on the exit of the left handed Wilkins the victim of a lunge from Brittain which would result in a six place deduction for the latter. Not for the first time in the last couple of rounds. He could have no complaints as it happened right in front of observer. End of the lap and Nolan led by half a second from Martin with Morris third but under pressure from Cockerham who was almost alongside as they crossed the line. The penalised Brittain was next over a second back, slowed after his attack on Watson. Nolan was edging clear of Martin whilst Cockerham was back to third but about ten lengths adrift of Martin. With three run the leaders looked to be in a different race. Nolan still led but Martin had closed the gap. Cockerham remained third but was falling back. Morris was next but losing touch with third place as Brittain began to put him under pressure. Fourth time around and Martin dived up the inside of Nolan at the top of the hill. It was a clean move too. Nolan fought back on the exit and both got a little out of shape allowing Cockerham to cut the gap. But Martin was up to first.

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Half distance and Martin led but only just as Nolan made repeated efforts to reclaim the lead. All of which was allowing Cockerham to get ever closer. Brittain made it by Morris for fourth but he was no longer a factor. All he was doing was preventing anyone from getting a run on the top three who were running clear. Eleventh time around and Nolan made another bid for the lead at the final corner. But he was just a touch too far back for the move to be clean and he backed out, lost momentum and allowed Cockerham to go round the outside. Nolan led across the line but only by a couple of feet and Cockerham had the momentum to slip by into the first turns. Nolan fought back on the run up the hill but Cockerham had him covered. The penalised Brittain was now on the scene and right on Nolan’s rear bumper. Cockerham continued to cover off Nolan whilst Martin edged clear at the front. Brittain’s attacks on Nolan allowed the following pack to close in. Morris lost out badly and fell back down the order as Brittain became a mobile road block defending fourth. Clark was up to fifth as Morris got forced well wide out of the final turn. Smith was next but then he got wide on the exit of the first turns and spun to a race ending halt.

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Martin took the win over a second clear of Cockerham with Nolan third. Brittain was next but penalised down to tenth. Bun-Suhayl was next over the line but he too had penalties to be applied and was excluded from the results. Clark crossed the line sixth but he lost places due to penalties and fell out of the top ten. All of which saw Morris promoted back to fourth. No less than he deserved. Lakasas was fifth, Ellis sixth, Cooper seventh and Eley next after a stunning drive from the back of the grid. Lee claimed the C3 honours with Soeharjano second from Sheargold.

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B Final Winner – Callum Martin

A Final
(All drivers in C1 unless otherwise noted)

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Mike Coppin on pole after his clean sweep in the heats with Rob Newman alongside and Dante Dhillon with Ed Barrs alongside on the second row. Ben Lambeth shared the third row with James Martin followed by Sam Lovelace and Christopher Powell on the fourth row. Row five had two C2’s, George Lawlor and Andrew Mc William whilst Bryn Alban and Andrew Ward shared row six. C2 Harrison Kirkham occupied the seventh row with Dan Seager followed by C2 Hussain Rashid and Ashley White on row eight. Rows nine, ten and eleven were all occupied by C2’s. Stef Theodorou and Dave Cottrell on nine, Joshua Sangster and Christian Laner on ten and Justin Draper with Luke Philips on eleven. The penultimate row saw Samuel Essery alongside C2 Ami Breacher followed by the qualifiers from the B Final, Martin and Cockerham.

Coppin controlled the start brilliantly to lead through the first turns whilst Newman lost out to Dhillon and then fell further back as Barrs out dragged him up the hill to move third. By the end of the first tour Coppin was almost half a second up from Dhillon, Barrs and Newman with Lambeth fifth but already beginning to lose ground. Third time around and Coppin still led but Dhillon, Barrs and Newman had closed up. Lambeth was a lonely fifth. Lovelace got ahead of Martin but Martin dived inside him at the top of the hill and made heavy contact. Martin was through and Powell also went by the luckless Lovelace who recovered quickly. Martin received the inevitable penalty. Coppin continued to lead but it was line astern at the front with less than half a second covering the leaders. But then out came a full course yellow as Draper backed his Kart hard into the tyres at the final turn. Coppin raised his arm, not everyone does, and the field slowed. Coppin led the field around and the field bunched up behind but again he judged the restart well to lead up the hill with Dhillon behind. Newman got a run on Barrs up the hill and slipped ahead at Christmas. The penalised Martin ran fifth.

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Once up to speed the front four immediately began to pull away again. Newman got another good exit from the first turns and moved ahead of Dhillon for second at Christmas. Barrs took advantage of Dhillon getting a little wide and went up to third as they ran down to the hairpin at Ashby. Coppin continued to lead but Newman was noticeably quicker and soon right on the leader’s bumper. Over the line at the start of the eighth tour Newman suddenly moved left. Clearly Coppin didn’t expect a move into the first corner and could do nothing as Newman went by and into the lead. But Coppin wasn’t done. As they swept down into Ashby he moved to Newman’s right and went by out of the turn before chopping back across to take his line for the next corner. Hard but fair from them both. A following Barrs had more momentum and got inside of Newman for third as they ran down to the hairpin before the back straight. Newman then got back inside Barrs into the Boot but then lost out as Barrs tucked back under him. Dhillon too went by Newman but it was not without contact and he immediately gave the place back. Great racing and it had allowed the following pack to close up with just over a second and a half covering the top seven. Once again the field settled down and Coppin extended his lead over Barrs with Newman third from Dhillon. Coppin continued to lead from Barrs and Newman but Dhillon was falling back and looked to be out of the hunt for a podium.

Three to go and as the leaders ran up the hill Newman dived up the inside of Barrs at the top of the hill to move into second. A clean move that Barrs didn’t defend too hard on the exit and didn’t lose much momentum. Penultimate lap and Coppin remained at the front from Newman and Barrs. Dhillon had cut the gap to third place and was now back in contention for a podium. Down into Ashby for the second last time and Newman looked to be too far back for a move on the leader. But he got good drive out of the corner and was right on Coppin’s bumper as they rounded Wilkins and ran down to Osiers. Coppin set himself up for the corner and didn’t defend. Newman saw his chance and went to the left and under Coppin for the lead. It was brave and decisive. Barrs closed in and Coppin was now having to defend from the following Barrs with Dhillon right behind Barrs.

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Final lap and Newman defended up the hill. Coppin was right with him as they ran down to Ashby and Newman defended again. He stayed in front as Coppin bravely tried to go round the outside but lost momentum allowing Barrs to get ahead on the run to Wilkins. But Barrs was on the outside for the left hander and Coppin kept his line to move back ahead on the run to Osiers. But behind Dhillon had seized his chance. Barrs went wide and Dhillon went by. As they entered Osiers Coppin defended but Dhillon was almost alongside and as they exited the corner onto the short straight Dhillon was inches ahead. But Coppin had the better line and inched back ahead on the straight. Newman was safe at the front and barring falling off the win was his. From my vantage point Coppin and Dhillon were side by side as they ran into the Boot. Dhillon was on the inside and just ahead. But he ran very wide putting the unfortunate Coppin momentarily wide and on the grass. A penalty? Nothing was called and Barrs took advantage to demote Coppin to fourth. But the race belonged to Newman.

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A fabulous well judged win with Dhillon perhaps a fortunate second from Barrs and the unlucky Coppin. Lovelace was fifth from Lambeth with McWilliams seventh and first in C2. Seager was next but was then excluded for being underweight. Powell was promoted to eighth from Ward and Alban.

Championship Round Up.

A welcome win for Rob Newman sees him cut the gap to Championship leader Dante Dhillon. Dante has had a couple of slices of good luck over the first three rounds but that shouldn’t detract from where he finds himself in the standings. Every Champion needs a bit of luck. Which brings me nicely to Mike Coppin who is certainly not getting the rub of the green at the moment. But his day will come. Ed Barrs too is always at the sharp end and will surely take a win or two this season. I can’t see the champion coming from anyone outside of the top four. Christopher Powell had a decent day again at Whilton but is a long way back in fifth. But there’s plenty of racing to go.

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Class 2 Podium – Winner Andrew McWilliam, flanked by Stef Theodorou and Harrison Kirkham

Stef Theodorou leads C2 from Harrison Kirkham. They are seventh and eighth overall with Andrew Mc William third in the class and eleventh overall.

Yusuf Soeharjano heads C3 from Adam Sheargold and Ryan Williams.

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Class 3 Podium – Winner Tommy Lee, flanked by Yusuf Soeharjono and Adam Sheargold

Reflections

Another great days racing at Whilton and with a lot less penalties too. Hopefully it will get better still. Sad to see that we still get drivers failing to slow down and raise their hands under yellows. It might be you in a stricken kart one day. And how daft is it to go out on circuit with your helmet undone? It’s happened several times over the first few rounds. How can you forget?

Enjoy the break and don’t forget to watch Tipping Point next Monday afternoon where the star of the show is one Jacob Harris, Heavyweight.

See you at Clay!

Words: Steve Gray
Pictures: John Patterson