Ruthless Daniel Healey Out To Squash His Rivals!

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So for the unfortunate 29 who did not make the top 20 in timed qualifying a tight and entertaining Pre B Final offered a way into the show for the top 4. A Final regulars Jack Richards, Dimitri Zaporozhets, Adrian Richardson and Ben Atkinson would prove tough nuts to crack on the front 4 grid slots. Typically the pole man with a moments advantage in deciding when to go, got cleanly into the turn 1 complex of Crook first, and so it was Richards clear up to Xmas. Also fairly typical, Adrian and Dimitri went in side by side, someone has to lift and Ben went through on Adrian to 3rd on the run up to Xmas corner. And that would leave Richardson precariously hanging on to 4th place for most of the race, yet moving back to the top 3 from time to time, as Richards was lacking just a little pace. Jacob Heyne-Ford starting 5th, had a chance to turn in over Richardson into Zulu, but he looked when he should have leaped and Adrian stuck it down the inside to get 4th place back, Jacob replaced by Freddie Fincham off grid 8. Richardson took a wide turn in into the boot as Freddie lunged in and aborted. That let the front 3 edge away on to lap 2 and as is often the case the battle is over the last qualifying spot and to begin with Adrian led Fincham, Heyne-Ford, Christopher Powell (another A Final regular), Easykarter James Ludlam and the train would be joined by Andrea Fioravanti (a blast from the past from that predates the author’s Club100 racing career) and (yet another A Final regular) Harrison Darvill after he got by Andrew Ward up at Xmas.

C100Whilton2-6343The front of race settled in for some relatively fast lappery Richards not withstanding, and he was joined again on point by Zaporozhets and Atkinson while Richardson who’d lost the tow was suddenly back in the bus as soon as Jack started going defensive. Trouble was it brought Fincham onboard as well. With Richards holding up Zaporozhets, Atkinson went inside at Xmas, forcing Richardson to check up when it didn’t work, Fincham dived in at Inkermans, although I couldn’t see the yellow flag that Adrian thought was out at the time. A second four kart group, Powell, Ludlam, Fioravanti and Darvill were in touching distance of making it a 9 kart train, then Fincham checked up behind Atkinson through the kink and Adrian repaid Freddie the compliment into Inkermans. Adrian watched the front 3 pull away again and it would stay away mostly due to Fincham’s failure to pull off his pass on Richardson into the Boot complex. Somehow Richards ran out the winner ahead of Zaporozhets and Atkinson, Andrea Fioravanti gave Adrian a breather on the last lap from Fincham, although Freddie out dragged Andrea to the line for 5th. Adrian though was finally safe and through to the Pre A in 4th, which is all that matters in B Finals.

C100Whilton2-6677I was surprised the Pre A Final start wasn’t waved off, Healey on pole drilled it off Paddock Bend, or perhaps Alexander Ready missed it. Whatever… He was 6-7 kart lengths down over the start line and behind Harry Neale, William Hemsley and Sean Brierley, the latter off grid 7.  Alex turned into turn 1 over the nose of Pietro Pagano and it was not like he had a queue of karts from inside line behind him as if he’d oiled up, Iain McGregor off grid 2 chased Pagano up to Xmas corner. Up ahead Brierley wasted no time putting one down the inside of Hemsley to go 3rd, Ready backed it in hard on the brakes on William into the Inkermans hairpin and Pietro got him on the exit. Welcome to the front of the Lightweight Pre A Final, William Hemsley. End of lap 1 Healey had a 3-4 kart length (or 0.7secs) lead on Neale and a further 5 kart lengths on Brierley. Neale initially pegged Healey at 0.6secs, Ready closing in Brierley and moved by without too much protest from Sean into Xmas on lap 4. Then Healey hit his stride and started to edge clear 0.1, 0.2, 0.2secs per lap. Behind Pagano had shaken off Hemsley and William spent much of the first half of the race trying to edge back into Pagano’s slipstream to keep Dominic Green out of reach while a gap developed to Andrew Green, Adam White, his title aspirations looking a longer shot by the lap. Iain McGregor rounded out the top 10.

The second half of the race was all about the battle for 2nd place, Neale had it, Ready wanted it, Brierley was hanging in the hoping to be gifted it. Harry held off one big push from Alex, but by lap 12 Alex was harrying (terrible pun) again through the boot section and went by at the top of the circuit. This all helped Healey build up to a 3secs which he carried through to the finish. Dominic Green blasted through Hemsley and jumped Pagano into Zulu to go 5th but all 7secs off the trio racing for 2nd. I wish I could tell you there was a contest for the Pre A final win but Healey had killed it at the start. Perhaps thats what champions do… No mercy, gamesmanship, right up to the limit, like one M Schumacher in his pomp. I can see it, even others can’t. 5th place backwards was a tricky one to calculate. Pagano and Dominic Green had had a robust exchange over the position, eventually going Pietro’s way on track, but they both picked up penalties as did Hemsley for excessive kerbing, White was excluded for advantage by contact, and Andrew Green had a penalty for contact and another for more contact. When the dust settled Iain McGregor, 20secs off the winner was credited with 5th, Alexander Lammin with 6th.

C100Whilton2-6681Andrea Fioravanti had pole position for the B Final, Christopher Powell pushed through from grid 3 at Xmas to get ahead of James Williams and completed the trick to come off Inkermans with the lead. Andrea knew the score and settled in the other qualifying spot leaving Powell to pull him clear initially while Williams tried to hold back the line of 22 beginning with Aidan Kichener, James Ludlam, Chris Penny, Andrew Ward, Keith Segal et al. Eventually it settled down but the damage was done, Williams was a second down on Andrea and slower, it would require a battle for the lead to be joined to be able to close up. Andrea obliged him moving to the lead on lap 6 and Williams towed in Kichener to make it a four way fight for the 2 qualifying spots on the back of the A Final for the last 10laps.

By half way Powell had moved back into the lead and the dicing up front had slowed the group sufficiently to let James Ludlam pick up their slipstream, and it probably gave hope to Freddie Fincham in 6th. Williams faded again, Kichener pushed on to Fioravanti, he’d taken a look inside into the Boot the previous lap and on lap 12 he pressed it home into the toe Ludlam had joined him trying to go inside of Kichener to get the spot back. Contact saw Andrea rotate to a stop his chance had gone. Powell was clear, although James Ludlam would lead a quartet with Kichener, Fincham, and Williams to close him down to the finish. James managed to hang on to 2nd to move forward with Powell to the A Final. Aidan was 3rd on the road but had picked up a penalty at some point for contact and was demoted to 7th, behind Williams, then a very distant Andrew Ward and Chris Penny.

C100Whilton2-6722The main event, the trophy A Final, well I’ve already trailed the result in the introduction, it was the usual suspects up front, all championship protagonists Healey, Ready, Brierley, Neale, White based on lap times in Pre A Final, rapid but irregular participant Ben Yarwood, Iain McGregor, William Hemsley, and the Green family rounding out the top 10. And damn if Daniel didn’t get a few kart lengths advantage again, leading Brierley on to the back straight. You’d think Ready  & Co would have been ready for Daniel with a plan, Alex holding off Adam White in 4th. A rotten start would see Neale with work to do from 7th with Dominic Green and Ben Yarwood to repass. At halfway Brierley had edged in sufficiently to pick up a tow from the leader and the question was would Ready up on his bumper afford him the chance to use it to go for the lead, did Sean actually have the pace to pass? It was 3 horse race, as although Neale had got passed Yarwood, he was barely in touch with White who was settled on Dominic Green’s bumper after he’d moved through to 4th, but it was a distant 4th place, 5secs of the leader. Ready waited, and waited, Sean edged slightly closer to Dan but a good run around the Boot appeared to give Healey a good launch out of the complex and keep the lead up to Xmas each lap. Or maybe Sean was struggling with the Boot. Eventually Ready had had enough and pulled the trigger around the Boot to go 2nd at the end of lap 14, but in doing so it gave Healey a half second’s lead which Ready could not run down in the remaining 3 laps. Oh it was close-ish at the finish, but not nearly close enough for a lunge worth chancing into the Boot complex on the last lap, with a risk of an exclusion, with the championship on line. Behind Neale limited the damage passing White, then Green with 2 laps to go, 4th place, but 5secs off the class pace setters. Harry needs to outscore his rivals at Rye House, or else he maybe leaving himself too much to do at Buckmore Park. It’s all about winning now and Healey has the habit.

Next stop Rye House on 25 October.