Steve Brown Bounces Back To Restore His Championship Lead. BOING!

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C100R4-2274For the heats, well no one wants to dwell on Heat 1 it was won from grid 4 by Tyler Mays. After a visit to the headmaster, Heat 2 was won by Stephen Hicks off grid 5, from Dave Waters off grid 7 and charging up from grid 18 Jonathan Lisseter. Jack Harding won Heat 3 from grid 3. The best heat of the day, Heat 4 saw Stephen Jennings hold off the entire field for 7.5laps of 8, only able to relax for the last 2 corners to convert pole position to win ahead of Tom Dix and Harry Neale, a race not for those of a nervous disposition. But breathtaking, in a sharp intake sort of a way, through the nose, possibly through your own armpit hair, for it’s wild west bar fight masculinity. Or perhaps drawing in deeply through a competitors armpit. It was certainly hairy chested racing. but great to watch. Heat 5 saw Jay Elliott win from the front row, poleman James Hattersley on his bumper looking to get back by for much of the race before Ed Barrs jumped him on the last lap.

C100R4-2451When heat points were converted to final grids it left Henry Jones, getting his eye in for Club100’s return Spa later at the end of the month, just missing out on the A Final directly, on pole position for the B Final and thats about positive as it gets. He’d missed the first start Alex Ready starting on grid 2 getting a massive jump requiring a regrid, he missed it again with the correct grid 2 driver Oliver Knights in position and then he got elbowed (or just ran wide?) rushing headlong into the tyres coming off Crook at the third start. Welcome back Henry. They did not call for another re-grid. The jockeying for racing room through Crook, split the 17 kart field in two, Knights led Ready, Thom King, Jamie Jakins, Ray Norris, fellow returnee Dan Underhill, Stuart Osborn and Myles Sharman off the corner.

C100R4-2763With 4 to qualify that was perm 4 from 8, Jakins threw a haymaker into Ashby to seize the apex and 2nd place, that missed, but released Knights, he’d be long gone before any semblance of order was restored in the scrum behind. Norris had clipped a cone which meant he needed at least 3rd place by the finish to be still top 4, to qualify, with a one place penalty for clipping the kerb (nee cone too heavily). To begin with he’d fall back and trap the entire pack behind him, starting with an impatient Ready, letting King and Jakins go. But King was struggling. Jakins was circumspect over his 2nd attempt waiting until lap 4 to draft by up and inside into Xmas Corner. By now Ian Blake, starting 13th, following his Heat 1 exclusion had run up the pack as far as Ready in 5th. He block passed him into Parker, pushing Alex off track on the exit to deepen his mood. Norris had seen Blake over his shoulder perhaps calculating that Ian would get by, he needed to pass King and run down Jakins to make it to the A Final. It kicked off into Xmas on the next lap, Thom ending up sandwiched between Ray on the outside and Ian inside coming off the corner. Norris used The Kink in his favour, while Ian used his shoulder through Inkermans to lever open a gap inside of Thom to start a pass that he’d only complete around the outside of Parker.

C100R4-2794It looked like we had our top 4, just the order behind Knights was not clear. Ready and King race winners in Lights last year picked up where they left off, joined by Underhill and Myles Sharman, Dan Healey 4th at the last round at Lydd in the A Final, and another of our illustrious 2015 Lightweight intake would join them later after seeing off Spa bound veterans Trevor Randall (1998 Heavyweight, 2002 Lightweight, and very much the 2012 Heavy Clubman Champion) and Graeme Coombes, the cabaret third or fourth string, of the stradivarius of endurance teams, D’Oily in a string championship wins in the ’00s, when Club100s endurance championship was in it’s absolute pomp. Happy days.

Into the closing stages Norris let Blake have the apex of Ashby, got on his bumper as he set off up to Jakins. They were nose to tail on to the last lap, Blake took a run inside of Jakins into the Boot, that left Jamie animated, and Ray sneaking through at The Tow, and as much as Jakins appeared to be playing to the gallery, they were all through to the A Final.

C100R4-2823The A Final start, the 2nd, after the 1st was waved off as Stephen Hicks on grid 2 got the jump on pole man Jay Elliott, you know about from the intro. By the end of lap 1, O’Connor in 4th place had also gapped the field, ahead of Tyler Mays. Tyler promoted from 2015 Lightweights,  would earn his spurs in Elite with this race, gap then to Jon Pethick bringing the main body through already 4.5secs down on the leader, 3.5secs behind Brown in 3rd.

On to lap 3 Brown had closed on the leading duo, Lisseter seemingly unable to use the draft to pass Jay, so Jon would jump him on the brakes for the lead down into Ashby. This was after Mays had reeled in O’Connor, moving into a 4th place into Xmas. That Tyler would not relinquish the position as Pete slipped away slowly towards the purgatory of chasing group led by Pethick being harried permanently by Tom Dix, says a little about Pete’s lack of performance, he won at Rye House after all, and a lot more about Tyler. A very impressive but very quiet 4th place even if he could do no more than peg the gap to the battle for lead for next 8 laps, but thats probably why it’s impressive, as no one else could even do that. Dix would finish 5th 10secs off the winner some of it held up by Jon Pethick then O’Connor before overtaking Jack Harding to break back out of the chasing pack later on.

C100R4-0561Brown had immediately followed up Lisseter’s move for the lead with a slide inside Elliott, at the next corner Parker, and then covered up into Chapmans. By the time they rounded the Boot Steve pulled a kart length and it was clear he was going to catch Lisseter for the lead in a lap or so. On to lap 5 Jon was looking over his shoulder at Steve and weighing up whether it would be better to put up a fight and let Elliott back in, to who knows what end, or let Brown have it and hope to be pulled clear by him. After thinking about moves into Ashby and Chapmans, Lisseter looked over the wrong right shoulder on to the back straight as Steve took that as his cue to pass him on his left into the Boot and briefly they were a trio again and then pulled a kart length on Jon into the Boot on the next lap. Lisseter would never be as close again.

Behind Dix had passed Pethick and broken clear and started to work on O’Connor as he had to Jon. Tom breezed by up to Xmas but the pair were pulled back into the pack headed by Harding, from Hicks, James Hattersley was on Pethick’s bumper behind, reigning champion Anwar Beroual-Smith, whose unremarkable season (by contrast to 2015) continued, from a strong performance from fellow Lightweight promotee Harry Neale and Ian Blake closing in on the top ten, the tail of the group and his 2015 nemesis Anwar. This trio would go three wide into Chapmans as Neale cheekily dive bombed the top 2 drivers in Club100 into the corner, drawing in veteran 2009 champion Jamie Jakins into the party, before being schooled by Blake then Beroual-Smith through Xmas on lap 8. Fair play Harry reputations count for nothing although Blake was through, and Anwar, Jamie and then Harry was off the back of the field with only Darren Teal behind him.

C100R4-3013Elliott passed Lisseter for 2nd place, Jon kept pushing for 2nd on to the final lap but a poor run through Crook, left him a kart length down which he would claw back for the Boot, but it only left a lunge into the Toe, that just didn’t seem worth it. Steve Brown took his 2nd A final win of the season.

Next round, is another filmed round (Whilton Mill is coming soon) at Glan Y Gors on 26 June 16