Titan on top. Heartbreak for OHFV
There was a definite Autumnal feel as the teams arrived for round eight of the 2019 championship. Despite a few spots of rain on the way up, the forecast promised a dry race. Whilton usually produces a very close grid with the whole field rarely separated by little more than a second. This occasionally produces a mixed up grid. There was an extra headache for the front runners today with the one off entry for “Only Here For Views”, comprising top premier sprint driver and Youtube celebrity Steve Brown, top sprint 60 front runner Greg Barnard and the returning Pete Cowan. G3Pro were fastest for much of the qualifying session. Titan then went to the top of the time sheet with a couple of minutes remaining. It looked like Titan were going to maintain it but, in the dying seconds, Only Here For Views snatched pole with a mighty lap. So Only Here For Views and Titan lined up on the front row. G3Pro were third. Team Applewood and RMR were next up. G3Pro Farecla could only manage seventeenth. Championship contenders RaceandClassics were well off the pace down in 20th, going through several karts in practice. SoundFP were another team who were well off the pace. They were fighting with SMJ for the title of slowest prem team. These two lined up in 23rd and 24th respectively. After an initial false start, OHFV maintained their lead off the line. G3Pro followed them through in second but an early stop gave the position back to Titan. Raceandclassics also made a strategic early stop. Rotax Means Rotax ran third befing OHFV and Titan as these teams ran a different strategy. Despite playing the kart lottery and also getting their latest steed tested prior to the race, Raceandclassics were still complaining about the pace of their kart and openly chose to identify as women and race at a lower weight. Rotax Means Totax led after the first round of stops. Titan and OHFV were right behind them and battling for second place. OHFV took second shortly after 20 minutes and set after the leaders. Unfortunately RMR’s run at the front came to an end after half an hour when an altercation with an uncooperative, lapped, Andy Hall Jr resulted in them receiving a black flag for contact. The top three now comprised OHFV, Titan and the recovering Raceandclassics.com. A faster second stop by Titan saw them emerge in the lead with a gap of just over twos seconds to OHFV. Raceandclassics were a long way further back and only a few seconds clear of G3Pro who were leading their sister team G3Pro Farecla. SoundFP had worked their way up to fifth in class after the demise of RMR. The latter had dropped to sixth in class and eleventh overall. The running order remained largely unchanged at the front. G3Pro Farecla continued to shadow their senior team. Rotax Means Rotax managed to get past SoundFP (without picking up a black flag this time). Team Applewood and SMJ Racing were both having a bad day and struggled to make any sort of impression. Despite the front runners maintaining their positions and no real exciting battles emerging, there were a large number of penalties throughout the course of the day. Seventeen black flags were awarded over the course of the 2 hour race of 31 karts. With just one more fuel stop to make, Titan were well in control of proceedings. The attention turned to the battle for second place. OHFV still held the position but Raceandclassics were closing the gap. However, OHFV appeared to have everything in hand and responded in kind, maintaining the gap at around four seconds. What could have been a good solid result for G3Pro sadly came to nothing; the team receiving two black flags in the closing stages. Titan was way out in front and had no concerns. They duly crossed the line nearly 30 seconds ahead of what should have been OHFV. However, drama unfolded on the last lap and what looked like an easy second place for OHFV disappeared when their chain snapped on the last lap. Raceandclassics swooped past to take second, as did a number of other karts. The team fortunately had enough of a lead over fourth placed Rotax Means Rotax to be classified third. A disappointing end to what had been a faultless drive by the trio. So a lucky second place helped Raceandclassics in the championship battle as they only lost 5 points to Titan rather than 10. Still, Titan’s ongoing form means they are going to be hard to beat in the last three races so Raceandclassics need to pull something special out of the bag if they want to retain their championship. Clay Pigeon is next up in three weeks and that circuit always provides entertainment.