“Congratulations to the Titan boys for another dominant championship win”, reported Team Applewood’s Alex Pritchard. At the time I thought he was referring to the race, but it occurred to me later to do some man maths, and it’s true Titan Motorsport can not now be caught. At Llandow Titan won by almost a lap as Owen Jenman returned to lead the line, at Mike Philippou’s insistence, and in Jack O’Neill’s absence. Matt Wileman from Scuderia Bandito finishing 3rd in class, behind Applewood, “Not a bad result, our fight is with Applewood over 2nd in the championship now so we’re focusing on them for the upcoming rounds”. A prospect not lost on Pritchard, with their advantage at 15points (or just 3 positions) with 3 rounds to go, “A great result for us against Scuderia considering only 2nd is on the table.” While not yet certain, G3 Pro in 4th place in championship and 5th placed Palatinate Racing look like strong favourites to hold those positions to the season’s end. Leaving only Runner Up spot to seriously contest in Premier Class.
Perhaps the real story is Clubman Class which is just starting to come alive. Blowing hot and cold depending on his ribs and the fire power of Richard “Dickie” “Pound for pound the fastest driver in Club100” (in a strange speed per kilo way) Allen, Speedscreen blew hot to take the win and finish 3rd on the road, Hill remarking, “It was a very close battle with Conman Racing and they were ahead of us for much of the race, I went out a little after the hour mark in 3rd, with Conman on my bumper, Dickie went back out for the last 16 laps as I knew Applewood were closing in on me, leaving Conman a distant 4th by close of play. The Conman in question was Ben Chapman, “We both pitted same lap and came out together, me behind Tim hill. We had a couple of wheel banging moments – tough but fair racing with Tim holding the race lead and me on the bumper for the duration of the stint. We decided to run Joe for the last stint, as Speedscreen put Dickie Allen back out, but we lost 4s in the last stop and emerged 16s behind which is how the gap stayed to the only end. It was a good race though and it keeps our championship going a little longer too.”
Conman are 4th in points 50points off leaders JK Rolling, who have 20point margin over Speedscreen and a 35point lead over Auditing Armageddon. Indeed all 4 teams remain in the hunt, Auditing Armageddon’s JJ Aiston, “Conman and Speedscreen just had too much speed for us today and deserved the top two spots. With JK Rolling not being at full strength, we really wanted to take the win to capitalise on that and keep our championship push alive. During the race I struggled with all the important corners. The kart was fine; it was poor technique on my part. I ended up following Conman at one point but they just kept pulling away very slightly each lap, which was demoralising to see. In the end, although we were a long way off the top two teams I think we were the quickest of all the teams that got only one black flag, so our 4th place was never under pressure but it was certainly not the result we wanted after our win last weekend, especially as we are missing Whilton. I think we only have a chance of winning the title now if JK Rolling don’t turn up to the rest of the races.” Which is not JK Rolling’s intention, Kyle Young, “It’s usually me, Andrew Hall and James Dixon that race. But James has raced at such a high level he is hard to get to every round as he works some Saturdays driver training, so it was Andrew Hall and I for Llandow, and three battery failures killed our race. It should pretty much have been our title [by now], and it would be a great shame to lose out through no fault of our own. We just have to win Whilton and Lydd and we go well at both circuits.”
And what was Speedscreen’s Llandow secret? It wasn’t entirely Dickie Allen’s power to weight ratio. Hill again, “we were jubilant with that result, the secret was keeping it clean with zero black flags, as you know there were 27 in total, many top teams attracting them, we said to each other early on that was the day’s strategy. This leaves us only 20 points behind JK Rowling, with Dickie on fire & me back to fitness a true title fight is on the cards!” Is there one last championship hurrah left in the geriatric Tim Hill?
By stark contrast, and demonstrating the demographic breadth in Club100, Intermediates was won by Bailey Morgan running solo as RWA (Rottweiler Welfare Association), supported only on the pit wall by his dad Chris, “Bailey started 7th. No dramas on track for Bailey, good clean battling with some of the top runners. 2 of his 5 pitstops were slow but that didn’t stop Bailey battling to 8th overall dropping just 1 place after 2 hours of hard racing and finished 1st in class. Bailey’s record for laps in 1 day is 300 at Rye House. He trains everyday. He’s 16 years old and very fit.” Thats dedication. (I wish I was 16 again or ever that fit – CS).
Wisper and Wait This Isn’t A Simrig? made up the podium but are not title players, Brillio are, and finished 4th, and are 25points behind The Three Swans in what is a straight head to head, Swans’ James Johnstone, on their off day, “we had a poor quali because Jasper [Chamberlain] was driving it like a pro kart (whatever that means – CS), then I made a terrific start and had a great first stint, then in stint 2 I thought I got a black flag for track limits when I’d been forced off and [I] was raging. I didn’t realise that was for cones. [My] Head went, wasn’t driving like me, got taken out and then got another black flag for cones. Tom [Hollamby] got a black flag cos I’d hit a cone at the end of my stint. So yeah, basically all my fault (James’ Rich Tea blog might be worth watching, Club100 FB Group – CS). In the end we only lost 5 points to Brillio, so no stress. We aren’t at Whilton but Lydd and Bayford will be the big ones, no mistakes, and no excuses“.
Chris Alcock would set the mark with 52.254, before Philippou demonstrated his speed and how integral to Titan’s success he has been with 52.203, Alcock returned 52.171 and then 52.152 to put Applewood back on top. By now returning Will Dendy for Scuderia Bandito had moved on to the 2nd row ahead RWA’s Morgan. Philippou posted a brace of fast laps himself at mid session, the latter 52.123 good for pole position. Alcock went close with 52.142 but couldn’t dislodge Titan Motorsport.
Will Van Es would move Palatinate Racing on to row 2, with Clubman Lucid Initiatives, described in interesting terms as “Lucid had the old boy qualify they had an absolute rocket then he fell apart in the race.” Unfortunately I don’t know his name, nor I will attribute the quote, but he was on grid 4 at the end of qualifying. This left Bandito and G3 Pro pushed off to the 3rd row, with Bailey Morgan unable to improve on his excellent opening time in the session with Andrew Hall for JK Rolling on row 4, and SMJK Racing and Conman making up the top 10.
After a dominating performance on his return to racing at Bayford Meadows the Titan collective deployed Owen Jenman to start and he duly executed to lead, with only Will Van Es for Palatinate Racing able to go with Jenman in the early going. Pritchard for Applewood lost out to Dendy for Bandito and when Dendy broke clear, Pritchard had to contend with young Mr Morgan making a strong endurance debut as lead intermediate, ahead of G3 Pro and SMJK. Alex lost out to Bailey, and I understand (Mike and Chris) that Bailey os available on the transfer market for 2022, if you feel the need to make a change in Team Applewood.
Behind and coming through rapidly was Richard Allen in Speedscreen after starting only 15th after limited qualifying, Hill again, “unfortunately he’d only got 2 laps practice when the chain came off & the radiator was found to be leaking (both of which I was blamed for), however he soon dialled in”, and was just passing Lucid Initiatives for 8th after passing Auditing Armageddon’s Jon Buck, a few laps before. SMJK were still leading Clubman at this stage passing Applewood, 8mins in, Pritchard, “Both me and Mike hadn’t done the circuit before, I was just about losing time to the leaders, which we expect at the moment with me tipping the scales at 94kg.” Allen picked off Hall in JK Rolling, Morgan pitted RWA early to what might have been the leading first stopper in 18th place, it put Speedscreen into 6th place, soon to be 5th as Applewood handed over the position again, but ahead of Morgan was Joe Conroy for Conman Racing who had pitted on lap 2 for track position and that was paying off.
Twelve minutes in Dendy for Bandito and SMJK pitted, Dendy coming out ahead in 10th place over 10secs clear of Morgan, by then back in 15th place. Up front Van Es had kept the gap to Titan at under 1 second, while the pair had pulled 10secs on the field, until the wheels came off, metaphorically, Owen Jenman, “Palatinate looked like our main rival in the first stint hanging onto my tow until a black flag and an unlucky mechanical destroyed their chances.”
Titan Motorsport would never looked back from here, and even if Jenman, or later Philippou after halfway, had literally looked back there would be no one to see. Titan Motorsport make very few mistakes, and that’s only under pressure, and there was then none. Jenman, showing no signs of rustiness, that had not been present at Bayford either, quadruple stinted to hand over a comfortable win to Mike Philippou. Mike has proved to be the safest pair of hands in a group of safe hands. He didn’t drop the ball.
Titan had pitted with 13secs lead over Applewood and JK Rolling, now with the first fuel window closed behind them, Titan’s lead was 6.5secs from Conman’s Joe Conroy, 2.5secs clear of Bandito, 5secs ahead of Allen in Speedscreen, 7secs clear of Lucid Initiatives, still a stint or so from ‘falling apart’. On the subject of ball dropping Applewood were down in 18th place and off the lead lap, Pritchard again, “we sent Mike [Coppin] out at 20 mins. Mike went on to hit two sets of tyres before even coming over the line, in a likely out lap to end his career with Applewood!”. (Bailey Morgan is available, if you and Chris want to make a change – CS) “His subsequent stint over 45 minutes was very well driven and fast, catching everybody in front.
Speedscreen pitted shortly after the 2nd window opened, dropping to 9th place, Titan pitted on 40mins to Conman Racing into the lead, Jenman returning 3rd. Conman returned to 2nd place after their late pit stop, handing over to Ben Chapman, the gap slipping out to 16secs, after their driver change and Titan’s typically efficient turnaround. More pressing for Chapman was Matt Wileman in Bandito and Allen close behind in Speedscreen, there was then a large gap 20secs to Jon Buck in Auditing Armageddon holding off CKS Throatpunchers in 6th place.
By the time the 3rd fuel window opened battle was already joined between Wileman and Allen, and they were managing to dice while still catching Chapman. At 5mins to the hour, the 3 way fight over 2nd place came together, briefly, as Wileman moved through to 2nd then departed to pit lane, just before the hour Allen passed Chapman for 2nd again. Another battery failure, even swiftly changed, took JK Rolling out of contention for Clubman Class honours. Chapman and Allen pitted together towards the end of the window, Chapman again, “we came out together, me behind Tim Hill”, 3rd and 4th respectively. Hill again, “we had some amazing pit stops, pulling out 4 or 5sec a time on main rivals. It was a very close with Conman Racing”, happening 9secs behind Wileman in 2nd place.
Black flags were beginning to mount up leaving only 4 teams on the lead lap. In the Clubman Class it was Speedscreen, Conman Racing, and Auditing Armageddon a distant 5th overall, and 3rd in class, JJ Aiston, “I took over [from Jon Buck], and got a black flag not long after.” A cone penalty awarded for clipping a tyre stack too hard. He would return in 9th place behind SMJK and JK Rolling in Clubman podium chase.
After fuel window 4 closed with 25mins to go, Philippou was in Titan to the finish, 50secs clear of Speedscreen, edging clear themselves by exemplary pitstops, then 10secs clear of Conman, they’d also slipped off the lead lap, and Chris Alcock had gone into Applewood and was closing fast in 4th place, missing from the leading group was Scuderia Bandito they were nearly 20secs behind, as before Wileman left the chair for Anwar Beroual-Smith, he’d made the task harder. Matt again, “I’d decided to skim a cone through the chicane on my in lap and got us a penalty as well. This brought us back level with Applewood but they were consistently lapping 0.4/0.5 seconds faster a lap. Which to be honest even with our previous lead I think they would of caught us.” Pritchard, “Chris went out with 55minutes to go and drove amazing making us 3rd on the road even after Mikes black flag. Once Matt got one of his own we were then legitimately 2nd [in class]”, after passing Matt Conroy in Conman for 3rd overall.
In the Intermediate class it had been all Bailey Morgan for a hundred minutes, racing in the lower reaches of the top 10 overall, 20secs ahead of Wisper and another 20secs ahead of Wait This Isn’t A Simrig? There’s not much else to say. Dominant stuff.
The last fuel stops were all done in plenty of time, leaving 15mins of clean pedalling. Speedscreen were trying to hold off Applewood for 2nd on the road, Tim Hill, deferring to Allen to finish knowing Applewood were closing in. In vain, as they got past for 2nd with 10 laps to go. At the finish Titan were nearly a lap ahead of Applewood, 2secs clear of Clubman winners Speedscreen, 17secs ahead of Conman Racing, gap to Scuderia Bandito, 3rd in Prems. Then SMJK Racing 3rd in Clubmans, the last kart 1 lap down, Auditing Armageddon, Bailey Morgan as RWA winning Intermediates, G3 Pro and CKS Throatpunchers rounding out the top 10. JK Rolling, cLunge Racing, then Wisper, 2nd in Intermediates, Runtime Exception Racing and DDMM Barnstormers, and 15th. Then Wait This Isn’t A Simrig? completing the podiums for Intermediates.
Words: Chris Simpson
Library Photography: John Patterson