What’s Wrong With Premier Class? Guests Winning? Will Van Es

Prem 1VanEs 2Clackett 3Brown scaled

Heat 1 was won by Scott Martin from pole position, he’d converted pole position into the 1st chicane, Elliott off grid 2 looking comfortable until they had exited the 2nd chicane only for Stephen Hicks to drive down the inside but he failed to pass and he’d pay for it as Steve Bartlett pushed inside into the Horseshoe all of which made Scott’s 1secs lead look more impressive than it was at the end of lap 1. Bartlett was looking rapid out of the gate and down the inside at the hairpin where Hicks had failed to pass Elliott the lap before.Instead Stephen would get passed Jay into the last corner. It had been all knees and elbows trying to sort out who should lead the chasing pack on the opening lap and it looked like Ray Norris had agreed it should be Darren Teal and he ought to be making good his escape, but he’d soon be back in the (butcher’s) mincing machine with Norris while Freddie Gallagher introduced himself to Will Van Es, and Steve Brown moved through on to Teal’s bumper in 8th place. 3 laps from the finish the impressive Bartlett, towing Hicks, had caught Martin and immediately pressed home into the Horseshoe, only for Martin to draft up to the last corner and run Steve deep in on the brakes. It seemed unfair that his hard work should reward Stephen Hicks running through to 2nd behind Martin on the penultimate lap. Although to be fair Stephen was only prevented from pulling the trigger on Scott into the last corner himself by the parked Tom Dix. On to the final lap Scott went deep into the 2nd chicane forcing him to cover into the hairpin, this in turn forced Hicks to cover off Bartlett into the Horseshoe and that was enough to give Martin the first win of the afternoon, Elliott cruise in 4th ahead of the closing Gallagher.

C100Lydd-5750On the reverse grid our championship rivals Ian Blake and Anwar Beroual-Smith were drawn together on the front row and Ian had run Anwar out over the track out kerb from the hairpin (I see everything) in the first heat so there was cause for a little friction off the start, or at least I’d like to think so. And it might give your cause to wonder if Ian might be pressing a few buttons in his rival as he moved over to squeeze Anwar over start finish to the outside. Oh the mind games… Parmveer Nijjar was able to push through to 2nd from grid 3. And maybe clerk of the course Niki Richardson (who’s been around) had seen it as well. Regrid for Heat 2. Well Ian moved over after the line on the 2nd start to get a few kart lengths off the chicane but at least Anwar was 2nd this time with Parmveer on his bumper. Steve Brown made it 4 away at the front behind Freddie Gallagher eased Lee Clackett off his line in the last corner to go 5th and probably chose to let Lee back through into the 2nd chicane as it looked like a penalty coming, allowing Van Es and Dix on to his bumper. Tom went down the inside of Will at the hairpin for 7th. Peculiarly (as he does) Clackett let Gallagher through then fought off Dix and Van Es for a few corners. Into the 2nd half of the race Nijjar could not live with the top 3 in the championship around him, Brown got by, Steve getting into slipstream range on Anwar to go down the inside into Horseshoe. Anwar was unable to hang in Steve’s draft as he hared off after leader Blake getting there on to the penultimate lap and diving in once again, this time for the lead, into the Horseshoe. And no Blake couldn’t live with his pace either. Win to Steve Brown.

C100Lydd-5870So into Pre Final, and yes despite rumours of a revamp for 2016 there is no denying no class drives quite as hard, to such small margins of error as Premier Class, 2 wide 7 deep en masse as one into the first chicane, pole man Steve Brown getting the best of it, pulling clear with grid 2 Blake, Jay Elliott getting the better of Van Es into the Horseshoe, Will unable to live with Jay’s pace and unable to hold off Heat 1 winner Scott Martin. Everyone looked around and judged their pace, Elliott and Blake closing in on Brown, Jay late and hard into the last corner to go 2nd, Ian unable to hang in his draft. It seemed straight forward enough Elliott had pace, Brown looked over his shoulder, weighed up the score and didn’t fight Jay too hard into the last corner, what was the point? Elliott pulled a kart length’s lead just out of the first chicane and Steve would be busy with Blake over his shoulder, and retaking 2nd place at the end of back straight after Ian got through at the hairpin. This was enough, and inevitable, that Elliott checked out, by now Martin was tantalisingly close to Blake and Brown as they traded tenths of a second but Ian emerged from the hairpin 2nd on the last lap, Brown holding off Martin to the line as Scott tried the long way around the outside. Nearly. But nearly is not enough in this company.

C100Lydd-6074I think it’s fair to say the Final was settled at the start, Van Es going early, or too early for Elliott so that Jay would find Steve Brown on grid 3 on the inside when he turned in for the chicane, bish-bosh, Will had 4 kart lengths off the chicane on Elliott and Brown, then the rest of the field arrived 4 wide into the 2nd chicane. After hefty shake the pack settled down, Lee Clackett broke free and Stephen Hicks held off and up the rest of the grid into the hairpin before Anwar Beroual-Smith would eventually go through the group and by. But that was long after Brown had driven it down the inside of Elliott into the hairpin for 2nd, and Clackett had driven it later inside Jay into the Horseshoe for 3rd. Van Es’ lead increased from 1sec to 1.7secs with that switch around and by half distance it was obvious Will Van Es had enough pace to hold Brown edging clear of Clackett, while Elliott slid backwards through the pack. Clackett pressed hard towards the end and was disappointed to be still running 3rd into the final corner behind Brown. But Steve had clipped a cone (or at least that’s what it says – I can’t see the offending cone on VT) and was demoted to 3rd. But actually I don’t see everything in the video and really shouldn’t pretend to.

Next stop Whilton Mill (Zulu layout) on 11 October.