White, Wakeman & Ready Star in Lightweights

C100 Ellough 5680 Edit scaled

Wakeman drew first blood qualifying on pole with the 2nd Group 0.4secs faster than White. Except it was and it wasn’t the fastest time. It ought to have been Alexander Ready on pole position for the Pre A final but he’d been found underweight after qualifying so he would start 26th and last in the Pre B final. Hard but fair. And hard graft from there.

He won Pre B Final. That’s right. 14 places on lap 1, 1 or 2 places per lap thereafter.

Alexander Lammin started on pole for the Pre B Final with Charles Holyroyd, Pedro Ferreira and Jacob Heyne-Ford occupying the 4 qualifying spots initially. Ferreira and Freddie Fincham emerging side by side for 5 corners over the first half lap before forgetting the entente cordiale, Ferreira squeezing Fincham into the tyre bundle guarding the turn 8 apex kerb. Ready was up to 12th after taking care of the low hanging fruit. So to speak. Ferreira held off Ben Atkinson, Greg Aaron and Heyne-Ford on to lap 2 of this 14 lapper followed by a line running back to Ready. Ferreira ran wide and had to square off turn 1, Ben and Greg were through. Two laps later Ready had picked off Andrew Mather, and Tom MacKenzie for 10th. The line began to shorten with every Ready pass. Pick ‘em off, drop ’em off. Holroyd, Christopher Powell and Ferreira fell on the next lap. Aaron had grabbed the lead in turn 5. Ready passed Fincham for 5th. Halfway home and Alexander was on the cusp of getting on to the back of the Pre A. Lammin was run out wide exiting turn 3, Ready was through to 4th. That became 3rd before the end of the lap passing Heyne-Ford. It was more of a question of could Ready run down Aaron’s small lead before the finish? Errr… Yes. He had 7 laps left to do it. No the real question was could Jacob Heyne-Ford hold on to 4th place and hold off Lammin and Fincham. Not so sure. The latter running with a penalty, a 17d infraction (knocking over a cone – to you & me). Atkinson surrendered 2nd with the apex into turn 2, hey he was still going to qualify. Fincham got through to 4th but Atkinson was so far up the road it didn’t matter but clearly Jacob didn’t know and was racing Freddie to the finish. Relax boy, you’re going to get it back with Fincham’s penalty! On to the last lap Ready was left to decide inside or outside of the last row in the Pre A, he chose inside, inside of turn 2. Ready, Aaron, Atkinson, Heyne-Ford got weighed and got ready for the Pre A.

C100_Ellough-5506I intended to ask Lex Wakeman if he was related prog rocker Rick (not according to his wiki – Rick’s that is) I suspect he could be related to Mr Monster Energy, or perhaps he likes the fizzy drink. A lot. He pulled the Pre A Final field in behind the pace kart, daring Adam White to jump the start, no dice, but he was able to pin him to the outside line into 1, and the rolling Monster Energy advertisement came out with a couple kart lengths on the field. Neatly done and he never looked back. White extricated himself from grid 3 Dimitri Zaphorozhets and Adrian Richardson on row 2. Ready dived inside Harry Neale for 11th into the last corner. That boy can overtake! White pegged Wakeman at 1sec, Dimitri was struggling to hold Richardson bringing Luke Hornsby, Jack Richards, Harrison Darvill and Daniel Becker into the dice for 3rd. Keith Segal tipped in late over Ready shaping up to dive into turn 1, Keith ran wide and was swamped by 3 more karts on the run to to turn 2, Hornsby ahead had made a similar mistake, leaving Richardson to chop inside of Dimitri into turn 4. Darvill demoted Hornsby to 7th. By halfway White I assumed had given up hope of catching Wakeman who’d edged out to about 1.5secs. Maybe I was wrong a lurid lock up into the last corner suggested he was pressing hard, or maybe letting his concentration wander. By now Richardson was comfortably clear of Richards just passed Zaphorozhets, gap to Darvill under pressure from Ready, Hornsby and Sean Brierley, gap to Becker, William Hemsley, Neale, Sam Luscombe and just so I can mention in 14th place, Nik Hoyle. Why? For the uber cool Francois Cevert inspired retro lid design, forget the current vogue for the bad bugler James Hunt, although he’s alright, but the 70s coolest playboy was the concert pianist trained Frenchman with the amazing blue eyes, who could have easily had at least one of Lauda’s world titles had he lived into the next season with Tyrrell or joined Ferrari who were courting him at the time. Can you hear me Rob Swindells? Hunt lid meh, Cevert lid cool. Fair play. I digress. Dimitri wouldn’t give up 5th to Ready without a fight, but he would, and in doing so it cost him 6th to Darvill. He made the same mistake with Brierley setting himself up for Hornsby to take 8th. White had long given up hope of catching Wakeman but there was time for Richardson, Richards to get involved with each other and let Ready have 3rd place in the fallout. That was 43 places gained in a shade under 28 laps of racing. That’s impressive. The list of penalties was long behind the top 3, Darvill was promoted to 4th place post race at Richards expense. Adrian Richardson was back in 5th off Brierley’s penalty. It’s confusing.

C100_Ellough-735222 on the B Final grid going for 2 more slots in the trophy A Final. Freddie Fincham and Tom Lee on the front row but it was Frankie Hedges off the 2nd row leading into turn 2, Alexander Lammin overtaking Fincham out of the infield for 2nd. Fincham and Lee argued over who would do the chasing, Hedges checked out, Lammin pulled clear. I wish I could entertain you more but by the time they figured out Fincham should do the chasing Frankie and Alexander were out of range and not intending to let them back in. Behind Chris Penny held sway in 5th ahead of Charles Holyroyd, Christopher Powell and Tom MacKenzie with the field strung loosely out behind. But sorry qualification was sorted. Later on Fincham and Lee dropped into Penny and Powell allowing Fincham to pull a comfort margin, Lee was demoted to 5th behind Penny but it wouldn’t last. Tom Lee was pushing Penny for the last 3 laps, Chris going in too deep to turn 1 starting the final lap and on the exit Lee and Powell drove by.

C100_Ellough-5560On to the main A Final event. And the longest list of penalties in the sprint programme. Hmmm… But before that a chance to see if pole man Alexander Ready had the stones to handle the quick guys at the front remember fastest lap times set the grid for this one and Alexander had it. The only thing round 1 winner salvaged from the Pre Final was a fast time to start grid 2, Lex Wakeman, Sean Brierley, Greg Aaron and Adam White made up the top 6 that charged with the rest into turn 1. It was grid 3 man Wakeman emerging in front down into turn 2 from Aaron, White, King, Ready and Harrison Darvill off grid 18! White took a swipe at Aaron into the last corner, observer Cowell was looking busy looking the other way at an impending train wreck at the back of the field. Lucky boy. Wakeman had a 1sec lead at the line, Darvill dropped into Pietro Pagano to leave the chasing group as a 4. Aaron slid wide between turn 2 and 3 and had to get his elbows out to hold the inside of turn 4, King side by side with White through turn 5. That takes trust, Ready nipped inside King into turn 6, all that put Darvill back on the bus with Pagano, Nik Hoyle, Brierley, Daniel Healey in 10th. Greg Aaron was struggling to hold off White and after another bite between turns 2 and 3, he through one inside into turn 7, yes he got by but Greg stacked up the field behind him make it look like they were rolling to really bad tempered restart. There were 13 karts disputing 3rd place, RoboMick started lighting up blue with penalties. Sense was restored. White started chipping into Wakeman 2.5secs lead, Ready ran out of patience, the pass was clean on Aaron into turn 4 but running off the corner Aaron almost appeared to pushed toward the plastic barrier, it might’ve been the camera angle… By halfway White had shaved Lex’s lead down to 1sec and the race was on for leading trio. Aaron holding off King as the race had settled again Darvill had lost touch while holding back Ben Atkinson, Brierley and Pagano. Hoyle rejoined this group with Jack Richards and Healey. Closing stages it was game on at the front White moved on to Wakeman’s bumper Ready needed them to dice to get there before the finish. King to took 3 attempts to get passed Greg Aaron who was not giving up 4th place. No way. So the Darvill group tagged back on to the battle. Adam White tried his favourite on again between the 2-3 apexes, it’s a most satisfying pass, but Lex closed the door. Alexander dropped on to Adam’s bumper. Darvill finally gave up 6th place to Brierley. Sean dispatched King in the paddock hairpin. Lex opened up turn 4 too wide, wide enough for Adam to get his nose into the apex. No point fighting it out and letting Ready in, Adam White led into turn 5. Two laps to go Ready was a distraction that worked perfectly for White, he edged clear, Wakeman was making his kart wide to dissuade Alexander from having a go. But Ready slipped by inside of Lex between turns 2 & 3. So White was clear and on his way to the win. Behind Brierley got a better run off turn 1 so Aaron finally had to let 4th go. And that was that. Ready wasn’t close enough for a lunge into the last corner, he’d picked up a 17d (cone penalty) anyway which handed 2nd back to Wakeman. Brierley finished 4th, Aaron, then Darvill in 6th again, although he looked suspiciously close to Thom King’s bumper into the first corner to upset his kart, which sent Thom back down the line of karts Darvill had been towing most of the race. That final was not one for the purest.

I heard Red Lodge might be tight and tricky. Deep breath.

Pictures: Alex Roache Photography