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Win #2 for Richie Allen & Penalties for Beroual-Smith, set up Thrilling Finale with Joe Holmes!

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For the first time this season rain greeted the drivers on the return to a re-surfaced Ellough with a few changes to the topography too. Fortunately the new banked corner was used just as a cut through whilst the re-profiled corner at the pit entrance was given a mixed reception. Great circuit though. Shame there was no catering.

It was still showery as the Heavies prepared for their heats and the track would never properly dry all afternoon but at least the weather front was moving away into the North Sea before darkness set in later in the afternoon.

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The Road to the Finals

First corner first heat and a somewhat messy start. But everyone stayed pointing the right way albeit in vastly different positions to how they started. Mikey Nichols went from grid ten to first but it was not without contact and the resulting penalty would ultimately demote him to fifth after a dominant drive. Chris Alcock inherited the win with Miguel Hall second, Tim Hill third and Dan Hollinshead fourth ahead of the unfortunate Nichols.

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The irrepressible Richard Allen was a comfortable winner of the second heat. Starting from the second row he led after the first lap and then simply drove away from the pack to win by over ten seconds from Callan Sigafoos. Curt Holmes crossed the line well back from Sigafoos and then lost third to Joe Bailey after a cone penalty. David Longman was fifth after penalties demoted Kyle Walker, Geoff Symonds and Jacob Harris.

Phil Ingram took a comfortable win in the third heat. Starting from grid seven he avoided the first corner dramas to jump quickly into first. Thereafter he was never headed. Joe Holmes chased him home but he was badly held up in the first corner and dropped down the field before battling his way back to second. He couldn’t catch Ingram though and then lost second to Tim Penny after a cone penalty. Josh Pettitt suffered the same fate dropping from fourth to fifth and promoting Stuart Symonds. The penalties were beginning to mount up but fortunately everyone got their act together before an official dressing down was needed.

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Championship leader Anwar Beroual-Smith got his afternoon off to the perfect start winning the fourth heat a couple of seconds clear of pole sitter Tim Williams. Alex Pritchard took third after fighting his way up the order from grid nine with Bill Taylor fourth from Lee Henderson. Beroual-Smith’s quicker lap time ahead of the other heat winners just gave him the edge in the fight for pole.

After his first heat disappointment Mikey Nichols made no mistake in the fifth heat. Starting from the front row he was quickly into the lead and never headed. Phil Ingram chased him home but he’d had to work his way from grid nine and despite closing the gap to the leader once he was up to second there wasn’t enough time to challenge the leader. Kyle Walker was third from Dan Hollinshead with David Longman taking another fifth after Joe Bailey received another cone penalty.

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Tim Penny dominated the sixth heat. Starting from the second row he went to the front on the first lap and was never headed leading Tim Hill home by over eight seconds. But he’d clipped a cone handing the win to Hill who crossed the line just 0.097 up on third placed Miguel Hall with Chris Alcock fourth from Geoff Symonds.

Richard Allen made it two wins from two in the seventh heat. Starting from the second row he was in the lead by the end of the first lap and never headed leading home Curt Holmes by over four seconds. Callan Sigafoos was third after starting from grid eight with James Taylor fourth after starting from grid ten. Mike Bodnar was fifth.

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Joe Holmes got back to winning ways in the eighth heat but only after a thrilling three way battle with Anwar Beroual-Smith and Alex Pritchard. Holmes led after the first lap but second time around Pritchard went by over the finish line. Beroual-Smith was up to third but almost a second back. But he quickly cut the gap aided by Pritchard losing time as he defended fruitlessly from Holmes who pulled clear of Beroual-Smith by over a second. But Beroual-Smith quickly cut the gap dragging Prichard along with him. Fifth time around and Pritchard took second as they crossed the finish line and then set off after Holmes. End of the penultimate lap and Pritchard edged ahead over the line to start the final lap with just a tenth covering the top three. But it was Holmes who came out on top with Beroual-Smith also getting by Pritchard who lost a ruck of time defending his position. His result got even worse as a cone penalty dropped him to fourth behind Glen Orford with Tim Williams fifth.

With the second round of heats complete Richard Allen’s two wins had given him a clear advantage in the race for pole.

Heat Nine saw a second win for Phil Ingram. Starting from the second row he went into the lead on the first lap and was never threatened. Curt Holmes chased him home but a penalty saw Holmes drop to sixth behind Chris Alcock, Miguel Hall, Tim Hill and Steve Lindley.

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Alex Pritchard was quickly over his eighth heat disappointment moving into the lead of Heat Ten at its mid-point. Once at the front he pulled clear of second placed Geoff Symonds to win by almost four seconds. Bill Taylor was third from Nickolas Walker and Samuel Bensley.

Joe Holmes claimed the penultimate heat after a typical Holmes fight up through the field and taking the lead from race long leader Callan Sigafoos with a lap to go. These two were almost ten seconds clear of third placed James Taylor who had himself had to battle hard after starting on the front row and dropping to sixth on the first lap. Second placed Sigafoos then lost the spot for an early race bump and pass promoting Taylor to second. Kyle Walker was third. Mikey Nichols crossed the line next but his second four place deduction in the heats saw him drop down the order and promoted Daniel Hollinshead and Stuart Symonds to fourth and fifth respectively.

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The final heat of the day gave Richard Allen his third win of the day and clinched pole for the A Final. But he was made to work for it. Allen started tenth but was up to second by the end of the first lap behind Anwar Beroual-Smith who started from the front row and took pole sitter Lennie Wood for the lead on the first lap. Allen then took over at the front but Beroual-Smith fought back only to lose out again to Allen with a couple of laps to go. His day got worse as a penalty for a bump and pass on Wood dropped him to seventh and a spot on row five for the A Final. Tim Penny inherited second from Joe Bailey, Wood and Lewis Shelley.

The Finals

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C Final

(All drivers in C3 unless otherwise noted)

Scott Parker on pole from SHW Mathew Salmon followed by Luke Elliott and SHW Stuart Kirk on row two. Row three had Steven Salway alongside Luke Russell whilst Marcus Naris shared row four with SHW Damien Smith. Row five saw Antonio Gizzonio alongside Richard Melton with SHW James Fremont bringing up the rear. Top four to qualify and a trophy for the winner.

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Parker led the pack away from the line but Salmon was quickly into first followed by Kirk. Naris moved quickly up to fourth. Elliott lost ground whilst Salway spun away his chances. Two laps run and Salmon still led from Parker, Kirk and Naris. Gizzonio was fifth but already over three seconds adrift of fourth place as drivers struggled with the still damp track. Three run and Parker moved back ahead of Salmon. Kirk remained third over a second back with Naris fourth a few lengths behind and over five seconds clear of fifth placed Gizzonio who had Smith giving him a hard time in sixth. The leading four were clearly going to be safely through to the B final but then fourth placed Naris managed to spin all on his own at turn four. He still had enough time in hand to resume in fifth but he now had Smith between him and a qualifying spot and Elliott snapping at his rear bumper. With Parker, Salmon and Kirk well up the road it was all about the battle for fourth.

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Fifth time around and Naris made a move on Smith into turn one which didn’t come off. As they sorted themselves out Elliott nipped by only to have Naris bite back at him which slowed them both and allowed Gizzonio to move up from seventh to fourth. Naris’s move on Elliott was deemed unfair and the resulting penalty dropped him out of contention for qualifying berth. Gizzonio continued to defend his place. Smith had fallen back and was now out of the running. Ninth time around and Gizzonio’s defence was finally breached. Naris nipped by followed by Elliott and Russell. Gizzonio did get by Russell on the final lap but he had to settle for sixth on the road.

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C Final Winner – Scott Parker

Parker took a comfortable win from Salmon and Kirk. Naris was next over the line but some thirteen seconds back from third placed Kirk. But he was demoted to eighth with Elliott taking the final qualifying spot.

B Final

(All drivers in C2 unless otherwise noted)

Josh Pettit on pole with SHW Nickolas Walker alongside followed by C3 James Radovic and Paul Williams on row two. Steve Lindley shared row three with Jacob Harris whilst C3 Tom Angier shared row four with Alexander Lammin. Row five was occupied by SHW Lee Henderson and C3 Lewis Shelley. Birthday boy Steve Bosley was alongside Lawrence Cheah on row six with SHW Lennie Wood alongside C3 Richard Neale on row seven. Row eight saw Simon Kavanagh alongside Andrew Cherry followed by C3 Jonathan Williams beside SHW Adrian Wray on row nine. Mat Griffiths and C3 Andrew Hicks shared row ten followed by two more C3’s, Marcus Gilbey and James Antwis on row eleven. The final two rows were taken up by the qualifiers from the C Final, Parker, Salmon, Kirk and Elliott. Top two to qualify for the back of the A Final and a trophy for the winner.

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Pettit led away from the line but it was a very bunched field that headed into the first turn. Lammin and Kavanagh both spun away their chances. By the end of the lap Williams was up to first with Pettitt second from Wood, astonishing progress up from grid twelve. Bosley too had made dramatic progress to run fourth ahead of Radovic and Kavanagh, the latter also making rapid progress. Two down and Pettitt was back at the front with Wood second from Bosley and Williams back down to fourth from Radovic, Kavanagh and a recovering Walker. Third time around and Pettit remained at front whilst Bosley had deposed Wood. Williams remained fourth. One third distance and Bosley was beginning to cut the gap to Pettit at the front. Wood was dropping back in third but only by a tenth or two. Radovic had slipped by Williams for fourth with Kavanagh sixth from Walker.

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Half distance and Pettitt had edged a few more lengths clear of Bosley whilst Wood had closed the gap to Bosley in second. Radovic remained fourth whilst Walker was up to fifth. But his progress had not been without some drama as he was adjudged to have hit both Williams and Kavanagh on his way by. Bosley took over at the front whilst second placed Pettitt was now having to fend off the attentions of Wood. Radovic remained fourth with Walker closing in. With three to go Bosley had pulled a second clear of Pettitt who had in turn managed to get clear of Wood. Walker was up to fourth ahead of Radovic and Williams.

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B Final Winner – Josh Pettitt

Two to go and it was as you were at the front but Wood was coming under serious pressure from Walker for third. Penultimate lap and Bosley lost ground allowing Pettit to close up. Over the line for the start of the final lap and Pettit made a move on the leader into the first turn. Bosley defended and both lost time allowing Walker to nip by them both for the lead. And there he stayed, crossing the line over a second clear of Pettitt and Bosley. But Walkers two ABC penalties saw him excluded from the results and handed the win to Pettitt with Bosley second. Wood was just a few lengths back in third with Radovic fourth and winning C3. Wilson was fifth and second in C3 with Williams sixth ahead of Angier who took third in C3. Lammin was ninth with Wray tenth and Henderson eleventh. With Bill Taylor the only SHW qualifier in the A Final Wray and Henderson were second and third in SHW.

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Class 3 Podium – Winner James Radovi?, flanked by Jonathan Wilson and Tom Angier

A Final

(All drivers in C1 unless otherwise noted)

Richard Allen on pole from Class 2 Phil Ingram followed by Joe Holmes and C2 Tim Penny on the second row. Chris Alcock and Alex Pritchard shared row three followed by C2 Tim Hill and Miguel Hall on row four. Championship leader Anwar Beroual-Smith was alongside C2 Callan Sigafoos on the fifth row followed by six C2’s, Curt Holmes and Kyle Walker on row six, Joe Bailey and Dan Hollinshead on row seven, James Taylor and Geoff Symonds on row eighth. C2 Mikey Nichols shared the ninth row with SHW Bill Taylor. Taylor would win the SHW class at Ellough as the only SHW to qualify for the A Final. C2’s Stuart Symonds and Glen Orford were on row ten followed by David Longman and C2 Tim Williams. C2’s Mike Bodnar and Samuel Bensley were on the penultimate row followed by the two qualifiers from the B Final, Pettit and Bosley.

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Allen led the pack away from the line but Ingram was caught napping and Holmes wasted no time in nipping into second. Ingram’s day got worse as he was forced out wide in the first turn. He would be down in sixteenth by the end of the first tour. Penny too lost out falling back to twelfth. End of the first lap and Allen was almost a second clear of Holmes. Alcock was half a second back from Holmes with Pritchard next from Sigafoos and Hill. Beroual-Smith was next but over a second back from Hill. Over the next couple of laps he cut the gap but he was now over eight seconds adrift of Allen at the front. Worse was to follow. He had a bad lap sixth time around and found himself behind Sigafoos and Penny and coming under pressure from Curt Holmes. Curt briefly got ahead but Beroual-Smith fought back and re-passed him. But it was not without contact and his number flashed up on the digi-board. James Taylor was into the top ten ahead of Hill.

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Half distance and Allen was running away with the race ahead of Holmes by over two seconds with Alcock a second and a half back from Holmes in third followed by Pritchard who was nearly three seconds adrift of his Applewood teammate. Sigafoos was closing Pritchard down and running clear of Penny who now had Beroual-Smith for company. With four to go Allen was over three seconds clear at the front with Holmes second and just over a second up on Alcock who was closing in bit by bit. Sigafoos was up to a fine fourth from Pritchard. Three to go and Allen went clear by over four seconds as Holmes put in a slow lap allowing Alcock to edge closer. Two to go and Holmes came back up to pace but Alcock was into his stride and cut the gap again. Penultimate lap and Alcock took three tenths out of Holmes lead. But it was not to be.

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Allen took the win nearly four seconds clear with Holmes second after moving himself clear of Alcock over the final lap. Much needed points but not the win he wanted and needed. Alcock took the final podium spot with Sigafoos an excellent fourth albeit six seconds behind the leaders. But it gave him a comfortable C2 victory. Beroual-Smith was next over the line but penalties dropped him to tenth. Pritchard was promoted to fifth ahead of Curt Holmes who took second in C2. James Taylor was seventh and third in C2. A great effort after so long away whilst Bosley was eighth after a storming drive through the field from the back of the grid. Ingram recovered from his first lap drama to take ninth whilst Bill Taylor took the SHW honours again despite a penalty putting him last.

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Class 1 Podium – Winner Richard Allen, flanked by Joe Holmes and Chris Alcock

Championship Round Up

We are heading for a thrilling finale at Buckmore Park. Despite six A Final wins to Joe Holmes single victory Anwar Beroual-Smith is just three points ahead. And Richard Allen, with two wins to his credit this year is only nine points back. Who will have not just the skill but the mental strength on the day to claim the Championship?

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Class 2 Podium – Winner Callan Sigafoos, flanked by C2 Champion Curt Holmes and James Taylor

Curt Holmes has clinched the C2 crown with a round to go from Mikey Nichols with Steve Bosley third whilst in C3 Richard Neale has taken the crown whilst in the SHW’s Bill Taylor has comfortably retained his crown so it’s all about the fight for second between Nickolas Walker and Lee Henderson.

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SuperHeavyweight Podium – Winner & Champion Bill Taylor, flanked by Lennie Wood and Adrian Wray

Reflections

Flapping arms! And I don’t mean bingo wings. Talking with several drivers on Saturday evening the topic of driving etiquette came up. There seems to have been broad approval of my comment regarding locking wheels after the chequered flag and whilst I couldn’t check on Sunday because of the conditions some of the culprits have decided to cut the habit from their repertoire. But what did come up was the subject of drivers constantly waving their arms about particularly after an incident in order to get someone penalised. Now I would argue that our officials do only give what they see but is there a chance they might be influenced if they catch something out of their eye corner and make an educated guess? Human nature would possibly say that there is a chance so what the drivers were suggesting that anyone caught waving their arms about are not in control of the Kart and should be penalised. Would it stamp out the practice?

See you at Buckmore for the grand finale !

Words: Steve Gray
Pictures: John Patterson