You Know The Name. Anwar Plays The Game To Win.
“It rained 10mins after our race finished”, is how Steve Brown finished his message to me about the Enduro 60 race that had preceded Sprint 60. And there you. Sprint 60, pretty filthy weather from the beginning to the end. Seen worse, seen worse at Clay Pigeon. It’s part of the game, in a UK karting championship.
As you recall from Shenington, after a hasty editorial correction, Tarik Almou had won the previous round by dint of the tie break, with a win in race 1, from Anwar Beroual-Smith, but Anwar to lead by a point from Tarik in the championship taking over from Tim Clark.
It would be Anwar topping the time sheet in practice but not with a sub 41secs lap but a wet, Clay Pigeon micro climate, 55secs, as Darri Simms puts it, “Typical Clay weather, 5 miles away I was wearing my Oakleys, arrive at Clay and can only just see the track.” So true. So Clay Pigeon.
Round 1 winner Tim Clark, Phil Ingram again and Anwar set the pace, Super Heavy Richard Allen worried them, then Stuart Martin set the pole position with 54.546, 0.2 ahead of another fast one from Ingram, then 2nd row of Clark, Daniel Taylor, Allen leading Super on 5th with Beroual-Smith, Garrett O’Connor, Aaron Stevens flatteringly well up, and no strangers to this sort of Clay weather, Tarik Almou and Carl Bannister rounded out the top ten.
Ingram nailed the start, and in doing so could enjoy a spray free end to lap 1, 0.5secs ahead of Martin, Clark, Beroual-Smith. Tim Hill charged up from outside the top ten to 6th behind Taylor, Allen wrestling with Hill and Almou and track, it wouldn’t have been my choice, but I think Richard enjoys this sort of thing, and perhaps the extra weight helps a little in the search from turn in and then for traction. It took 5 laps for Clark to figure out how Ingram was taking half a second a lap out of him each lap. Still he had, and a 2secs gap his own ahead of Martin under pressure from Beroual-Smith. The closest racing was over 6th, Allen back ahead of Almou and Hill, a little further back Bannister towed O’Connor, Wayne Lidgbird, Stephen Jennings, Stevens, Gerard Moore, Alex Pritchard and Phil Kendall in 16th. Things only began to change around the 10min mark, Anwar got by Martin for 3rd, Taylor falling back into the Allen-Almou-Hill battle.
Tricky conditions make it impossible to be consistent and it started to show, Tim Clark started to edge back into leader Ingram, and picked up the tow, such that a tow actually mattered, it didn’t, around halfway, in what looked like a 2 horse race with Beroual-Smith then 7.5secs behind. Perhaps we can blame some of the pivotal moment of the race on the track, Clark lined up Ingram inside into the chicane, we’ve all done it in the dry, but seeing the door closing too fast, too slippery to do anything about it, Tim got a 6 place advantage by contact penalty for taking Phil out. Tim waited for Phil to take the position ahead of him, gentlemanly, but they were the leading duo no more and he was getting that penalty. Dropping to 4th and 5th, and it put Anwar 4secs into the lead to take the race. Thank you very much. Stuart Martin was trying to hold off Almou, and an aggrieved Ingram, although he was finishing with 6 place penalty of his own, after a clash with Almou, Clark and Richard Allen the beneficiaries, moving ahead of the warring pair.
The battle going on behind Clark in 2nd, over 3rd place was Allen heading for the win Super Heavies comfortably, with Alex Pritchard struggling to break the top 10 20secs behind, but not so much with 3rd place on the road with Martin being filtered through Richard, Almou and Ingram as well.
So on the road Anwar Beroual-Smith took the win by 1.6secs from Tim Clark and Phil Ingram but wait, Tariq Almou was promoted to 2nd, Richard Allen returned to 3rd, Martin 4th, Tim Hill, Daniel Taylor, Carl Bannister 17secs off the lead, but ahead of the demoted Clark and Ingram, Aaron Stevens rounded out the top 10.
Was less… physical. But with the change of machinery, comes a new kart to learn and agree with you, something Anwar on pole learned quickly, and decoded play a cleverer game instead, “I realised I didn’t have the pace in me, so knew my only chance on the day was to stop Tariq winning the race and the round. So I let Phil by without battling at turn 1 to go after him. “ Almou had grabbed the lead on lap 2, Allen hanging on to them in 3rd, with Hill in 4th, Martin, Ingram and Clark moving up. With Almou 3-5 tenths quicker than Beroual-Smith, Anwar had the wherewithal to do some quick sums, and see Phil Ingram closing over his shoulder at 0.7secs a lap. Phil looking rapid for the conditions set off after Almou 1.3secs up the road. Typically lapping again with the slow, quick, quick, slow for everyone, the gap see sawed, often with traffic, occasionally with a poor corner, or a heavy right, occasionally left foot, for the lead but the trend was clear, by halfway, Ingram was in range, only to slip out again. Anwar had slipped out to 6secs behind, Tim Clark a further 4.5secs behind and making slow inroads into Anwar, Stuart Martin had Hill close, Bannister was 7th ahead SHW Richard Allen, but this time Alex Pritchard was at least keeping him on his toes in 9th after passing Wayne Lidgbird.
It would be another 10mins for Ingram to get back on the bumper of Almou, to get the pass for the lead done with 6mins to go. At the same time Anwar, could breath a little easier, “Towards the end, Tim caught up and I waved him through too, knowing Phil had taken Tariq and I didn’t want the chasing pack to catch me if I battled with him over 3rd.” His win in race 1 would give him the round win, and just like Shenington, Beroual-Smith and Almou scored the same points. And it’s still Anwar leading the championship by one point.
Tariq couldn’t live with Phil once he got passed going on to final lap the lead was 5secs, and only the top 15 were left on the lead lap. Beroual-Smith cruised in behind Tim Clark, 12.5 secs behind winner Ingram. Stuart Martin held Tim Hill for 5th, on the road, Stuart had needed too much kerb to do it, he was carrying two 2 place penalties.
In the Super Heavyweight Class, Alex Pritchard redressed some of the points loss from race 1 with a 7th place, becoming 6th, ahead of Wayne Lidgbird leaving it late to get passed Carl Bannister. It keeps Pritchard firmly in the hunt with SuperHeavy rival Richard Allen, Richard 6 points clear, while rival Richard Newton is looking like he’s racing for 3rd in the championship unless he can find some more pace, he led the Super pack in in 18th with Pete Gillett, Matthew Fennell, Stig Elboth, Chris Solomon, Richard Lazenby and Mark Ford between 18th and 26th. Phil Ingram’s 2nd win of the season keeps him heading the chasing pack in the main championship, 12 points off the lead, with Clark, Martin (all of whom who have too many penalties crippling their title challenges), Hill, Lidgbird, Taylor, Allen and Horgan round out the top 10.
WORDS: Chris Simpson
LIBRARY PHOTOGRAPHY: John Patterson