Dunkeswell Kart Racing season is up and running

19:29 19 March 2014

The 2014 Dunkeswell Kart Racing season was welcomed in at a wet and windy Dunkeswell with some strong grids and a several new drivers across the classes.

With the new Alpha Timing System all set up and good to go it was time to go racing.

First out to test the conditions were the Junior Max class and Alex Hayward was quick to dispatch pole man, David Spiller, and by lap two was battling with Izaac Channing who got through on Lap three Behind him, defending champion, Charlie Cudlipp, was hot on his tail and settled into second place after catching Hayward on lap seven. At the flag it was Channing by one-point-five seconds over Cudlipp with Hayward a further six seconds behind. In Heat two, Channing was again the man on the move and by the end of the first lap took the lead and never lost it.

However, putting in a superb drive in the tricky conditions was Cudlipp who, from 10th, was in P3 by lap the end of lap one and took second from Kieran Shanks on lap four. Heat three and it was Cudlipp’s turn to top the timing sheets with poleman, Lewis Tancock demoted to second . Kieran Shanks had a great drive from ninth to take third.

Next up were the Libre Cadets and with only three IAME’s battling it out against 19 Honda’s it was going to be interesting. The Honda of Ethan Ling took first blood with Jack Fordham and Alex Eades rounding off the top three. In Heat two it was the IAME of Shay Keough that topped the timing sheets. After a strong drive from 15th on the grid he battled through the field and muscled his way past Ling on the penultimate lap to take the win. Ling was second and Alex Eades third. In heat three Keough pulled off the double to take the win from fourth on the grid. Charlie Knight was showing some speed as he took a confident second place. Ling was third after a great drive from 18th place.

There was a strong Senior Max grid and despite not having the recently retired 2014 Champion, James Clarkson on track it was going to be interesting to see who would come out on top. Leon Hilliard took first blood beating the local trio of John Pike, Stewart Baker and Gemma Batstone. James Moorcrofts first run in seniors ended in a first lap incident that sidelined two other drivers. In Heat two it was Pike who got a great start and took a lead that he wouldn’t lose. Scott Rose was second with Josh Gray third. Moorcroft bounced back with a great drive to 4th from 15th on the grid. Heat three saw Pike take another storming win from eight on the grid after overhauling poleman, Moorcroft on lap eight. Ashley Lewis was another driver showing his wet weather credentials taking third place.

A smaller than usual 177 grid enjoyed three different winners as Alan Moore took the honours in heat 1 with Tom Cook and Rob Smith rounding off the podium. In Heat two it was Cook who managed to hold off Moore to take a lights to flag win. Moore was second with Smith taking third again. However, it was Smith who tasted victory in heat three as the pack battled it out behind him. Cook battled through from fifth to take second with Moore keeping him honest by taking third.

The Minimax grid was certainly a mini affair as only four drivers had entered. Tommy Foster in his first season out of cadets, dominated all three heats. Some great drives by Paige Holden saw her secure a brace of second places with Michael Kelly taking two third places before another new comer to the class, Jemima Hepworth, took third in heat three.

With the weather showing no signs of improving and Alpha Timing system being flexible enough to generate the grids for the final in double quick time, the decision was made to run straight though.

The front row of the Junior Max grid featured Cudlipp and Channing and produced some great racing in the tricky conditions. Cudlipp took the win, however a post race exclusion for a technical infringement for Channing cost him valuable championship points. A great days driving earned Shanks a well deserved second and Channings bad luck elevated Ryan Luscombe to third. In the Libre cadet final it was a straight forward battle between Keough on an IAME and Ling for Honda. Ling got the jump at the start but Keough was right on his bumper and managed to slip past on lap five. For eight nervy laps both Keogh and Ling battled it out but in the end it was Keough who took the victory with Ling second across the line. Charlie Knight rounded off a good day with third. William Elswood and Jenson Watts were second and third IAME’s home with Jack Fordham the third Honda. John Pike rounded off a great day with the win in Senior Max and was untroubled over the 15 laps of the final. Ashley Lewis had to settle for third after Scott Rose got past on the opening lap to take second. Alan Moore was back on top to take the win in the Rotax 177 class after getting past poleman Cook on lap eight. Smith had to settle for third. Last up were the Minimax and again Tommy Foster dominated from pole to take the win with Holden securing second place and Hepworth getting past Kelly on lap four to take her first podium in the class.

A great start to the 2014 championship and thanks must go to the circuit management team who had the track prepped and the marshal team who braved the elements and remained focussed all day. Thanks also to the Timing and Race Control Teams for administering the meeting professionally and proficiently. The Alpha Timing system performed flawlessly and the trackside support was excellent. It would be wrong not to mention all the drivers who made the effort to come racing at the South West’s premier racing circuit.

Final Results and Standings

Junior Max

1. 17 Charlie Cudlipp Tony Taunton

2. 16 Kieran Shanks CRG Exmouth

3. 99 Ryan Luscombe Kosmic Newton Abbott

Libre Cadet

1. 51 Shay Keough Shark Taunton

2. 76 Ethan Ling Project One Cardiff

3. 43 Charlie Knight Project One Wellington

Senior Rotax

1. 32 John Pike Maranello Denbigh

2. 99 Scott Rose CRG Coalpit Heath

3. 24 Ashley Lewis CRG Trowbridge

Rotax 177

1. 21 Alan Moore Tony Dunkeswell

2. 96 Tom Cook Tony Lyme Regis

3. 88 Rob Smith CRG Upton

Rotax Minimax

1. 53 Tommy Foster Unk St Columb Major

2. 50 Paige Holden Tony Bristol

3. 24 Jemima Hepworth CRG Chumleigh

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