Championships raise cash for Devon Air Ambulance

PUBLISHED: 12:16 13 July 2011

The Redstar Telecom sponsored South West Kart Racing Championships at Mansell Raceway saw 95 drivers battling for the title each of seven classes, writes Jim Bee.

There were two timed practices on the Saturday to dictate the first two grids for Sunday. However, to add a little bit of spice, there was a top 10 BTCC style reverse grid for Heat 2.

In the Libre cadet class, defending SW champion Izaac Channing and Connor Hall both took a pole each. Jordan Gilbertson dominated the Minimax sessions claiming pole for each. Ellis Bee and Matt Parker shared the honours in the Senior Max class where the top 10 were separated by less than 4 tenths of a second!

Tyler Weedon and Peter Saxby both topped the timing sheets in the Junior Max class, whilst Chris Kendall and Luke Plain were fastest in the 250N gearbox class. Last up and with Stewart Baker keen to retain his title he claimed pole for heat 2, whilst Matt Isgrove took pole in heat 1.

With qualifying sorted it was time for the evening entertainment to commence starting with the draw for the reverse grid. With the cards shuffled, P10 was selected reversing the whole of the top 10 of the grid. Next up was the annual Mechanics Race!

This highly- charged affair where allegedly, complete amateurs drive for glory, was contested by several teams. In the end, Team Channing took overall victory, with Team Foster second and Title sponsor, Team Redstar Telecom in third after a torrid time involving several kart changes!

Daz Alway provided the traditional post race entertainment as the competitors tucked in to the Hog Roast.

Sunday morning dawned and it was immediately obvious it was going to be hot! With the drivers briefed and everyone safely through the 3 lap practice it was time to see just who the best in the South West was! First up were the Cadets and Connor Hall immediately stamped his authority on the rest of the grid by taking both heats and the pre-final in a dominant display. Izaac Channing and Ari White both tried to keep him honest by rounding out the top 3 in all the heats.

However, in the final it was a 3 way fight between the 3 top drivers with Hall taking the honours from Channing who battled his way to second with White in third. In the MiniMax class, Jordan Gilbertson was peerless taking 2 heats, the pre-final and the Grand

Final. Behind him, and equally dominant were James Moorcroft and Harry Sturt. The only change occurred in the Grand Final when Lewis Malin snuck through to grab the second step on the podium. Sam Dible also dominated in the Junior Blue class winning all four races to take the title. Ben Pearson was second with local driver, Ryan Edgecombe in third.

The Senior Max class were next up and local drivers Ellis Bee and Gemma Batstone were never out of the top four all day. Matt Parker took the win in Heat 1, with Bee and Batstone close behind. In Heat 2, Ellis Bee stormed through from 8th to take his first win in seniors.

In the Pre Final, Chris Davis benefited from Parkers mistimed move to sneak through from 5th to take the win. In the Final, Chris Davies and Michael Cheek got an early lead and maintained it to the flag. Behind, Bee and Batstone battled it out for the final step of the podium with Bee coming out on top in this instance as well as setting the fasted lap with a 47.03. Tyler Weedon converted his qualifying pole position in to a win in heat 1 of the Junior Rotax class.

In heat 2 Ollie Beezely bounced back from his last round exclusion to take the win with James Johnson being elevated to second after Weedon was given a 1 place drop for contact driving. Weedon bounced back in the Pre final to take the win.

The Grand Final was a hard fought affair in which Weedon came out on top with Sam Morgan rewarded for a strong drive with second place and James Johnson rounding off the podium places.

In the Rotax 177 class it looked like reigning champion, Stew Baker was going to reclaim his crown as he stormed through the heats and pre-final taking the chequered flag in all three. However, in the final, Baker struggled at the start and was pushed down the order allowing Matt Isgrove to take the lead and retain it to take the flag and the championship. Second was Darren Lane and Dunks legend, Rob Knight took a well earned third.

Last up were the 250 National Gearbox boys and despite only 6 entrants the racing was a tight as ever. Chris Kendall immediately set about making his mark winning the first two heats and the Pre-final. However, just like in the 177 class, it all went wrong in the final for Kendal when a failure on lap 4 saw him drop out allowing Luke Plain to break through to take the win. Juan Moreno was second with Ash Goodliffe claiming the last step on the podium.

With the trophies presented and crowds dispersing it was time to reflect on an outstanding championship that had some close clean racing and very little for the clerk of the course to do! As usual, none of this could have happened without the support of the race administration team, the marshals, medical teams and the spectators who by coming raised over £400 for the Devon Air Ambulance, who thankfully, didn’t have to drop in!

Final Standings and South West Champions

Libre Cadet

1, SWC, Connor Hall, Wright, Clevedon

2, 22, Izaac Channing, Zip, Exminster

3, 18, Ari White, Project 1, Plymouth

MiniMax

1, SWC, J Gilbertson, Kosmic, Bristol

2, 32, Lewis Malin, Tony, Solihull

3, 21, J Moorcroft, Tony, Dorchester

Jnr Blue

1, SWC, Sam Dibble, Alonso, Salisbury

2, 7, Ben Pearson, Tony, Exeter

3, 9, R Edgecombe, Mac, Seaton

Junior Rotax

1, SWC, Tyler Weedon, Alonso, Gillingham

2, 41, Sam Morgan, LH, Bradley Stoke

3, 35, James Johnson, Kosmic, Weston SM

Senior Rotax

1, SWC, Chris Davis, CRG, Cwmbran

2, 32, Michael Cheek, DR, Yateley

3, 18, Ellis Bee, Storm, Seaton

Rotax 177

1, SWC, Matt isgrove, Tony, Weston SM

2, 28, Darren Lane, Storm, Storm

3, 33, Rob Knight , Redspeed, Bournemouth

250N Gearbox

1, SWC, Luke Plain, Jade, Exeter

2, 33, Juan Moreno, Anderson, Plymouth

3, 34 , A Goodliffe, Anderson, Exmouth


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