Dunkeswell karting sees new season underway
- Credit: Archant
After the February meeting was cancelled due to adverse weather, there was some trepidation heading into the latest meeting at Dunkeswell, writes Roy Beal.
Fortunately, the rain eased slightly as racing begun and the day produced the usual exciting and close racing that we have come to expect.
The first two heats of the day were wet for all classes, with the track drying throughout the third heats in time for the 250 Gearbox race. Harry Gooding and David Spiller shared the heat wins in Junior Rotax. Leon Hilleard won all three in Senior Rotax. The 177 Rotax heats were won by Alan Moore, Rob Smith and Chris Sutherland. Charlie Knight won the first two Honda Cadet races and Max Fenlon the IAME Cadet. The third heats had Jenson Watts (HC) and Alex Keens (IC) taking the wins. Minimax found William Uphill winning the first heat and Paige Holden winning heats two and three. Jake Drew Calvert won all three heats in Junior Blue and Ash Goodliffe won all three 250 Gearbox heats. Chris Derrick took two wins in the Senior Blue with Sam Dible taking the third race.
With a lovely dry track for the finals, Harry Gooding led the Junior Rotax race from Pole with David Spiller doing his utmost to catch him but having to settle for 2nd place but with the fastest lap of the race. Tom Edmunds took the final podium position.
Starting 4th on the grid and grabbing the lead within the first couple of laps, Gemma Batstone took a well deserved win in the hotly contested Senior Rotax class, pipping Leon Hilleard, who had dropped to fifth on the first lap, by a mere 6 tenths of a second. Josh Gray rounded up the top three after starting 5th. Fastest lap went to Hilleard as he hunted down Batstone.
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Alan Moore won the 177 class with a comfortable 2 second lead and fastest lap, with Darren Lane in second, from 6th on the grid, while Carl Adey fought back up to third after dropping down to seventh on the first lap.
Charlie Knight led most of the Honda Cadet final, swapping fastest laps with eventual winner Jenson Watts, who stole the lead just two laps from the end. It was an incredibly close battle with the winning margin just 0.070 of a second and Watts also taking fastest lap. Ollie Tyler finished a deserved third after starting in fourth place. Max Fenlon, along with the fastest lap of the race, won the IAME Cadet final in commanding style, beating Theo Fedrick and Alex Keens into second and third by some margin.
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Paige Holden led the Minimax class from pole position, beating William Uphill by over 3 seconds and setting the fastest lap along the way. Bradley Stevens bought his kart home in third place.
Luke Lattimer won the Junior Blue final after starting from 4th, with Taylor Waldron in second and novice driver Mitchell McLeod taking home a third place trophy.
The 250 Gearbox race was initially a close race at the front between Ashley Lewis, in his first race meeting in this class, and Ash Goodliffe, with the pair of them glued together until Goodliffe had a puncture and had to pull out of the race. With Roy Beal dropping out on the first lap with an electrical problem, that left novices Gethin Thomas and David Clements to round out the podium positions. Clements spun and stalled a few laps from the finish but managed to bump start his kart to make the finish line!
The very light rain shower that came in during the last few laps of the Senior Blue race made no difference to the end result. Ian Branfield started the race from third and picked his way to the front to win by over a second from Chris Derrick, with Duncan McLeod finishing in third. Fastest lap went to Derrick.