South West karting championships results
PUBLISHED: 12:55 24 August 2010 | UPDATED: 12:38 14 September 2010
Mansell Raceway hosts prestigious event
South West Championships 2010
106 drivers from across the country made the annual pilgrimage to take part in East Devon’s very own Festival of Speed, the South West Championships 2010. Organised by Dunkeswell Kart Racing Club and hosted by Mansell Raceway, the championships is the jewel in the crown of the East Devon motorsport calendar. The event was packed with entertainment for everyone from the bouncy castles to the 1/6th scale panzer tanks that rumbled around the paddock courtesy of Armortek, one of the class sponsors. With every competitor getting a free commemorative T shirt and a free Hog Roast ticket it had all the makings of a special weekend
Saturday dawned bright and dry and as skydivers peppered the clear blue sky, free practice got under way with many drivers using the time to perfect set ups and devise tactics for the timed practice that would follow. At 1400hrs, the Championships commenced as each class was given two ten minute slots in which to set a qualifying time that would dictate their grid position for the first two heats. In a change from last year it was decided that the results from these heats would generate the grid for the pre final and the result from the pre final would be the grid for the final. This way, the champions for each class would be the drivers who drove most consistently over the weekend. Well that was the plan anyway. Qualifying was fairly uneventful unless you happened to be in the 250 gearbox class. In heat 1, Chris Kendall got tangled in a freak accident that saw him thrown from his kart and into the huge foam barriers minus his race boot but still holding his steering wheel! Tough boys those gearbox drivers. Badly shaken but only suffering from cuts and bruises he was, as a precaution, airlifted to hospital by the Somerset Air Ambulance who had, by chance, been hovering on the airfield next door. With all the qualifying completed it was time to pack away the toys and enjoy the evening as the Dunkeswell’s resident X Factor candidate, Daz Alway, entertained the massed throng with his repertoire of easy listening songs long into the night. With the Hog Roast and mobile bar providing sustenance to the hardy souls camping, it was a great evening for all.
Race Sunday was a different matter. Once again the unique Dunkeswell micro climate was getting involved and the blue skies of Saturday were replaced with a grey overcast cloud base that looked as if it could drop its load at any time. At 1000hrs it was time for Finals. First out were the cadets and in both heats and the pre final the top three drivers were taking no prisoners as Izaac Channing, Brandon Hague and Ari White locked out the top spots to set themselves up for the final. Despite winning all three heats, Channing was keep honest by Hague who narrowed the gap between them to 0.05 of a second and taking the fastest lap in the pre final. With the challenge laid down the cadet final was a fast and furious affair as Channing and Hague battled for supremacy. In the end it came down to experience as championship leader, Channing, managed to create a gap and then pull away from Hague. When they crossed the line Channing was 8 seconds clear with Hague another 5 seconds clear of the chasing Aaron Oakes who had fought his way from 8th to take the last step on the podium.
A small Minimax class was dominated by Sam Morgan who took all 4 wins from James Moorcroft and Lewis Bowles. Morgan and Moorcroft traded fastest laps with the latter winning that particular battle with a 49.6. In the final, Morgan led Moorcroft by 2 seconds with the chasing pack some 26 seconds behind them. The Junior Blue and TKM drivers were run as a Libre grid and 6 drivers were vying for the title. CJ Mathews , the sole Junior Blue driver, took all 3 wins in his heats whilst in the TKM’s Jamie Andrews, James Chubb and Sammy Bourlet all enjoyed a class win. In the final, Mathews got ahead and held the lead to the chequered flag to take the win. Chubb was second with Tom Hackett third.
In the Senior Rotax class, again 2 drivers stood out from the rest. Adam Murphy and Barry Thomsit dominated the racing with both drivers taking two victories each. Murphy was gifted the win in heat one as the 2009 Club Champion, Stewart Baker, who was competing in two classes, was given a 3 place penalty for a start line infringement. However, Murphy took the win that counted most to take the flag in the final. Baker was close behind in second with Thomsit rounding off a great weekend with third place.
Despite Chris Kendall missing the finals, there was still a healthy grid of 250 gearbox karts to entertain the crowds. Louis Wall, James Clarkson and Lester Peters all enjoyed taking the chequered flag in the heats and pre final. Consistency across all three heats was going to be the key and Clarkson set himself up on the second row for the final. Andy Gulliford secured a front row slot through his second place finish in the pre final with Peters claiming pole with the win. As the flag dropped, Clarkson had a superb start and got ahead of Gulliford. Behind them, Peters was having a torrid time and despite his best efforts was swamped and dropped back to 6th. By the time the flag came out, Clarkson had pulled away from Gulliford creating a 7 second gap with third placed Kenton Ashford crossing the line a further 5 seconds adrift.
The Junior Rotax championship was always going to be between 2 drivers, Nick Arthur and Josh Collings. In the heat 1, despite being almost welded together on the track, Arthur took the honours from Collings with Will Maslin taking 3rd some 5 seconds adrift. In heat 2, it was reversed as Collings took the win from Arthur. Sam Morgan battled hard to take 3. For the pre final, the weather turned for the worst and a massive rain dump put everyone on wets. The race was intensive and hard fought with Arthur pulling away from the pack. Behind him Collings and Maslin were holding station until it all started to go wrong. Maslin spun allowing local driver, Ellis Bee to slip past for third. As Arthur took the flag, Collings appeared to slow approaching the line allowing Bee to power past and take second place with Collings third, but most importantly on the right side of the grid for the final. With the track still wet, but drying, the only option was to go out on wets. Arthur made the best of the start with Bee hanging on in second. A gamble on gearing ultimately cost the local driver who finished a creditable 6th. Up front Arthur had pulled away with Collings doing his best to chase him down. Despite reeling him in, Arthur took the championship, with Collings second and Maslin third.
Last up were the Rotax 177 class and with Stewart Baker back in familiar territory he stamped his authority by taking a win in heat 1 and the pre final giving him pole for the final. Matt Isgrove put in a strong performance claiming 2 second places in the heats. However, Isgrove got caught out in the pre final and found himself on the second row for the final. Rob Knight drove a superb set of heats to earn a front row spot next to class favourite, Baker. The final was going to be a wet/slick gamble and it looked like James Lovell was going all or bust as he lined up on slicks at the back of the pack. However, it turned out to be an inspired move as the track was now drying rapidly and the drivers on wets were suffering. Lovell sliced through the pack and even managed to claw out a 5 second advantage when he took the chequered flag. Carl Watts managed to nurse his tyres to take second and behind him was Isgrove who took a well deserved third place.
Once again, the South West Premier kart Club put on a superb festival of motorsport, supported by the local businesses that sponsored the various classes.
Final Results and Standings
Cadets – Sponsored by Tracey’s Snacks
1. 22 Izaac Channing (SWC) Zip Exminster
2. 20 Brandon Hague BRM Poole
3. 18 Ari White Project 1 Plymouth
Minimax – Sponsored by S Morris Limited
1. 41 Sam Morgan (SWC) L Hamilton Bradley Stoke
2. 21 James Moorcroft Wright Dorchester
3. 28 Joe Parkinson Maranello Wellington
Libre Jnr Blue/TKM – Sponsored by Rapid Motorsport
1. 19 CJ Matthews (SWC) Tony Exeter
2. 38 James Chubb Octane Wellington
3. 48 Tom Hackett intrepid Southampton
Senior Rotax – Sponsored by G & L Consultancy Limited
1. 23 Adam Murphy (SWC) Kosmic Tiverton
2. 95 Stewart Baker Storm Ilminster
3. 89 Barry Thomsit Kosmic Trowbridge
250 National Gearbox – Sponsored by Howards Citroen Taunton
1. 66 James Clarkson (SWC) Anderson Launceston
2. 78 Andy Gulliford Cyclone Radstock
3. 8 Kenston Ashforth Jade Basingstoke
Junior Rotax – Sponsored by Armortek
1. 37 Nick Arthur (SWC) Exprit Chippenham
2. 85 Josh Collings CRG Penclawdd
3. 29 Will Maslin Exprit Malmesbury
Rotax 177 - Sponsored by Solicitors Title & CRDSigns
1. 16 James Lovell (SWC) Storm Keynsham
2. 67 Carl Watts Wright Bournmouth
3. 25 Matt Isgrove Storm Weston Super Mare