Thrills and spins at Mansell Raceway
NEARLY 100 drivers took to the circuit at the superb Mansell Raceway, near Honiton, to contest round five of the club championship, writes Jim Bee.
NEARLY 100 drivers took to the circuit at the superb Mansell Raceway, near Honiton, to contest round five of the club championship.
The weather, as usual, wasn't following the script and the Saturday practice was run in the baking heat. Sunday was cooler and, for most of the day, looked like it might rain. In a change of the running order, the Junior Rotax Max were first up and, from the off, there was clearly an advantage from having an 09 set up. In heat one, and despite the cooler temperatures, Callum Drew smashed the lap record with a 47.53, being almost half a second quicker.
However, it didn't last long as Jack Drinkall took the win in heats 2 and 3 and set a faster time with a 47.28. Clear evidence that if you weren't running a 09 barrel in Junior Rotax you were not going to be competitive. In the cadets, James Chubb, took the win in heat 1 and 2, with Connor Hall taking heat 3 and setting a new lap record for the WTP with a 54.46. Will Maslin also took 2 wins in the Minimax heats with Championship leader, Toby Harlow, taking the third heat. In the 250 National class, Chris Kendall took the chequered flag in heat 1 and 2 but his luck didn't hold for heat 3 which was won by Nick Willcox. Jacques Jensen and Phillip Haworth locked out the front row of the Senior Max class with a brace of one-two finishes. Another lap record fell as Jacques recorded a 46.47 in heat 2 and then followed it in heat 3 with a 46.31. Last up were the 177 boys who were the only class to have 3 different heat winners with Matt Isgrove, Nigel Hughes and Colin Davies all recording a victory. By the time the final grids were sorted the weather was starting to become a factor.
The Junior Rotax class were first out and the 09 performance advantage was again demonstrated by Jack Drinkall who took the win from P5, JJ Wilson took second and Callum Drew took 3rd from P8 and set a new fastest lap with a 46.84 second lap.
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Next up were the Cadets with James Chubb, Connor Hall and Brandon Hague fighting it out over the 12 laps. Despite the lead swapping several times, it was Hall who took the flag with Hague and Chubb taking second and third, respectively.
The Mini Max final was marred by a first corner incident that let Will Maslin escape to take the win. Cody Tree took second and a strong drive from Piers Hicken enabled him to take the final place on the podium from seventh on the grid.
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The 250 National boys, as usual, put on a fantastic display of racing with Chris Morris fighting his way up from sixth to take the win with Nick Willcox and Chris Kendall taking second and third.
The midfield battle was spectacular with the usual amount of attrition.
The Senior Rotax final was dominated by Jacques Jensen who had a flag to lights victory. Behind him, Gemma Batstone capped a strong weekend with second and drive of the final has to go to Philip Haworth who, despite getting pushed back to ninth at the start, drove his socks off to claim the final podium place. Last up, and with the rain beginning to fall and track conditions becoming tricky, the 177 class took to the circuit.
Colin Davies was an early casualty of the conditions, dropping to third, whilst Stewart Baker and Nigel Mansell fought it out for the lead.
As it got wetter, even some of the most experienced drivers got caught out as Nigel Hughes caught a puddle and spun coming off pit bend.
However, a spirited drive saw him cut through the field to claim fourth. Meanwhile, out front, Colin Davies had got out front by lap 10 and held on to take the flag. Behind him, Baker secured second and Matt Isgrove managed to get past Mansell on the last lap to claim third.
It was an outstanding race which kept the watching crowds enthralled. Once again it was a fantastic weekend which couldn't have happened without the support of the committee, medical teams, time keepers and of course the marshals, who did a great job, despite the hot conditions.
l If you are interested in finding out more about karting then check out www.dunkeswell.com or www.mansellraceway.com for further details.
Final Results and Standings
Junior Rotax Max1, 77, Jack Drinkall, Tony; 2, 88 JJ Wilson, Gillard; 3, 92 Callum Drew, Tony.
Libre Cadet (WTP): 1, 44, Connor Hall, Zip; 2, 25N Chloe Hall, Zip.
Libre Cadet (Comer): 1, 20 Brandon Hague, BRM; 2, 21, James Moorcroft, Zip; 3, 50, Ian Hardy, Zip.
Libre Cadet (Honda): 1, 37 James Chubb, Intrepid; 2, 18, Ari White, Project One; 3, 43N, Ben Sutton, Wright.
Rotax Mini Max: 1, 23,Will Maslin, Kosmic; 2, 71, Cody Tree, Tony; 3, 69, Piers Hicken, Alonso.