Clockwise Championship – Round 2(Part 1)

Race Reports

by Jamie Wesson

Clockwise Championship Race Review - Round 2 (Part 1)

So at long last, a week on from the second round of the Sunday series, we get to look back at one of the most exciting races I've ever been involved in.

Pack racing at it's finest, the spectators watching on were glued to the action, having absolutely no idea who was going to win as each position was shuffled like a deck of cards time and time again. While this write up may not do the race much justice compared to the onboard videos below (you're in for a treat), I'll try my best to describe the action for you here.

The lap times coming out of qualifying were unusually slow. Jon Brown was the only driver that managed to dip into the 39's and secured pole position. He had quite the chasers, with Andy Summers, Tom Kitchener, Jam Wesson, Kurt Partridge and Wednesday night spectacular Stefano Hug directly behind him.

The race had a dramatic start right from the off, but it was a moment that would set up the entire race. Andy tried a move into the hairpin but got it all wrong, collecting the leader and knocking them both out wide. The ever opportunistic Tom simply undercut them both and took charge of the lead.

Jamie made the mistake of not getting himself tucked in properly on the inside line of the loop, costing him places to Kurt and Stefan. Battles were even emerging at the back, where David Brown was putting up a defence against John Magnor and Brian Steele with Oliver Warner trying to make his way through from last.

Andy had been left on the outside of the loop too, been passed by Kurt and Stefan had made a nice move to get under him through the final corner. But the current champion got a great run off it and used it to not only clear Stefan, but nail a repass on Kurt at turn one as well. Opportunity struck for Stefan, who followed Andy through into fourth place by getting underneath Kurt out of the first corner, leaving him stranded on the outside of the Lightbulb, and allowing Jamie to retake a place by getting underneath also.

Jon Brown had maintained second place through all of this, clearing Andy and tucking in behind Tom when the former got stranded on the outside of the loop mentioned above. He was hunting Tom, and it wasn't long before the race leader had to start looking over his shoulder.

Things got too close for comfort when Jon made an attempt into turn one but made contact at the apex. Despite knocking Tom wide, it was Jon that lost the most momentum. Whether this was due to lifting off to let Tom back through I'm not sure, but he was then mobbed by Andy and Stefan, going wheel to wheel with the latter through the Lightbulb, Switch and into the hairpin. Stefan could have tucked back in at the loop and kept the place, but for some reason held a high line and allowed Jon back underneath.

Jamie then made an excellent move to pass Stefan into turn one, leaving room for his opponent on the left as the exited. Kurt tried to pounce and it looked for a second that he had him beat as he dominated the inside line of the bulb, but somehow Stefan managed to hold on around the outside, keep him at bay as they went through the switch and stayed ahead as they charged wheel to wheel into the braking zone for the hairpin.

Andy was now forcing Tom to go defensive, and slowly the field began to converge into one place. The order was Tom, Andy, Jon, Jamie, Stefan and Kurt. I'm not too sure of the order behind us, but Ollie was starting to play his cards...

Line astern they ran, bumper to bumper, weaving this way and that to try and find an opening past the kart in front. The entire front 5 were having to attack as well as defend at the same time. The stalemate seemed to last forever.

Jamie had a go down the outside of Jon into turn one. the move was unsuccessful and so Stefan tried to undercut him on the exit but no luck. It was fantastic racing by all, with opportunities presenting themselves but the standard of driving being so high that it would require something special just to make a place.

Stefan made a couple of attempts to pass Jamie at the pin, but the number 4 kart kept a high line, gave him some minor breathing space at the apex, and held him off around the outside on the exit. On his second attempt through, Stefan got a flicker of oversteer on the exit, was unable to tuck back in at the loop, and was passed by Kurt. He took the place back though with a blistering dive into turn one and held it.

There was a predator now on the move. Unexpectedly, Kurt now saw some blue overalls appear in his peripheral vision. It was Ollie. After sticking his nose in for a whole lap, he passed Kurt into turn one and took off after the leaders.

As Tom defended into the final corner, Andy swooped out wide, but Jon took an early apex and got his kart underneath and emerged side by side as they proceeded onto the main straight. Jamie tucked in behind him and followed him through as he made the pass into turn one, leaving Andy helpless on the outside of the Lightbulb. Meanwhile, Ollie had dispatched Stefan at the pin.

As Jon then attacked Tom, he kept to the outside in the braking zone of turn one, hoping for a cutback. Not to be, as Jamie spotted an opening and threw his kart into the apex, nailing an awesome pass to move himself into second. Having been running 6th at one point, it was one of those races where he could now be on for the win.

However, the spark of hope was snuffed out quickly. Andy had followed Jamie through when he passed Jon, and at the hairpin launched his kart at the apex up the inside. It was an aggressive move, and he muscled Jamie out of the way. Second place momentarily became fourth as Jamie battled to keep Jon behind. He succeeded in doing so, but in the process hung Jon out like bait on a fishing line as Ollie cleaned up another meal. He had started last, and as he exited turn one, was now in fourth and still going forward.

Tom was once again defending from Andy. He had put in a sublime defensive race. He had effectively been the cork that had shook this into such a great race. However, the race would not have a storybook ending. In a race like this, it could only end in controversy.

As Andy tried an undercut out of turn one, he only managed to get a fraction of his front bumper alongside Tom's kart. Instead of backing out and realising the move was not on, he kept his foot in and pushed Tom out at the Lightbulb. An unfair move which he should have given back, but instead he took over the lead and drove to the flag. All of Tom's hard work had been undone. He'd lost it.

Ollie tried to make another victim out of Jamie at the pin, the latter hanging on by the skin of his teeth through the loop. Stefan then had a small tangle with Jon as he tried a move on the outside of Turn one. They both tried taking the kink at the same time and two does not go into one through that corner. Jon got a tank slapper and Stefan hit the barriers, losing him momentum and a place to Kurt.

At the back, a race long battle had unfolded between John Magnor and Bruno Brown. Brian Steele had watched most of it but cleverly hung back and then passed them both when they tripped over each other.

The flag waved on what had been a thrilling race for sure. Andy's win was perhaps not deserved but the same can be said about Wednesday's race one, that's just how it goes sometimes. But what we should take from this race is that we are all capable of putting on driving displays like we seen in this race. Firm but fair racing, leaving room for your opponents, biding time and making moves at the right moments, when the opportunity arises. Races like the this are the reason why I race, why I write.

I'll happily take some more of this please.

Results:
Andy
Tom
Jamie
Ollie
Jon
Kurt
Stefan
Brian
Bruno
John.

Fastest Lap:: Andy - 39.731

Jamie's onboard footage

Kurt's onboard footage