by Jamie Wesson
Wednesday Championship Final - Part 1 - Race Report
It had all come down to this then. Two drivers, locked on equal amount of points after 9 rounds and 18 races. The victor would be decided here.
Jam Wesson had led the championship most of the way until a late season surge from Tom Kitchener saw him chip away at his worst results, using the dropped rounds system to propel himself towards the leader. They both took charge in qualifying too as the first drivers out on a very tricky track. There were damp patches in all the wrong places. Somehow, Jamie managed to slot it on pole, and now all he had to do was keep Tom behind. Advantage Jamie.
The race started, and Jamie tried to use the inside lines he had used in Qualifying, but they didn't seem to be yielding the grip that he needed. He was struggling. Someone however, was finding the grip. It was Kallum Jones. The first Jamie knew of it was when Kallum drove cleanly past him out of the loop. Initially, he was surprised it wasn't Tom, but then glad that it wasn't. He couldn't see what was happening behind him, and so delightfully assumed Tom was struggling too. If Kallum had got the better of him, then he was pleased to have Kallum as his challenger for the lead. Anyone but Tom.
Jamie wasn't going to relinquish the lead easily and he certainly didn't give up. He came right back at Kallum into turn one, both drivers squirming their karts out the corner. They went side by side through the Lightbulb with Kallum holding the outside, and then flicking it ahead through the kink. They broke for the hairpin with Kallum going long, Jamie turning in early and making the pass stick by using the normal dry line. He was back where he wanted to be once more.
However, this is where it all began to unfold for Jamie. A few laps later, still trying those inside lines in vain, he got spat out wide in the middle of the loop, where the kart behind him somehow managed to find some grip. This time it wasn't Kallium, it was Tom. He slotted himself cleanly in the lead and made a break for it. Jamie pushed hard to keep up with him, but there seemed little hope of catching him.
Then, Kallum came back at him. The only chance, Jamie thought, is if Kallum catches Tom and they slow themselves down battling amongst themselves. Kallum threw it up the inside of the last corner, and Jamie didn't do much to fight it. The plan however, didn't work. While Tom and Kallum did indeed have a battle for the lead, they were still able to pull away from the rest behind.
Jamie was then caught by Alex Harding. They had a good battle, but the futility of the inside line at the loop once again cost Jamie, as he was passed easily around the outside. Alex then went off down the back straight a couple laps later, and the two went side by side through the final corner as he rejoined, but Jamie didn't give it much fight. Third would be useless to him, he wanted to start high as possible up the grid for race two.
Behind all this, Lawrance Remington and Martin Taylor were holding decent stations in 5th and 6th. Todd White then came under immense pressure from several drivers behind him, with Don Bowen being the first to pass him out of turn one. Todd came right back at him though, with decent traction out of the loop drawing him alongside down the back straight, he took the inside line in the last corner and made it stick. Don cunningly used the inside line at the Lightbulb to repass though, and while Todd was able to stick with him for several laps, he eventually fell back into the clutches of Isaac Raine, who passed him out of the last corner.
Toward the end, he was also passed by Lee Hammond out of the same corner, but it wasn't the last pass in the race. At that same turn, on the very last lap, Kallum seized his opportunity to take the race lead from Tom, caught him by surprise, and crossed the line the victor. It was an amazing drive that would secure him third place in the championship. But there was more to come...
Fastest Lap:Kallum - Didn't make note of it, Sorry!!
I'm going to do race two in a separate post due to the length of this one. Meanwhile, here is Todd's onboard video of race one: Video