by Jamie Wesson
2015 Wednesday Championship Round 6 Part 3
The final group was led away by Peter James Kitchener for their first race, with Richard Warren and Richard Andrews just in toe. The action started straight away when on the opening lap, Glynn, who had started in 5th place, spun out after he locked his rear brakes at the hairpin. Tom Wilkinson went left and Jon Pembleton had to jink right to avoid a collision.
Richard Andrews then came under pressure from Chris Pembleton, locking his brakes several times into the hairpin, as Tom and Jon worked their way back towards the action following the loss of momentum from the earlier incident. He was able to hold on for the time being though as the battle for the lead heated up. Richard Warren was putting serious pressure on Pete and had a go into T1. Unable to make the move stick, the two threaded their way though the first apex practically as one, but all the battling had allowed the pack behind to catch, and now it was anyone's game.
Richard Andrews eventually had to yield his place when he went wide into T1, clearly still struggling on those brakes and Chris got underneath him on the undercut, but it wasn't over there as Tom spotted a small gap on the entrance to the Lightbulb, snuck into it and forced Richard out wide, which then lost him another place to Jon just behind.
Rich Warren was still attacking Pete, but now he had to watch his rear as Chris looked for an opportunity to take over the fight. In desperation to get out in the lead of this race, he had another go on Pete into the hairpin, but wasn't close enough, locked his rears and spun out as Pete brushed the front of his kart upon turn in.
Almost immediately after this there was a tangle with the other Richard into T1. He was sniffing all over the back of Jon's bumper, trying to make up some lost ground, but as Jon went defensive into T1, perhaps suffering with the brake issues which were becoming quite obvious so far in the race, Richard was unable to get the kart slowed down efficiently enough and clattered into the back of Jon's kart, spinning him out. Sportingly, Richard pulled over to let Jon back ahead, but Rich Warren had wrestled his way through them both as they stagnated on the exit of the first corner. Warren wasn't there long though, as he got a bit wide through the switch and Jon simply drove back ahead of him on the approach to the Lightbulb. I assume Andrews must have also passed around this point as well, as he finished ahead on the results sheet.
Out in front, Pete was still leading the race but Chris and Tom were gaining. However, they were instead having their own battle. Tom got a look on the approach to the hairpin, Chris snapped left to cover the inside line and Tom darted over to the right, he nailed an exit and as Chris struggled to get the momentum back from his tighter approach, drew alongside and forced him onto the grass at the loop, assertively muscling his way ahead.
Tom then immediately got round to attacking Pete, and spotted a very small opening on the approach to T1. He braked late so as to dive into it, but changed his mind a split second later, realising the gap just wasn't inviting enough, but the braking point had already been missed and in trying to get the kart slowed down to avoid clattering into Pete, he had a small lock and spun shortly before the apex. Chris got past, and he just got going again in time to prevent Jon from jumping him too.
Pete had ran the race lead so valiantly and the race was drawing to it's end, but Chris had been granted another shot at gunning for the win, and he wasted no time in breathing down Pete's neck. However, as Pete defended every corner with all he had, the gap the two of them had to Tom and Jon suddenly evaporated like water on a hot stove!
On the very final lap, Chris drove for the inside line at the hairpin, got super late on the brakes and slipped up the inside of the race leader. But alas! he went too deep and dragged Pete wide with him, both of them locking up and turning hard to make the corner. Moses had parted the apex and Tom was more than happy to take it's path. He nailed a great exit yet again, and undercut them both, joyfully inheriting the race lead.
Chris had maintained the inside line for the loop on Pete, who bravely tried to fight it around the outside, but by the corner exit he had to concede the place and now Jon had gotten on his inside too. There was nothing he could do to prevent losing out to Jon into the final corner. On the last lap, he had lost his lead and a further 2 more positions to rub even more salt in the wounds. A fourth place was all the results sheet would read, but nothing could spare Tom the delight of taking the win as he giggled to himself all the way to the chequered flag.
The second race began with Adam Cook leading the way and it took only until the end of the first lap for the first notable events to unfold. Richard Warren got up the inside of second place man Glynn on the exit of the final corner as Adam carried too much speed and went wide off the circuit. Huge plumes of dust were kicked up as Adam rallied across the dirt, fighting the get the kart back on track. The mistake cost him all the momentum as the bunched pack entered the fastest part of the track and he was passed by the entire field.
Jon Pembleton also profited immensely as he got a fantastic run off the exit, flying past Peter James Kitchener as he avoided the unfolding carnage and then getting on the inside of Richard Andrews into T1. Richard then went strangely wide out of the Switch, it looks like he might have got a snatch of oversteer, steered out to correct it, snagged some grip and got flung out wide. Either way, he went two wheels onto the dirt and was subsequently passed by Pete and Chris, and perhaps even byTom Wilkinson as well.
Pete was giving it his all to repass, even hanging it around the outside of the loop but he ran out of room as Jon drifted out on the exit. Tom was also having a look at Chris, with the latter making the gap as tight as possible into T1, causing Tom to back out of it. Glynn then had a bit of a sloppy run through the Switch, Jon got a run on his inside, Glynn moved across to cover, squeezed him, but Jon didn't back out of it and they touched at the apex, with Glynn spinning out, losing further places to Pete, Chris, Tom and Richard in the process.
Meanwhile, out in front, Richard Warren had built up an astounding lead. Getting ahead and clear of the chaos that had unfolded at the beginning had worked beautifully in his favour, now he just needed to keep his head down, his pace up and drive it home to the finish. But could he be caught by the fast chasers behind?
On Chris's helmet cam footage, he just looks back in time out of the hairpin to see a spinning kart, but I can't quite tell whether it is Glynn or Adam. I think it might be Glynn, having tried an attempt at passing Richard A. I also noticed that Tom had dropped way back, perhaps getting in an incident with the former two, although he has't uploaded any camera footage from himself for me to find out.
So it looks like at this point the race had become quite spaced, with sizeable gaps between each position. They were all lapping at similar pace too. Tom did eventually manage to claw his way back ahead of Glynn and Richard A. The gap for the lead however, was closing.
By 3 quarters race distance, Richard Warren had indeed been caught by the chasers. He now had to defend his lead. Jon was doing his best to drive smoothly, trying to nail every exit in order to give himself the best possible chance into the braking zones. However, a small snatch of oversteer at the hairpin lost him time, and a couple of kart lengths gap once again was between them.
Richard drove excellently, keeping that gap to Jon open for as long as possible, but it was once again closed when Jon got a good run off the last corner. He popped out to the right to have a look but it was a little too far back, however he remained on the passing line as he got on the brakes. Perhaps the grip levels at track centre were not as high as on the racing line, because when he hit the brakes he locked up immediately and had to fight the kart to prevent spinning out. He was also carrying much more speed than Richard, and as he danced the kart into the apex, correcting oversteer all the way, he had to pinch the corner tight, giving the inside barriers a good slap to prevent smashing into Richard mid corner. It was an excellent piece of kart control and how on earth he managed to avoid the accident was remarkable.
It was nearing the end of the race and Richard was defending his lines well. Jon just could not get close enough to produce a real opportunity, which gives credit to just how much momentum Richard was able to keep up despite driving defensively. In the end, the chequered flag called time on the battle. Richard had won, scoring what I believe is his first ever race win! A faultless drive from start to finish and another action packed, dramatic race to end Round 6 of the Sutton Wednesday night championship.
Fastest Lap: Jon Pembleton - 40.371