by Jamie Wesson
Clockwise Championship Round 10 - The Final - Race Report
Wet suits were in demand on the morning of the final round as the typical December weather graced us with a sodden track. Champion elect Andy Summers started his victory tour perfectly by grabbing pole position ahead of rival Jam Wesson. Third in the championship Jon Pethick would likely have been close by too, but he didn't show up...
Instead, the two leaders were followed closely by excellent laps from Oliver Warner and Lee Hammond. However, when the race started, it didn't pan out quite as well for either of them as the qualifying session had. Ollie tried to make a move up the inside of Jamie into turn one but out-braked himself, locked up and ran out of grip. He clattered into the side of Jamie's kart and concluded with a small spin. Thankfully, Jamie continued on his way but it meant Ollie lost touch with the leading two.
Lee wasn't having a great time either, ending up in the mud by dropping it on the grass twice into the first corner. Easy mistakes to make on a slippery surface into Sutton's heaviest braking zone.
It was actually David Brown that made his way up the grid to finish an excellent third. The two leaders lapped at almost identical paces, with Jamie only catching Andy by a kart length or two when they hit back-markers.
Steve Langford ensured he wasn't one of those finishing right at the back by obeying rule number one of driving in the wet: Keep it on the black stuff. He wasn't the fastest man out there, but he made up several positions from people going off.
Two of those that fell by the wayside were Paul Whiffin and Andy Hodson. Paul had dropped it at the Lightbulb corner, resulting in him falling to the back. Andy meanwhile, had passed Steve Langford and was then trading places for several laps with Brian Steele, before Brian also succumbed to the menacing T1, locked up and gave Andy a whack up the rear, punting him off track. The conditions wouldn't improve much for race two...
The second race was almost guaranteed to have a chaotic start. Jamie unfortunately picked the wrong line through the light bulb on the opening lap and lost out to Andy S. He followed him through when they passed Steve at the last corner but as the pack rushed into that treacherous first corner, a small incident unfolded...
Lee spun out, Ollie spun out, Andy S had to go around the outside while Jamie bypassed David Brown and others by this time choosing the more fortunate inside line. He still emerged out of T1 behind Andy though, but the two of them were now significantly more toward the front of the field.
Andy then passed Paul Whiffin, but Jamie didn't have to do much to make an overtake himself when Paul put two wheels on the grass on the exit of the kink and threw himself around a near 180 degrees.
Andy Hodson was doing an excellent job of holding the lead, despite the other Andy applying the pressure. He remained there for several laps, making decent cut back moves when Andy tried to slip one up the inside. Eventually Andy Summers got him on the exit of the loop, and a sneaky Jam Wesson who was tucked in just behind the squabbling pair slipped past too with a better run down the back straight. It would take a good 4 laps for the top two to pull away and create a gap though, and a fast charging Oliver Warner and David Brown also caught up with and mugged Andy Hodson. Something may have happened to Andy during this exchange, as he had fallen right toward the back of the grid by the time the flag fell.
It was Andy Summers who crossed the line to complete Pole position and two victories on the final of his very first Sutton championship. The spoils were only slightly stolen by Jam Wesson who managed to take fastest lap in both races. It was an intense season, and by what I've heard over the winter, the Sunday series will become even more competitive next year. See you then.
Fastest Lap: Jamie - 51.186
Championship top 5:
1. Andy Summers = 420
2. Jamie Wesson = 415
3. Jon Pethick = 400
4. Kurt Partridge = 343
5. Brian Steele =329