Wednesday Championship – Round 1(Part 1)

Race Reports

by Jamie Wesson

Wednesday Championship Race Review - Round 1(Part 1)

A new season, a new start, but the same old feeling. An intermittent series of races over the winter kept the drivers thirst for action at a containable level, but here the year would begin proper. A treacherously greasy track awaited the drivers for the opening set of races of the 2016 Sutton championships.

It seemed to be dry in most sections however there were significant patches of damp at the Lightbulb and at the final corner. Tom Kitchener seemed to revel in these conditions and snatched pole, breaking away in the early stages of the race from his runner up rival from last season, Jam Wesson. Lawrance Remington made an awesome effort to qualify third but there in fourth place was a man who had been understated in qualifying, but perhaps relished these conditions more than most. His name was Kallum Jones.

He had left everyone in awe at the final round of last season when he made childs play out of all around him in similar conditions. The opening race seemed no exception. He made that abundantly clear when he dispatched Lawrance early on and then used the drier surface of the tarmac to go around the outside of Jamie on the exit of the bulb.

Jamie was just about able to keep in touch as Kallum reeled in the race leader. Getting alongside down the main straight thanks to a nifty exit, it looked as if Kallum had the position won as he commanded the inner left hand side. However, with a brilliant switch into the braking zone of T1, it was Tom who made the apex first as he dived into the exposed pocket as Kallum went wide to line himself up for the turn. Somehow, he got a good enough exit too to swat away the cutback.

By this time, Jamie was on the back of them too, and a nice little three way began to emerge. Trying the same move he had done on Jamie, Kallum went the long way round and found himself on the inside for the Switch, but another nice exit from Tom allowed him to get alongside on the approach to the hairpin and once again defend his lead. Jamie tried to take advantage, exiting wheel to wheel with Kallum, but he was always going to be on the wrong line through the loop.

The move for the lead was finally completed when Kallum simply drove around the outside of the final corner, leaving the twitching kart 1 for dead as Tom struggled to keep it stuck to the road. Jamie then had a go at putting Tom under serious pressure, making him defend into T1 and giving him an accidental tap at the apex for good measure.

An opportunity to pass nearly presented itself when Tom all of a sudden had to take avoiding action from a stricken, spun kart on the exit of the Switch (might have been Russ). Unfortunately, Jamie had a bad run through the previous corner and was a little too far behind to pounce. He did manage to draw alongside into the hairpin, but it was the wrong side as Tom was given that extra moment to cover the inside. A few metres closer and the pass might have been made.

He tried once more on the inside to the final corner, but couldn't get the purchase. the fight then came to an end when disaster struck at the hairpin, and with a bit too much speed and not enough front grip, Jamie went sailing (literally) off into the muddy pond. Jamie siad it felt like he had taken a bath fully clothed. Lawrence passed, and a fourth place finish was the result Jamie had to settle for.

The man who finished just behind him in fifth had also swam a few lengths at that same corner. The only man to come in perhaps more wet than Jamie, Lee Hammond had turned in a bit too early for the bulb and wasn't helped by the fact the front tyres bit, and pitched him into the lake that had formed on the inside of the corner. Creating a tsunami not far off the scale seen during a natural disaster, Lee was nearly drowned alive.

Maybe it was the fact that the exit of the Lightbulb was now strewn with water that many drivers were having difficulty staying on the road through the Switch. Edward Lambert and Dan Wright both went off as their karts finally gave up the grip on the outskirts of the tighter than it looks left hander, with Mike Waterfield making up a place during the latter incident.

Kai Rose also had a good race, attacking Lawrance into the hairpin at the beginning of the race, but a few hairy moments battling the conditions resulted in a mid pack sixth place finish. It was a good opener, but as all the excursions began dragging more and more water onto the already greasy track, things got ever more unpredictable for the drivers. It would be an interesting race two...


Fastest Lap: Kallum Jones - 42.9

In group two, Peter James Kitchener won...... Sixth place. I had actually called it wrong and told Tom that his dad was leading the race. Gallantly cheering him on from the sidelines left all amused when he realised that Pete was fighting hard to defend a mid pack finish. the race was in actual fact won by a sterling performance from Jack Warren, who had started third. Pole sitter Isaac Raine fought him hard and notched the fastest lap, but could only finish second ahead of another stand out driver in the form of Jack's father Richard, who had also made up a couple of places to snatch a podium.

Andy H

Fastest Lap: Issac - 45.179.

Race One onboard footage

Part 2 here.