Race Report Forest Edge 2nd October 2016
The tension was palpable as drivers gathered for the last round of the FP4 championship on the 2nd October. Surprisingly numbers were down on expectations, especially because Forest Edge is one of the best tracks in the South of England with plenty of opportunity for high speed and competitive racing. In world formula, two drivers were up for the championship win, with challenger Mark Davies just one point ahead of 2015 champion Angus Waddell. Davies had started the season with a series of dominant victories to assume a large lead by the halfway point, but Waddell managed to get his mojo back towards the final round, helped in some part to a DNF for Davies at Camberley, thereby closing the gap gradually so that the championship was to be decided at the final round. This was going to be fun!
As it turned out,though, Waddell swept the board in all four races with Davies keeping him honest into second place. In Heat 1 Waddell fought his way to the front from 9th place on the grid with Davies a tenth behind. This race was notable because of an excellent fight between Alex Whiteley and Peter Coakes. Coakes had already clinched the third place in the championship but he didn’t let up for the last race and harassed Whiteley all the way to the flag. Heat 2 had Waddell on the front at the start with Davies at the back but Davies passed no fewer than 8 drivers to come in 2nd, just behind Waddell. This time Coakes got the better of Whiteley in the 3rd and 4th spots. In Heat 3, both the championship contenders started mid-grid alongside each other and delivered a text book display to get to the front. Newbie for this season Tom Swadling came in 3rd for this race – his times have been improving all season and this bodes very well for next year. Back in the pack Keith Robertson joined in the Coakes-Whiteley mix with an exciting battle. Coakes drove a superb race coming from the back to come in 5th.
So the final was the ultimate shoot out between Waddell and Davies. The championship would go to the winner of this race and both drivers were starting on the front of the grid. Both made lightning starts, and fought tooth and nail for the win, an exciting sight to behold. On the last lap but one Waddell got his nose ahead and put in a blistering lap setting the fastest time of the day. Davies was reeling him back in at the end with the fastest time in sector 3 but it wasn’t quite enough and Waddell took the flag just under a tenth of a second ahead. Behind, a charging Keith Robertson took third with the two sparring partners Coakes and Whiteley in close contention behind.
Prokarts started behind the World Formulas and were able to catch them on a couple of occasions. Carl Kirwin scythed through the WF back markers to take the victory in Heat 1 followed by Kev Mathers and Ian Fisher in third. In Heat 2 Kirwin tangled with a couple of WFs and so it was Mathers who took the victory with Fisher in 2nd. In Heat 3 Kirwin was black-flagged for loose bodywork so it was between Mathers and Fisher who delivered a nose to tail fight right up to the line. In the end Fisher got ahead to take the win. The final was a very closely fought thing between Kirwin and Mathers – In the end Kirwin won overall although Mathers set the fastest lap and finished a tenth of a second behind.
It had been an outstanding day of racing, organised with the customary efficiency and professionalism we have become used to from Forest Edge Kart Club. Our thanks go to them for accepting us onto their grid this year. The championship is now over and trophies will be awarded at the Kartmania exhibition at Silverstone at the end of Novem
ber. Congratulations should go to the champions and all of those who didn’t let them have it all their own way this year.
A non- championship round will be held at Thruxton on the 13th November and we hope to see as many drivers there as possible.