After two very wet race days, blue skies and sunshine greeted the drivers as they arrived at the Forest Edge track for round two of the FP4 Summer championship. As usual it was a very busy day for the receiving club as there were over 200 drivers racing on the day, but FEKC organised the day with their customary efficiency. For the first time there were as many ProKarts as World Formulas in the entry, so two separate grids were provided.
In world Formula Heat 1, Keith Robertson was on pole position and remained in the lead during the race despite some spirited attacking from Angus Waddell. Eventually Waddell made it past to take the chequered flag, only to be given a 10 second penalty for what the stewards deemed was unfair contact, handing the victory to Robertson. Alex Whitely started the day in the way he was to continue, fighting it out for victory and coming in second. Tom Swadling rounded up the top three. In Heat 2, Waddell started in 8th place but worked his way cleanly through the field to take victory on the last lap from a charging Alex Whiteley in what was a thrilling contest between the two drivers. In third was Chris Kelly who has been threatening the top spot all season. In Heat 3, it was once again Whiteley who pushed Waddell for the victory although a series of very fast laps from Waddell put paid to his challenge. Behind there was a very close tussle for third between Rob Teague, Dominic Wright and Dave Jarvis with Teague just taking the third sport with Wright and Jarvis right behind. So the world formula final was going to be a duel between Whiteley and Waddell and for the first few laps the two traded positions in a close and even battle. Eventually, Waddell got away and Whitely found himself having to defend from a charging Dave Jarvis who had worked his way up from 5th. Time after time Jarvis threatened to come through until Whiteley thwarted his challenge - this was close fair racing at its best. On the penultimate corner of the last lap Jarvis managed to squeeze through to take the second place, leaving Whiteley disappointed in third, but it had been very exciting to watch and Whiteley will surely finish on the top step of the podium soon.
In Prokarts, 2016 champion Shayne Cuthbert is going to have his work cut out this season if he is to retain his crown. Other 7kart drivers Matt Wileman and Matt Dorrington are going to keep him honest right down to the wire, whilst it looks close in the new Heavyweight category as well. In Heat 1, Wileman carved through the field from 7th on the grid and took the victory with Cuthbert and Dorrington very close behind, setting some stunning lap times. Newby Jeremy Balls set a marker for the day with an excellent drive coming in 5th having started in 10th. In Heat 2 Cuthbert put in a spirited drive to work his way up to 2nd from 8th at the start, although it just wasn’t enough to catch Wileman. Carl Kirwin finished third in this race with Dorrington less than three tenths behind. Finally in Heat three Cuthbert managed to get ahead of Wileman, and resisted his attempts to pass to finish less than a kart length ahead, despite Wileman setting the fastest lap of the day. Dorrington came in third one of the closest finishes we have seen so far this season. The final passed without incident with the tope three – Wileman, Cuthbert and Dorrington finishing in that order; the gaps were very small but their lap times showed them to be out on their own ahead of the field. Kirwin and Balls enjoyed a very close battle with Kirwin coming in just ahead of Balls. That will be a battle to watch this season. In the Heavyweight battle, Roy Grassie took the honours with Ross Brinkley coming in third.
It has been a hugely entertaining day at the Forest Edge track with some closely fought battles all day. Our thanks go to Forest Edge Kart Club for their warm welcome and well organised day and we look forward to visiting them again at the end of the summer.
The next round will be at Rissington on the 23rd April. Entries are open and need to be in soon.