Race Report – Forest Edge 1st May 2016
Over 260 drivers! Whoever said that karting with the MSA was becoming less popular? The drivers for FP4 knew that Forest Edge was going to be busy, but they didn’t expect such a big meeting! Space was at a premium in the paddock on arrival but sensible parking helped everyone to find a space on the day. A good number decided to avoid the wait for scrutineering and stayed overnight, making for an interesting Saturday night…. Once again the weather played its part by staying dry and sunny for most of the day. As the temperature increased, so did the grip on the track and some fast times were recorded by both the World Formulas and ProKarts.
From the very start it was clear that a close battle was awaiting the World Formulas as Angus Waddell, the 2015 champion, had revamped his equipment with a new engine and different chassis and he won the first heat, although he was kept very honest by 2016 championship leader Mark Davies. Behind them, Rob Teague, Keith Robertson, Ali and Matt Bailey were in a terrific scrap for the honours with Matt working his way forward to 6th having started 11th.
It was good to see Mark Jarvis return to the grid and after such a long layoff did well to finish 7th having started 12th, and in Heat 2 he had obviously found his mojo, taking a convincing victory from Peter Coakes in second and an ever improving Dominic Wright in third. That man Teague once again managed a top five finish keeping Waddell, who had started in 12th , at bay in fifth place. The third heat was all about Waddell who put in some outstanding lap times to finish ahead of Matt Bailey and Mark Jarvis - the very fast pace of this heat showed the track to be at it’s best with good ambient temperature and heaps of grip.
So we went into the final with at least six potential winners – the sun had gone by this time so the track had cooled giving slightly less grip but Waddell showed how it should be done with a convincing victory and fastest lap of the day over a Davies struggling a little with a hand injury and Matt Bailey in third, Teague in fourth and an excellent drive from Peter Coakes in fifth having started from 9th on the grid. Coakes was a tower of strength all weekend, providing help and support for many of the other drivers and this and such a great drive in the final earned him the Driver of the Day award. Alex Whiteley put in a sterling drive to finish sixth having started from 10th. The championship is shaping up nicely with any one of four drivers vying for the top spot.
Prokarts once again started with a deficit of 20 seconds from the world formula grid and thus were able to run their own race. The all conquering Shayne Cuthbert took the honours in all four races – can anyone stop this man? - , despite only returning from holiday the night before but behind him there were some juicy fights for second place. Three drivers, Tony Lamb, just returning from injury after his spectacular crash at Thruxton, seemed to have the edge over Kev Mathers and Ian Fisher, but the gaps were infinitesimally small. In Heat one Mathers took second place ahead of Lamb and Fisher, in Heat two it was Fisher, then Lamb then Mathers and in Heat three the order was Fisher, Mathers and Lamb. In the final, the start was very exciting with Cuthbert leading the field away and some cigarette paper racing between the three pursuers. Eventually Lamb took the second place with Mathers third and Fisher fourth. Jon Davies in Prokart number 63 is also one to watch – with the improvements he is making to his best lap times, it won’t be long before he is mixing it with this battling trio. Drivers were very pleased to welcome Trevor Bull to the ProKart grid and look forward to racing with him for the rest of the season and by all accounts he is to be joined at Camberley by another handful of Prokarters, making a healthy grid.
Overall it had been a fantastic days racing, helped by a momentous effort to get through all the races by the Forest Edge club who need to be congratulated for such a slick and professional operation. We thank them for all their hard work and look forward to visiting them again for the final round in October.
The next round will be held at Camberley on the 28th May (Saturday). Entries are now open.