After a succession of very hot days in the week leading up to the weekend, the heat had mercifully subsided as the drivers arrived at Dunkeswell for round 6 of their summer championship. All made the most of the practice day on the Saturday , getting in the laps to remind themselves how exciting and demanding the Mansell raceway can be. The weather was mixed – from a dampening drizzle to warm sunshine, meaning some challenging conditions. The track dries extremely quickly so the choice of tyres and whether to use slicks or wets taxed the thoughts of each racer. WFs had their first experience of the new Duro wets and by all accounts were impressed with the performance and durability. With the leaders of the championship not present for this weekend, it was to be anyone’s guess who would take the podium positions this time. Once again the sole ProKart present was included in the grid.
The first heat was run in rainy conditions and all the runners were on slicks meaning that quick lap times were definitely not on! This didn’t stop a close battle between Rob Teague, Mark Davies, Chris Kelly and Alex Whiteley right down to the flag. Less than 4 seconds covered these four as they battled it out on a slippery track and they finished in that order. In Heat 2 Whiteley and Kelly fought tooth and nail for the victory with Kelly, who was on top form for the day, snatching the win from Whiteley on the line. Rob Teague came in a close third. Heat 3 saw a victorious Whiteley get his revenge over Kelly but only by half a second – this was a remarkable drive from Kelly who had gained over 7 places during the course of the race. Davies came in an impressive third – impressive as this was his first race in a WF since the end of the 2016 championship.
We were therefore set up for a close final with both Whiteley and Kelly in contention for the top step of the podium – the track had been drying all day and other series had laid down lots of rubber affording huge amounts of grip to the Duro slick tyres. Lap times tumbled and Kelly made the most of the situation to earn a maiden well-earned victory and set the fastest lap of the day. A hard charging Alex Whiteley came in a close second with Davies not far behind.
It had been a fantastic and challenging weekend, made even better by the warm welcome extended to the club by Dunkeswell Kart club – well organised and professional in their approach and we look forward to visiting the track again in September.
The next round in the FP4 Summer championship will be at Bayford Meadows on the 23rd July. Entries are now open.