FP4 at Dunkeswell!

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Dunkeswell Kart club

Race Report Dunkeswell 26th June 2016

 

Wets or Slicks? That was the question that most drivers asked during the first visit of the club to Dunkeswell Kart club over the weekend of the 25th and 26th June. A good number of drivers made the trip to sunny Devon, eager to try a new track with a good reputation for fast close racing. They weren’t disappointed and were delighted to be welcomed so warmly by the host club. Many spent the warm and dry Saturday setting their karts up for this long, smooth surfaced track with it’s very fast straights and tight corners that favoured overtaking. The Saturday evening was spent in good company at a barbecue prepared by Carl Kirwin with many a story told and plenty of racing tips exchanged. By Sunday, however, it was clear that the weather was on the change with low clouds and a drop in temperature compromising some of the work completed the day before. The smaller number of entries for the ProKarts meant that there was a mixed grid, with the World Formula drivers starting half a lap ahead of their twin engined colleagues.

In Heat 1 of the world formulas, Chris Kelly continued his good run this year, starting from pole and coming in second, but he wasn’t able to halt the advance of Angus Waddell, one of this year’s main championship contenders and who made it to the front by battling from 8th place, setting the fastest lap in the process. In 3rd was Mark Davies, the other contender and the battle between Davies and Waddell  was to be the story of the day. In Heat 2 Waddell once again took the honours, speeding up in the process and setting a blistering pace at least half a second faster than any other WFs on the track. An excellent showing from Keith Robertson brought him home to second place with once again Davies in third, who put in a stirring performance by working his way forward from 11th on the grid. In Heat 3 Davies finally managed to beat Waddell into second place with Rob Teague coming in 3rd. Once again that man Kelly was in the mix along with Robertson a hair’s breadth behind him. The battle between these two was one of the highlights of the day. So once again we went into a final with Davies and Waddell on the front row. There was an added complication as well with the arrival of the rain that had been forecast. The paddock looked dry but the track was clearly ready for wet tyres and after some discussion the entire grid opted for the wets. Davies and Waddell slugged it out for each one of the 11 lap final with Waddell putting in his fastest time on the last lap but it wasn’t quite enough – Davies took the top step of the podium by about half a second. Behind them Rob Teague came in third, with Dominic Wright, who had battled hard all day, coming in fourth and Chris Kelly fifth.

ProKarts were once again all about Shayne Cuthbert – is anyone going to be able to stop this man? With a clean sweep of all the Heats and the final he is once again in pole position for the championship this year. Behind there was some very close racing between Carl Kirwin, Ian Fisher and Kev Mathers. Carl is turning out to be the one driver able to challenge Cuthbert, although a layoff for an operation has compromised his chances this year. It doesn’t stop him trying in every race and his perseverance in the races through a considerable amount of pain earned him the Driver of the Day award for this meeting. It won’t be long before he is able to keep Cuthbert honest. For the record, the order behind Cuthbert in Heat 1 was Fisher and then Mathers, in Heats 2 and 3 it was Kirwin and Fisher, and in the final Fisher and Mathers.

The Sunday therefore had a sodden end but it didn’t dampen the sprits of the FP4 drivers  - there was a unanimous agreement that the weekend  had been a success and the club is hoping to return to Dunkeswell for some meetings next year. Our thanks go to Dunkeswell Kart Club for their very well organised meeting and warm welcome and we hope to see you again next year.

For the July round, we return to Camberley on the 23rd. Entries are now open.

Camberley Round 4

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Race Report Camberley 28th May 2016

 

The British weather can be very fickle at times, as FP4 drivers racing with Camberley Kart Club found: The BBC website changed it’s forecast at least six times in the 24 hours leading up to and including race day but in the end the predicted showers failed to materialise, leaving a warm, even hot, day with blue skies and sunshine. The racing was close and exciting especially in WFs with both contenders for the title this year fighting it out at the front. As grip levels increased during the day lap times lowered and demonstrated progress over the Camberley rounds from last year.

A healthy grid started the first heat of World Formulas and there was a close duel between 2015 champion Angus Waddell and Matt Bailey, who had started the race in fourth place. In the end Bailey took the win with Waddell a tenth behind. In third heavyweight Keith Robertson maintained his position with a series of fast laps. In Heat two Peter Coakes was a welcome addition to the top spot having started in pole position and leading the race from start to finish. Ever - present danger man Rob Teague finished second with once again Matt Bailey in third. Mark Davies who had started well down the field in 12th fought his way up to 6th during this race in a thrilling series of overtakes which meant he would be well placed for the final. Bailey also figured prominently in this race after a very close duel with brother Ali Bailey. Heat three was all about Davies. Starting in third place he took the lead at the first corner and drove away from the rest of the field leaving second place man Chris Kelly and once again Coakes in his wake. Kelly had fought his way forward from 6th place followed closely by Coakes and at the end of the race it was touch and go as to who would take second, but in the end it was Kelly who pipped Coakes on the line by a tenth. So the final was set up for a showdown between Waddell, who had been recording fastest laps all day but just missing out on the top three spots and Davies who had made some exciting passes during the heats. After consistently finishing high up in the heats it was Peter Coakes who started on pole but even he had to give way in the final for the battling championship contenders. This race was an exciting closely fought affair with Waddell using all his experience to attack Davies who led for most of the race. Time and again Waddell would pull alongside Davies although not quite enough to pass and despite setting the fastest lap of the day had to settle for second place less than a kart’s length behind Davies.

Prokarts had their own grid at Camberley and there were some exciting duels right down the grid. Shayne Cuthbert took the spoils in two of the three heats, with Ian Fisher winning the third. Behind it was the usual trio of Tony Lamb, Fisher and Kev Mathers who were joined this month by Jon Davies who has continued his improvement sine the last round. The racing in this pack was close and exciting with the Camberley track offering the usual challenges when it comes to overtaking and gaining positions. So in Heat one Cuthbert took the victory with the following pack being Fisher, Lamb, Mathers and Davies. In Heat two Cuthbert was beaten into second place by Fisher with the order behind being Lamb, Mathers and Davies. In heat three it was Cuthbert, Fisher, Davies, Lamb and then Mathers. The final provided the best duels we have seen in this championship this year – behind the all conquering Shayne Cuthbert, Fisher and Lamb fought tooth and claw over the second place spot and Mathers and Davies over the fourth place. Both squabbling duos swapped places several times during the extended final but in the end the order was Fisher, Lamb, Davies then Mathers. Driver of the Day award went to Jon Davies who put in some spirited and competitive drives all day.

Camberley once again had delivered a highly charged competitive day – one of the  smaller  tracks which favours driver ability over pure engine power and all present were very happy with how the day had gone. A particular thanks to Camberley Kart Club for their warm welcome and well organised day and we look forward to returning there for the July and August rounds.

 

At the end of June, the club visits the Dunkeswell circuit for the first time. Entries are now open.

Forest Edge Round 3

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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.

 

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