Round 6 of the 2014-15 season was held at the Ellesmere Port circuit Hooton Park (28/3/2015), close by for 2 of our northern teams St Michael’s and Tarporley. Approaching the weekend many were ready to keep up the pace from last time out at the blue skied Camberley but one thing looked to disrupt that, yeah you guessed…. The weather! The forecast was showers but non expected the gale force winds and side winding rain that left a few gazebos rather worse for wear come the end of the spell. Never the less come drivers briefing mother nature let off and gave everyone involved a chance to get ready for the days racing!
Class 1 saw the biggest grid since it was introduced to the program this season with 7 budding 8+ year olds lining up. Each driver is tested on their consistent ability to put in lap times throughout the day, giving them a safe pressure free environment to acclimitise themselves with karting, with the only focus on improving their own abilities handling the kart and circuit protocol. Number 18 Ewan Sime followed much of the meeting trend by adding to Tarporley’s class victories, he was crowned class 1 driver of the day with an average time of 47.12 over 1165ATC driver Dan Jones who slotted in behind with a 48.30 and Jack Carless of AMS who bagged a 51.66.
Class 7 Jnr TKM sported a healthy grid with the top 9 in the championship all present! With such a solid turn out we had a recipe for some close racing on the 730m circuit and our TKM drivers didn’t let us down. Heat 1 started with 1165ATC driver Charlie Mooney prevailing from 6th position on the grid, battling through the pack in the damp conditions to take the victory over James Mills of Tarporley, who also put in an awesome performance coming from even further back in 11th and team mate Theo Hesketh who dropped a spot from his 2nd place start position. In heat 2 championship leader Lee Whittingham lead it to the chequered flag comfortably from pole position, with James Mills and Kurt Roberts battling among the pack once again to take 2nd and 3rd. Heat 3 saw Lee Whittingham of Tarporley show he can win from the middle of the pack as well as the front by working his way from his grid position back in 9th to take the lead late on in the race. Team mate James Mills again proved consistency is king coming in 2nd for the third time over heat 1 3rd place man Theo. It all came down to the last heat with team mates Lee and James in close contention, for Lee it meant keeping it in the top 3 while James ideally had to win the race with Lee dropping out of the top 4…. With the pressure mounting it didn’t help when the rain came lashing down on the dry track as the grid went out on it’s formation lap, which meant the race was put back for a restart so drivers could change tires. When they lined up again the track was wet but the race got underway! James had the advantage of starting ahead of Lee on the grid but it didn’t hinder Lee one bit as he fought through the pack to take the lead but amazingly he lost 1st place on the last lap to team mate Kurt Roberts, who really had the bit between his teeth taking the chequered flag at the front. While all this was happening James spun off the track in the difficult conditions and failed to finish, squandering his hopes of winning the meeting. Not all was lost as he wrapped up 2nd over all with Lee on the top step and Kurt bagging 3rd with his valiant final heat victory, a clean sweep for local team Tarporley.
Class 8 Rotary Reed still has its advocates with new drivers George Peters of Barclay and Shaun Jarvis of Bexley proving just that by lining up on the grid come practice. The day started with George taking comfortable victories in heat 1 and 2 only to be excluded in the third with Shaun taking the win there. In the fourth heat both failed to start which mean’t both funnily enough ended up on the same points total and the same highest score finish. This then went down to the fastest lap of the day with George coming out on top.
Jnr Honda GX160 class 11 was bolstered in numbers by Barclay of Stevenage who made the long trip up to Ellsmere Port, true dedication to the cause! Unfortunately for the team though another Whittingham of Tarporley stood in the way, number 17 Charlie Whittingham. Charlie made it look easy for most of the day, wrapping up heat 1, 2 and 3 coming from the front and middle of the grid to take the victories rather comfortably. Rio Rhoden of Edmonton gave it his all against Charlie regardless, trailing him in the second and third heats only to pick up the pieces in the fourth heat and take the only victory left by Charlie. This put Rio in 2nd place come the end of the day 6 points ahead of Stephen Lucy of Barclay but 4 points behind victor Charlie.
Our Snr GX160 Honda class 12 again saw the Championship contenders stick it to each other with the top 3 in attendance. Merrick Crook of St Michael’s the Championship leader going into the meeting pushed from out of the gate in heat 1 climbing from 5th on the grid to 2nd come the finish, but number 20 Harvey Hollick newly promoted from the jnr class this season lead it pretty much from start to finish from his 2nd place grid slot. With Harvey making the most of his grid slot last race Matthew Hearst of Crossdale couldn’t afford to let him do it again, starting from 8th in front of Harvey (9th) he worked his way through the pack with Harvey pushing him all the way to the chequered flag. Heat 3 saw Matthew next to Harvey on the grid yet again but Matthew showed his experience prevailing to another victory after a red flag incident half way through which mean’t a restart. Harvey still managed a strong 2nd in front of Merrick who had not yet matched the other two for a race win. This however changed in the final heat as Merrick came all the way from the back of the grid to win, prevailing through the intense battle, ultimately putting him contention for 2nd on the podium with Harvey. By winning the final race Merrick drummed up the same amount of points as Harvey come the end of the day but his highest place finish of 4th won over Harvey’s 11th proving consistency is king, meaning Harvey slipped to a well hard earned 3rd with Matthew on the top step.
Class 13 modified Honda was missing championship leader Cameron Kingham of Barclay so it was up to the rest to make up the gap! Team mate Ethan Murrill set out to do just that by taking the lead of the first heat but he suffered a technical issue which put him out of contention for the rest of the day, Callum Bowden also of Barclay picked up the pieces taking 1st in front of OLCS driver Georgia Haslam. Georgia wasn’t there to finish 2nd though it seemed as she took advantage of the missing Ethan beating his team mate Callum to the 3 available victories, ultimately taking the top step on the podium come the end of the day!
Class 14 Raket saw the return of Theo Hesketh of Tarporley who had no yet started a race in the class all season, but that didn’t seem to matter as he applied his experience gained not only from competing in the class for a number of years but also from his first year in TKM, winning all 4 of his heats. Behind him championship leader and team mate to Theo Robbie White did his best but couldn’t match his experience, he consistently put it in the top 3 throughout the day giving him 2nd place on the podium. On the 3rd step number 44 Katie Pritchard also of Tarporley did a good job showing her improving ability in her 2nd meeting in the class this season!
Class 15 Jnr Rotax was exceedingly close all day with wins for 3 different drivers among the grid of 12. The wet conditions played into the hands of one driver in particular, Connor Bailey of Tarporley. He fought in heat 1 with team mate Tom Taylor and James Scanlon of St Michael’s to name a few after a first corner incident that saw James walk away in front. The front runners reeled him in though with both Connor and Tom taking James while having a fight of their own on the way. Tom managed to prevail over Connor though taking the heat 1 victory in the damp conditions, Connor followed with team mate Fraser Sime behind. Heat 2 saw a early hiccup for Connor as he took a DNF but heat 1 winner Tom romped to a convincing victory starting 3rd on the grid over Fraser Sime (4th) and Conner Modro (10th) of 1165ATC, who both improved on earlier outings. In heat 3 Tom saw his chances of a first meeting victory of the season slip away as he picked up an exclusion, while Conner Modro romped to a convincing victory over the squabbling pack behind him. Behind him Connor Bailey made up for the last heat DNF by winning over the rest of the pack to take 2nd with Fraser putting in another solid 3rd! The final heat was greeted by rain and Connor Bailey certainly fancied his chances in the conditions. Starting in 5th on the grid he had Fraser & Tom in front in 3rd & 4th and Conner Modro behind in 8th, but being penned in by his rivals didn’t hinder him in the slightest. After a incident among the pack Connor Bailey pulled away taking a convincing lead all the way to the chequered flag, followed by Modro in 2nd and Dani Venelinov of Edmonton in 3rd, leaving challengers Fraser in 11th and Tom with a DNF. The meeting concluded with Connor winning over Modro by 1 point and Fraser benefiting from his early meeting consistency bagging 3rd.
Our Novice class saw an exciting grid of 11 Honda GX160 drivers who all finished with their heads held high after conquering the days changing conditions. There was one driver who stood out among the rest though and that was kart number 5 Owen Hammond of Barclay who made is trip up worth it by taking home the novice of the day trophy!
Our next meeting is Whilton Mill on 18th of next month so come on down if you live close by! Head over to our calender for more details and feel free to get in touch if you require anymore information.
The full meeting photo album can be found here
1. (5) Lee Whittingham – Tarporley
2. (8) James Mills – Tarporley
3. (30) Kurt Roberts – Tarporley
1. (66) George Peters – Barclay
2. (74) Shaun Jarvis – Bexley
1. (17) Charlie Whittingham – Tarporley
2. (93) Rio Rhoden – Edmonton
3. (2) Stephen Lucy – Barclay
1. (58) Matthew Hearst – Crossdale
2. (15) Merrick Crook – St Michael’s
3. (20) Harvey Hollick – Barclay
1. (65) Georgia Haslam – OLCS
2. (61) Callum Bowden – Barclay
3. (62) Ethan Murrill – Barclay
1. (21) Theo Hesketh – Tarporley
2. (4) Robbie White – Tarporley
3. (44) Katie Pritchard – Tarporley
1. (6) Connor Bailey – Tarporley
2. (7) Conner Modro – 1165ATC
3. (32) Fraser Sime – Tarporley