A new season and a new name with some class re-branding as well. Nothing wrong with a bit of evolution. After a dry test day on Saturday all the knowledge gleaned went right out of the window as Sunday dawned wet. Very, very wet. So much so that the driver’s parade had to be cancelled and large puddles began to appear on the track. Several drivers feared that the meeting might be cancelled but the rain began to ease as the Cadets came out for their warm up laps and the sloping nature of the circuit saw most of the large puddles quickly diminish. A keen south westerly wind also helped.
Three out of the four 2016 Champions were missing from the entry list. Cadet Oliver Gray has moved on. Junior Toby Goodman is looking to move into cars whilst Lights Champ Kieran McCullough is struggling for budget but still hoping to do a few rounds later in the season. So Sam Dimelow was the only defending Champion on view in the Super Masters.
With no Gray to deal with this season all eyes were on Milo Pilfold, in his second season of racing, Christian Lilley and Elle Stevens to see if their end of 2016 form would carry over. But it was still very wet. Pilfold was struggling early in the session but Thomas Harvey was flying and in superb form on the wet surface. He went to the top of the timing screen virtually from the off but he didn’t have it all his own way. Rookie Nathan Tye challenged hard as did Louie Ross both edging out Harvey mid-session. Rookie Aydan Hassan was another putting in a strong performance and at one stage looking like he might make the front two rows. But it was not to be. Harvey was mighty over the last two laps of the session and wound up almost half a second clear of the hugely impressive Tye who just edged out Ross by 0.016 at the flag. A great effort from Ross though. Another lap might just have been enough. Charlie Humphreys took the fourth spot. Another fine effort, he gathered everything together setting his best time on his final tour. Breathtaking stuff! Dylan Brierley worked hard for his fifth place edging out Hassan by a couple of tenths whilst Elle Stevens was seventh quickest. She usually races better than she qualifies. Next up was a disappointed Christian Lilley who looked very sideways at times. Big effort but perhaps guilty of over driving. Kylen Ingram took ninth. He’d been very consistent whilst Pilfold was tenth with a badly set up kart. A lesson had been learnt though. Rookie Oliver Keightley placed eleventh ahead of the much more experienced Jamie Gurney and Freddie Tomlinson. More to come from them though I’m sure whilst Rookie Jessica White put in a good effort to finish ahead of Christian Valverde and Callum Locket.
Wets again for the Juniors and what a session this turned out to be. Will Martin was quickest out of the blocks and remained so for the first five laps. He was a model of consistency whilst just a couple of tenths back Ty Stansfield battled hard to reel him in. And Morgan Cole was by no means out of the picture. With six laps gone Stansfield got a clean run to move to the top of the timing screens. Martin responded equalling Stansfields time but remaining second by virtue of Stansfield setting the time first. With just one to go Stansfield finally broke the sixty second barrier with a 59.90. Final lap and he lowered the bar again posting a 59.684. Surely no one was going to beat that? But Martin was in no mood for second. He stopped the clock on 59.637. His only lap under sixty seconds and a scant 0.047 up on Stansfield. A very hard earned pole. And all the while Cole had been hammering round just a fraction off the pace but ending with a brilliant 59.872 lap. A fine effort. Rookie Olive Mooji took fourth. Another great effort after a fine battle with another Rookie Connor Brown who had at one time been quick enough to briefly head Cole for third. Good to see Brown back after his 2016 Championship effort was curtailed following a limb breaking accident at Ellough Park. Brown was just 0.002 up on Harry Barlow who had enjoyed a great fight with Harry Graham. A little surprising to see these two lower than might have been expected but both had made poor choices on tyre pressure. Dillon Reed, in his first race in the Juniors claimed ninth. His Dad was concerned he might be a little overawed moving up from the Cadets where he signed off with a win at the final round of 2016. He needn’t worry; Dillon is more than good enough to hold his own. Thomas Masserella completed the top ten.
Jay Hudman was quickest on the first flying lap closely followed by Rich Evans. Then Sam Faulkner came out. His first flying lap was 1.25 seconds up on the rest of the field. In Karting terms a country mile. As Evans would remark with a smile later ‘’ he must have huge gonads. I can’t do that straight out of the box. I need to have a bit of time to warm up’’. And then Faulkner went quicker still on a track that was now beginning to dry but with the cloud cover still patchy and an ever present threat of rain. Evans fought hard throughout the session but couldn’t get on terms with the flying Faulkner. He did get down consistently into the 58’s but Faulkner sealed pole with a 57.943. Rookie James Baldwin put in a shift winding up just 0.030 shy of Evans best. A great effort this and the only other driver to dip below 59 seconds. Jay Hudman took fourth ahead of Ami Jerger. Fourth to twelfth was covered by just a fraction over eight tenths further emphasising Faulkner’s dominance. Steve Youle took seventh with Tom Snape, Elliot Stanley and Jason Bradbury completing the top ten.
With some of the big names such as Joe Paterson and Joe Richardson missing this year who would emerge to take the fight to reigning Champion Sam Dimelow? Jim Rainbird was quick at the beginning of the session whilst Sam Fisher, Ben Yeomans and Roland Breadner bided their time in the pits. Poor Jake White-Rowels session ended after just three quarters of a lap when his chain parted company forcing him to start at the back of the grid for the heat. Dimelow though was soon up to speed but still not topping the times. Rainbird was flying and looked to have the session sowed up but it was not to be, Dimelow snatching pole from the ever green and ever committed Mark Lawrence by just 0.007 at the flag. E’ plate runner Neil Fisher was third quickest ahead of Ken Churchill with Shaun Port fifth ahead of Rainbird. Next up was Carl Churchill, slightly miffed at having been beaten by his dad, with Michael Roots behind having his first race for some four years. He was a front runner in the past and was playing himself in, feeling that there was definitely more to come. Sam Fisher and Ben Yeomans completed the top ten both disappointed with their pace.
Cadet 60 Heat
Harvey led the field round to the start but it was Tye who led across the line having jumped the start. It was an easy spot and he was duly penalised. Perhaps a bit of rookie exuberance but I’m sure it’s a lesson learned. He continued to lead though with Harvey right on his bumper who was in turn being chased by Ross who had got the better of Humphreys at the start. Man on the move was Lilley. Desperate to make up for his indifferent qualifying he was quickly ahead of Stevens and Hassan before slipping ahead of Humphreys for fourth. Ingram was running ninth with Pilfold tenth, neither making any headway. Harvey made his move for the lead into the boot but failed to spot a waved yellow and was penalised. It didn’t stop him racing hard to the flag however and at the finish he had pulled nigh on five seconds clear of the squabbling Tye and Ross with Lilley just in touch. So Harvey took the win on the road only to be demoted three places with Tye second over the line but demoted to third handing the win to Ross with Lilley second. Fortuitous it may have been but rules are rules. Stevens took fifth. Having dropped at one stage down to eighth she fought back splendidly grabbing the place with two to go from a fading Humphreys who was though well clear of Ingram in seventh. Ingram enjoyed a late race battle with Brierley and Pilfold the latter running eighth for a few laps before being usurped by Brierley who had run in the top six early on before dropping back. Tomlinson completed the top ten some distance adrift whilst Harvey did have the satisfaction of setting fastest lap.
Junior 100 Heat
Sometimes you can look at a lap chart and a race will appear to have been boring. Not this one. Martin led the field away from pole and as they rose up the hill towards Christmas corner Stansfield slotted into second with Cole ahead of Mooij having got the better start from the second row. Barlow, Graham, again with an unwise choice on tyre pressures, Baldry, Reed and Nicky Taylor completed the top ten. Lap after lap the leaders circulated line astern but Mooij was being dropped as he defended hard from Barlow. As the leaders safely completed their sixth it all got a bit fraught on the start/finish straight mid pack. It was one of those incidents that you just catch out of your eye corner. One driver ran wide and as he pulled back onto the track several drivers got caught in two minds, the upshot being that Masserella got spun to a halt just before the exit of the pit lane. Sam Cunliffe got caught with nowhere to go and promptly spun hard into the tyre wall fortunately without injury. Massarella meanwhile got going but would circle the field and into retirement. Reed also lost time in the incident. Nicky Taylor took full advantage to move himself up from eleventh to eighth and would end the race in a fine sixth. The leaders though remained unchanged and Martin duly took the win a few tenths up on Stansfield from Cole and Brown with Barlow several seconds adrift in fifth but setting fastest lap. Graham lost sixth to Taylor at the death With Huntley behind in eighth. Parkinson took ninth with Baldry tenth deposing Mooij who faded badly towards the end.
Super Elites Heat
Slicks were now the order of the day, a dry line having appeared and the sun breaking through intermittently. But off line it was still damp. Faulkner led the field away and by the end of the first lap he was almost a second up on second placed Evans who had Youle for company the latter having made a strong start from grid four. Three laps in and he was up to second having slipped by Evans in the boot. Baldwin and Hudman were going at it hard whilst Jerger was beginning to fall away as was Snape who fell from seventh to twelfth in the opening laps. Bradbury was another going backwards whilst Darling fared even worse, a spin putting him to the back of the field. At the front Faulkner continued to pull away whilst Evans was getting back up to speed and pressuring Youle for second with Baldwin also in the mix. Down the order Matt Pearce was beginning to make some progress having gone from fifteenth to ninth before falling back one to tenth. He’d been late to the grid and forced to start at the back. He was recovering though and would soon be into the top seven. With four to go Evans was back into second ahead of Baldwin as Youle fell back to fourth and that what how they remained to the flag. Faulkner was way up the road winning by almost fifteen seconds! Evans and Baldwin were next up having dropped Youle by almost six seconds at the flag. Indeed, another lap and Pearce might well have taken fourth. Fifth however was a great effort. Collins came home sixth after an eventful race which saw him start from grid fourteen, move up to sixth and chase down Hudman for fifth which he duly took only to be passed by the flying Pearce. A good drive though nonetheless. Hudman came home seventh with Stanley, Corry and Jerger completing the top ten. Faulkner set the fastest lap.
Super Masters heat
Drama at the start of this one as the right hand side of the grid was empty! Both Mark Lawrence and Ken Churchill were late to the grid and relegated to the back of it leaving poleman Dimelow to start on his own with Neil Fisher and Shaun Port running line stern. Hardly surprising then that Dimelow led the field at the end of the first lap chased by Neil Fisher. Roots made a good start and was into third from grid eight, whilst Rainbird slotted into fourth ahead of Yeomans the pair of them having got by Port who dropped to sixth. Dimelow continued to lead with Fisher just under a second adrift. Roots was really on it though and it was only a matter of time before he moved into second which he duly did at half distance with a well judged move into Ashby. Down the order Carl Churchill and Breadner were both on the move. Carl was another who had to start near the back after failing to get to the grid on time whilst Breadner was making up for a poor qualifying. The order settled at the front and Dimelow took the win having controlled the gap back to Roots to perfection. The two of them were well clear of third placed Neil Fisher who came under increased pressure from Rainbird and Yeomans as the race wound down. Oliver George took sixth in what was arguably the performance of the race moving himself six places up the order. Sam Fisher took seventh ahead of Carl Churchill, Breadner and Port. Roots set fastest lap. A sign of things to come?
Cadet 60 Pre Final
The Cadets rarely fail to impress or provide great entertainment and this was no exception. Ross led the field away but it was Lilley who led at the end of the first lap whilst Harvey and Stevens had both slipped by Tye for third and fourth respectively. Pilfold was another determined to make up for a poor start to the day moving up smartly from grid nine to sixth after the first tour with Ingrams and Humphreys droping back. Three laps gone and Ross moved back into the lead with the order behind remaining static. But only for another lap as Stevens got by Harvey for third and Pilfold moved into fifth at the expense of Tye. Ross continued to lead from Lilley but Harvey was back up to third and taking Pilfold with him as Stevens dropped to fifth. She wasn’t being dropped though and set the fastest lap whilst running fifth on lap six. As the field came round for the seventh time the leaders had bunched up. Pilfold drove one of the best laps of his life and as they crossed the line to start lap eight he had moved from fourth to first in the course of a single lap whilst a lap later Stevens was back up to fourth at the expense of Harvey. And then it began to rain. Lilley dropped behind the flying Stevens but on lap ten the heavens really opened. Pilfold immediately spun out of the lead. Lilley dropped to ninth. Ross dropped from second to eleventh. All of which put Stevens in front. And she drove superbly in the atrocious conditions. Her cumulative time over the final three laps was way quicker than anyone else. A thoroughly deserved win. Harvey came home second over three seconds adrift with Tye third and Pilfold fourth having recovered well after his spin. Ingram took fifth clear of Humphreys who was in turn well clear of Tomlinson. The field stretched out over the last three laps. Keighley, Brierley and Lilley completed the top ten with former leader Ross a disappointed eleventh.
Junior 100 Pre Final
Clear skies but a slightly damp track and the threat of more rain. Slicks or wets? Having seen what happened at the end of the Cadets race wets were the preferred choice except in the case of Scott Huntley who decided to roll the dice. Several drivers though were late making a decision resulting in them being late to the grid and penalised causing a somewhat confused line up. Zac Parkinson found himself promoted from ninth to fourth whilst Massarella was up from row ten to five. Martin got a great start but Parkinson was off the line quicker and briefly up into second spot ahead of Stansfield. But how quickly does the pendulum of good fortune swing? Third at the end of the first lap he was already beginning to lose power as water had found its way into the carb and he dropped steadily back through the field to finish seventeenth. At the front Martin continued to lead from Stansfield but the track was drying rapidly in the sunshine. Barlow was pushing really hard and was into the lead by lap four but the slick tyred Huntley was right on his tail in second whilst Martin dropped to third ahead of Massarella and the fading Stansfield. Barlow’s lead was short lived as Huntley moved by for the lead and immediately began to pull away. Barlow now had Massarella with him with Reed in the mix too as Martin began to fade. With Huntley driving away it became a case of whose tyres were going to last amongst the chasing pack. Three quarter distance and Massarella was up to second. Penultimate lap and Reed got the better of Barlow to move into third. Huntley romped home over thirteen seconds to the good. One more lap and it might have been different as drops of rain began to fall as he took the flag. Massarella hung on to second ahead of the flying Reed whilst Barlow was fourth with tyres that were well and truly finished. Brown and Martin were some distance back in fifth and sixth with Taylor, Gartside and Graham completing the top ten. Not surprisingly Huntley set the fastest lap of the race.
Super Elites Pre Final
Despite the shower at the end of the previous race all the field bar David Darling opted for slicks as they lined up for the start. But the wind had freshened again and ominous black clouds were appearing from the west. Sure enough as the field sped away from the start it began to rain again. Not heavily but enough to wet the track. Evans briefly led but by the end of the first lap Faulkner was into the lead followed by Youle with a fast starting Hudman in third ahead of Collins, Jerger and Evans who had dropped away badly. Baldwin, Pearce and Stanley all suffered offs as they tried to adjust to the conditions whilst Darling on his wets was flying and up to eighth behind Snape. Was this going to be an inspired tyre choice leading to a fantastic result? At the front, and despite dropping his pace, Faulkner was beginning to stretch his lead. He was taking a completely different line through the last corner. The conventional wet line is to the outside but Sam was tucking right into the apex and hooking two wheels over the inside of the kerb. The kart made an awful ”graunching” noise every lap and occasionally shot sparks which made you fear for the life of the chassis but Sam argued that it gave him better turn in and exit for the following straight. Funny how Champions always find that little bit extra. Former heavies Champion Joe Paterson always dabs the brakes at the bottom of the hill at Buckmore sufficiently hard to lock the back axle and settle the Kart for the next two corners. On such little differences are Championships won. Half distance and the rain stopped but by now the slick tyres were generating enough heat for the damp surface to have little detrimental effect. Faulkner duly reeled off the remaining laps to win by over eighteen seconds from Hudman who had enjoyed a great mid race battle with Youle and Collins which saw them swapping places several time before Hudman broke clear from Youle with Collins spinning to the rear of the field and out of the race. All this allowed Jerger up into fourth with Snape closing rapidly in fifth and clear of Evans in sixth whilst the wet shod Darling came home seventh. It had been worth a gamble though. Bradbury, Stanley and Rainbow completed the top ten.
Super Masters Pre Final
Wets were the order of the day again for this one. Dimelow led the field away from pole whilst fellow front row starter Roots lost out to the rapid starting Neil Fisher and Yeomans with Rainbird fourth. Behind these it was all a bit chaotic as George, Sam Fisher, Breadner and Elboth all found themselves falling down the order whilst Ken Churchill got the hammer down and moved up six places to sixth one ahead of son Carl with Ogle also very much on the move climbing from fifteenth to eighth. Stirring stuff. At the front Dimelow continued to set a controlled pace always with enough in hand to keep the pack at bay. Fisher led Yeomans with Rainbird and Roots tucked in behind. Up to sixth briefly was Carl Churchill with father Ken dropping back to tenth before clawing his way back up and setting fastest lap on the sixth tour. Dimelow made no errors and crossed the line just over two seconds to the good from Neil Fisher with Yeomans third. Rainbird took a very good fourth. The front runners were well clear of the rest of the field now headed by Ken Churchill who took Roots with four to go and pulled a decent gap by the flag. Roots just held on to sixth but it was mightily close as Lawrence closed in only losing out by 0.020. Another lap and he would have taken the place. Sam Fisher came home seventh with Breadner and Nicholls completing the top ten.
Cadet 60 Final
Stevens on the pole with Harvey alongside and Tye and Pilfold on the second row from Ingram and Humphreys on three. Harvey it was though who got the better start to lead at the end of the first tour chased by Stevens and Tye. As the field passed the pits however there was a crunch and the sickening sight of a kart rearing several feet into the air. Tye had run into the back of Stevens. Fortunately the kart came down on all four wheels. He parked it just after the start and finish line and hopped over the barriers. Unhurt but very, very frustrated whilst Stevens continued in second with Humphreys up into third. Pilfold had seemingly spun away his chances on the exit of Christmas corner falling back to thirteenth. Ingram avoided Tye to move into fourth with Tomlinson and Lilley in his wake. Harvey was into his stride now and pulling steadily away from Stevens who was fending off the attentions of Humphreys who had briefly dropped behind Ingram for a lap before regaining the place. Down the order Pilfold was beginning to recover moving up to ninth but not without incident as he was adjudged to have forced Brierley wide and would suffer a two place deduction, a penalty which some felt harsh and left the driver bemused. Half distance and Harvey was well in control but it was Humphreys giving chase now having taken second from Stevens. Ingram remained fourth from Ross, Lilley, Keightley and Pilfold. It looked as though the race might stabilise at this point but the battle for the podium was far from over. With four to go Keightley made a move on Ross causing the latter to spin and moving Lilley and Pilfold up a place. Last lap and Harvey was in complete control from Humphreys and Stevens but the drama wasn’t over. Stevens and Ingram were both spun out as Lilley and Keightley crossed the line third and fourth but both carrying huge penalties dropping Lilley to eleventh and Keightley to ninth. Not a great day for either of them. All this promoted Ross to third with Pilfold fifth after his penalty. Gurney came home sixth ahead of the unfortunate Ingram and Stevens whilst Hassan completed the top ten. Harvey set the fastest lap with Keightley the leading Rookie.
Junior 100 Final
A rapidly drying track for this one but everyone opted for wets apart from Parkinson who felt slicks were worth the risk. Could Huntley repeat his Pre-final win? Massarella was alongside him with Reed and Barlow on row two followed by Martin and leading Rookie Brown. Taylor and Baldry locked out row four with Gartside and Graham on five. Huntley was smartly away with Massarella close behind from a fast starting Barlow whilst Reed fell down the order to tenth swopping places with Graham who put in a barnstorming first lap to move up to fourth! Reed had got his tyre pressures badly wrong. Three laps in and Barlow was at the front. Massarella half spun at Christmas dropping to fifth whilst Barlow took full advantage to jump Huntley for the lead a couple of corners later at Ashby with Graham now up to third. Taylor held fourth with Massarella fifth ahead of Stansfield who had climbed up from grid eleven. Massarella’s race however was run as he pulled off after the bumper parted company with six laps run promoting Brown into fifth. At the front Barlow continued to reel off the laps but Huntley was beginning to close in having chipped away at the gap from half distance. With three to go Barlow put in a quick one to increase the gap by a couple of tenths and that looked to be it but Huntley responded with his fastest lap of the race on the penultimate tour. Barlow couldn’t respond and Huntley closed in over the final lap setting his fastest lap of the race on the final lap. But it wasn’t enough. Just two tenths separated them at the flag as Barlow punched the air with delight. Great drives from both of them. Graham took third. After his brilliant opening lap he settled into a good rhythm, never quite able to match the leaders pace but controlling his own pace to stay ahead of Brown who had Taylor and Stansfield on his bumper during the latter stages. Stansfield briefly got ahead of Taylor only to cede the place a lap later. Cole took seventh. An outstanding drive this from the back of the grid. Reed came home eighth. Hard earned too after his first lap drama. Martin and Gartside completed the top ten whilst twelfth placed Toby Baldry set the fastest lap of the race with an astonishing 52.18 last lap almost a second up on the leaders pace. Parkinson’s slick tyre gamble didn’t pay off as he finished two laps down after a torrid race.
Super Elites Final
Could anyone stop Faulkner? Not on this day. Lights to flag and fastest lap over four tenths quicker than anyone else. Probably the most dominant race day performance I have ever witnessed. He’s going to be really hard to beat this season. Youle slotted into second at the start, up from the second row whilst Hudman dropped to fifth behind the fast starting Evans and Darling. Jerger started fourth but was down to eighth by the end of the first lap. As Faulkner stretched his advantage Youle was coming under pressure from Evans whilst Hudman had recovered lost ground and moved into fourth at the expense of Darling who had Snape in close attendance. Half distance and Evans took Youle into the boot but Faulkner was long gone. Evans said later that had he got up to second earlier he might have been able to take the fight to Faulkner. His rueful look told a different story but I don’t think he is going to be too far away at the next round. Snape was holding fourth ahead of Hudman whilst Stanley and Darling were both slipping rapidly down the order. Faulkner took the flag over fourteen seconds up on Evans who was himself over seven seconds ahead of third placed Snape whilst Youle kept the latter honest in fourth. Hudman couldn’t stay on terms but did well to come home fifth whilst Jerger, Pearce and Collins kept us entertained over the final stages. Ami did well to keep Pearce at bay Matt having moved up nine places throughout the race hotly pursued by Collins with Stanley and Corry completing the top ten.
Super Masters Final
The final race of the day then but despite a dry line appearing all the field were on wets. Poleman Dimelow brought the field round to the start very, very slowly before flooring it to lead the field away with Neil Fisher tucked in behind. Yeomans fell back dramatically as Ken Churchill hit him hard in the first corner. A lunge that cost Churchill an immediate penalty. He kept on it though breezing past Fisher into second and chasing down the leader. With two gone the order was Dimelow from the senior Churchill followed by Fisher and Rainbird. Roots was up to fifth followed by Breadner, Sam Fisher, Lawrence, Yeomans and Carl Churchill, making rapid progress from the back of the grid. Churchill senior was closing in on Dimelow the leader beginning to lose front end grip and he briefly lost the lead, running wide at Christmas but quickly regaining the spot as Churchill got a little of a shape exiting the corner. Meanwhile Roots had taken fourth from Rainbird who had Breadner in close attendance. Seven gone and as the field raced into the boot Churchill senior was suddenly rotating having dropped it all of his accord and dropping to tenth. The pursuing pack all lost a few tenths as the pack got shuffled with Roots taking full advantage to take over in second with Breadner right on his tail putting Fisher back to fourth. Dimelow continued to lead but Roots was moving in followed by Breadner. It looked like a case of when not if Roots would get by. But the reigning Champion wasn’t about to give up the place without a fight. And what a fight it was. Roots would pull alongside coming out of the boot and into the last corner but Dimelow would emerge out of the last corner with just the better traction to hang on to the lead. Good hard racing with a great deal of mutual respect. Just what we want to see. Breadner was still in touch but he’d exceeded the track limits just once too often and was carrying a penalty. Into the penultimate lap and Dimelow still led but into the boot he understeered just a fraction more than his previous laps. Roots was on him in the blink of an eye and this time he made the move stick taking Breadner with him. Just to show how much Dimelow had taken out of his tyres his final lap was almost a second slower than Roots. Roots took the flag for a great win after four years away with Breadner second on the road but demoted to fourth after his penalty handing third to Rainbird. Sam Fisher took fifth ahead of Churchill junior with Yeomans a somewhat disgruntled seventh. Neil Fisher placed eighth after a late race spin at Christmas cost him an almost certain fourth on the road which would have translated into a podium with Breadner’s penalty. Lawrence and Friday completed the top ten the latter at the expense of Churchill seniors two place penalty. A great race to end the day.
Podiums and Points
Thomas Harvey took home the big cup and the lead in the Championship with Charlie Humphreys the runner up ahead of Louis Ross. But it’s Ross second in the standings ahead of the unfortunate Ella Stevens in third ahead of Humphreys. Milo Pilfold is fifth from Kylen Ingram. Oakley Keightley took the Rookie Honours in the final but his points haul sees him tenth with Nathan Tye the leading Rookie and seventh overall ahead of Christian Lilley and Freddie Tomlinson.
A delighted Harry Barlow on the top step. He was buzzing after his race win. Always good to see someone truly enjoying the moment and not being bashful about showing the emotion. But it’s Scott Huntley in second place who tops the standings by just a couple of points. Harry Graham’s third spot gives him sixth currently in the standings. I expect to see him win at least once this year. He has the pace. Will Martin lies in fourth after a disappointing final. But like Harry his day will come and I think we can expect a surprise or two from leading Rookie Connor Brown, fourth in the standings. Fifth is Ty Stansfield. Another who I am sure will be challenging hard for the overall honours. Nicky Taylor, Dillon Reed, Morgan Cole and Toby Baldry complete the top ten
One day we’ll see Sam Faulkner leaping up and down on the podium if only for a bet! A clean sweep for him and the Championship lead. Rich Evans second spot on the podium, and leading Jedi, sees him also second in the standings. Tom Snape took the third trophy but is down in sixth in the order behind Steve Youle, Jay Hudman and Ami Jerger. Seventh is Elliott Stanley followed by Matt Pearce, Jonathan Collins and leading Rookie James Baldwin in tenth spot.
Michael Roots superb win gave him the top step on the podium and he lies second in the standings behind reigning Champion Sam Dimelow, runner up on the day but satisfied with his points haul. Jim Rainbird’s third place might have owed a touch to fortune but he won’t worry about that. He’s fourth in the standings behind Neil Fisher. Fifth is Ben Yeomans ahead of Sam Fisher and Roland Breadner. Next up the two Churchill’s, Carl leading Ken, with Mark Lawrence in tenth.
But it’s all early days
Our thanks to all the marshalls and officials, without whom none of the action would take place and a special mention to new Clerk of the Course Matt Daniels who carried out his duties with fairness and lack of drama. And what about Jake Sanson? How anyone can talk virtually nonstop for that amount of time is beyond me. And what’s more he talked sense…..most of the time!