Here we go again, NKC embarking on a third season, bigger and hopefully better than ever before. As NKC has grown from 11 TKM racers at our first ever meeting, it’s always been a concern that we might begin to lose what we love about this series, i.e. low cost, fun and friendly racing. Of course things are going to change but so far so good. Who would have known that Rotax drivers are actually alright? It’s not true what they say about you lot.
NKC returned to its spiritual home of Clay Pigeon for Round 2. Anyone who knows Clay well expects the worse when it comes to the weather so it was no surprise to find out that storm Hannah would be landing for race day.
Unlike the other rounds, practice was on the Friday. This allowed for a lot of track time and for those new to the track to get up to speed. Intermittent showers also allowed some to unwrap their Mitas SRW wets for the first time.
Waking up for race day, it was a relief to see all the awnings in one piece and a dry track. After a short practice session, qualifying got under way.
With some tricky conditions to contend with, there was definitely an advantage in working together to try and get a tow down the main straight in to Billy’s and the top 4 in TKM managed to qualify within 7/100ths of each other with Mitchell Ball topping the times. Ryan Edwards who runs in the heavy class was only a tenth off yet again showing the incredible pace he has.
In the heat, there were five drivers up front who managed to break away from the pack however, some early battling allowed Pete Newman to get in front and break the tow which he capitalised on to take the win. Three seconds down the road, Matthew Ayres, Mitchell Ball, Ryan Edwards and Will Cregeen all crossed the line nose to tail. Lucas Sullivan, who had made it in to second place, was very unfortunate to seize his engine. Further down the field, some excellent results for Nick Manning and Jim King who made up 5 and 8 places respectively.
Mitchell found his pace once again setting a blistering time of 36.28. He was followed closely by Pete over the line and the usual suspects of Matthew, Ryan and Will weren’t far behind. Lucas who was starting at the back due to the engine failure in the heat and Louis Beavan who got caught up in an accident early on both raced through the pack together to finish 9th and 10th respectively. Curtis Grainger also made up 9 places to set up a final grid position of 12th.
Then the final. The grids were set with Mitchell on pole and Pete alongside. The start was fast and this led to some karts not being able to slow down enough for Billy’s causing some to run wide or spin out altogether. Mitchell got through but Pete and Ryan were very unlucky with their races effectively over. Lucas and Louis were able to capitalise on this and come through in to second and third. Matthew and Will had to work hard to get their places back but ultimately did with time to spare. With Ryan out of the running, James Shield who had run a solid race won the TKM heavy trophy, a couple of places ahead of the next 160 driver, Darren Smith.
1st - Mitchell Ball
2nd - Lucas Sullivan
3rd - Louis Beavan
4th - Matthew Ayres
5th - Will Cregeen
1st - James Shield
Rotax qualifying was equally as exciting with just 2/100ths separating the top two. Matt Hildred took pole over new joiner, Thomas Storrar who looks like he’s going to be at the sharp end of the grid for the championship. It must run in the family as his sister Isobel was only a few tenths back in fourth just behind Simon Keeble. Tom Richards, Gez Owen, Milton Steele-Vaessen and Aled Davies followed behind with laptimes all covered by a few hundredths. Mike Gamble took first 177 coming home in 10th.
The top 4 remained in position during the heat until Thomas Storrar came to a stop on lap 7 having just set the fastest lap of the race. Matt took a lights to flag victory breaking away from the pack with Simon and Isobel behind. Aled had a great race coming up from 8th to finish 4th. Tom and Gez battled throughout with Gez snatching 5th on the final lap. Mike took first 177 coming home in 9th.
Matt was again able to get a break away in the pre-final and was unchallenged throughout. Thomas flew through the pack from 13th snatching 2nd from Simon late on in the race. The midfield were engaged in a heated battle throughout with places changing across the race. Milton ended up in 4th, Tom in 5th, Aled 6th and Isobel 7th. Mike took first 177 coming home in DNS.
Matt will have been pleased to see Thomas up alongside him on the grid having been mostly uncontested for the day and what a race they put on. Between them, they set the quickest sectors with Matt setting the best lap but Thomas was able to get ahead on lap 6 and keep his nose just in front. They eventually crossed the line with just a tenth between them. Simon and Milton behind had their own battle early on with Milton managing to get ahead and pull away after lap 2. Further back, the start was a little less clean with a lot of places changing hands. Aled who started at the back due to being underweight in the pre-final and stormed through to take 6th. Mike took first 177 coming home in 10th.
1st - Thomas Storrar
2nd - Matt Hildred
3rd - Milton Steele-Vaessen
4th - Simon Keeble
5th - Tom Richards
1st - Mike Gamble
The Hilarys Kitchen fasted lap prizes went to Pete Newman (TKM) and Matt Hildred (Rotax).
Thanks to Phil Y Smith and John Crookes for scrutineering duties and Clay Pigeon Raceway for hosting another great event.
Thanks as always to Klima-Therm for their continued support.
And thanks to all of the drivers, friends and families for joining us. We hope to see as many of you as possible at Llandow for Round 3, hosted by our friends at The BKC.