Lydd Kart Circuit, certainly one of our favourite tracks of 2017, where we experienced blazing hot weather. Would we be so fortunate twice? Pretty much, yes, warm and sunny all weekend, which was enough for Mr Nick Manning to finally debut his new custom race suit. Thanks again to Attaq Motorsport for donating this prize, it looked spiffing.
Everyone enjoyed plentiful track time on Saturday with 6 long sessions. 22 drivers had made the trip and it became clear that there was going to be some very close racing.
By Sunday morning the wind had dropped and we were in for a scorcher. Everyone got through morning practice unscathed and we were in for a fantastic day’s racing.
22 TKM’s racing over the start line in bright sunshine is quite the spectacle, but let’s be honest, the rest of this race wasn’t so glorious. Multiple incidents meant 7 drivers didn’t get to the finish and others only just made it. The lap chart looks like a bowl of spaghetti, with people making big gains or losses early on. Thanks to the malaise, Jake Horan and a resurgent Chris Cox were able to quickly move away from the rest of the pack and race for the win by themselves.
Further back, Sam Wilson and Megan Williams had kept their noses clean, gaining lots of places and quickly finding themselves in 3rd and 4th respectively. The other survivors all got into their stride as the race settled down and the 2nd half of the race was less eventful. Back at the front Chris pushed Jake hard for the win but Jake held on with some strong defensive driving on the final lap.
After some reflection on the events of Heat 1, the second heat was a lot cleaner. Jim King led from the start and was flying, but with championship leader Alfie Broadfield-Mellor chasing him down. Alfie needed these points after crashing out of Heat 1 and managed to get by on lap 4. Jim later retired with engine trouble, a great shame as he was looking comfortable in 3rd place. Sam Wilson was making typical progress from his 7th place grid slot and was soon in a position to start chasing Alfie for the lead. However, he was unable to make any impression on the gap Alfie had built.
Jake Horan was flying through the field. Starting 18th, he was up into 6th place by lap 10, which he held to the finish. The mid-field battle was close, with notable progress made by Joe Watts and Rob Cox. Rob battled hard with Andy Wagstaff throughout the race for 4th, trading places a couple of times. Andy came out on top following a slick move on lap 12. By the end Alfie finished strongly and took the win with Sam following. Oli Nitch-Smith cruised home to an untroubled 3rd place.
Solid driving meant 21 drivers completed Heat 3. Alfie Broadfield-Mellor drove a superb race to progress from 17th on the grid to 3rd at the finish. Pole man Oli Nitch-Smith held the lead for 5 laps but was unable to resist the shear pace of Sam Wilson, who stole the lead after starting 4th. The rest of the pack battled hard and fair, with several drivers making strong progress. New boys James Shield and Adam Brown defied their weight disadvantage and pushed each other through the pack to finish 10th and 11th. By the end Oli followed Sam home, with Alfie 3rd and another solid finish by Joe Watts in 4th.
With the grid settled, the drivers lined up for the final. Sam Wilson was on pole as a reward for superb performances in the heats. Alfie Broadfield-Mellor was his strongest rival but was starting further back in 7th, following his crash in Heat 1. Jake Horan, Joe Watts and Oli Nitch-Smith lined up 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively. Rob Cox and Sam King both having another solid and clean day, resulting in a 5th and 6th place grid slots. Adam brown headed up the heavies class, starting in 10th.
All 22 drivers got through the opening laps cleanly and there was fierce but fair racing throughout the field. Sam bolted off into the lead but Alfie was making swift progress and was into 2nd by lap 4. The chase was on, these 2 were the class of the field today and they were able to break away from the rest of the pack. Those following behind were on very similar pace to each other and raced closely to the finish.
Further back, Megan Williams drove a storming race from 18th to 8th, providing many examples of how to pass cleanly. Ultimately this performance won her our SJM driver of the day award. Chris Cox recovered to 10th after falling back to 17th early on and Craig Manning pushed forward to finish 15th from 21st. Adam Brown converted his heavies class pole into a win with a solid finish in 11th overall.
Alfie pushed Sam hard to the chequered flag, but ultimately this was Sam’s day and he took the win by just 0.2 seconds.
1st Sam Wilson
2nd Alfie Broadfield-Mellor
3rd Jake Horan
4th Oli Nitch-Smith
5th Joe Watts
1st Adam Brown
SJM Driver of the Day
We now look ahead to Round 5 at GYG with Sam Wilson now leading the championship. Another new track for a lot of the drivers but we only hear good comments about the place – bar the uphill push start!
Entries are now open. See you all there!