Edgars Hyundai Super One Rotax Series Round 1: Three Sisters 6th/7th April 2013
With over 170 starters for the first round of the new season, it has to be said that the Super One Series is in a very healthy state. Promoter John Hoyle brought the new race control display vehicle, kitted out to show the live timing from TAG Heuer on a large screen, along with videos from partner GoPro and several new exciting sponsors. The circuit used at Three Sisters, which is near to Wigan in north west England, was the 1060m Valley layout, which has one of the longest and fastest straights in the UK leading to lots of drafting and passing. This year the heats count for points as well as the two finals to try and prevent do or die lunges. Unfortunately the Max 177 and Masters class did not have sufficient entries to run this time, many of the protagonists having moved to DD2 for the EuroMax.
This economy Cadet class just keeps growing and growing, with about 15 newcomers to the series, however it was the experience of top seed Kiern Jewiss who prevailed in both finals, along with a clean sweep of his heats for a maximum score. Jewiss had a great game of snakes and ladders in the first final, quickly losing the lead to Rory Hudson, getting back to the front, then falling as far as sixth mid-race. He battled back, as Matthew Hopcraft took a turn at the front, then rookie Tom Canning deposed Hopcraft to fourth. Once ahead with a few laps to run, Jewiss defended against the building train behind until the chequer. For the second final there were a few spinners at the start and Luke Whitehead from eighth had a puncture. Jewiss was only out of the lead for a short period mid-race by Hudson, soon leapfrogging Hopcraft and re-taking Hudson. Canning fell out of the top group to 11th, and Hudson was hung out to dry leaving insufficient time for him to battle back, he finished 8th. So once again Jewiss defended cleverly, backing up a train of seven karts to take his second victory over Morgan Porter, Hopcraft, Myles Apps and Ollie Hall.
1 Kiern Jewiss (Project One)19 laps in 16m22.83s; 2 Tom Canning (Project One) +0.06s; 3 Rory Hudson (Project One); 4 Mark Kimber (BRK); 5 Morgan Porter (BRK); 6 Chris Lulham (Project One).
1 Jewiss 19 laps in 16m26.48s; 2 Porter +0.07s; 3 Matthew Hopcraft (OTK); 4 Myles Apps (BRK); 5 Ollie Hall (Project One); 6 Kimber.
Comer Cadet in the UK has been displaced by the new IAME Parilla Gazelle class for the main British Championship but the MSA has authorised three years of a national championship with the result that many drivers are racing both classes, one in each of the parallel Super One Series. Along with a dozen rookies, the grid numbered 23 in total where Alex Quinn dominated and only missed out on a clean sweep by coming third to Oliver York in the first heat. Lewis Thompson made a super start from the outside of the front row on the first final to sweep into the lead over but a mistake at the Pits corner left him in a spin with a damaged kart. He fell back as Quinn and Tom Wood broke away, the order staying the same to the end despite Wood having a good look down the inside on the last lap. Behind the leaders a massive battle ensued, finally York breaking free to split the gap to Wood. Alex McDade lost out on third when hung out on the first corner, finishing sixth, behind Jonny Edgar and William Pettitt. In the second final Wood led York and Quinn for most of the race whilst Thompson, on a replacement kart, was leapfrogging his way to the front, reaching fourth with a move on Pettitt, also displaced by Edgar. As York tried to get up the inside of Wood, taking them both a little wide, Quinn grabbed his chance using a tow by York and slipped inside both for the win.
1 Alex Quinn [PICTURED BELOW] (Zip) 19 laps in 16m06.08s; 2 Tom Wood (Zip) +0.05s; 3 Oliver York (Zip); 4 Jonny Edgar (Zip); 5 William Pettitt (Zip); 6 Alex McDade (Zip).
1 Quinn 19 laps in 16m09.65s; 2 York +0.52s; 3 Wood; 4 Lewis Thompson (Zip); 5 Edgar; 6 Pettitt.
This year MiniMax is the largest class, 42 karts entered so it was bound to be busy at times. Connor Hall [PICTURED TOP], top seed and fifth last year, was in the driving seat with Tom Gamble beside him and Dan Zelos and Sam McKenzie behind for the first final grid. As Hall and Zelos grabbed big gaps at the start, Gamble struggled to stay in line through the first turns, others having to take evasive action. Gamble was quickly set back by Harrison Thomas, he in turn put back a couple of places by Thomas and Alex Stott. In this mighty slip streaming lottery, Stott got to the front of the group to find Zelos drifting back towards him leaving Hall some 8s clear. Thomas made an audacious move round the outside of the train at turn one to grab third and give Zelos a breather. For the second final Hall again eased away at the front, only to suddenly drop back and start to defend. Apparently he had come across an official on the track, having to brake. Eventually he got clear again, whilst Gamble, Thomas and Stott stayed in station behind. Initially second, Zelos fell to fourth early on, then plunged to an eventual ninth.
1 Connor Hall (Tonykart) 21 laps in 15m55.21s; 2 Dan Zelos (Tonykart) +8.14s; 3 Harrison Thomas (Tonykart); 4 Tom Gamble (Kosmic); 5 Alex Stott (Tonykart); 6 Dean MacDonald (ART).
1 Hall 21 laps in 15m57.11s; 2 Gamble +00.60s; 3 Thomas; 4 Stott; 5 Anderson; 6 Hugo Bentley-Ellis (Tonykart).
Guan Yu Zhou was ecstatic to take his first Super One wins in his maiden appearance in the Junior Max class at national championship level after finishing fourth in MiniMax last year. The UK domiciled Shanghai youngster fell briefly to second after the start of the first final, but soon re-took Max Aitken and forged a 4s victory. Aitken was little troubled by the fight between Josh Price, Ben Hingeley and Tom Harvey behind as Hingeley became impatient with Prices defence. Zhou only just avoided disaster at the start of the second final when everyone loaded up behind, causing some chaos through the first turns and several taking to the escape road. Lemuel Pay had an exclusion in a heat, came through the repechage to 15th in the first final then was given the mechanical flag in the second. Aitken was caught up at the start and fell to eighth, but finished a distant last. Price, Hingeley and Harvey battled and traded third again, finishing in that order with Philip Rawson and Jai Nijjar behind them.
1 Guan Yu Zhou (Tonykart) 22 laps in 16m07.79s; 2 Max Aitken (Tonykart) +4.02s; 3 Josh Price (Tonykart); 4 Ben Hingeley (Tonykart); 5 Tom Harvey (Tonykart); 6 Philip Hamprecht (Kosmic).
1 Zhou 22 laps in 16m09.62s; 2 Price +01.52s; 3 Hingeley; 4 Harvey; 5 Philip Rawson (Kosmic); 6 Jai Nijjar (Tonykart).
Although not on pole, current Max champion Sean Babington [PICTURED ABOVE] soon got into his stride for the finals, relieving Charlie Eastwood of the first final lead on lap three by darting to the inside on the run up to turn one. Oliver Hodgson was excluded from timed qualifying, still making 8th on the grid, whilst James Singleton and Kyle Fowlie suffered heat exclusions. Babington, Singleton and Eastwood took the heat wins. From sixth, Luke Hughes lost all his good work when flagged in with a missing chain guard. John Stewart had just passed him for fourth, and continued to leapfrog Harry Webb and settle in behind Babington and Eastwood. Each of the first two just started to open the gaps so no challenges were possible on the closing laps, with Hodgson behind Webb for fifth. Singleton stormed up to eighth at the chequer. There was a horrible start for the second final, even after all the drivers had been stopped and Babington warned about coming too fast to the line. Babington just survived but Eastwood suffered on the outside, dropping to about sixth only to tangle again further round and only managing ninth by the flag. Stewart tracked Babington and even took the lead for a lap, letting Singleton catch up, although unable to move up further with Babingtons clever defence. Only Hodgson found a way of moving up a place, relieving Webb of fourth, without losing a place or two in the process. I knew Charlie was going to try for the lead at the start, and John Stewart gave me a little nudge to get me past him said Babington.
1 Sean Babington (Alonso) 22 laps in 15m50.94s; 2 Charlie Eastwood (Tonykart) +00.294s; 3 John Stewart (Gillard); 4 Harry Webb (Tonykart); 5 Oliver Hodgson (Tonykart); 6 Charlie Turner (Tonykart).
1 Babington 22 laps in 15m51.69s; 2 Stewart +0.27s; 3 Singleton; 4 Hodgson; 5 Webb; 6 Connor Jupp (Alonso).
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Photography copyright & courtesy of Chris Walker at kartpix.net
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