Llandow Kart Club – Championship finale 2012
8:10am Thursday 3rd January 2013 in Sport
THE final round of Llandow Kart Club’s summer championship saw the year’s champions confirmed on a typically chilly, but largely dry, day as 71 drivers converged on the South Wales circuit , writes Craig Llewellyn.
With no guest series to slot into the programme, the focus was entirely on deciding the best drivers of the season, and some of the racing on show underlined the depth of talent in the club.
The first half of the meeting proved to be a challenge for the hardy Bambino quartet, who had to use slicks on a damp track. However, by their third and fourth runs, the surface was sufficiently dry to suit the tyres and times improved to the point where Shayne Clarke, Matthew Rees, Brooklyn Thomas and Olly Thomas all managed to qualify for a gold award.
A 21-strong Cadet field, a third of which ran in the Comer class, saw honours shared between Ethan Ling and Tom Rawlings. Ling claimed a brace of heat wins, with Joshua Martin taking the other, before coming home a comfortable class winner in the Honda Final. Stuart Ferguson and Ross Thomas claimed the other podium spots, with Martin having to be content with fourth place.
Ben Cutler and Alex Rees also took top three finishes in the heats. Ling’s success was only good enough for third in the final standings, however, as Hugo Holmes took the title ahead of Thomas.
Rawlings and Lewis Griffiths duked it out to be king of the Comers, with the latter taking two heat wins to his rival’s one, before Rawlings turned the tables in the main event, crossing the line just 0.46secs in front. With the pair dominating the top two spots on every outing, Kieran Clarke was left to settle for third each time, while mention should be made of novice Javir Dadhley, who came fourth in class in the final.
It was Griffiths who prevailed in the championship battle, meanwhile, edging Rawlings by just 14 points, with Clarke again having to settle for third.
There was a familiar face on the top step of the Honda Junior podium, but the meeting had not been the smoothest for Ben Stevens up to that point. Unbeaten on his previous appearances at Llandow this season, the Welsh champion had to give best to Thomas Croydon in heat one, and was excluded from race three, but bounced back to fill P1 on the other two outings.
Croydon also claimed victory in heat three, and was rewarded with second spot in the final, with Tom Ford completing the podium. Stevens form over the rest of the season had all but cemented his position at the top of the standings, with Croydon edging Ford for third overall.
With Minimax running with Junior Rotax this time around, the Junior TKM field was able to field its own double figure entry, and produced some of the best action of the day. Ross Chell claimed the first two heats, before Ryan Edwards edged a close third race, but it was Chell back on top when it mattered, although he had to be on his mettle with the top three covered by just 0.13secs at the chequered flag.
Edwards took second spot – incredibly just 0.01secs adrift of the winner – with the visiting Matthew Ayres in third. Chell ran out a comfortable champion for 2012, with Edwards and Yousuf Ashraf next up.
Toby Allen must have thought that his day had come after winning all three Junior Rotax/Minimax heats, but thee closeness of races two and three suggested that he would not necessarily have things all his own way in the Final. So it proved, as Morgan Rose, who had twice been denied by less than a second earlier in the day, turned the tables, winning by 0.35secs, with Elliot Hagerty third behind Allen.
Rob Ellis, who had been a regular in the top three during the heats, failed to finish the final. That DNF could have been the difference between Ellis taking the title and missing out to Allen, the latter eventually triumphing by a scant 18 points, with Hagerty in third spot overall.
Minimax featured a three-way scrap between regulars Jodie Handford and Ceran Sokhi, with Cadet graduate Lucas Wynne added to the mix. It was Wynne, however, who came out on top, winning two heats after Sokhi had taken the opener, and then claiming the Final for good measure by edging Handford by the smallest of margins. It didn’t matter for Handford, however, who added to the family silverware by claiming the title by a comfortable margin over Sokhi.
Senior Honda was neither close nor surprising, as Simon Evans continued to stomp over the opposition. The only clean sweep of the day was achieved with winning margins of four, six and one seconds, before the reigning club and Welsh champion came home three seconds clear in the Final.
Danny Griffiths was second in the main event, as he had been in each of the heats, with Monty Gorringe completing the podium. As expected, Evans was confirmed as a repeat champion, a massive 253 points clear of the opposition, which was led by Griffiths, with veteran Paul Saunders third overall.
Senior Rotax boasted a 16-strong field, and produced three different heat winners as Matthew Dowers, Daryl Henderson and Steven Handford came out on top.
Josh Collings, David Entwistle and Macaulay Austin had all featured in the top three during the early stages, suggesting that the final could be a cracker, but Henderson emerged to win by nearly three seconds, with Austin clear of Collings in the battle for the lower podium places.
Handford and Entwistle rounded out the top five. It was Dowers who was confirmed as champion, however, the class stalwart doing enough to easily see off Entwistle’s challenge. Sebastian Hutchinson was classified in third spot.
In the 177 class, Simon Wheeler came out on top in the main event, as he had in two of the three heats, Wayne Stone claimed the win not scooped up by Wheeler, but also trailed Nicky Coombs in the Final. It wasn’t enough for Stone to retain his crown, however, with Wheeler running out a deserved champion by just eight points.
Oliver Thomas (Birel); Shayne Clarke (Topkart); Brooklyn Thomas (Birel); Matthew Rees.
1. Tom Rawlings (Zip); 2. Lewis Griffiths (Zip); 3. Kieran Clarke (Zip); CHAMPION: Lewis Griffiths.
1. Ethan Ling (Project One); 2. Stuart Ferguson (Project One); 3. Ross Thomas (Wright); CHAMPION: Hugo Holmes.
1. Ben Stevens (7Kart); 2. Thomas Croydon (Jade); 3. Tom Ford (Biz); CHAMPION: Ben Stevens.
1. Ross Chell (Jade); 2. Ryan Edwards (TalKo); 3. Matthew Ayres; CHAMPION: Ross Chell.
1. Lucas Wynne (Intrepid); 2. Jodie Handford (Tonykart); 3. Ceran Sokhi (Kosmic); CHAMPION: Jodie Handford.
1. Morgan Rose (Tonykart); 2. Toby Allen (CRG); 3. Elliot Hagerty (CRG); CHAMPION: Toby Allen.
1. Simon Evans (7Kart); 2. Danny Griffiths (MS); 3. Monty Gorringe (7Kart); CHAMPION: Simon Evans.
1. Daryl Henderson; 2. Macaulay Austin (Tonykart); 3. Josh Collings (CRG); CHAMPION: Mathew Dowwers.
1. Simon Wheeler (CRG); 2. Nicky Coombs (Tonykart); 3. Wayne Stone (Tonykart); CHAMPION: Simon Wheeler
Best Novice: Javir Dadhley (Comer Cadet)
Driver of the Day: Stuart Ferguson (Honda Cadet)