THE weather gods again looked kindly on Llandow Kart Club as round two of the 2014 season was accompanied by dry and sunny conditions, although a blustery breeze kept drivers on their toes.
A round 60 entries ensured that numbers were up on the opening meeting of the season, with a number of new faces and visitors from other clubs.
With one late scratch, the Bambino category featured the same three drivers as February and Nathan Browning, Ella Stevens and Max Hall all acquitted themselves well over the full circuit, achieving silver awards. Next month, however, Llandow is bracing itself for as many as 30 Bambinos, courtesy of a visit from round two of the 'Bambino Kart Club's' national tour.
The combined Cadet field boasted 15 runners, with the Honda section again being the best represented. However, it was IAME driver Shay Keough who crossed the line first in the final, holding off the Honda-powered Ferguson brothers by less than a second, with Comer winner Max Fenlon in fourth.
Keough was the man to beat in IAME, although Thomas Nippers secured the first heat, while the Ferguson boys were back on form after a frustrating opening round, with Stuart claiming heat one and brother Oscar heat three. Celtic champion Stuart also had the upper hand in the final, coming home just 0.18secs shy of Keough but claiming the Honda class win, while his brother and George Alp-Williams completed the podium. Connor Kearney provided Fenlon’s closest opposition in Comers, with Jakob Chamberlain completing the podium, whilst Shayne Clarke was nominated as the weekend’s best novice.
Junior Honda was once again dominated by Celtic Challenge champion Kristian Prosser, who claimed victory in all three heats before cruising to an 11sec win in the final, almost exactly repeating his feat from February. Indeed, the entire class came close to repeating last month’s form book, with Patrick Hill and novice Jack Bligh completing the top three each time – remaining in the that order despite being closely matched – while rookies Sofia Nardone and Alex Wilkins squabbled over fourth and fifth.
As in round one, Rob Ellis remained unbeaten throughout the Junior Rotax competition although his margin of victory remained at around four seconds as Thomas Croydon, David Spiller and Tom Ford took it in turns to chase. Despite Spiller’s ever-presence in the top three, it was Croydon who emerged at the head of the battle for runners-up honours in the final, reversing their positions from round one.
MiniMax was again claimed by Riley Phillips, who won his class in three of the four outings, and mixed it with the back of the juniors in heat three. The day’s other win went to Jem Hempworth, who comfortably headed Kieran Clarke and novice Callum Beeken in the battle for second in the main event.
Reigning Welsh champion Yousuf Ashraf saved his best for last in Junior TKM, building on a series of top three heat results to finally come out on top when it mattered in the final. Alex Rees (twice) and Hugo Holmes denied Ashraf and Sam Johns earlier in the day, but had to settle for third and fourth respectively in the main event as the top two pulled away to be separated by just 0.12secs at the chequered flag. Rees, however, was later rewarded with driver of the day honours.
Senior Honda numbers were boosted by the return of Hugh Jones, but it was this season’s graduates from the junior level that made the headlines in the heats as Ben Stevens (twice) and Cristiano Nardone claimed the wins. Danny Griffiths and Chris Lipscomb were forced to take a watching brief through the qualifiers, but came good in the main event to fill the top two spots respectively, with Nardone also finding the podium after Stevens was left nursing a DNF when it mattered most.
Senior Rotax returned to double figures in March, but proved to be the domain of Gareth Taylor and Dilip Singh. Having finished second overall in round one, Taylor opened up with victory in heats one and three sandwiching third in race two, but it was Singh, after a quiet start, who came good at the end, denying his rivals by a couple of seconds in the final and adding fastest lap to boot. Taylor’s day ended with another top three result, but he had to be content with third on the road after Josh Gray stole into second spot to add to his heat two victory. Round one winner Sebastian Hutchinson was only sixth this time around.
Round three of the 2014 championship takes place at the South Wales Karting Centre on Sunday , April 20.
Bambino - Silver Award - Nathan Browning (CRG), Ella Stevens (CK) and Max Hall.
Cadet Honda: 1, Stuart Ferguson; 2, Oscar Ferguson; 3, George Alp-Williams (all Project One).
Cadet Comer: 1, Max Fenlon (RK Birel); 2, Connor Kearney (Zip); 3, Jakob Chamberlain (Zip).
Cadet Iame: 1, Shay Keough; 2, Thomas Nippers (both Zip).
Junior Honda: 1, Kristian Prosser (7Kart); 2, Patrick Hill (Wright); 3, Jack Bligh (7Kart).
Junior TKM: 1, Yousuf Ashraf; 2, Sam Johns; 3, Alex Rees (all Jade).
Junior Rotax: 1, Rob Ellis (Kosmic); 2, Tom Croydon (Gillard); 3, David Spiller (Alonso).
Mini Max: 1, Riley Phillips (Kosmic); 2, Jem Hempworth (CRG); 3, Kieran Clarke (Tonykart).
Senior Honda: 1, Danny Griffiths (MS); 2, Chris Lipscomb (7Kart); 3, Cristiano Nardone (7Kart).
Senior Rotax: 1, Dilip Singh (CRG); 2, Josh Gray (Tonykart); 3, Gareth Taylor (Tonykart).
Best novice: Shayne Clarke (Comer Cadet).
Driver of the day: Alex Rees (Junior TKM).