The penultimate round of the 2020 Motorsport UK British Kart Championships for Rotax made its way to Clay Pigeon Raceway, following on from the bumper grids that saw the Rotax ‘O” Plates and Rotax Festival take place a week beforehand at the Dorset-based circuit.

A total of 100 drivers, which included the 12 that entered the Micro MAX Grand Finals qualifier, would take to the 815-metre circuit, which was initially opened back in 1968. It provided a fast-paced weekend for all concerned, and showed the close competitiveness that is part and parcel of Rotax.

Mini MAX: Harry Linden ( O plate – DHR) would extend his lead in the standings to 38 points going into the final round at PF International, having started the weekend off strong, but would come second best to KR-Sport’s Alfie Gallagher (#14), who took pole position in Timed Qualifying by 0.2 seconds. Vision Motorsport’s Ben Crossley was third in the session, 0.01 seconds behind Linden, with Arun Phull (#31 – Xcel Motorsport) and Mckenzie Douglass (#24 – Coles Racing) completing the top five.

Linden would then lead the way after Intermediate Classification, winning both heats by no more than a tenth in each, ahead of Crossley. Gallagher took a strong third in the first, a further 0.38 seconds behind, ahead of Phull, whilst Pierson Bullock-Carter (#15 – Coles Racing) rounded out the top five.

Douglass would secure third in the second, with Phull again taking fourth, where the top four finished across the line within nine tenths of each other. DHR’s Chloe Chong (#18) battled her way up from seventh to round out the top five. It was another great performance from Douglass in the Pre-Final, who came back from eighth to win ahead of Linden by over a second. Privateer Bryn Collins (#16) also made inroads to take third having started seventh, ahead of Chong, who secured a second successive top five result of the weekend.

Linden would however be declared the winner of the Final on Sunday afternoon, after initial winner Douglass was handed a five-second post-race penalty for having been deemed to break formation at the start, demoting the #24 to seventh. Bullock-Carter could not get any closer, ending up 0.94 seconds behind, having fended off Phull for second. Gallagher was also in the mix during the 27-lap race, but would have to settle for fourth, ahead of Chong, who again rounded out the top five after a strong and consistent weekend.

Junior Rotax: Coles Racing’s Callum Voisin only has a two-point lead after the first three rounds of the 2020 season, where the top three drivers are covered by a mere 11 points heading into the season finale. It was not easy for the #35, who had stern competition all the way through the weekend at Clay Pigeon. Pole in Timed Qualifying went to KR-Sport’s Kieran Kay (#73), just half a tenth ahead of Argenti Motorsport’s Mattie Hingeley (#13), with Voisin rounding out the top three. In a session that saw the entire grid covered by a mere 1.14 seconds, the Vision Motorsport pairing of Jez Williams (#68) and Tristan Rennie (#74) take the final places in the top five, with the latter having set the same lap time as GP plate winner Harrison Collings (DHR), with it going to Rennie, who had set the 33.88 second lap time first.

O-Plate winner Matthew Higgins (DHR) showcased the form that he had the previous week, and would end up winning the heat by 0.29 seconds ahead of Hingeley, whilst Voisin kept the consistency going taking third, where the top three would be covered by a mere 0.45 seconds after 19 laps. Rennie would narrowly secure fourth at the finish, followed by both Coles Racing’s Sam Gornall (#96) and Argenti Motorsport’s Harri Reynolds (#23), who both moved up four places during the race.

Williams would secure the win in heat two, followed by Collings, who missed out by 0.23 seconds, as Higgins moved up four places to once again impress and claimed third. Both Hingeley and Voisin would complete the top five, but the pair each dropped down two places. Rennie would win the Pre-Final, which saw Intermediate Classification leader Higgins suffer dramas, with the Welsh driver ending up eighth after 20 laps. Voisin again would keep the top five results going, taking second by 2.67 seconds, ahead of Gornall, Williams and Coles Racing’s Archie Kitching (#19).

Higgins, however, would strike back hard in the Final, securing the win by over a second from eighth at the start. Collings would also be bolstered by a strong finish to the weekend, finishing 0.54 ahead of Hingeley, with Voisin keeping a hold on the standings lead taking fourth. KR-Sport’s Harley Haughton (#20) completed the top five in the Final, 1.9 seconds adrift, in what was his best result of the weekend, starting from tenth on the grid.

Senior Rotax: Argenti Motorsport’s Morgan Porter would end up leaving Dorset with a 16-point advantage, as the top four overall are split by 24 points heading to Lincolnshire after some fantastic Senior Rotax racing. KR-Sport’s Tom Edmunds (#15) would not only secure the top time in group one, but was the fastest out of all drivers by only 0.05 seconds. DHR’s O Plate winner, Kai Hunter, was fastest in group two, with several drivers including Teddy Clinton (#45), Clayton Ravenscroft (#75), Porter, Lewis Gilbert (#29 – Potenza Racing Engines), having been in the mix for pole position.

Kai Hunter would win the first heat, followed by Clinton, who was only 0.97 seconds behind at the chequered flag. Porter was over a second adrift in third. The Argenti driver would finish ahead of the DHR pair of Rhys Hunter (#5) and Nelson King (#97). Ravenscroft was victorious in heat two, 1.36 seconds in front of Edmunds, with Gilbert third and Vision Motorsport’s Maciej Hamera (#11) taking fourth ahead of Clinton. Kai Hunter, Ravenscroft and King would be the top three in the final heat of the weekend, as Porter secured fourth place in front of Will Elswood (#19 – KR-Sport).

Coles Racing’s Spencer Shinner would secure the Repechage victory, as the #55 would finish 1.13 seconds ahead of Team Clay Racing’s Tiernan Rourke (#54), whilst Brandon Klein Nagelvoort (#93) was third. Josh Poulain (#12 – Vision Motorsport) was 6.02 seconds behind Shinner, securing fourth, ahead of privateer Harry Gibson (#92) and GMS Karting’s Thomas Storrar (#40) being the last two drivers to make it through to the latter stages of the race weekend.

It was a close fought-affair in the Pre-Final, which was won by Ravenscroft by 0.16 seconds ahead of Porter. The top five that originally crossed the line were covered by just 0.85 seconds, but both Kai Hunter and King were both hit with a five-second front fairing penalty post-race, putting them down to seventh and eighth, In addition to that, Teddy Clinton also suffered the same fate, demoting him to ninth. Edmunds, Rhys Hunter and Project One Racing’s Jack Steadman (#62) would officially complete the top five, with the latter having started in 16th place.

It would be a brotherly 1-2 in the final, as Kai Hunter would finish ahead of Rhys by just 0.48 seconds, after 28 laps of racing, with Steadman being 0.89 seconds adrift of the winner in third place. Ravenscroft would initially take fourth, but would first be hit with a front fairing penalty, before being excluded for having be found to be underweight. Coles Racing’s Tom Adams (#17) managed to make up nine places to eventually take fourth, ahead of Edmunds.

Rotax 177: Even with the smallest grid out of the classes at Clay Pigeon Raceway, GMS Karting’s Oliver Appleby (#34) will go into the last round of the season with a slight seven-point advantage, but would come under heavy pressure during proceedings. KR-Sport’s Henry Ayers (O Plate) would strike first in Timed Qualifying, beating Appleby to pole position by 0.04 seconds, whilst privateer Cole Edwards (E Plate) was a mere 0.01 seconds off second.  The #95 of Matthew Easton took fourth, ahead of Colin Davis (#71) and the #12 of GMS Karting’s James Ockenden, who completed the finished order.

Appleby would battle away with Ayres for the victory in heat one, with the former taking the flag first, 0.48 seconds ahead, with Edwards finishing third. Easton and Ockenden would be the last drivers to finish the full 19-lap race distance, whilst Davis would end up retiring on lap two. It would be two in a row for Appleby, who managed to bridge the gap to Ayers to over 1.3 seconds, ahead of Davis, who was able to move up two places to finish third, despite a front fairing penalty. Easton would again take fourth again, once more in front of Ockenden. Edwards would suffer dramas and not make it past the completion of the first lap itself.

It was close between the top three in the Pre-Final, which saw them all covered by 0.91 seconds after 22 laps, with Davis getting his only win of the weekend, with Ayers consistently running once again in second, ahead of Appleby and Ockenden, with only four drivers making it to the end of the race. Edwards would retire on lap seven whilst running in fourth, with dramas hitting Easton, who stopped on lap two. But it was Ayers that secured the last win of the weekend, finishing in front of Edwards after 27 laps, with the winning margin being just a mere 0.24 seconds, whilst Pre-Final winner Davis dropping to third. Easton would only being able to finish in fourth, whilst Appleby missed out on the position by 0.23 seconds, whilst Ockenden made it all drivers finish the race itself.

To find out all the results from the weekend’s action, click on the following link: https://www.apex-timing.com/goracing/results.php?path=/sports-timing-uk/2020/20201018&group=5

If you want to watch all the action as it happened this past Sunday, courtesy of Alpha Live, you can click on the following link to watch it all back: https://youtu.be/2yrrKNG3u7A

The final round of the season heads to the home of Trent Valley Kart Club and British karting, Paul Fletcher International, as th action takes place between November 13th and 15th, where the 2020 champions will be decided!

Images © Chris Walker/Kartpix.net

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