UK Easykart Series, Round 2
Described in the pre-race press release as the ‘Shanghai of the North,’ last weekend’s second round of the Easykart UK Championship at Teesside Autodrome certainly matched its Chinese counterpart’s recent Grand Prix for excitement, drama - and of course, rain. Admittedly the downpour was brief, but it served to ratchet up the tension in the heats before holding off for the finals.
In the senior Light category, Joe Paterson celebrated his return to domestic racing from America by topping every result sheet. Elliot Rice and Kieran McCullough fought tooth and nail for the podium’s second step in a battle resolved in the latter’s favour, after a superb manoeuvre on the penultimate lap saw him able to hold the E-Plate holder off to the finish.
Light: Pre-final 1 Joe Paterson 15 laps in 10m.57s (56.18); 2 Owen Jenman + 1.46s; 3 Elliot Rice; 4 Kieran McCullough; 5 Richard Moxom; 6 Jamie Crease. Fastest lap: Richard Moxom 45.58
Gary Poynter had led the Heavy final for 18 of the 20 laps, but was reeled in by Mark Lawrence and Barnaby Pittingale. Sensing that he had the pace to win, Lawrence boldly tried to drive round the outside of Poynter. With the door open on the inside, Pittingale took his chance and slipped into 2nd. Another incisive manoeuvre gave him the lead and making his kart very wide for the last lap, the 2007 World Finals winner sealed the victory.
Heavy: Pre-final 1 Barnaby Pittingale 15 laps in 11m.15s (54.64mph); 2 Gary Poynter +0.74s; 3 Will Gibson; 4 Jack Bruce; 5 Mark Lawrence; 6 Howard Kayman. Fastest lap: Howard Kayman 44.64s
James DeHavillande, in only his third Junior meeting, won both finals by over eight seconds. Luca Hirst gave spirited chase - but on this occasion, had no answer. Having got past Thomas Grainger, Jamie Cummings had a somewhat lonely and untroubled run in 3rd place but was delighted to score his best result in the series (3rd). Round 1 winner, Toby Sowery battled his way from p10 on the grid to an eventual 5th to keep his title-hopes alive.
Junior: Pre-final 1 James DeHavillande 15 laps in 11m.07s (55.31mph); 2 Luca Hirst +8.41s; 3 Thomas Grainger; 4 Jamie Cummings; 5 Jed McInnes; 6 William Lampitt. Fastest lap: James DeHavillande 44.18s
Tom Thickpenny extended his championship lead with another brilliantly timed and well-taken triumph. Kieran Wragg ran him close for much of the race, whilst pre-final winner Ronan McKenzie ultimately had to settle for third in the main final. Jack Vallance survived a huge moment - after he was squeezed onto the kerb in the first chicane and launching his kart like a missile – to finish 7th. Kyle Forgie matched his Ellough result with another 4th, ahead of Teesside lap-record holder Will Stowell
If you’re looking for a fast, friendly series where the emphasis is on driver ability rather than budget, then you’ll love Easykart. The series moves to Clay Pigeon in Dorset for the third round on 23 May. It’s a good opportunity to meet the drivers, UK Easykart importer Andy Cox of ACR and series promoter, Club100’s John Vigor and see for yourself, why Easykart is Britain’s fastest-growing national race series.