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UK Super One Rotax Series, Round 6

from Graham Smith

With another big entry, the meeting on 22-23 September ran right up to 6pm after the rain started mid-afternoon at PF International, the best appointed circuit in the UK. Friday practice day was wet, but Saturday was fine and sunny for the penultimate round. Repechage were held in MiniMax and Junior Max and one title, that of the Max 177 class, was provisionally settled, the rest going down to the wire although Sean Babington is firmly in the driving seat in senior Max.

Above: Sean Babington celebrates double wins during the Senior MAX driver parade
pic - TSR Productions

Honda Cadet
As always it was likely to be a close contest and Rory Hudson, Elliot Harvey, Kiern Jewiss and Sandy Mitchell all showed they were ready for the contest at the top of the time trials whilst points leader Luke Wooder was only ninth. With Elliot on pole for the first final, he was soon put back to third by the eager Mitchell, breaking away leading Jewiss and Wooder. Harvey soon towed Hudson to the front, Mitchell displaced to a distant fifth dicing with Jewiss who had fallen as far at tenth. Wooder went out ahead, reeled in by Elliot but a altercation on the last lap saw Harvey drop to 16th, Jewiss sneak through for the win followed by Wooder, Mitchell and Hudson. Wooder was then penalised a lap to put him almost last for the second final grid. The rain had just started and almost all the karts were now on wet tyres. Jewiss slid a little wide at the first hairpin, Hudson gratefully accepting the lead which he would extend to the chequer. Harvey – having stormed through the pack - and Mitchell argued over second place throughout, whilst Chris Lulham and Gordon Mutch were strung out behind, Jewiss falling away to tenth. Wooder stormed up to eighth but his championship hopes have been blunted. Harvey made a big dive for second but overshot and hit the barriers, not losing third.

Final 1 - 1 Kiern Jewiis (Project One)15 laps in 17m06.67s; 2 Sandy Mitchell (Project One) +00.81s; 3 Rory Hudson (Project One); 4 Matthew Hayden (BRK); 5 Gordon Mutch (Project One); 6 Sam Munro (Project One). 
Final 2 - 1 Hudson 12 laps in 16m30.15s; 2 Mitchell +04.56s; 3 Elliot Harvey (Zip); 4 Chris Lulham (Project One); 5Mutch; 6 Connor Grady (Project One).  

Above: Cadet Final 2 winner Rory Hudson
pic - TSR Productions

Frantic racing ensued amongst the top contenders for honours, sometimes the youngsters over-reaching themselves. All the usual suspects were at the front of the grid except Connor Hall who languished in 26th after a technical exclusion earlier. Philip Rawson’s lead was short lived as Guan Yu Zhou leapfrogged past Lando Norris then into the lead.  But Rawson fought back, Zhou had a turn, then Connor Mills and meanwhile Hall had reached the battle. But Zhou tipped up on the back of Rawson, running himself wide and letting Mills take the lead, Harrison Thomas following. Rawson soon re-grouped to go ahead once more. Thomas tried a run on the hard defence of Rawson, but failed only to find that him, Zhou and Rawson all got 10s penalties.  Rawson appealed and was re-instated in the win, Mills, Norris, Dave Wooder and Hall behind. For the second final, Rawson had a great break at the start only for the race to be stopped to attend to a stranded kart and driver and on the restart he had to fight hard with Mills.  The track was now very wet. As the first pair impeded themselves on the last lap, Hall briefly took the lead only to be shouldered wide out of the last corner, Mills taking the honours from Rawson with Zhou having a great comeback to fourth.

Final 1 - 1 Philip Rawson (Kosmic) 16 laps in 16m24.39s; 2 Connor Mills (Tonykart) +0.61s; 3 Lando Norris (Tonykart); 4 Dave Wooder (Alonso); 5 Connor Hall (Tonykart); 6 Dan Zelos (Tonykart).
Final 2 - 1 Mills 13 laps in 17m11.68s; 2 Phillip Rawson (Kosmic) +02.16s; 3 Hall; 4 Guan Yu Zhou (Tonykart); 5 Jack McCarthy (Tonykart); 6 Norris. 

Above: Philip Rawson enjoyed a 1st and a 2nd in MiniMAX...
pic - TSR Productions

Above: did Connor Mills
pic - TSR Productions

Junior Max
With newly crowned EuroMax junior champion Harry Webb fastest in qualifying, from Raoul Hyman, Josh Price, Ross Gunn and Kyle Fowlie it was always going to be a competitive affair. After an initial battle between Price and Gunn, with Tom Harvey and Fowlie joining in initially before falling back, it came to an end when Price overshot.  He missed out part of the track leaving Gunn with a big lead over Hyman, Harvey and Webb, then Luke Knott, who had just pipped Danny Keirle. The latter fell behind Fowlie.  There was a twist when Harvey was given a 1 lap penalty and Webb a 3 place penalty. Fowlie reeled in Gunn during the opening laps of the wet second final, everyone trying different lines, so a block pass put Fowlie ahead to draw clear by over a second. Behind that pair Webb, Luke Hughes and Hyman were having a good battle over third, the Euromax winner on the podium. Rob Holland badly blotted his copybook with an alleged retaliatory and very dangerous move against Jay Goodwin, earning him exclusion from the meeting and a minimum 30 day ban on racing. Keirle has won his appeal against exclusion from the meeting at Rowrah, meaning he can now drop that round on his points tally.

Final 1 - 1 Ross Gunn (Tonykart) 17 laps in 16m46.69s; 2 Raoul Hyman (Alonso) +01.58s; 3 Luke Knott (Tonykart); 4 Kyle Fowlie (Gillard); 5 Danny Keirle (Jade); 6 Jay Goodwin (Tonykart). 
Final 2 - 1 Fowlie 13 laps in 16m43.49s; 2 Gunn +01.22s; 3 Harry Webb (Tonykart); 4 Luke Hughes (Kosmic); 5 Hyman; 6 Keirle. 

Above: Ross Gunn, Juniors
pic - TSR Productions

Above: Junior MAX Final 2 winner Kyle Fowlie
pic - TSR Productions

Max 177
David Griffiths and Tom Holland put some pressure on Lucas Orrock in the class for the bigger drivers.  But Griffiths was closer than ever, and admitted going better than recently, but never quite close enough to put a pass on Orrock during the first final. The spray was horrendous in the second final, and from the outside of the front row Griffiths fell back to sixth at the start, Orrock in front and tip-toeing round the hairpins. Griffiths was getting great drive out of the corners, leapfrogging his way up to close on Orrock. Holland had a last run on Andrew Cole to take third. Closing right down on Orrock in the corners, Griffiths finally made a move stick with a high up run round the outside on the banked turn coming over to the bridge. Orrock knew second was good enough to take the title again, with a round in hand, and didn’t want to offer any great resistance.

Final 1 - 1 Lucas Orrock (Kosmic) 17 laps in 16m36.47s; 2 David Griffiths (GMS) +00.56s; 3 Tom Holland (Alonso); 4 Matthew Nicholson (Tonykart); 5 Dominic Russell (Tonykart); 6 Tom Pyttlik (Alonso). 
Final 2 - 1 Griffiths 13 laps in 17m07.25s; 2 Orrock +01.23s; 3Holland; 4 Andrew Cole (GMS); 5 Nicholson; 6 Pyttlik. 

Above: David Griffiths won Final 2 of MAX 177
pic - TSR Productions

Senior Max
Sean Babington has been the man to beat all year, and now racing as EuroMax senior champion, but for once was not on pole for the first final. That honour went to Jack Barlow with Charlie Eastwood alongside, Babington and Harrison Scott behind.  What a quality field! Eastwood got away best, Scott and John Stewart hard on his bumper with Babington carving through to finally take the lead down the main straight to turn one. Eastwood had to run out wide, and fell to fourth, Edward Brand also in the mix and soon to take third from Stewart. Scott maintained second but a long way behind Babington. Babington was immediately in his customary first place, the track now of course soaking wet, leaving Eastwood fighting off James Singleton, John Stewart and Scott. Eastwood fell to sixth, Stewart assumed second, then Singleton found better pace, Stewart falling behind Thomas Arme for fourth. Babington has more or less won the British national title, needing very little at the last round. Formula 1 former champion Jack Brabham’s grandson Sam was guesting, getting a very creditable 16th in the timed qualifying but having no luck in the finals.

Final 1 - 1 Sean Babington (Alonso) 17 laps in 16m55.91s; 2 Harrison Scott (Tonykart) +01.64s; 3 Edward Brand (Formula K); 4 John Stewart (Tonykart); 5 James Singleton (Tonykart); 6 Charlie Eastwood (Tonykart). 
Final 2 - 1 Babington 13 laps in 16m40.19s; 2 Singleton +02.98s; 3 Thomas Arme (Kosmic); 4 Stewart; 5 Oliver Hodgson (Tonykart); 6 Brand.

Above: Sean Babington
pic - TSR Productions