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Super One MSA British Championship Series, Round 7

from Graham Smith

Super One MSA British Championship Series Round 7: Shenington 29-30 September 2012

All the points leaders survived to take the titles at the last round of the Super One MSA/TKM Series incorporating the senior and junior MSA British Kart Championships, although there were some heart in mouth moments for some with crashes and engine failures. Alex Gill lifted the Junior Title against the challenge of the twice European KF3 champion George Russell, whilst the youngster Ben Barnicoat outwitted the master multi-champion Mark Litchfield for the senior crown. Rich with heritage, Shenington kart circuit birthed in 1960, constructed on top of a wartime bomber airfield. The 1012m track in the English Midlands is flat with two hairpins giving good overtaking points. With the promotion contracts for the future British Championships settled, to include the new Cadet IAME class, there was an air of happy expectation for the future mixed in with the nerves of the final round for the 153 racers.

Above: Alex Gill claimed the KF3 title aboard his Red Bull Wright
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Comer Cadet
Enaam Ahmed just had to stay behind Josh Smith for the title, he did in the first timed session but Oliver York and the returning Dean MacDonald – now crowned as the British champion – came between them on combined times. Smith won both his heats, York the other, Ahmed a handy third on the first final grid alongside MacDonald.  But it all went pear shaped at the start as Ahmed, Smith and York crashed and spun, leaving MacDonald leading and winning whilst the title race went wide open. After careful checking back of the on-board cameras, MacDonald was adjudged guilty of the loading and penalised a lap.

Above: Enaam Ahmed
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That left Hugo Bentley-Ellis in front after a tough tussle with Ethan Hawkey, Lewis Thompson, Cameron Roberts and Zak Fulk. Smith was the least delayed at the start and reached seventh, York eleventh and Ahmed only sixteenth.  As Bentley-Ellis and Fulk tried to tow clear of the pack, Smith was soon bent on reeling them in, bringing Ethan Hawkey with him.  And it wasn’t long before York, Ahmed and Lewis Thompson joined in the lead fight as MacDonald reached ninth. York and Smith went out ahead, Smith nipping into the lead and win at the chicane on the penultimate lap whilst York was hung out to finish fifth behind Fulk and Hawkey.  Ahmed’s sixth was good for the ABkC national title, he said: “I took no risks, I let Lewis past and knew I only had to finish in the top nine.”  And Smith, who is vice-champion, added: “I did all I could, my Dad told me just to go out and win the race.”

Final 1 - 1 Hugo Bentley Ellis (Shark) 19 laps in 16m13.06s; 2 Ethan Hawkey (Wright) +00.33s; 3 Lewis Thompson (Zip); 4 Cameron Roberts (Zip); 5 Zak Fulk (Zip); 6 Tom Gamble (Zip).
Final 2 - 1 Smith 19 laps in 16m09.46s; 2 Fulk +0.08s; 3 Hawkey; 4 York; 5 Thompson; 6 Enaam Ahmed (Zip). 

Above: Josh Smith, Comer Cadet final 2 winner
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Super Cadet
A request to resurrect the Super Cadet class at the last round resulted in only six drivers racing, both finals won by Ronan Graves chased by Matthew Taylor. They had a quick trade of position in the first final, whilst Myles Apps took third but was outclassed by Mario Mills in the second.

Final 1 - 1 Ronan Graves (Intrepid) 20 laps in 16m14.38s; 2 Matthew Taylor (BRM) +00.24s; 3 Myles Apps (RK); 4 Mario Mills (RK); 5 David Craig (Birel); 6 Dylan Lee (Birel).
Final 2 - 1 Graves 20 laps in 16m14.69s; 2 Taylor +01.07s; 3Mills; 4 Apps; 5 Craig; 6 Lee.

Junior TKM
With a full grid a mesmerising battle commenced at the front, with Stephen Letts, Alex Forward, Jack Partridge, Jordan Irvine, Jake Campbell-Mills and Tom Owen all fighting hard. Partridge went back to sixth as Forward led, but he picked those in front off one by one. Campbell-Mills was unceremoniously shuffled from the lead to ninth, Irvine taking over, then Letts. Irvine briefly went ahead once more, skimming under Letts at the first corner. Partridge gave Letts the same treatment and started to defend hard, backing up the pack until they stumbled and he was left with a near 3s lead to the chequer.  That was easily enough for the 2012 ABkC national title. His nearest rival Campbell-Mills suffered the most, from second to ninth again although Forward was penalised 5 places leaving Irvine, Letts and Daniel Baybutt next to Partridge. “I’m number one,” cried an exultant Partridge, adding: “I was backing them all up and hoping they would trip over themselves and they did.” With Partridge declining to race, the second final had Irvine and Letts breaking away until a determined Campbell-Mills caught them and cut through to the lead. Dino Lee had entered the fight, and as Campbell-Mills left them behind, he sped into second, over Forward, Letts and Irvine.

Final 1 - 1 Jack Partridge (Jade) 22 laps in 16m29.53s; 2 Jordan Irvine (Tonykart) +02.87s; 3 Stephen Letts (Tonykart); 4 Daniel Baybutt (Jade); 5 Arran Mills (Jade); 6 Tom Owen (Jade).
Final 2 - 1 Campbell-Mills 22 laps in 16m19.94s; 2 Dino Lee (Tonykart) +00.94s; 3 Alex Forward (Wright); 4 Letts; 5 Irvine; 6Baybutt. 


TKM Extreme
Although Ryan Cole topped the time trials listing, it was James Ogden and Joe Porter who won the heats. Phil Smith, an earlier winner, was absent suffering from back problems, so it was Porter who led the first half of the first final, chased by Ogden, Luke Graver and Cole with Will van Es moving up to join them. A couple of swift moves took Graver into the lead but Porter fought back. They traded the position a couple of times, until Charlie Bruce-White had stormed up to the front and led the final laps. Porter had been dropped to fifth and stayed there, Van Es, Graver and Porter following Bruce-White home. He guests in the series now and then, and said: “I just picked my way up from twelfth, but I was struggling with the tyres at the end.” 

Above: Charlie Bruce-White
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Porter had more or less clinched the title, saying: “When I say my rivals were not at the front, I decided to stay in fifth.”  He did come out for the second final, where Bruce-White was soon joined by Van Es, pressuring him to the chequer. Porter was in the thick of the third place battle, as it raged amongst some seven karts, and he celebrated his third place and successful defence of the title crossing the finish with Ash Crossey, Josh Waring and Ogden in line behind.

Final 1 - 1 Charlie Bruce-White (Tonykart) 22 laps in 16m18.26s; 2 Will Van Es (Tonykart) +00.09s; 3 Luke Graver (Tonykart); 4 James Ogden (Jade); 5 Joe Porter (Tonykart); 6 Joshua Waring (ARC).
Final 2 - 1 Bruce-White 22 laps in 16m213.56s; 2 Van Es +00.19s; 3 Porter; 4 Ash Crossey (Tonykart); 5 Waring; 6 Ogden. 

Above: Joe Porter
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KF2 MSA British Kart Championship
The first upset came in timed qualifying when neither Mark Litchfield nor Jack Barlow put in any sort of proper time due to a mechanical problem and a crash respectively, with Ben Barnicoat fastest over Ricky Collard. Amongst the ten competitors Litchfield – now mounted on a CRG - stormed up to second in the first heat, where Zubair Hoque suffered an exclusion, and it was Barlow and Martin Kodric behind Barnicoat in the second. The Croatian had moved up from KF3, whilst Roy Johnson was guesting in the series for the first time this year. Barnicoat showed a great turn of early speed in the first final, leaving Litchfield to pip Barlow almost immediately and set off in hot pursuit.  But Barnicoat had the legs, and Litchfield succumbed to Barlow’s renewed challenge, going within two kart lengths of Barnicoat by the finish. “It was so hard out there, I didn’t realise it was Jack behind me, I thought it was Mark. And we were a bit high on tyre pressures, but I will have to go back out again,” explained Barnicoat. Barlow got the hole shot at the start of the second final, with an ultra determined Litchfield catapulting himself from fourth to second.  Barnicoat re-grouped to take Litchfield at the first hairpin, Hoque following and then putting Barnicoat back to fourth and behind Litchfield again. But Barnicoat was not settling for a minor place, storming back to second and starting to inch closer and closer to Barlow. Hoque had fallen back, Alex Hamilton briefly in third in a fight with Litchfield until Johnson took both of them. Barnicoat nipped in front of Barlow at the first hairpin but Barlow switched it back out of the chicane.  On the final lap a huge effort from Barnicoat gave him the win and a British title to add to his European one. “It was an immense race after a shocking start, I had to get straight back at Mark then focus on catching Jack. I had a bad run off Café corner but just came in from a long way back, jamming on the front brakes to pass.  I would like to thank all the people at RSF and Zip and I thank ART for a great first year developing the chassis.”

Final 1 - 1 Ben Barnicoat (ART) 24 laps in 16m12.71s; 2 Jack Barlow (Tonykart) +00.38s; 3 Mark Litchfield (CRG); 4 Zubair Hoque (Alonso); 5 Ricky Collard (ART); 6 Sam Webster (ART). 
Final 2 - 1 Barnicoat 24 laps in 16m20.06s; 2 Barlow +00.10s; 3 Roy Johnson (ART); 4 Litchfield; 5 Alex Hamilton (Intrepid); 6 Webster. 

Above: Ben Barnicoat
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Formula KGP
This was a real test of nerves and disappointments although the championship leader just came through with enough points. Locally based Scott Allen starred with fastest in timed qualifying and won the first heat, but had to give best to Robert Shield in the second. Allen uses a family manufactured Jade kart. A great start and a bit of shuffling about behind saw him with a huge lead in the first final but the real story was by the side of the track where points leader Jonathan Davis was stranded with an oiled up engine. Sam Randon had also stopped and front runner James Gornall was absent working. Toby Sowery was trying the class for the first time, and was dicing with Allen through the heats but oiled up and had a very slow first lap. The evergreen Bobby Game was battling with Shield, Jason Edgar and Jake Hughes for second, eventually he sliced under Shield at the first hairpin to consolidate the position. Denis Gorman, who could take the title, fought his way up from tenth at the start to fourth. 

Above: Scott Allen
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Allen was struggling with the handling, saying: “I just couldn’t get the kart to go round the Stratford hairpin properly.” Game reeled him in, and took Allen at the last hairpin, Allen not wanting to try a risky move and settled for second. “It was a bit of a struggle at the beginning as the kart was set to come on at the end,” explained a victorious Game.  He headed them away for the second final, chased by Shield, Allen and Edgar. Further back Rossano Bhandal made a late lunge on Jake Hughes taking both him and Sowery off. The big story was that Gorman had seized his engine and was parked up, his title hopes now gone and second in doubt. Shield sneaked up on Game and relieved him of the lead at the first hairpin but Game struck back, letting Allen follow into second. And there it finished, Game, Allen, Sheild and Edgar, whilst Davis finished sixth despite briefly being ahead of Randon.  It was enough for the title whilst Gorman’s misfortune allowed Game to take the vice-champion position. “It was certainly a relief when I saw Denis stopped but I still had to make up the places to beat him,” said Davis.

Final 1 - 1 Bobby Game (Birel) 23 laps in 16m00.45s; 2 Scott Allen (Jade) +00.11s; 3 Denis Gorman (Maranello); 4 Robert Shield (Tonykart); 5 Jake Hughes (Birel); 6 Jason Edgar (Alonso).
Final 2 - 1 Game 23 laps in 16m03.04s; 2 Allen +00.13s; 3 Shield; 4 Edgar; 5 Sam Randon (Tonykart); 6 Jonathan Davis (Intrepid). 

Above: Two wins for Bobby Game
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KF3 MSA Junior British Kart Championship
Although Alex Gill claimed the British title, it was the Sahara Force India Academy driver Jehan Daruvala who was the star of the meeting, with a clean sweep from timed qualifying through both finals, demonstrating his progress in only some seven months from a relative novice. He put down his increased pace to working on his fitness and of course the encouragement from the Ricky Flynn Motorsport team and mentoring by top rated coach Terry Fullerton. Daruvala had a good break at the start of the first final as Gill and Russell diced behind, Russell falling to fourth and soon Billy Monger stormed into second, the rest all strung out with little further movement. A mistake by the under pressure Tarun Reddy, another of the Force India Academy, lost him fifth place in favour of Nathan Aston and Darius Karbaley.  They were both pipped by Will Stowell and Josh Price by the end though. Gill’s third place gave him the title without needing to compete in the second final, he said: “I was really slow at the start, and George put lots of pressure on me at the end.” A red flag halted the second final as Jessica Hawkins had crashed, helicoptering out of the kart onto the ground, but escaping serious injury. At the restart Daruvala made a better start than the first time, and led a very static race of Monger, Russell, Stowell and Price to the end. “Terry Fullerton is always very determined for us drivers to do well,” said Daruvala who turned 14 years of age the following day.

Final 1 - 1 Jehan Daruvala (Alonso) 23 laps in 15m53.40s; 2 Billy Monger (Alonso) +00.55s; 3 Alex Gill (Wright); 4 George Russell (Intrepid); 5 Will Stowell (Zanardi); 6 Josh Price (Intrepid).
Final 2 - 1 Daruvala 23 laps in 15m54.61s; 2 Monger +00.39s; 3 Russell; 4 Stowell; 5 Price; 6 Jack Bartholomew (Zanardi). 

Above: Jehan Daruvala won both KF3 finals in the Force India supported kart
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