Daytona Milton Keynes 2018 InKart Championships
Round One Race Report (PDF Download)
Cadet Division 2
With damp conditions, racing was going to be tough. Through-out the day all of the cadet drivers showed good sportsmanship and excellent control with a slippery track. Rupert Versallion drove to victory through the heats to become pole sitter in the Final.
The first heat went out early in the morning with Lloyd Kay on Pole. Jake Butland and Charlie Cusack gridded behind him eager to get to the front. However, it was the driver 4th on the grid, Jenson Pooley, who got a tremendous start and jumped into 1st by the exit of the first corner. Versallion who sat at the back of the grid watched all the action in front of him and found many gaps to place his kart for 4 overtakes before the 5th corner. After tailing Cusack for a few laps Versallion performed an impressive manoeuvre at Turn 8 to solidify 1st place. With blistering lap times Versallion was able to open the gap to 2nd by 5.5 seconds by the end of the race. Kay, Cusack and Metrovich performed an outstanding battle for 2nd with allowed Pooley to catch up to the group, with good momentum and successful moves, Pooley secured 2nd place with Cusack following him for 3rd.
All drivers participated in the second heat, in reverse order. This meant that the winner of heat 1, Rupert Versallion, was on Pole followed by Killen and Metrovich. Metrovich got a tremendous start and was able to take the pack through Turn 2, although this was short-lived as Versallion made his way back through. An unfortunate spin by Killen pushed him to the back. Cusack got up into 2nd quickly and was on the tail of Versallion. With many attempts of getting past the front runner, Versallion was too good defensively for Cusack and he was unable to overtake. Metrovich was able to hold his position from start to the flag, finishing in 3rd position. Versallion saw the flag first, with Cusack finishing in 2nd as well as taking fastest lap time of heat 2.
The only final for the Cadet drivers was expected to be impressive and they didn’t disappoint. Versallion qualified pole for the final after two successful race wins in the heats. Cusack followed him, with Pooley 3rd on the grid. The first lap was the closest the spectators had seen all day, with two unfortunate spins, sending two drivers to the back. However, their determination showed as they started to clock in faster lap times every lap to catch back up to the main pack. Cusack was leading the front group defending from Versallion. However, Versallion’s speed into turn 8 was too much for Cusack as Versallion dived into the corner and was successful on the exit. After the move, Versallion had a clear track and was able to push and get away from Cusack. To the end of the race the leader was putting in impressive times and managed to pull a 3.4 second lead when passing the finishing line. Following Versallion was Cusack in 2nd and Pooley in 3rd.
Junior Division 2
After much eagerness from the winter break. Drivers were ready to get back in the kart for some hard-fought racing. Champions returned and new faces were seen on the grid for a chance to claim the top spot. All drivers took part in the mandatory practice before racing two of the qualifying heats for a chance to enter the A-Final.
The first heat saw Malachi Newland taking Pole position from the randomly generated grids. The pole sitter and Adam Thomas got a successful start and were able to work together to extend the gap to the rest of the pack by 2 seconds. After remarkable exit from Turn 8, Thomas was able to take the lead entering Turn 9 with a notable late braking manoeuvre. However, Costin stayed close to his tail and was able to match Thomas’ times. An opportunity arose at the final corner where Thomas took the lead. He then was able to maintain his positioning and remain in the lead to be the first driver to see the chequered flag. Followed by Costin and Whitmore. The most noted driver was Whitmore who drove his way through the pack to finish 3rd from 7th on the grid.
Heat two started with Mark Versallion, Liam Crabb and Reeza Ansari at the front of the grid. As the red lights went out, the race was on. From a good start, Fernando Otabil was able to edge past Matthew Plumb before Turn 1. Plumb created an imposing manoeuvre at Turn 4 by overtaking two karts with a successful lunge. From the pack battling it out on the forthcoming laps, Mark Versallion was able to create a 2.1 second gap at the front. Yet, James Costin put in continuous fastest laps and reached the leader in a few laps. He was able to overtake the leader and then extend his lead by the end of the race by 3.7 seconds. Versallion and Plumb followed across the line.
Sam Sanders was the pole sitter for the third heat. The grid looked strong with all drivers looking ready to make it to the front. After a good start Daniel Watson was able to stay close to Adam Thomas. He took his chance with a late move at Turn 9 and was able to take Thomas for first position. Their battle continued with them clocking the same lap times where they were able to work together and pull a 3.7 lead to the rest of the group. In the penultimate laps, Stewart posted an impressive 1.00.108 which was able to close the gap to the front runners, yet, the chequered flag was shown before Stewart could make a significant difference to the gap. He placed 3rd. The results showed Thomas taking 1st with Watson and Stewart behind.
The final heat of the day looked the most imposing race with the top 4 drivers clocking in the 60’s. A good start from Daniel Watson forced Stewart to drive defensively for second position. The top three drivers had a clean and nail biting battle from start to finish with them finishing a mere 1.4 seconds apart at the end of the heat. Stewart took Styant on the outside of turn 11 after a switchback on turn 8 which gave him good momentum. Stewart remained out in front with Watson and Styant following closely.
Junior Division 2 drove the first final of the day and they didn’t disappoint. Leo Scott had earned Pole position, with Otabil in 2nd and Reeza Ansari starting 3rd. As the lights went out, all drivers got a clean start. By Turn 8, Otabil pulled a late move on Scott and the two drivers pushed each other in an attempt to pull away from the pack. However, Ansari’s pace was unstoppable as he caught the front runners and it wasn’t long before he overtook Scott to achieve 2nd and then completed an overtake around the outside of Turn 8 to get pass Otabil into first position. Pulling 0.7 seconds quicker than any other driver on the track Ansari managed to extend his lead as he took the chequered flag. With Scott securing 2nd and Bettie 3rd.
After a win for Ansari in final B, he got promoted to final A. With Thomas starting on pole, the grid behind him looked fast and eager to get to the front. Stewart got the most impressive start as the lights went out and soon got into 2nd position after no hesitation. With the tow from Thomas, Stewart was able to maximise the potential of his kart and continued to clock 59 second laps. This was enough for him to switchback on the exit of Turn 8 and get a good run over the hill to solidify the lead. Thomas continued to get pressure from Costin. After many laps of defending, Costin was able to overtake Thomas to gain 2nd position. All the drivers drove to the chequered flag after a remarkable drive from all participants. Whitmore took 3rd.
Cadet Division 1
As the track started to clear, it was thought that lap times would lower and the Cadet Division 1 drivers did not disappoint. With lap times entering 58 seconds with the first heat, it showed what a close day of racing it would be. With Ronnie Coburn taking wins in both his heats after some impressive pace, he was keen to win the final, however, the Cadet drivers around him didn’t want to give away 1st easily…
Heat one saw Purbrick take pole with Cole behind and Hedge in third. With a tremendous start Cole was able to take 1st by the end of the first lap. Cole was able to carry his momentum and seek a gap from 2nd – 3.8 seconds by the end of the race. After a few laps, the pack had space which allowed them to perform fastest lap times consistently. After a few laps Key pulled an overtake at Turn 7 which promoted him into 3rd place. The flag was shown to Cole, with Purbrick and Key following.
Lily Jeffs took pole driver with Coburn behind her on the grid and Hedge in 3rd. Coburn followed Jeffs around the first lap and took opportunity to overtake on the last turn. With a successful manoeuvre, he was able to maintain the top spot till the end of the race with an impressive gap to 2nd. Hedge performed some notable late breaking which allowed him to minimise the gap to the kart in 2nd place. As a consequence, he was able to overtake 2nd with no pressure. In the middle of the pack, Jenson Pughe made an unfortunate mistake, however, didn’t give up. He was able to clock some competitive lap times which allowed him to maintain his position in 6th. Coburn took 1st position with Riley Bishop and Hedge following him.
Heat three saw Nathan Ampofo-Anim on pole, with Munro and Key following on the grid. Key got an impressive start and slotted into 2nd by the first corner. At the back of the grid, Archie Fisher made a good move on the last corner with a switch back on the exit taking the inside line at Turn one to gain 3rd position. On the following lap, Fisher pulled the same move to secure 2nd position. Key was soon caught by Fisher and overtook at Turn 6 to solidify 1st place. With the chequered shown to Fisher, then Key and Munro.
The final heat of the day was the most competitive driving the spectators saw from the Cadets as all drivers clocked in at least 59 second laps. Joshua Jones was on pole with Fisher in 2nd and Jensen Pughe in 3rd. Coburn, the final driver on the grid managed to get the best start and moved into 1st position by lap 2 with some clean overtakes around Turn 8 and 9. After Coburn got into 1st position he was able to extend his lead, the only driver to enter 58 seconds. He managed to take the win by 6 seconds. The battle for 3rd commenced as Pughe, Fisher and Jones fought hard to get in the Top 3. Pughe had a few chances to overtake Fisher, but Fisher managed to keep his kart in front of Pughe and successfully took 3rd position.
The B-Final started with Purbrick on pole, Nathan Ampofo-Anim in 2nd and Ryan Hedge in 3rd. The first lap was the closest racing everyone had seen all day with all karts front-to-rear on the first lap. They all crossed the finishing line on the first lap 1.3 seconds apart. With an unfortunate spin, Ampofo-Anim fell to the back but competitive lap times allowed him to catch up to the back of the group within a few laps. He managed to come back to 4th by the end of the race. Pughe started to put in fastest lap times of the race and was able to catch to Jones by lap 8 who was in 1st place. Jones became defensive from the pressure of Pughe, however, Pughe pipped Jones by 1.5 seconds to 1st at the chequered flag. This meant that Pughe got promoted to the back of the A-Final and a chance to win Round One. Jones followed in second and Hedge in third.
After successful wins in the heats, Coburn sat on pole for the A-Final. Cole sat beside him on the grid with Key behind. As the lights when out, the engines roared into life as all 7 karts got a clean start. Cole made the most significant start and positioned himself in 1st after Turn 8. The first laps were close with the whole pack crossing the line with just a 2.6 second split. After remarkable opening laps by Fisher he was on the tail of Coburn by lap 3. The top 5 were separated by a mere 1.2 seconds as they put on an impressive display of driving. Fisher got past Coburn and caught up to Cole by the end of the race, 0.2 seconds behind the leader. Cole took the flag first with Fisher behind coming from 6th on the grid. Coburn took 3rd.
Junior Division 1
Junior Division 1 had some popular names with many drivers returning to claim the Championship. Eager after the Christmas break, all drivers were ready to show what they are capable of with faster lap times and impressive race craft. Two heats were competed in and then a Final, the grid determined by final positions in the random grid heats. With Olly Hood taking two wins, the pressure was on for the final to replicate his form…
Heat one started with Joe Williams on Pole, Olly Hood in 2nd and Toby Sporn in 3rd. Williams was able to hold everyone off by defending remarkably on the first lap with action behind him as Le Conte got a fast start and made his way to 3rd on the opening lap. Hood successfully got pass Williams and the pack behind the two leading karts caught up first. On lap 3 there was a four-way battle for 1st position with Williams managing to gain the lead once again. After a notable battle on previous laps, once again, there was an intense battle for 2nd by Le Conte, Williams and Sporn. This allowed Hood to drive away with a lead of 3.6 seconds at the chequered flag. Followed by Le Conte and Williams.
After taking the win in heat 1, Hood was determined to make it to the front of the pack as quick as he could. Mirzai took pole, with Batts and Le Conte taking 2nd and 3rd place on the grid. With a quick start Mirzai was able to pull a 1.1 second on the rest of the pack, after putting in a blistering first lap. With the field battling behind, Mirzai was able to then extend his gap to 1.9 seconds, a race which looked under his control. However, Hood’s determination wasn’t over, now in second place Hood was knocking 1 second per lap off Mirzai. Soon Hood was alongside Mirzai and finalised the move at turn 8 with late braking and a good exit. Mirzai took Hood’s tow and clocked personal best lap times continuously. With the two front runners out of sight for the rest of the pack, the battle for 3rd place was heated as the young drivers showed good race craft and speed. The gap from 3rd to 5th on the final lap was a mere 0.7 seconds. With Le Conte winning the battle for 3rd. In front of him, Hood took 1st place with Mirzai in 2nd.
After some impressive driving from the heats, the Junior final had a competitive grid with every driver wanting to prove themselves as a racer. Hood took pole after two successful wins in the heats. With Le Conte and Mirzai rounding out the top 3 on the grid. The race started cleanly with all drivers getting a good start. On the last corner of the first lap a kart spun which made the pack spread out crossing the start line. As Hood was in clean air he was able to maximise his lead on lap one by 0.7 seconds. The battle for 3rd became strong as Williams and Mirzai were switching positions every lap, their pace was allowing them to start catching up to 2nd, Le Conte. With a new battle for 2nd, the difference from 2nd to 4th was 0.7 after crossing the line. Simmons had joined Mirzai and Le Conte for 2nd place and the three drivers starting defending their line from the kart behind. As this was all taking place, Hood was able to put in 59 second laps and grow his lead. He took the chequered flag first with Simmons and Conte following.
Super Pole Qualifying Results
After a remarkable qualifying session, Davison took Pole position by 0.6 of a second, showing the importance of getting your Super Pole lap hooked up. The first heat for the senior class looked competitive with some popular names in the mix. Davison led the pack for the rolling start with Darby and Fenton close behind. As the lights went out, the engines soared past the starting line. From a clean start, Davison was able to drive a smooth line through the first lap without any interruption from behind. His lead had already extended to 0.3 seconds on the first lap. The middle of the pack was hectic with a few spinners at Turn 10, the heaviest braking point on circuit. The most noted manoeuvre was Jack Mayor lunging at Turn 4 for a double overtake to creep into 11th position. At the front, Davison and Fenton were clocking similar lap times as they were working hard to split from the group behind. On lap 5, there was a five-kart battle entering Turn 4 with Tim Dawson exiting strongly to take the pack into the swooping right hander – Turn 5. The chequered flag was waved on lap 8 with Davison taking a 3.7 second win, Lancaster in 2nd place with Fenton close behind in 3rd. The heavies’ category saw Michael Saward take 1st place with Andy Fryer and John Donnelly 2nd and 3rd.
Race 2 started with a reverse grid. This meant the front runners were now at the back of the grid, even more determined to make it to the front in only 8 laps. This brought a more competitive and close drive from the drivers with Mayer overtaking multiple karts in the opening corners from a flying start. Fryer led an 8-kart battle into Turn 2 with the karts only 2 seconds apart, he drove defensive lines as Dawson and Cummins were on his tail. Fryer got good momentum out of Turn 11 to hold it on the outside of Turn 1 to take Beck for 6th position. Mayor, the race 2 leader, soon got into the 69 seconds with clean air and was able to pull a big gap by the end of the race. Taylor looked strong in the middle pack, trying moves to overtake Dawson, though Dawson saw him on his tail and moved to a defensive line. Taylor was getting impatient so moved on the inside of Turn 10 to make the move stick for 12th. Mayor finished the race in 1st position with Davison and Masefield behind, with Davison making the most places in race 2. The heavies’ concluded with Harvey Reed taking 1st position with Donnelly and Fryer following.
The last race of the day, the final of the International InKart, was always going to be a show, packed with competitiveness. Davison gained the most points from the two races so placed on pole. With Lancaster and Tillyer behind. Fryer qualified as the highest heavy driver, gridded in 11th position. The top three drivers got a good start breaking from the rest of the pack and were able to work together to maximise their lead and keep out of trouble. Lap times soon dropped into 69 seconds with the fastest time clocked in for the day by Tillyer. With Tillyer’s blistering lap times he was able to catch Lancaster and Mayor as they were battling it out for multiple laps. Eyes weren’t just on the front runners as impressive moves were performed at the back of the grid with Michael Saward taking Nauroze Brohi on the inside of Turn 11. By lap 9, Davison had left the pack and gained a 1.7 second lead, enough to lower the pressure and focus for the rest of the race. An unfortunate mistake from Mayor, at Turn 10, allowed Tillyer to close on the back of his kart and he took this opportunity to dive on the inside of Turn 11 to take 3rd. Davison took the flag after 12 close laps of racing. Lancaster finishing behind him. Fryer took 1st in the Heavies with Donnelly and Reed following.