Daytona Sandown Park 2018 InKart Championships
Round Four Race Report (PDF Download)
The first race got away cleanly with a good start from Leo Licastro in pole. Bumping boards were shown to the first 4 karts due to contact through the top corner onto the straight. Benjamin Gentles was in 2nd after lap one pushing hard to keep up with Licastro. Aaron Mensah and Conor Lucey both attempted to pass Gentles along the top straight and Mensah passed Gentles despite his best efforts to take the position back at the hairpin. The battling ahead allowed Thomas Hazell and George Ruffle to close the gap to the pack. Lucey tried to pass Gentles through the chicane along the top straight which resulted in contact and Lucey spinning as neither driver left enough space. Penalties were issued to Benjamin Gentles for overtaking under yellows and George Ruffle for speeding as they approached the incident. Licastro pulled a good gap and took the victory from Mensah.
Harry Kidd leaves the line and Sam Cole follows him up the Hill and at the start of lap 2 out brakes him into turn one taking the lead cleanly. Slight contact between Haris Udin and Kaiser Riemann resulted in a bumping board being issued. 3rd place Harry Swain, is passed by Mellor and Riemann as he runs wide at Turn 3. James Mellor tries to close the door on Riemann through the second chicane and is given a black and white warning flag. Sam Cole continues to stretch his lead as Charlie Sirman moves up into 5th place behind Riemann. Licastro and Riemann battled hard and a penalty board was issued to James Mellor for repeated contact.
The first corner was very busy with several drivers becoming stuck after a spinning driver collected them. Light rain began to fall at the far end of the track causing difficult driving conditions, but the drivers rose to the challenge. On lap 4 Kaiser Riemann led from Oscar Allam then Mellor, Ruffle and Adam Scrase in 5th. Mellor passed Allam on the inside of Turn 2 as Lucey passed Ruffle along the top straight after taking a tight exit out of Turn 3. With blue flags out Haris Uddin spun in the damp conditions and shortly after Allam spun at the first corner. A second penalty was issued to George Ruffle for racing under the yellow flags meaning he scored zero points in this heat.
Aaron Mensah started the heat with contact at Turn 1, Sam Cole lead from Gentles and Sirman with Nikhil Dhar chased by Hazell and Harry Kidd. After lap 2 Sam Cole stretched his lead as Gentles goes defensive in second. Mykah Masikito defended well against Kidd along the top straight and Kidd later made some contact but it was not strong. Kidd’s constant pressure caused Mykah to run wide out of the chicane allowing Harry Kidd passed. Meanwhile Sirman had made his way up to second and the gaps between the drivers stabilised at around a second. Aaron Mensah drove defensively to keep Kidd behind on lap 9.
Thomas Hazell leads from the front row. Harry Swain gets sideways out of Turn two and drops back slightly. George Barker is second from Nikhil Dahr and Adam Scrase in 4th. On lap three Nikhil spun after making contact with the back of Barker’s kart and dropped back from the top three. A penalty was issued to Mykah Masikito for re-joining the circuit when it was unsafe to do so. At mid race distance Thomas Hazell still lead and showed no sign of his pace tailing off but spun whilst passing back markers. Hazell maintained his lead and took victory promoting him to the back of the B final.
1st – Thomas Hazell
2nd – Adam Scrase
3rd – George Barker
Sam Cole was quick off the line with some contact in the midpack not affecting the positions on lap one. At the third corner Benjamin Gentles made a move on Harry Kidd but out braked himself making contact with the back of Kidd’s kart and spinning him out, the contact earned him a five position penalty. Charlie Sirman had made his way up into second and was doing his best to gap Riemann in third and close up to the leading Cole. Mensah, Licastro and Lucey were all in contention for fourth but slightly adrift of Riemann. On lap 10 Riemann’s gap had all but gone and it was a very close four kart battle for third. The racing was incredibly close with Riemann going defensive in order to keep his position from Mensah which backed the pack up and allowed Lucey to pass Licastro. Meanwhile Cole kept his gap of three and a half seconds from Sirman. Mensah found his way passed Riemann to take third but the battle was still on as Thomas Hazell began closing the gap to the group. Mensah was starting to pull from the pack as Riemann, Lucey and Licastro remained locked together. Lucey was all over the back of Riemann’s kart and unfortunately on the final lap spun at Turn one after making very light contact with the back of Kaiser’s kart. Cole took the win, followed by Sirman and Mensah.
1st – Sam Cole
2nd – Charlie Sirman
3rd – Aaron Mensah
To start the day two drivers who would normally race in the Heavy category (Josef Smillie and Sebastian Chodyko) but had weighed in as Lights this time around made their way off the line and settled into the front two positions. As the pack approached the hairpin at the far end of the circuit Kaizer Ahktar mistimed his braking and spun as result of contact with the driver in front. At the start of lap 2 it was Smillie from Jensen Oswald-Stevens, Chodyko and Jayden Neal-Holder in fourth. Oswald-Stevens ran wide through the hairpin and had to be rescued by the marshals which unfortunately dropped him right down the order. George Hannay went up into third past Chodyko around Turn three just outside of Race Control. Ahktar was doing his best to catch back up after his early spin and was now sixth behind Dominic Harrop. Neal-Holder had passed Smillie and had pulled a small lead of around two seconds. Neal Holder won from Smillie and Hannay finished in third.
Kieran Ives and Neal Holder followed Matthew Ho up the hill towards race control with some contact from the former. Ho continued to lead from Chodyko on lap 7 and Monty Grant received a bumping warning flag after a coming together with Neal Holder. Taifan Squires had joined the front duo and after further contact Chodyko was issued with a penalty board when he locked up after going for a move into the chicane. It remained very close at the front with a gap of four tenths covering the top three at the flag.
Jai Thornburn and Kieran Ives get a better start than Oscar Joyce who drops to second at the start. Taifan Squires and Alex Lucas chase the front three. On lap two Thornburn runs wide allowing Joyce back into Turn one on lap two which slows Thornburn and allows Ives through as well. In two back to back laps, Alex Lucas out brakes drivers into Turn one which moves him up into third and onto the back of Ives whilst Squires takes fourth position from Thornburn. Ives passed Joyce and both Lucas and Squires battled trying not to lose too much ground on the front-runners. With two minutes remaining Lucas picked up a kerbing warning flag and Ahktar, Grant and Bayley Campbell rounded out the finishing order.
Archie Howlison followed Robin Jandu away from the grid and at turn three Dominic Harrop made contact with Bayley Campbell gaining him an advantage and a penalty to go with it. Alex Lucas passed Howlinson as did Rory Burke at the end of lap 2. Howlinson came back at Burke and Thornburn waited patiently behind gaining little by little as Burke’s attempts to keep track position lost both drivers time. Out front the gap between Jandu and Lucas remained steady at just under two seconds. As the race went on Lucas began to close the gap and as the leaders came up on back markers the gap was down to two tenths of a second and a bumping board with a warning flag was shown to second place Lucas as the two got a little too close. On the final lap Lucas tried to out brake Jandu into the hairpin but overshot the corner leaving Jandu to lead by a relatively comfortable four tenths of a second as they took the chequered flag.
Rory Burke led Hannay and Smillie away from Howlinson and Oswald-Stevens. Oswald-Stevens lost control at Turn one and dropped back from Matthew Ho in 4th. Smillie was battling hard with Hannay and received a kerbing board for using more of the circuit than he ought to. Smillie closed the gap to half a second as Burke continued to lead and Jensen Oswald Stevens began to make up for his earlier spin with some quick lap times. George Hannay set fastest lap of the race whilst Archie Wrigglesworth showed great improvement in what was his first race meeting in the larger junior karts, a difficult progression from the more nimble cadet karts he had previously driven.
Kaizer Akhtar got a good start managing to leap Thornburn into Turn one. Dominic Harrop lost control into Turn 3 and as they crossed the line at the end of lap one Akhtar lead from Bayley Campbell. Campbell and Jensen Oswald Stevens received bumping boards as they raced for third with Monty Grant now up into second place looking to close the gap to Ahktar. Harrop had made up for his earlier mistake and was starting to come up through the pack. A bumping warning flag was shown to Oswald Stevens who was still trying to find a gap past Campbell. On lap 15 Campbell spun and dropped to 6th position promoting Oswald Stevens and Thornburn to fourth and fifth respectively. Dominic Harrop did well to capitalise his speed throughout and finished third 3 seconds ahead of Jensen Oswald-Stevens in fourth.
1st – Kaizer Akhtar
2nd – Monty Grant
3rd – Dominic Harrop
Akhtar joined the back of the grid after winning the C final and all eyes were focussed on the start marshal as the green flag dropped. Smillie got away well and Akhtar made his way up to 4th within two corners. At the start of lap two it was Smillie from Neal Holder and Sebastian Chodyko. Archie Howlison received a penalty for contact on Matthew Ho that gained him an advantage. It was very close between Smillie and Neal-Holder which allowed Chodyko to begin closing the gap to the frontrunners. Neal Holder dived down the inside at the first corner but Smillie allowed the momentum of his kart to carry him deep into the corner and snuck back around the outside of Turn two. Chodyko passed a displaced Neal Holder along the inside of the top straight and one lap later he was very late on the brakes into Turn one block passing Smillie and keeping the lead up the hill and down the straight into the chicane. With four minutes left to go it was getting closer and closer between Neal Holder and Smillie with neither driver giving the other space on the circuit. Oscar Joyce shut the door on Ahktar along the top straight and the resulting contact slowed both drivers dropping them further from the battle for second. Neal-Holder passed Smillie and managed to keep him behind until the flag fell with 21 laps completed.
1st – Sebastian Chodyko
2nd – Jayden Neal-Holder
3rd – Josef Smillie
Kieran Ives got away cleanly and lead from Lucas who beat 2nd placed Burke into Turn one. Taifan Squires received a bumping warning for contact early in the lap. Sebastian Chodyko was penalised for not allowing room through the first chicane and squeezing Jandu off the circuit and dropping him to the back. Burke and Ives remained incredibly close with Lucas in close proximity. Hannay joined the gaggle and the gap was just 1.5 seconds from first to fourth at the flag.
1st – Kieran Ives
2nd – Rory Burke
3rd – Alex Lucas
Shubhashis Shrestha leapt off the line to take the lead from his pole slot. On lap two Mikey Gleeson passed Luca Osborne and William Tidnam attempted to take first position but lost time and dropped to 4th place behind Osborne. Gleeson began to stretch his legs at the front and Osborne, Tidnam and Rowan Vincent all bunched up closely behind Shrestha. The sky started to darken and it looked as though rain was imminent, William Tidnam was issued a bumping warning flag for persistent contact. A penalty was given out to Luca Osborne after spinning Tidnam at Turn one however this penalty was overturned after an appeal when it was shown that he had lost control as it began to drizzle. Gleeson won with a healthy five second gap back to Shrestha in second.
Will Tidnam lead initially and was passed by Shrestha on lap five. Harvey Turner, Otis Smith and Luca Osbourne followed closely behind. Turner was penalised for side to side contact at the chicane as he wasn’t alongside when trying to pass Tidnam for second place. Smith moved up into third and Tidnam pitted after the earlier contact re-joining the circuit in fifth position a few laps down from the front runners. Shrestha kept out front of Turner by just 3 tenths of a second at the line with Smith and Osborne 3rd and 4th.
Mikey Gleeson took the lead from Harvey Turner with Vincent, Matthew Mutinda and Otis Smith approximately 1 kart length. On lap three Vincent went for a move on Turner getting a bumping warning flag as despite the fact that there was a gap to pass contact was made. Gleeson tried desperately to get some clear space out front as Otis Smith spun. Smith worked hard to reel in a hard charging Mutinda and the gap between them was just two tenths of a second after 15 laps on the circuit.
With all drivers in one final this month it was sure to be busy out on the fast bottleneck circuit. Pole sitter Gleeson got the holeshot with Osborne following him passed Shrestha. Tidnam looked to improve what was for him a relatively poor heats performance and he pulled alongside Mutinda along the top straight towards the hairpin on lap one. Luca Osborne tried to drive round Gleeson the long way at Turn one but the experienced leader maintained his position by closing the door on the exit ensuring he had the run into the next straight. What followed was around 10 laps of a textbook demonstration of both attack and defensive driving techniques with Osborne probing for gaps whilst Gleeson deftly placed the kart blocking his every advance. Shubhashis lay in wait just a second behind but despite the warring leaders actions they were maintaining good lap times and not allowing Shrestha to get close enough to make his move. Osborne kept hassling Gleeson and on Lap 17 he was able to get past Gleeson and keep position through the next sequence of corners rendering a counter attack useless. The front four remained incredibly close and whilst Turner and Tidnam scrapped for 4th the chequered flag dropped on the closest final of the junior races.
1st – Luca Osborne
2nd – Mikey Gleeson
3rd – Shubhashis Shrestha
The first RT8 heat of the day resulted in both 3rd and 4th Brendan Sathees and Vincent Osborne receiving bumping warning flags. Fraser Brunton steadily moved towards the front and passed Daniel Garcia to take the lead on lap three. Archie Elliott was penalised for gaining advantage by making contact at the hairpin. Brunton lead from Sathees, Strathmann and Taifan Squires. There was still contact on the circuit and both Squires and Garcia received a bumping board with a warning flag. By lap 7 Osborne had secured his spot ahead of Ives in 7th and it remained incredibly close with 5th to 9th all absolutely nose to tail. Kerbing boards were issued to drivers pushing circuit limits, a sign of what was to come as the meeting developed.
The rolling grid approached the flag and it dropped with 10 drivers squeezing into the tight first corner. There was some light contact at the start with both Elliott and Squires receiving a bumping board. Matteo Strathmann was shown a kerbing warning flag for doing his best to remove the paint from the rumble strips. Brunton edged away at the front with the rest of the pack as close together as they had been in the first heat. At Turn 3 Squires turned in on Sathees putting himself sideways and slowing the pair down. Just before the chequered flag went out Osborne picked up another warning flag for contact on second place Strathmann.
Osborne got a good start and sat in behind Brunton, the fast flowing track seeming to suit his aggressive driving style. The gap between the two ebbed and flowed but remained stable throughout. Elliott drove hard making his way up from 7th after lap one but unfortunately didn’t know when to throttle back and was penalised for repeated use of the kerbs. Daniel Garcia was penalised for contact. Ives, Strathmann and Sathees swapped places back and forth but it was eventually the latter who kept it together when it counted and took the final spot on the podium
1st – Fraser Brunton
2nd – Vincent Osborne
3rd – Brendan Sathees
Dan Gamblin was penalised for contact when he out braked himself and couldn’t avoid contact with the driver ahead. Steadily Josh Lad moved up the field getting ever closer to Ian Del-Pizzo as he went. Lad passed Freddy Bragg on lap 11 and Henry Jarrett slipped past the main pack to take 4th two laps later. Craig Nunes, Francesca Roodhouse and Mark Fowler were all separated by a few tenths a piece after 16 laps of racing. However after a prolonged decision a penalty was issued to Fowler for contact on lap 4.
First to see the green flag were the lights lead by pole sitter Francesca Roodhouse. After crossing the line for the first time the second-place starter Josh Lad was in front and Roodhouse maintained second, she dropped back to 9th on lap three but made her way back up to 5th by mid-race distance. Jarrett and Fowler were again in the mix at the front and Dan Gamblin made up for his penalty in the earlier heat by taking third on lap 9. Steven Preston had to duck into the pit lane with kart issues but managed a very respectable 32.8 second best lap.
The front row leapt away and Ian Del Pizzo got himself out in front of Josh Lad on lap 1. Henry Jarrett secured third and was all over the back of Lad as Del Pizzo started to gap the pair. Unfortunately for Ian all his hard work was shortly undone when the yellow flags went out around the circuit and the small breathing space he had worked so hard for was lost. With the circuit clear once more the Lights were on the back of the heavy grid and so it became not only a dice for position but also to move up through the slower grid’s traffic. It was this slower traffic which ultimately resulted in Lad being allowing Jarrett and Roodhouse to slip though. Roodhouse kept Jarrett honest but he was able to defend his position whilst still applying some pressure to Del Pizzo and the front three finished just behind the podium drivers from the Heavy category some 2 seconds spanning each of them.
1st – Ian Del-Pizzo
2nd – Henry Jarrett
3rd – Francesca Roodhouse
Sam Attard spun at turn three allowing Max Taylor to close the gap between the two drivers. On lap nine Steve Orford leads from Luke Charman with Max Robinson and Alex Vaughan hot on his heels. The top five drivers remained incredibly close and on lap 12 Charman made his way passed Orford to take the lead. Robinson finished in second less than a tenth behind and only two tenths further back was Mark Kearon who drove very cleanly with Orford, Garrett Applin and the penalised Attard making up the rest of the top six.
Kerbing warning flags went out to Applin, Vaughn and Attard. Kearon had made the most of a great start and the hustle and bustle of Orford, Robinson, Charman and Applin allowed him to stretch his lead. Charman looked to close the gap but started regularly hitting the kerbs and was issued with a warning flag. The final laps saw an incredibly close battle between Charman and Applin the latter of which managed to sneak passed him with only a few laps remaining. Unfortunately track limits continued to be exploited and previously warned drivers Applin and Charman were penalised on the penultimate lap. Fastest lap of the race went to Applin on the same lap.
Mark Kearon got away well with Max Robinson tucking in behind him up the hill past the pit lane. Alex Vaughan passed Attard and the circuit was neutralised by full course yellow after a tyre wall sustained damage and needed repair. Once again Mark Kearon opened a gap over Max Robinson and once again yellow flags dissolved the precious gap. With 4 minutes remaining Kearon wasn’t able to close the door on Max Robinson and he took the lead of the final. A visibly annoyed Kearon stayed on the rear bumper of Robinson but ultimately just as the chequered was about to be shown, Alex Vaughan snuck through to second putting the current Championship leader down to third.
1st – Max Robinson
2nd – Alex Vaughan
3rd – Mark Kearon