On Sunday, we welcomed back thirty drivers across the two categories, who would have mixed conditions to contend with on what was a fantastic day of racing. The Junior category had its championship contenders present, Blake Southan and Louis Bishop were both primed to battle it out for the championship as we head into the final third of the season. Louis missed the last round so that will count as his ‘drop round’ so it is all to play for, despite the look of the standings! The Cadet championship also had its four main challengers in attendance as well. Gillen Townshend, Dexter Hazeldine, Rayaan Malik and Caelen Keith were all ready to assert their position in the standings.
In the ‘Heats’ phase of the day, the drivers are separated, at random, into groups and they then race in their groups based on a random grid, and then a reverse order of the random grid. Blake Southan, Louis Bishop, Caelen Keith, Gillen Townshend all picked up heat victories, as well as Tom Justice, who has consistently improved throughout the season, he picked up a win in the third heat of the day before we advanced on through to the final races, for which the grids are decided by how the drivers perform during the heats. The stage was set for the finals, in the ‘B’ Final, Jaden Dodoo-Ankrah lined up in pole position for the juniors, followed by Liam Weatherall and Nathaniel Stebbings, in the Cadets, Jacob Noble claimed pole, with Harry Ward and William Needham completing the top three. In the ‘A Final’. Blake Southan managed two wins in the ‘heats’ and started in first position, followed closely by Tom Justice and Louis Bishop behind. In the Cadet ‘A’ Final, Gillen Townshend would start first, separated by inly his fastest lap to Caelen Keith in second, and Dexter Hazeldine in third.
The ’B’ Final was dramatic right from the start, with Jaden Dodoo-Ankrah getting a three-position penalty for an incident on lap 1, demoting him to what would be last in the Junior class come the end of the race. Brandon Edwards started the race in sixth, but by the end of lap 1 he was fourth, before climbing all the way to the lead by lap 7, he would go onto take victory, with Frank Costello just behind, and Nathaniel Stebbings completing the podium. The Cadet race was equally as entertaining, Harry Ward took the win from Jacob Noble in second, and Ryan Cafferkey beat Leo Sibthorpe on the run to the line on the final lap.
In the ‘A’ Final, Blake Southan claimed and completed a masterful victory, by 17.827 seconds over Tom Justice in second place, who showed great form and collected his personal best score of 57 points in one round! Louis Bishop fought valiantly for third place, holding off Zayn Perry and Ethan Anderson in a race long battle. In the Cadet class, Caelen Keith showed his metal and took a commanding victory over his rivals, and bested Dexter Hazeldine, who came home in second, ahead of Rayaan Malik in third. Gillen Townshend had a difficult final, he got caught out by a snap of oversteer of the driver ahead, causing him to take avoiding action and costing him positions, it will be interesting to see how this develops into the final two rounds of the season.
Junior Sprint League
On a bleak, wet, and windy morning on the 19th of November we welcomed back fourteen drivers for round 7 out of 9 of the third season of Junior Sprint League this year! This week, the drivers had full wet conditions to contend with at the beginning of the qualifying session, a bit more rain would fall before the track beginning to dry towards the end of the race. These conditions on Daytona’s trademark ‘international’ layout, make for a true test of driver skill. All three championship contenders were in attendance in the form of Blake Southan, and the infamous Csepreghi brothers, Charlie and Jacob, a round win for Blake put him in touching distance of securing the championship with two rounds to go after today’s race.
There was drama for Blake before the qualifying had even started! A mechanical issue meant that he had to swap go-karts before qualifying. However, it wouldn’t phase him, he remained calm and was able to set a 1:38.102 which would prove good enough for pole position! 0.257 back would be Jacob Csepreghi, and Charlie completed the top three with a 1:38.773 and was 0.671 off the fastest time.
As we moved into the race, the conditions meant that the most consistent drivers would funnel their way through to the winning positions, and this meant that Blake Southan would collect another full house and grand slam victory today taking pole, leading every lap and the fastest lap. Charlie Csepreghi finished 9.946 seconds behind Blake in second place, and Jacob Csepreghi completed the podium, 11.747 seconds off the lead. These three were them able to bridge 19 seconds between themselves and the chasing pack, emphasising why they are the title contenders this season.
Thursday Night League
In the ninth round of the Thursday Night League, 18 drivers took to the track, notably missing a few title contenders. Despite their absence, the current leader, Jimi Holder, and Ash Chivers were among the participants. The race featured an International layout, and qualifying began with Jimi Holder taking an early lead, closely followed by Richard Danby and Norbert Orsos.
As the session unfolded, Feisal posted a quick lap with five minutes remaining, but both Jimi and Norbert improved their times. At the end of qualifying, Jimi Holder secured pole position, leading by six tenths of a second over Martin Collins, with Norbert Orsos in third. Richard Danby and Feisal Meejaun occupied the second row, and the third row featured Oscar Furby alongside Ash Chivers, who was eighth fastest.
When the race started, a collision at turn 6 on the first lap saw Jimi Holder lose the lead, benefiting Ash Chivers significantly. Martin Collins took the lead, with Jimi close behind after three laps. Richard Danby held fourth place, and Norbert Orsos was in fifth. Martin led by just under a second after five laps, with Norbert reclaiming third. Ash Chivers executed a fantastic overtake to regain fourth place from Feisal, while William Fry moved up to fifth.
As the race entered its final minutes, the gap between the front two narrowed to just four tenths, but their positions remained unchanged. Norbert held on to third, and Feisal advanced to fourth after overtaking William Fry. Although Martin Collins seemed to have the pace to keep Jimi behind, the latter made a decisive overtake for the lead on lap 11, with Norbert also attempting to capitalize.
In the closing laps, Jimi Holder built a substantial lead to secure the victory. Meanwhile, a battle for second unfolded between Norbert and Martin. Ultimately, Martin secured second place, with Norbert finishing third. These top three drivers distanced themselves from the rest of the field, with Feisal in fourth, Oscar in fifth, and William Fry in sixth.
The adrenaline-fueled excitement of the Thursday Night League reached its peak in Round 9, where the elements added a thrilling twist to the competition. As the karts roared onto the track, rain showers intensified, setting the stage for a wet and wild qualifying session.
In this slippery showdown, Lee Schnitzler emerged as the rain master, clocking the fastest first lap. However, the dynamic shifted quickly, as Jack Stewart and Barry Morris claimed the top two spots after the second lap. The drama continued as Paul Studd secured pole position on the very last lap of qualifying, leading a formidable top 3 with James King in second and Lee Schnitzler in third.
As if on cue, the rain ceased after qualifying, allowing the drivers to push harder and increase their lap times. The green light signalled the start of the race, and the first lap brought unexpected twists. Paul Studd relinquished his lead, taking James King with him, paving the way for Lee Schnitzler, Jack Stewart, and Feisal Meeajaun to charge into the top 3.
With only the top ten positions earning points, the battle for 10th position was intense, with Charlie Newman and Richard Snow locked in a fierce duel. The changing conditions kept drivers on their toes, resulting in dynamic shifts across the leaderboard.
Midway through the race, Jack Stewart and Lee Schnitzler were engaged in a nail-biting battle for first place, separated by less than half a second. Jack Stewart led for the midsection of the race, showcasing exceptional skill in the challenging conditions. Meanwhile, Richard Snow and Charlie Newman intensified their fight for 9th position, with Sebastian Musicka dropping to 11th but determined to claw his way back into the points.
As the checkered flag waved, Jack Stewart claimed victory, standing atop the podium with a one-second lead over Lee Schnitzler. James King secured third place in a hard-fought battle after dropping down in the initial stages of the race. Notably, Sebastian Musicka showcased resilience, driving his way back to 8th place. Richard Snow and Charlie Newman secured 9th and 10th positions, respectively.
This weekend we hosted the fourth round of Daytona Tamworth's SuperChamps in its Grand Prix format. The N35-ST Lightweights category witnessed another victory for Olivier Pikula, marking a hat-trick of wins this season. Keaton Longstaff, who secured third place in the last round, surpassed his brother Ethan to claim second place on the podium. Despite Ethan dropping to 7th place in this round, he maintained his 5th position in the overall standings. Keaton's second-place finish elevated him to 2nd place in the overall standings, displacing Jacob Holley. Baxter Rawlings made his first podium appearance of the season, finishing in 3rd place, while Jason Hateley secured 4th place, and newcomer Alessio La Malfa came in 5th.
In the N35-ST Heavyweights category, Darren Holliday halted Hamish Easener's winning streak by clinching 1st place in this round, marking Darren's first SuperChamps round of the season. Hamish secured 2nd place, and newcomer Christian Driver rounded off the podium in 3rd. Despite this round's results, Hamish continues to dominate the overall N35-ST Heavyweight standings.
Moving to DMAX-GT Lightweights, Ben Sanders, who didn't compete in the last round, returned to re-claim 1st place. Regular podium sitters Jake Renshaw and Ben Smiles secured 2nd and 3rd place, respectively. Josh Gora and Max Housley, last round's 3rd-place holder, completed the top 5 in 4th and 5th positions. The overall standings saw minimal changes, except for Ben Sanders, who moved up to 6th place after his win. Jake Renshaw maintained his lead, sitting 13 points ahead of Max Housley in 2nd.
In the DMAX-GT Heavy category, Greg Chapman interrupted Justin Elliott's consecutive win streak that started at the beginning of the season, securing 1st place. Justin settled for 2nd place, and Tamworth regular Richard Lavender, June's driver of the month, claimed his first podium appearance this season in 3rd place. Previous podium sitter Stuart Corr and newcomer Dan Christison completed the top 5 in 4th and 5th places, respectively. Justin retained his 1st position in the overall standings, while Richard's podium finish propelled him to 4th place, swapping positions with Steven Humpage.