SSM Super One Series Round 1: Rowrah April 25-26
The opening round of the new style Super One series at the Cumbrian circuit had classes for both Cadet categories, all the Rotax plus the KZ1 gearbox British Championship. There will be ten events this year, with a mix of classes at each circuit to give seven rounds for each class except KZ1 which only has six. The previous weekend Rowrah had hosted the ABkC ‘O’ Plate championships, so Jonny Edgar (IAME Cadet), Wesley Mason (Honda Cadet), William Pettitt (MiniMax), Harrison Thomas (Junior Max) and John Stewart (Rotax Max) were all sporting their new numbers. Edgar had the unique honour of holding the Cadet O Plate for the third time.
Jonny Edgar claimed the winner’s trophy in IAME Cadet, but it was Dexter Patterson who left Rowrah holding a championship lead of 10 points. This followed the young Scottish driver’s flawless display in his Heats and first final. Dexter Patterson was in the driving seat all through the first final, chased by Joseph Taylor and Harry Thompson. But Edgar rose to second early in the race, and with a lap to go Taylor retired with his chain off, leaving Thompson in third. For the second final Edgar snatched the lead on the opening lap and enjoyed a winning cushion all the way. Thompson relieved Patterson of second on lap eleven but was relegated back on the last corner. Taylor stormed back to tenth from the back chased by Bray Kenneally.
1 Jonny Edgar (Fusion/Synergy); 2 Dexter Patterson (AIM/Zip); 3 Harry Thompson (Fusion/Synergy); 4 Taylor Barnard (AIM/Zip); 5 Lorcan Hanafin (OWR/Zip); 6 Brandon Martland (AIM/Zip).
Nicholas Reeve held the lead in the first final for all but briefly on the penultimate lap, when Oliver Clarke went in front. He was swiftly dispatched to third by the speedy Reeve, with Alex Lloyd taking second. Lloyd had sped up from a poor start, battling past Wesley Mason amongst others. Guy Cunnington fell back from his initial seventh and was later given a one lap penalty. Lloyd took the hole shot ahead of Reeve in the second final but Reeve regained command from lap five. The pair stayed in that order with Reeve opening a 10m gap, Clarke and Mason behind after Harry Thompson lost a couple of places. Then things took a bizarre turn after it was revealed that Reeve had failed to report for post race scrutineering due to some irregularities being spotted. He was excluded from the whole meeting, giving Lloyd both wins.
1 Alex Lloyd (BRK Factory Team/BRK); 2 Oliver Clarke (BRK Factory Team/BRK); 3 Wesley Mason (Cutting Edge Racing/Project One); 4 Harry Thompson (Fusion/Project One); 5 Ben Kasperczak (BRK Factory Team/BRK); 6 Louie Westover (Cutting Edge Racing/Project One).
Kiern Jewiss traded the lead in the early laps with Fin Kenneally and even dropped behind William Pettitt for a time. But Jewiss stormed back to take control through to the chequer, with Tom Wood coming up to second ahead of Axel Charpentier and Kenneally whilst Pettitt fell to seventh. Jewiss capped off a near perfect day by winning the second final as well, dropping just one point over the entire weekend. Pettitt grabbed second spot from Charpentier on the last lap, but his manoeuvre was deemed to be reckless and he subsequently incurred a five place penalty. That left Zach Robertson to be elevated to the runner up position ahead of Mark Kimber.
1 Kiern Jewiss (Strawberry Racing/Tonykart); 2 Zach Robertson (KR Sport /Tonykart); 3 Mark Kimber (DHR/Alonso); 4 Axel Charpentier (Strawberry Racing/Tonykart); 5 Chris Lulham (Privateer/Tonykart); 6 Connor McCarthy (Strawberry Racing/Tonykart).
Despite starting sixth Harrison Thomas steadily worked his way up to challenge Oliver York for the lead. Dean MacDonald had led the first lap until Jack McCarthy took him, later usurped by York. A good battle ensued, Thomas mainly in command except for a lap when York had him back. The latter had to settle for second from McCarthy, MacDonald and Tom Gamble. In the second final Thomas followed close behind McCarthy throughout but couldn’t quite find sufficient pace to pass him. These two were almost a quarter of a lap ahead of a tight battle for third position, eventually claimed by Gamble after York was penalised five places for gaining an unfair advantage.
1 Jack McCarthy (Strawberry Racing/Tonykart); 2 Harrison Thomas (KR Sport/Tonykart); 3 Tom Gamble (DHR/Tonykart); 4 Adam Smalley (CRM/Tonykart); 5 Jonathan Hoggard (Protrain/Tonykart); 6 Jordan Brown-Nutley (CRM/Tonykart).
Gary Donnelly and Sam Marsh were inseparable in the first final, trading the lead but resolving in Donnelly’s favour. After passing Scott Mackrell, Matthew Hirst held third over much of the race but faded a couple of places towards the end. That left Connor Hall and Luke Knott in third and fourth.
Connor Hall led the second final from firstly Donnelly, then Marsh until Donnelly leapfrogged both with a little over five laps remaining. In an exciting dash for the line, Donnelly was able to hold on from his Strawberry team-mate, but less than a couple of metres separated them at the finish. Sam Marsh took a more distant third over Mackrell and Hirst.
1 Gary Donnelly (Strawberry Racing/Tonykart); 2 Connor Hall (Strawberry Racing/Tonykart; 3 Sam Marsh (DHR/Alonso) 4 Scott Mackrell (Coles Racing/Tonykart); 5 Matthew Hirst (KR Sport/Tonykart); 6 Charlie Turner (Protrain/Tonykart).
Vice-champion Scott Allen took the initial lead in Final 1, chased hard by Shaun Slavin and Sam Webster. Slavin snatched the lead after a few laps, then Webster also passed Allen on the twisty Cumbrian track. The current champion Henry Easthope briefly held third, usurped by Dan Kelly until he retired with gearbox failure giving Allen the opportunity for third, Easthope having to settle for fourth. In the second final the lead was held first by Webster, then Slavin whilst Allen traded places with Easthope until Webster went back in front in a thrilling duel. Allen got the better of Slavin and opened a good gap whilst he chased down Webster at the end leading to three different kart and engine combinations on the podium, Allen left leading the championship and saying: “Sam was a little quicker in the final but I took too much out of the tyres in the heats.” Kelly came from the back to fourth. Normally accustomed to finishing up at the front, multiple former British Champion Bobby Game found the transition to gear-box racing a tough one as he struggled in 13th position.
1 Sam Webster (Zip Kart/Birel ART-TM); 2 Scott Allen (Jade Karts/Gold-IAME); 3 Shaun Slavin (CRG UK/CRG-Maxter); 4 Dan Kelly (AFR/Sodi-TM); 5 Adam Glear (CRG UK/CRG-Maxter): 6 Denis Gorman (Maranello/Maranello-Vortex).