SSM Super One Series Round 2: Shenington May 9-10
The second round of the Super One was exclusively for the ABkC National Rotax Championships with the addition of a Cadet Libre support race for the local drivers. They had much enjoyment mixing with the UK’s premier championship and getting experience of timed qualifying and longer races. Honda mounted Guy Cunnington just edged both final wins. Hard fought MiniMax races resulted in wins for Zak Robertson and Joe Turney. And in Junior and Senior Max Harrison Thomas with Zak Fulk, and Luke Knott with Sam Marsh respectively broke away from the pack in both finals, staying in that order.
A surprise for competitors was the appearance of the UK Anti-Doping Commission accompanied by the MSA Anti-Doping Officer Jen Carty, as the MSA continued to expand their testing programme across the motorsport spectrum. Luke Knott, Sam Marsh and Connor Hall, who finished in the top three positions in Saturday’s second Senior Rotax heat, were asked to provide urine samples. “We will be performing tests at several championships this year at various venues, levels and disciplines and across various age ranges,” said Carty. “As part of the MSA’s Anti-Doping Programme, the MSA will be working with UK Anti-Doping to carry out random urine testing and alcohol breathalyser testing with testing and education becoming more prevalent in the sport.” And Luke Knott added: “It’s a good thing that they are here.”
The two superb Mini Max finals drew praise from spectators, teams and officials. With Shenington’s combinations of long straights and fast corners lending it perfectly to slipstreaming everybody knew that forming a breakaway would be virtually impossible but few could have predicted how close the first 15-minute final would be with a dozen drivers capable of winning. Polesitter Zachary Robertson led the early laps but Kiern Jewiss soon took over as everyone else jostled for position behind. Robertson’s teammate Joe Turney grabbed the lead with four laps remaining but Robertson outfoxed him on the penultimate tour to take his maiden S1 triumph. Jewiss, with help from teammate Connor McCarthy, claimed second with Axel Charpentier in a third Strawberry entry, muscling Turney back to fifth. Finn Kenneally and Bradley Barrett were both given 5 place penalties whilst Morgan Porter was excluded, all for driving issue.
Robertson made a poor start in final two as Jewiss and McCarthy tried in vain to push away but they were soon pegged back by Turney, Charpentier and Mark Kimber among others. The Strawberry trio continually tried to line up at the front but were thwarted at every attempt and as Robertson charged back into the lead pack Turney took advantage to pass Jewiss and claim a double win for KR Sport. Robertson initially claimed second but was given a five place penalty, which promoted Kimber and Charpentier onto the podium, ahead of Jewiss with early leader McCarthy sixth like Charpentier losing touch with the lead trio towards the end.
1 Zachary Robertson (KR Sport/Tonykart); 2 Kiern Jewiss (Strawberry Racing/Tonykart); 3 Connor McCarthy (Strawberry Racing/Tonykart); 4 Axel Charpentier (Strawberry Racing/Tonykart); 5 Joe Turney (KR Sport/Tonykart); 6 Alex McDade (Tooley Motorsport/Tonykart).
1 Turney; 2 Mark Kimber (Dan Holland Racing/Alonso); 3 Charpentier; 4 Jewiss; 5 Tom Canning (Dan Holland Racing/Alonso); 6 McCarthy.
The two Junior Rotax finals were equally absorbing but in a different way as Harrison Thomas took a double win. Final one saw Thomas lose his initial lead to Dean McDonald mid race until Oliver York ran wide in the chicane. That gave Thomas a run on McDonald and he held the lead despite a strong challenge from Zak Fulk to the chequer. McDonald had to settle for third holding off Jack McCarthy, Tom Gamble and York. Ben Davis and Lucy Fulton were both given 5 place penalties. With Macdonald retiring on the opening lap of the second final, the second final became a straight head-to-head duel between Thomas and Fulk. They traded the lead several times on the opening laps, then settled with Thomas ahead to pull a five second gap on the rest. Fulk waited until the last lap before making his move and although he briefly got to the inside of Thomas going into the Bruno Chicane the Welshman was able to skirt around the outside to hang on to the lead and the victory, each giving the other enough respect. This time Jack Martin felt the wrath of the Clerks with exclusion. Adam Smalley had earlier deposed McCarthy from third, and he headed McCarthy who managed to retrieve fourth at the end from York.
1 Harrison Thomas (KR Sport/Tonykart); 2 Zak Fulk (Coles Racing/Tonykart); 3 Dean Macdonald (AIM Motorsport/Kosmic); 4 Jack McCarthy (Strawberry Racing/Tonykart); 5 Tom Gamble (Dan Holland Racing/Alonso); 6 Oliver York (AIM Motorsport/Kosmic).
1 Thomas; 2 Fulk; 3 Smalley; 4 McCarthy; 5 York; 6 Thomas Turner (Tooley Motorsport/Tonykart).
Luke Knott and Sam Marsh were the class of the Senior Rotax field all weekend, taking every race between them. Marsh was hung out of the lead on the opening lap of the first final in favour of Knott but fought back by Charlie Turner and Brett Ward to put a halt to Knott’s bid to break away. They left Conor Hall in their wake and then had another trade of the lead on the penultimate lap. Knott came out in command and held out until the flag. Spencer Barrow made a late pass on Ward for fourth. For the second final Marsh was quick to leapfrog Knott into the lead and held that until the last few laps. A huge battle ensued for the final podium place, initially Barrow then also Hall and Ward holding the position. Hall was bundled aside on the Stratford hairpin exit, and later dropped to 15th after almost succeeding in a pass on Ward. Barrow had claimed third and held it, gaining a welcome cushion at the end when Matthew Hirst took Ward. Gary Donnelly, who had to take to the escape road along with James Johnson at the start, was excluded.
1 Luke Knott (Strawberry Racing/Tonykart); 2 Sam Marsh (Dan Holland Racing/Alonso); 3 Connor Hall (Strawberry Racing/Tonykart); 4 Spencer Barrow (Coles Racing/Tonykart); 5 Brett Ward (AIM Motorsport/Kosmic); 6 Charlie Turner (Protrain/Tonykart).
1 Knott; 2 Marsh; 3 Barrow; 4 Matthew Hirst (KR Sport/Tonykart); 5 Ward; 6 Leonard Hoogenboom (Strawberry Racing/Tonykart).
The Cadet Libre guest class provided two nail biting finals as Clayton Ravenscroft and Guy Cunnington played out two highly tactical races. In the first they dropped Harry Yardley-Rose who fell back behind Abbi Pulling. Cunnington passed Ravenscroft on the outside of the final corner to win final one by one hundredth of a second in the drag to the line. In the second Pulling managed to get between them for a short time before fading for third with Leonardo Panayiotou leading the next bunch. This time Cunnington retrieved the lead from Ravenscroft half a lap from home to win final two by a similarly tiny margin.
1 Guy Cunnington (Privateer/BRK); 2 Clayton Ravenscroft (AIM Motorsport/ZIP); 3 Abbi Pulling (Privateer/Synergy); 4 Harry Yardley-Rose (YR Racing/ZIP); 5 Joe Weaver (Dulux/Synergy); 6 Louis Harvey (Privateer/Shark).
1 Cunnington; 2 Ravenscroft; 3 Pulling; 4 Leonardo Panayiotou (ZIP Allstars/ZIP); 5 Jamie Mead (Spirit Racing/ZIP); 6 Yardley-Rose