LGM CHAMPIONSHIP Rd 6, SHENINGTON
Established 53 years ago, with a layout that hasn’t altered very much since, Shenington has witnessed many memorable races and one or two very tight finishes in its time. They haven’t come any tighter than the Little Green Man Final on August 18th which was decided by mere thousandths of a second.
Warm weather combined with 47 eager young contenders to provide the ingredients for some entertaining racing. Oliver York’s championship lead over Alex Quinn had been reduced to just eight points and we expected that competition between these two would be especially fierce. Saturday’s practice sessions had suggested that Quinn held the whip hand as York appeared to lack a bit of pace. Tyler Chesterton, Will Pettitt, Kiern Jewiss and Tom Wood also caught the eye by putting in some rapid laps.
Quinn started off the day with a well taken victory over Zach Robertson. Owen Byatt snatched 3rd place from Albert Carter on the last lap of this race. Carter faced further disappointment when he was docked five places for an earlier indiscretion. York won Heat 2 by a whisker from Quinn and these two shared the fastest lap-time of this race. Jewiss finished 3rd ahead of Dexter Patterson. Herbie Grout claimed victory next time out, although Sean Butcher pushed him hard all the way. Jewiss took 3rd place ahead of Ethan Hawkey.
Jonny Edgar won Heat 4 by a kart’s length from Chesterton. Hawkey fought off a determined effort by Tom Douglas to finish 3rd. Just half a second covered the top five finishers in Heat 5. Pettitt won this one followed by Wood, Quinn and Chesterton with Toby Stephenson just missing out by a coat of paint on the line. That left Quinn in pole position for the Final alongside Jewiss. Next up came Wood, Chesterton, York, Pettitt, Grout and Douglas. Luca Molinaro, Piers Henderson, Fraser Fenwick and Bailey Campbell all qualified via the “B” Final.
Quinn made a quick getaway but York was even faster as he immediately latched onto the leader’s rear bumper despite starting from grid 5. Jewiss settled into 3rd place with Wood dropping down to 6th behind Pettitt and Chesterton. Before a couple of laps had been completed Quinn and York had opened up a gap of more than 20 yards. Wood managed to get past Pettitt for 5th spot and then took 4th away from Chesterton. By this time, though, Quinn and York had just about doubled their advantage to around 40 yards. After climbing up to 7th Albert Carter suddenly dropped out of contention and retired several laps later.
By half distance Wood had moved ahead of Jewiss for 3rd position. Starting from grid 19 Lewis Thompson had made meteoric progress and was already up to 6th. Edgar, too, had climbed steadily forward and soon caught up with a group of half a dozen drivers contesting 5th position. York had been sitting benignly behind Quinn until, with 3 laps remaining, he spotted an opportunity to take control and grasped it eagerly. Had he made his move too early? Certainly many of us watching believed so as we waited for Quinn to pounce.
They began their final tour with York defending grimly and adding around 3 seconds onto his lap time as a result. Coming into the hairpin with just one more bend remaining Quinn went deliberately wide hoping for a faster exit speed. Out of the left hander York maintained an advantage of around half a kart’s length but Quinn’s wheels were turning faster. They crossed the line with York claiming victory by a hair’s breadth. Wood and Jewiss had been involved in a similarly hard fought contest although they completed their final lap at normal racing speed and consequently reduced the gap by 50 yards or so. Thompson headed a queue of half a dozen karts to take 5th place ahead of Chesterton, Robertson, Edgar, Butcher, Patterson and Douglas.
1. Oliver York (Fusion); 2. Alex Quinn (Fusion); 3. Tom Wood (AIM); 4. Kiern Jewiss (Next Gen); 5. Lewis Thompson (Private Team); 6. Tyler Chesterton (Privateer);
CHAMPIONSHIP PLACINGS (AFTER 6 ROUNDS)
1. York (564 pts); 2. Quinn (552); 3. Wood (536); 4. Pettitt (526); 5. Thompson (525); 6. Jewiss (508); 7. Edgar (503); 8=. Butcher (502); 8=. Chesterton (502); 10. Patterson (501).