Barnard Blitzes Rowrah
Posted in Race Reports
Barnard Blitzes Rowrah
Taylor takes clean sweep in Cumbria
Event: MSA British Championship R2
Track: Rowrah, Cumbria
Weather: Sunny, dry
Winner: Taylor Barnard
Fastest Lap: Taylor Barnard
Taylor Barnard underlined his current dominance of the IAME Cadet category with an awesome display of driving around the technical Rowrah Stadium, claiming pole position by nearly half a second before driving away from the opposition in both heats and Finals.
The only time Taylor was headed was on the first lap of Heat 1, where Maxwell Dodds got the jump from the outside of the front row, but Dodd’s efforts to keep the Fusion driver behind lasted less than a minute and once Taylor was through he cleared off into the distance. Fusion’s Alex Dunne proved to be best of the rest for most of the weekend, and ran most of the two heats in 2nd position but succumbed to pressure at the end of each and ended Saturday with a 7th and 5th. Alex learned from his mistakes and went on to secure 2nd in Final 1 to bag some useful points, but in Final 2 was shuffled back at the start. He regained 3rd, but lost out on the Final lap and had to settle for 5th.
‘Fast Freddie’ Slater made two spirited comebacks in the heats to score two top tens, having had to work his way from grid 18 following a disappointing timed qualifying where he couldn’t find the right track space to put the lap in. Freddie, the surprise of Round 1 at Rowrah in the wet, was in his first dry race meeting at the track but shone through in the Finals to net 7th and 4th, to claim top rookie once again and cement his place in the top 3 in the Championship, one of the most impressive performances by an 8 year old in some time.
Josh Irfan also had a bad qualifying, he posted 9th fastest time, with bad track positioning but a drop down nose penalty put him back on grid 14 for the heats. Like Freddie he came through well and would start Final 1 of grid 7. After a race long battle he crossed the line 6th and looked to have the speed for a top 3 in Final 2, but from the start it was apparent Josh had an engine problem, which dropped him down the order to a disappointing 18th, one place behind team mate Vinnie Phillips.
Vinnie was enjoying a step up in performance at Rowrah and qualified a creditable 11th. He raced well in the heats, with some great overtaking but couldn’t quite turn his pace into the results he deserved. After the heats he was classified 13th and raced hard, but a couple of knocks set him back and he ended Final 1 21st, before coming through to 17th in Final 2.
The surprise of the weekend came from William MacIntyre, who showed signs of pace over the weekend, the best he could manage in the heats was two 12th places, giving him grid 11 for Final 1. As is often the case with William, his pace was masked by others around him wanting to battle for the lowly positions so he ended Final 1 12th. After a good start in Final 2 however, William soon found himself in the top 10 and with an impressive turn of pace coupled with great overtaking, he shook of the mid pack and chased down the ‘big boys’. He kept going until the end picking off Lindblad and Watts, crossing the line 7th for his best result at this level by far.
Alfie Hodges, on the other hand, endured a miserable Rowrah, having been very ill on Friday he missed testing, putting him on the back foot straight away. With only one practice session before TQ, and clearly under the weather, Alfie struggled to get on the pace. His highlight of the weekend was Heat 2 where he recovered well to battle in the pack for 3rd but his result was short lived as he was hit into the back of another driver on the last lap, giving him a nose cone penalty. To rub salt into the wounds, another nosecone penalty dropped him down the order in Final 1, before being punted out of the race in Final 2, giving him a disastrous score over a weekend to forget. Alfie was clearly not well and will have to write this one off and gain his strength back for the O Plate at Buckmore.
Young Oliver Wright made another step forward in terms of pace at Rowrah, he closed the gap to the front runners in terms of lap time but still struggled with overtaking, as his speed improves, slowly his confidence will to and he is already threatening the top 20, it won’t be long until there are more karts behind him than infront of him.
So with Taylor, Freddie, Alex and William making it 4 Fusion drivers in the top 7 in Final 2, and Fusion winning and setting fastest lap in every race (Freddie in Heat 2), it was a successful weekend for the team, who now head to Buckmore to try and reclaim the British Open Championship for a 8th consecutive year.