TVKC Winter Series Round 1
The first meeting of the year kicked off in style last weekend, as the team returned to the top spot of the podium in both the IAME Cadet class and Mini X30. There were also impressive outings in the Junior X30, as well as an impressive debut drive in Senior X30 as the team made their first appearance of the new campaign at round 1 of the TVKC Winter Series.
In IAME Cadet, Fusion’s 5th seed, Aiden Neate, took Pole Position by an impressive 0.3 tenths of a second, ahead of team mates Archie Clark, Kean Nakamura-Berta and Vinnie Phillips. Leo Robinson rounded out the top 10, whilst newcomers to the team Ashton Hodgson (13th), Alex O’Grady (22nd), Ella Stevens (24th), Maison Rudman (26th) and Kalum Graffin (32nd) all looked to move up the field in the heats on Sunday. Jorge Edgar, who only returned from holiday on Saturday afternoon, struggled in Qualifying, posting the 44th fastest time out of a total of 52 drivers.
Neate took victory in Heat 1, followed home by Phillips and ORM driver, Brandon Carr. Clark finished 4th, whilst Robinson moved up several positions to 7th. Gaining 4 places in 11th was O’Grady, however Hodgson suffered a nose penalty, demoting him from 9th to 13th. Rudman made up 2 places to 16th, whilst Graffin also climbed 4 positions to 18th. Edgar was looking to make up for his qualifying performance, but could only manage 30th. In Heat 2, ORM driver Brandon Carr was handed victory after a last lap incident resulted in debutant for the team, Berta, being outnumbered by several other drivers, spinning out of contention for the win, and crossing the line in 15th. This allowed Clark (2nd) to pick up the pieces as he steered clear of the trouble, whilst Stevens recorded a strong first heat of the day as she finished 7th, climbing 9 spots. Rudman rounded up his second of the day with a 20th place finish, as did Graffin (24th) and Edgar (30th). The final heat of the day was won by Phillips, who lead home a Fusion 1,2,3 ahead of Neate and Berta. This confirmed a Fusion lockout on the front row for the final race on Sunday afternoon. In 5th was Robinson, Stevens in 8th, Hodgson 10th and O’Grady 12th.
The final was won by Neate, who was pushed across the line by Carr, whilst Harry Burgoyne Jnr rounded up the podium positions. After a frantic last lap battle with several drivers, Robinson crossed the line in 4th, ahead of team mate Berta in 5th, Phillips in 7th, and Clark in 10th. Making good ground in the 10 minute final was Hodgson, who made up 5 places to 12th, who pipped O’Grady (13th) to the line. However, there weren’t such great outcomes for Rudman (26th) who was caught up in a first lap incident, as was Graffin (33rd), whilst Stevens suffered from a seized engine on lap 3, ending all hopes of a strong finish in the final.
Ollie Greenall and Alfie Rigby both made their debut’s for the Fusion outfit in the Mini X30 class last weekend, with both showing signs of strong speed during testing on Friday. In Qualifying, Greenall secured Pole Position ahead of ORM driver Arvid Lindblad and Edward Pearson. Rigby posted the 6th fastest time, out of a field of 27 drivers.
In Heat 1, Luke Watts took victory ahead of Theo Micouris and Archie Walker. Rigby who originally crossed the line in 1st, was awarded a 5 second nose cone penalty finished in 6th, whilst Greenall also suffered the same penalty, demoting him to 9th. Lindblad was victorious in Heat 2, ahead of Greenall in 2nd and Rigby in 3rd, meaning Lindblad would start from Pole Position in the final, joined by Watts in 2nd. Rigby would start 4th, alongside team mate Greenall in 5th.
An impressive start saw both Fusion drivers hit the front taking complete control of the Final. Maintaining the gap throughout the race, Greenall lead onto the last lap, followed by Rigby and Pearson. Driving like he had years of X30 experiences, Greenall held off the threat from behind, and hung on to claim his maiden victory on his debut for the team. Rigby however wasn’t so lucky, as he dropped back to 5th at the line, but was later disqualified from the race after an on track incident.
Tom Edgar, Georgi Dimitrov and Mini X30 graduates, Joshua McLean and Zac Meakin were all out in force for the Fusion squad last weekend. Edgar posted the 11th fastest time out of the 42 drivers, pipping 2018 Mini X30 British Champion, McLean in 12th. After a last minute decision to switch chassis’, Dimitrov was 19th fastest overall, with Meakin just behind in 22nd.
In Heat 1, Alex Lloyd took victory, ahead of former Fusion driver, Oliver Bearman, and BKC driver Alessandro Ceronetti. Making up 9 places was Dimitrov who crossed the line in 4th, with Edgar just behind in 6th. Meakin was unfortunate to pick up a 5 second nose cone penalty, dropping him from his original 15th finishes, to 21st. Lloyd took his second heat win of the day in heat 2, ahead of Tyler Read, whilst Edgar made up 4 places too 3rd and McLean held on to 8th in his first heat of the day. Another former Fusion driver, Joseph Taylor, secured the 3rd heat win of the day, ahead of Bearman and Ceronetti. Dimitrov was the victim of a 5 second nose cone penalty, after he originally crossed the line in 4th, but then had to settle for 13th, meaning he would have to start 13th for the final. Meakin remained in 15th, whilst McLean (17th) also received a penalty after he had a 7th place finish ruled out.
In the final, Dimitrov was on a charge from lap 1, and immediately set his sights on the drivers at the front of the field. Meanwhile, holding his own at the top end of the field was Edgar, who was trading places every lap. Making up ftheir disappointing starts were McLean and Meakin, who were also picking off drivers every lap, on their charge through the pack. As the race progressed towards the final laps, Dimitrov was now in the lead pack. As they crossed the line, Taylor took the victory, with Dimitrov in 2nd and Lucas Ellingham in 3rd. Edgar was classified in 4th, whilst McLean made up 7 places to 10th, and Meakin up 9 to 20th.
Making a return to British racing this year is Harry Thompson, who will be racing in the Senior X30 class with the team in the Motorsport UK British Kart Championship. The Red Bull Junior driver was In action last weekend at the first round of the TVKC Winter Series, looking to kick off his 2019 campaign in style.
However, this wasn’t to be the case unfortunately, after an incident on the out lap in qualifying resulted in another driver making contact with Thompson, and driving over the front of his kart. Despite his kart being damaged, Thompson carried on with the session, but could only post the 28th fastest time. In the first heat, Ben Barnicoat took victory, ahead of Sean Butcher and Thomas Turner. Thompson made up 11 places to 8th, after starting 19th for his first heat. In his second heat of the day, Thompson went one better, and finished up in 7th, again starting down in 19th, meaning he would start the final from 10th.
In his last race of the day, despite a strong opening couple of laps, once Thompson was up to 6th, this was all he was able to manage in the 10 minute final. The front 5 drivers had broken away, and Harry was left in a very lonely remainder of the race. At the flag, Barnicoat took victory, ahead of Oliver Hodgson and Turner, was Harry secured 6th – nonetheless a great comeback from what look a very small chance after Qualifying.
Pictures – Kartpix.net