SLATER EXTENDS CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD WITH ROUND 3 WIN
Freddie Slater clinched victory on Sunday (June 10th) at Round 3 of the LGM IAME Cadet Championship, at Kimbolton, increasing his lead in the standings over his nearest rivals.
With the meeting being held exclusively as an LGM only round, track time was maximised with 6x 8-minute test sessions on Saturday. Each of the Fusion drivers were showing fantastic speed throughout the day, with racing commencing the following day.
Clear blue skies greeted the drivers on Sunday morning, and after warm up had finished, it was straight into Heat 1. Aiden Neate was the highest placed driver for the blue and orange army starting in 3rd. Slightly further down, Bart Harrison (8th) Slater (9th) and Vinnie Phillips (22nd) were all looking to make up strong ground once the lights went out. Neate immediately took the lead on Lap 1 and looked comfortable at the front of the pack. Further down the order, Phillips was having a storming drive picking up places every lap. As the final laps ticked away it was Arvid Lindblad (ORM) who took the first heat win, with Neate dropping to 4thon the last couple of laps. Slater made up 4 places to take 5th, whilst Philips’ reward of a strong drive through meant he ended up 9th. Unfortunately, Harrison didn’t have the best of opening heats, as he dropped to 28thafter an incident mid race.
In Heat 2, Archie Clark started 7th, Oliver Wright was starting 11th, alongside team mate Phillips in 12th whilst William Macintyre would go off grid 17, Slater 23rd, Leo Robinson 20th and young William McLean making his first start in a Championship race, starting down in 30th. Heats were only 8 minutes + 1 lap, so overtaking was critical. Macintyre was carving his way through the pack, and with a couple of laps remaining, closed up on leader Maxwell Dodds. Macintyre made a move for the lead into turn 1, however Dodds slammed the door shut, resulting in both karts tangling, and Macintyre coming off worse, stuck in the tyre wall, and worse, retiring from the race. This all meant that the chasing pack closed up, and it was Brandon Carr (ORM) who picked up the pieces and took the heat win, ahead of Slater who charged through making up 21 places to second. Wright finished 6th, with Robinson in 8th, Phillips in 9th, McLean in 29thand Clark down in 30thafter a first lap spin.
Macintyre was determined to make amends for his result in Heat 2 and got off to a great start in Heat 3 taking the lead from the get go, closely followed by Robinson. The pair initially pushed away together, before a ‘battenberg flag’ was thrown after a minor incident at turn 1, closing the pack up together. Once racing commenced, the pair again pushed away as a team, pulling clear of 3rdplaced Neate, who made the most of the ‘battenberg flag’ restart, overtaking 4 karts in one lap. At the flag, Macintyre took the win ahead of Robinson and Neate who rounded out a top 3 for the team. Clark came through to 9th, picking up 3 places, whilst Harrison started 13thand remained 13that the flag. William McLean was enjoying his first official race weekend with the team, making up 4 positions to 26th.
In the final heat of the day, Macintyre’s day went from bad to worse, as the Southern Champion suffered a brake failure on the out lap, meaning he couldn’t take the start. This would mean he had to go through the B Final to progress into the A. Meanwhile, Slater had made a great start from 13th, and was quickly making his way up the order, as were Phillips, Neate, Wright, Robinson, Clark and Harrison. With an extra 3 points up for grabs for Pole Position in the A Final, Slater knew a strong result in the heat would secure him that and made sure with another fine drive to 2nd. Philips took 5th, with Wright in 8th, Neate again showing good speed finishing 9thfrom 25th, Robinson, Harrison and Clark successively in 16th, 17thand 18th, and McLean again making up 4 places to 26th.
After the pace shown by Macintyre all weekend, the B Final looked straight forward after starting 2nd. However, a snapped bracket on his chain guard caused speed down the straights to be considerably slower than the other drivers around him. Despite taking the lead, Macintyre’s lap times were over half a second slower than the times he had been showing throughout the weekend. As the race went progressed and the clock ticked down, all fingers were crossed, preying the one remaining bracket would hold on until the end of the race. Thankfully the gods were on his side as he took the win by almost 2 seconds, securing him a place in the A Final. However, there wasn’t so much luck for McLean, who unfortunately missed the top 4 cut, finishing in 11th, nonetheless a weekend full of positives for the young 8-year-old.
Slater started pole, alongside Dodds (ORM), however a flurry of Fusion karts dominated the top 10 places on the grid. Neate started 3rd, Philips 5th, Wright 8thand Robinson 9th. Further down the order, Clark started 27th, Harrison 29thand the unlucky Macintyre 31st, however with a 15-minute final ahead, anything was possible. The race got off to a great start with the Fusion trio of Slater, Neate and Phillips all in the top 4. As the race went on, positions changed every corner, however it was Lindblad who was making a recovery drive from 10thwho took the lead by the mid-way point, followed by Slater and Dodds. Macintyre by this point was just knocking on the door of the top 10, down in 12th. With a 5-kart battle for 4thhottening up, Macintyre was closing fast. Heading into the final 2 laps, Slater made a move for the lead on Lindblad, and defended superbly to hold on and take victory at the chequered flag. Neate (5th) was pipped to 4thby Sam Shaw (Strawberry), but the drive of the day went to Macintyre who crossed the line in 6th, having made up 25 positions. Philips finished in 8th, whilst Wright finished just outside the top 10 in 11th. Archie Clark made up 9 places to finish 18thand Harrison made up 7 to finish 22nd.
Slater now holds a 14-point gap on total points scored in the LGM Championship, and heads into this weekend’s Round 4 of the British Super One championship full of confidence.
pictures – kartpix.net