MACINTYRE CROWNED SOUTHERN CHAMPION!
William Macintyre carried on his fine form last weekend, clinching the IAME Cadet Southern Championship down at sunny Forest Edge.
With the meeting being held over the course of 3 days, Macintyre, along with the rest of the Fusion squad, looked strong throughout testing on Friday. Renowned for being a ‘tyre killer’, the lap times were good on both new and old tyres around the fast and flowing Hampshire circuit, so heading into Qualifying on Saturday expectations were high.
A total of 37 drivers entered, meaning Timed Qualifying was split into two groups and in Group 1 it was Aiden Neate who posted the fastest time, with team mates Archie Clark (4th), Leo Robinson (5th), Bart Harrison (6th) and Oliver Wright (8th) all posting times within the top 10. In Group 2, Macintyre was second fastest and Vinnie Phillips was 4th.
In the Pre-Final there were 5 drivers swapping places throughout for the lead, however it was Macintyre who showed his class as he took the win ahead of Arvid Lindblad (ORM) and Sam Shaw (Strawberry Racing). Neate finished 4th followed by Philips and Leo Robinson rounded out the top 10 – also posting the fastest lap along the way.
At the start of the Final, Lindblad took the lead and was pushed away by Neate to a lead that increased to over 3 seconds at one stage of the race. Despite Lindblad’s lead being so great, Macintyre was determined to get in on the action and with 3 laps to go Neate made a challenge for the lead. With the front pair exchanging places nearly every corner, this allowed Macintyre to close right up, and come the last lap, made his move on Neate to take second, however it was Lindblad who took the victory by 0.25s. Oliver Wright made up 5 places to finish 9th, Harrison again gained 3 positions to finish 12th, followed by Clark in 13th. However, there was disappointment for Philips (21st) and Robinson (DSQ) who were both caught up in separate incidents throughout the race.
On Sunday, the race format was slightly different. Three 5-minute heats for each driver would determine their grid position for the Final. Archie Clark was the highest placed Fusion driver in Heat 1 where he finished 7th. Neate carried on his strong pace as he climbed 11 places to finish 14th, followed by team mates Philips (15th), Robinson (16th), Wright (19th) and Harrison (20th).
In Heat 2, full of confidence, Macintyre managed to make up 21 places from his starting position, crossing the line 2nd plus taking fastest lap along the way, closely followed by Philips (3rd) and Leo Robinson in 5th. Further down the order, Bart Harrison made a strong charge, making up 13 places to finish 11th; however Archie Clark wasn’t so lucky after being penalised for overtaking under a yellow flag, finishing well down in 27th.
Macintyre scooped victory in Heat 3 after making up another impressive 10 places, with Neate coming through to 6th, Wright in 8th, followed by Philips in 9th and Harrison 14th.
With pole position in the Final looking almost certain for Macintyre, he cemented that by taking another victory in the last heat of the day. Aiden Neate’s impressive speed throughout the weekend carried on as he took 2nd and fastest lap, whilst Leo Robinson (4th) was bouncing back after his disappointing result on Saturday. Oliver Wright finished 6th whilst young Clark followed close behind in 11th.
In the Final it was clear that Macintyre meant business from the get-go, as he took the lead on lap 1 and continued to pull away throughout the race. Despite a late challenge from Maxwell Dodds, nothing was going to spoil Macintyre’s day as he took victory in the 8-minute Final. Sam Shaw finished 3rd and Aiden Neate rounded off a great weekend after never having driven the track until Friday morning, finishing 4th. Vinnie Philips (7th) and Leo Robinson (8th) both showed class as they made amends for their Saturday Final result, along with Oliver Wright (12th) and the ever-improving Archie Clark down in 19th.
Points from both finals over the 2 days were tallied up and Macintyre was duly crowned Southern Champion for 2018. Arvid Lindblad (ORM) was 2nd with Maxwell Dodds (ORM) 3rd. The team next head to their home track of Kimbolton for the 3rd round of the LGM Championship.