MAIDEN NATIONAL VICTORY FOR NEATE IN WALES
Aiden Neate claimed his maiden National victory at Round 6 of the Super One Series, held at Glan-Y-Gors in Wales last weekend. Neate was dominant throughout the weekend, taking Pole Position in timed qualifying, followed by a heat win, Pole Position for the Pre-Final, and then victory in the main Final.
Date 9th September 2018
Event Super One Series
As Saturday came round, so did the rain. But that wasn’t going to stop the force of the Fusion army taking full control of Qualifying. Topping the time sheets was Neate, almost 2 tenths clear of team mate William Macintyre, who was followed by a very impressive Bart Harrison in 3rd. Freddie Slater was 7th, ahead of Vinnie Phillips in 8th, Archie Clark 15th, Oliver Wright 16th and Leo Robinson in 18th.
In Heat 1, the weather continued to play its part as the rain carried on falling. However, this wasn’t going to stop Neate, who charged to victory ahead of ORM’s Maxwell Dodds. Slater made up 4 places to finish 3rd, whilst a disappointing first lap hindered Harrison’s chance of a top 3 finish, despite coming home in 8th. Phillips was just outside the top 10 in 11th, Robinson made up good ground to 12th, Clark 13th and Wright 15th. Macintyre (23rd) had a heat to forget, after spinning in the tricky conditions on the warm up lap, he was forced to start from the back of the grid. When making his way through the field, he was caught up in an incident, forcing him to retire from the race.
With the weather unsure of its next move, the gamble to use slick tyres on a drying track in Heat 2 was the question. However, a number of drivers decided to play it safe, including that of Wright, who chose wet tyres along with 2 other drivers on the grid. This turned out to be a great call, as it allowed all 3 drivers to glide through the pack with ease, and driving off into the distance, leaving the remaining drivers on slicks tip-toeing round the slippery North Wales circuit. At the flag, Wright took his first Heat win at National level by 6 seconds, to Arvid Lindblad in second and Macintyre recovering in 3rd. Neate slipped to 4th, but it was enough to earn him Pole Position for the Pre-Final on Sunday. Slater remained in 7th, Phillips 11th, Clark 14th, Harrison 17th, and Robinson 21st after picking up a nose cone 10 second penalty.
In the Pre-Final, Macintyre seized advantage and took victory ahead of his Fusion team mates Slater and Neate. Phillips gained 2 places to 7th, as did Harrison who finished behind in 8th. Rounding out the top 10 was Wright, whilst Robinson made up 7 positions to 12th, ahead of Clark in 14th.
As the heavens opened once again for the Final, Neate hit the front of the pack, and for a while it looked as thought he would drive off into the distance. However, Slater was having none of that, and put a great charge in to fight back and close the gap, taking the lead of the race on the final lap. With over a 5 second lead on the pair headed into the twisty section of the circuit nose to tail. Neate dived to the inside of Slater, causing contact, leading to Slater to take to the grass, however rejoining still in the lead but some way in front of Neate. Slater crossed the line first, but after a stewards enquiry, he was adjudged to have gained an advantage when leaving the track, therefore was handed a 10 second penalty, promoting Neate to victory. Dodds was 2nd, ahead of his team mate Lindblad in 3rd. Harrison had a storming drive through to 5th, whilst Slaters penalty dropped him to 6th. Further down, Phillips finished 9th, Wright 10th, Robinson 19th followed by Clark in 20th. Macintyre’s miserable weekend continued when a mechanical failure meant he was unable to finish the race, causing a large dent in his championship hopes.
Pictures – Kartpix.net