27.8.14 - 2014 EPEC Rd 3 of 10 24 Hours of the Isle of Man 3-4 May

EPEC is an abbreviation for European Prokart Endurance Championship and an early morning drive to a ferry reinforces the nomenclature. Two hours later we were in the Isle of Man which was not living up to it's reputation as a sundrenched paradise.

The following day restored it's reputation and the track itself proved to be an example of the experience. Up the way, the view of the track was bordered by the usual mix of industrialised buildings, but down the way a truly beautiful backdrop of rolling hills could be seen beyond the twisting , elevated track.

 

Qualifying

        GX200 Extreme                      GX160

1st    43 MS SoCo Select 51.84          33 Swifty's 54.59

2nd   58 DWS Racing 51.95               36 Brassick 54.87

3rd    74 DAM 52.06                         112 Lucky Break 55.52

4th    111 MS JSR 52.07                    31 Ellan Vannin 55.57

5th    22 GT Racing 52.39                  17 LLS Tallywackers 56.15

 

Race

The start of the race was by a Le Mans ( or should that be Le Manx) start. When everyone was ready the flag vigorously waved by Bob Pope set them off. Adam Nichols (58 DWS) with his very long legs was first to the karts and led the peloton off. 35 laps later he had built the gap to 0.83sec from Steve Welsh in 43 MS SoCo Select and 10 sec down was 111 MS JSR ( Sam Tugwell) with a 5sec advantage on 22 GT Racing ( Mark Bentley-Roberts). The top 10 was completed by 126 Lucky Break, 90 CUBBO 1 ( Mark Cubbon) , 77 OffLine Racing, 115 Team Keane ( Tom Bolland), 74 DAM and 31 Ellen Vannin.

At 102 laps after the first fuel stop 43 MS SoCo Select was in the lead with nearly a lap on 111 MS JSR. 43 MS SoCo Select had taken the lead from 58 DWS who then took it back and 43 MS SoCo Select regained the lead. However, 58 DWS had a poor pitstop when they left the pits with only one engine running and had to re-pit to start it. 77 OffLine Racing had now moved up to 4th and 126 Lucky Break infront of 22 GT Racing.

  

5hrs

43 MS SoCo Select has a 2 lap lead from 111 MS JSR who are 1.5 laps up on 58 DWS, 43's Dan Crossley has set the fastest lap by 3 hundredths from Steven Welsh at 51.85sec. 126 Lucky Break is a further 3laps down and battling with 77 OffLine Racing. The top 10 is completed by 22 GT Racing, 115 Team Keane, 74 DAM, 90 CUBBO 1, and 33 Swifty's. Team 10 BIG BEAR are a marshall's team with little experience and picked because of their weight resemblance to Bears. Somehow they are registering on the leaderboard at 20th ! There is a lot to be said for on-the-job training. Their task is raising funds for charity and they are leading the race in this category.

8hrs

111 MS JSR dropped to 3rd because of a broken chain. 77 OffLine Racing in front of 126 Lucky Break.

  

Halfway

The rain has made it's appearance and the laptimes have drifted to 64 sec instead of the dry 52sec. 43 MS SoCo Select are still leading from 58 DWS and 111 MS JSR. 77 OffLine Racing still leading 115 Team Keane and 74 DAM have revelled in the conditions and are now up to 6th. 10 Big Bear are upto 19th .

 

18 hrs

43MS SoCo Select have hit problems with a nosecone, seat stays and a change to wet weather settings and are now 2nd but circulating more quickly than 58 DWS. The weather has had a big effect causing a power failure as too many people switched on heaters and overloaded the power circuit so generously allowed by the Organisers. This led to a Red Flag and power was restored quickly. Also , since only dry slicks were allowed then there was more coming together on the track.

The top 10 are :-

58 DWS, 43 MS SoCo Select, 111 MS JSR, 115 Team Keane, 77 OffLine Racing, 126 Lucky Break, 90 CUBBO 1, 74 DAM, 22 GT Racing and 88 3 Legs Again.10 Big Bear have climbed to 17th .

 

22.5hrs

58 DWS have had their problems and 43 MS SoCo Select now have a 3 lap advantage over 58 DWS who have a 9 lap advantage over 111 MS JSR. 4th is a further 14 laps and 5th at 8 laps.

 

Race finish

43 MS SoCo Select then had a drama free last couple of sessions had came in first with a 2 lap lead. 58 DWS had , at times, outpaced 43 and led for many hours came in 2nd with many tales of what might have been. 3Rd was 111 MS JSR who also had the pace but the mechanical gremlins were in place, in their haste to rejoin the action were penalized 3 laps for speeding in the pitlane.

The GX160 teams came in with a best placed finish of 11th overall which was an excellent achievement, since the expected rain appeared but not for long enough to equalise the superior power of the GX200 in the dry. 10 BIG Bear could not catch the more experienced J&J Racing even though their efforts gave us great entertainment.

 

Result

     GX200 Extreme           GX160                    Hire Kart

1st 43 MS SoCo Select        112 Lucky Break      24 J&J Racing

2nd 58 DWS                      33 Swifty's              10 Big Bear

3rd 111 MS JSR                  31 Ellen Vannin

 

Summary

The grid was disappointingly low from the Organisers point of view, which only goes to show that drivers have only so much to spend but probably more importantly only have so many “holidays” to use. The Organisers tried very hard to ensure that everyone enjoyed the experience and were as helpful as you would wish for. The event ran very smoothly , safely and they managed the dramas very well as the inevitable mechanical malfunctions left karts initially stranded on the circuit. All in all a one to put on the calendar for next year. Thanks to the CoC Bob Pope and Bernie Wade and Dean Ayres assisted by Neil Pearson and many more including the marshalls that I did not find out their names. Time keeping by Julie Brew and the girls from the Burger Vans who were in danger of running out supplies.

Roll on the next round at Clay Pigeon 25 May

 

EPEC Championship (after 3 rounds from 10, drop 2)

 

     GX 200                            GX 160                                     H1

1st 43 MS SoCo Select 175     10 Kartforce Alive to Drive 39     6 Teesside Tigers 50

2nd 111 MS JSR 133              112 Lucky Break 35                  29 Coseleys Cougars 40

3rd 58 DWS 131                    11 Kartforce Buudog Balls 34     24 Barny 33

4th 98 Baron Racing 118        33 Swifty's 34

5th 115 Team Keane 115

 

IOM video of start >> 

IOM photo >>

Photo from the event >>

 

Report photo

img – 0088 View of the bottom of the circuit
img – 210 17 Dolls and Tallywackers at grid start
img – 242 Race start
img – 291 58 Adam Nichols leading 43 Steve Welsh
img – 398 local hotshots 22 GT Racing
img – 460 88 – 3 Legs Again leading 33 Swifty's
img – 535 58 Steve Nichols leading 43 Dan Crossley
img – 573 10 Big Bear must have caused 36 Brassick to take to the grass
img - 940 Hire Class LHS 2nd 10 Big Bear, 1st 24 J&J Racing
img – 950 Clubman LHS 3rd 31 Ellen Vannin, 2nd 33 Swifty's
img - 957 Clubman winners 112 Lucky Break
img – 974 PRO LHS 2nd 58 DWS, 1st 43 MS SoCo Select , 3rd 111 MS JSR

 

Contact :- organiser Kat Pope 01642 – 231 117

facebook www.facebook.com/thekartingleague

KartCentral http://www.kartcentral.co.uk/ 

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