0 Plate Report
PlanetKarting.uk – A World of Karting in the UK
2018 NKRA ‘O’ Plate Championship at Forest Edge 4th March 2018
Following 3 heats per competitor, where each race had a front, middle and back grid start, the finishing positions were added together. The end set of points then dictated where each competitor would start in the Final Race. Equally important, these figures would form 50% of the overall result of the day. The second set of points coming from the actual result of the Final. In the event of a tie the higher place on the track would be the decider. Within the main grid were four sub-classes for the over 40 ’s, over 50’s and over 60 ’s and also those whos driver weight came to over 90 kgs.
In the event, it was Mitchell McLeod who, with 9 points, gained pole position over Anthony Cleal on 11 points. The Second Row found Duncan McLeod ( 15 points) and Martin Wheeler ( 17 points) . On Row three sat Taylor Waldron and Toby Cook. Notable performance in the Heats went to David Waldron who, ‘punching well above his weight’ qualified in 8th place. A little further back Stuart Gray, from Scotland, who won the ‘O’ Plate last year sat on 11th slot, with a lot to do if he was to emulate last year’s impressive victory at the Three Sisters circuit.
It took two rolling laps to steady nerves before the start lights changed. The experience of Anth Cleal told over the younger Mitch McLeod as he stole the lead into bend two. There was drama behind as a collision by Wheeler sent Duncan McLeod crashing off the track into the barriers and out of the race. By the end of lap one, Wheeler had passed a wary Mitch McLeod who knew he only had to beat Cleal and finish in the front four to claim the title. Cleal, on the other hand, had to win or finish no more than one place behind Wheeler, to become Champion. Immediately behind, Taylor Waldron, Toby Cook and Ben Pearson took up station. Further back Russsell O’Neill displaced Rob Mortimore as he went wide, allowing Stuart Gray and James Rees through. David Goode passed Keith Hutton as Jake Calvert surged past both of them. Paul Dible also slid by Hutton before he could regain his composure . Back in 17th place, Michael Bell accounted for Kevin O’Neill. Two non-starters in the Final were Robin Stoddart –Stones and Hannah McLeod, unable to repair their karts from earlier incidents in the heats.
Into lap two, and the front of the race remained unchanged until 7th place as James Rees passed both David Waldron and Russell O’Neill. He was followed through by Jake Calvert who also overtook Stuart Gray in the process. Lap three and Wheeler made his move slipping past Cleal and into the lead. Calvert outbraked Gray for 7th. Behind, Paul Dible having a great race, passed Rob Mortimore into 12th place.
Mich McLeod made his move on Cleal, passing up into 2nd spot, if he finished there, he would be the ‘O’ Plate winner! Ben Pearson made a move on Toby Cook, which he made stick, promoting him up to 5th. David Waldron, bravely hung on with two meetings old rubber, finally succumbed to the attentions of Russell O’Neill and Paul Dible.
Little happened during lap five, as the racers took stock of their positions before making their final efforts in the last two laps. With one lap to go and the front of the race stable, Calvert passed Toby Cook and was up into 6th place. Back in 14th spot, Ron Shone overtook Keith Hutton.
Last lap and gremlins hit Calvert as one by one the whole grid slip past him, for what later transpired to be Carburettor problems. Further back, Dave Waldron, having the race weekend of his life, was so incensed by having earlier been overtaken by Dible that he dug deep and re-took him, much to the surprise of Dible. Behind them, Ron Shone eased past David Goode , who was suffering from a decompression, as his plug unwound in the cylinder head.
So to the flag.. with Wheeler winning the Final from Mitchell McLeod by the smallest of margins 0.23 of a second and Cleal a mere 0.73 seconds behind that! 4th was Taylor Waldron followed by Pearson, Cook, Rees, and Gray, in fact, the first eight were separated by under 5 seconds. For the more technically minded, the three available engines ( Lynx, Maxi and Leopard) finished in the first 5 places, all on different restrictors. Obviously, a set of regulations working very well, encompassing drivers ranging from 60 to 100 kilograms in body weight.
It didn’t finish there, however. Cleal had been adjudged to have jumped the start and was given a 10-second penalty, which dropped him back to 8th position, thereby promoting all from 4th to 8th, up a place.
When the points were totalled, the confirmation which Mitch McLeod waited for was announced. He was the ‘O’ place Champion for 2018 with Pole position and 2nd place to his credit. 2nd was Martin Wheeler with 4th start place and 1st on the track. 3rd place went to Taylor Waldron with 5th and 3rd set of points. Anth Cleal managed to take 4th overall with 2nd grid start and 8th track finish. 5th was Ben Pearson and 6th Toby Cook.
In the sub-classes, Anth Cleal won the Master and Veteran ‘O’ Plates with Stuart Gray taking the Legend group. Mitchell McLeod rounded off his spectacular race by also claiming the over 90kg ( drivers weight) Top Weight section.
1st Mitchell McLeod 2 points
2nd Martin Wheeler 4 points
3rd Taylor Waldron 8 points
4th Anthony Cleal 10 points
5th Ben Pearson 11 points
For more results and points update, please see the results page on this website
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