WATTS WINS AT CLAY PIGEON
David Watts wins the penultimate round of the Blue Challenge at the Clay Pigeon Raceway on Sept 13th, which also involved the Formula Blue ‘O’ Plate race.
It was competed for in the best of sunshine without a hint of rain. This penultimate round of the competition for next year’s prestigious numbers also incurred a maximum non-attendance penalty. As a consequence 8 of the top 9 drivers were present. The only driver missing was Taylor Waldron, who was attending his University enrollment and was unable to race. The race meeting did include a few ‘new’ boys who all gave a good account of themselves and helped set the tone for their future race meetings. Indeed one of them, Richard Puddle finished 4th overall having actually won the first Heat of the race day. The other 2 Heats were won by Dave Watts and Anth Cleal.
Once the Heat Results were totalled, the grid for the Final ( which makes up for half of the overall points) was posted. On Pole was Mike Bell with Serita Shone on grid 2, Row 2 had Dave Watts and Stuart Gray ready to pounce. Behind on row 3 sat Rich Puddle and Russell O’Neill. After a dramatic couple of rolling laps, where Serita Shone discovered she was losing coolant from a loose radiator cap, the grid was ready for the off.
Serita made a stunning start, snatching the lead from Bell. She held the lead for 4 laps until an overheating engine (which was a direct result of the rolling lap situation) compelled her to richen up the carb, thereby losing a degree of power. Behind, Anth Cleal starting in 13th had gradually made his way up to 7th place. On lap 5 Watts and Gray took advantage of Serita’s issue and forced past. 2 laps later Puddle and Cleal were also through. On lap 9 Cleal overtook Puddle and the two of them set off after the leading pair of Watts and Gray. Racing then settled down, though at the front Watts gradually eased a gap to the chasing Gray. The next major incident came on lap 17, when Bell, trying to recoup earlier losses, clipped the rear of Russell O’Neill and spun off. He restarted having lost 4 places to Nigel Vickery, David Waldron, Paul Alexander, and ‘new boy’ Chris Underhill. With 2 laps to go, Gray had been caught by Cleal and would have to defend 2nd place up to the flag. Further, back Waldron passed Vickery whilst Bell made the most of an incident between Alexander and Underhill. At the flag, it was a well-deserved win for Watts with Gray next, just ahead of Cleal. Puddle finished a very creditable 4th from Serita Shone, with Russell O’Neill right on her rear bumper. Too close as it transpired! He received a front bumper penalty at the post-race scrutineering, promoting Waldron into 6th place.
Once the start and the result points were calculated, Dave Watts ( 3 pts) emerged as the overall winner with Stuart Gray 2nd ( 6 pts). Serita Shone claimed 3rd ( 7 pts), Richard Puddle 4th ( 9 pts) and Mike Bell 5th ( 9 pts).
In the actual Championships, Dave Watts extended his lead with Anth Cleal still in 2nd closely followed by Mike Bell, Russell O’Neill, and Serita Shone.
The 5th and last round of the Blue Challenge, which also carries a maximum points non-attendance penalty, moves to South Kent. Here the fantastic Lydd International Raceway will host the final race weekend for the Blue Challenge, with everything still to play for.
For more info and up-date points please view –
The results page of the www.planetkarting.uk website
or CLICK HERE