Super 1 Report - Round 5 - J.TKM - 06/09/2011 22:35:33
August 19th-21st saw Clay Pigeon Raceway host round 5 of the MSA Super 1 Series. Team Wright Karts would be focusing on the Cadet, KF3, Junior TKM and the newly formed Super Cadet classes. With most Wright Cadet drivers choosing to focus on the Formula Kart Stars series the Official Team members comprised of Charlie Barlow (Cadet), Owen Griffiths (Super Cadet), Matteo Zanetti (Super Cadet), Team new comers Esmee Hawkey (Super Cadet), Ethan Hawkey (Cadet) and Team/Championship debutant Angus Mainland (Junior TKM).
Wright Karts would also be competing via satellite teams in various classes containing prospective front runners in Alex Gill (KF3/Independent), Jake Walker (Jnr TKM/Team SAS) and Connor Hall (Cadet/Team Eclipse).
The newest Team member to the Official Works Wright team, Angus Mainland lined up for his first ever competitive Super 1 session alongside fellow Wright driver and Championship contender Jake Walker. This was a new experience for Mainland, who is normally a club racing driver with no Championship experience. It was the inexperience that showed as tricky wet conditions gave the advantage to the more seasoned drivers, Mainland qualifying 23rd on the grid. Jake Walker also had difficulties in the qualification due to carburetion problems, qualifying 20th.
Going into the first race of the day Jake Walker was sat third in the overall Championships behind Danny Keirle and Toby Sowery. From the back of the grid Walker was desperate to make up some lost ground before the start of the point scoring finals. The track was dry by the time heat one started, but with a damp off-line to complicate things. Jake Walker capitalised on others hesitancy leaping from a starting grid 20th to cross the line at the end of lap two in 7th position. Walker however, had not remedied the carburettor problems from earlier and struggled to make any further impact on the race, finishing a valiant 8th position. Angus Mainland's extreme learning curve proved to be valuable race time amongst the countries elite drivers. The race, acting as a confidence booster, Mainland managed to battle it out at the rear of the field, showing he could compete with the 22 other drivers.
The second heat was almost a carbon copy of the first for Jake Walker. Still hampered by carburetion issues, Walker was in 7th position by lap 7 and battling with a pack of five. Yo-yoing positions until the flag, Walker crossed the line in 7th at the head of the group. For Angus Mainland, the second heat was somewhat of a revelation. His confidence buoyed by the first heat, Mainland made a great start climbing to 16th from 23rd. Never looking out of place in the mid-field of a Super1 round, Mainland battled with a group of three other drivers, two of which drooped off the pace by race end. After capitalising on a last lap incident to gain a further spot, Mainland crossed the line in a superb 13th position.
His impressive displays in the heats placed Jake Walker 5th on the grid for Final 1, with Championship Rivals Sowery on pole position and Keirle on 13th. A good start placed Walker in third and in a pack of six drivers. Having dropped back to 6th on lap six, Walker was leading by lap 9. The lead was short lived, as a train of three driverd passed him at the hairpin demoting him to fourth. Soon Walker was again moving forwards and by lap 22 of the 26 lap race he took second position. The gap to the leader (Jack Partridge) however was too much to bridge, and Walker had to settle for a solid second position, just ahead of Championship rival Toby Sowery in third. Looking to build on his brilliant day Angus Mainland had a more solitary race, having made a solid start, maintaining his position in 17th, he found himself in a void on the track between two packs of racers, moving away from the drivers behind, but not catching those in front. Ultimately, Mainland made up one place during the race finishing a fine 16th position.
The second final is one that people will not forget in a hurry. After a clean start the drivers snaked round the circuit for nearly ten laps without too much of a problem. Jack Partridge then took up the lead and started defending in front of a fifteen kart train, backing almost the entire field up into a continuous line. He later came off at the hairpin and the rest roared past. Although the race ran to near full distance it was ended by a red flag to attend to a crash involving Matt Davies. At which point a battling Jake Walker was hunting down leader Jack Partridge, so again had to settle for second at the end of a very fruitful day for the Wright Mercury driver. Angus Mainland managed to keep his nose clean throughout the second final picking off any drivers who made a mistake ahead. This calculating drive rewarded Mainland with his best finish of the day, coming in a superb 12th position.
Having recovered from a poor qualification session, Jake Walker maintained his title charge in the Junior TKM class with two fine drives resulting in two second place Final finishes, beating both title challengers. The title will no doubt go down to the wire, but with class Rookie Walker and his Wright Mercury Chassis performing as it is, he will no doubt be confident in finishing the year with not only the "O" plate he won earlier in the year but also the "1" plate.
Current Championship points:
1. Danny Keirle - 460
2. Jake Walker - 454
3. Toby Sowery - 448
4. Matt Davies - 410
5. Jack Partridge - 408
It was also a magnificent one round Cameo for Angus Mainland. Never having competed in the Super 1 series, or any other major national Championship, he made giant strides over the course of the weekend. Going from a qualification grid of 23rd (last), to finish a deserved 12th position on the track in Final 2.
Congratulations to both Jake and Angus.
Jake Walker and Angus Mainland both used the Wright Mercury TKM.