In a meeting that was more like Jet Skiing than Karting, it was Christopher Carleton was came out on top in some style – comfortably holding of returning driver Conrad Collinson and reigning champion Jack Goldsmith in the A Final to claim a first ever outright week win.
The day had started in brighter conditions with just a hint of rain in the air and Emily Linscott showed her tactical nous towards the end of the race to steal an early victory. Lewis Deacon had been leading for almost the entire race but had been unable gap the field after a brief safety kart intervention.
As the lead group headed around pit bend on the final lap things got slightly too close as a number of drivers made the last gasp move to take victory but, when the inevitable contact happened, Linscott had positioned herself perfectly on the inside line and was able to muscle through to pip Deacon to the post.
By the time their second heat came around the weather had taken a definite turn for the worse and this was where Carleton began to shine – taking a comfortable victory in conditions that were continually deteriorating.
Sam Basstoe had been leading for a long period of the race but the rain caught out Basstoe, allowing Carleton through.
A notable performance in this race came from Jack Adams. After a nightmare race one, Adams showed his class in the second heat with several brilliant overtakes as well as taking advantage of mistakes by others to come from last to a fifth place finish.
When the B group first hit the track, conditions were incredibly difficult and this caught out several drivers who were looking to prove themselves at the start but, when an almost inevitable accident happened, causing the tyre barriers to need an urgent repair job, the safety kart made an early appearance.
After the early exuberance, the race was full of mature performances as drivers slowly got to grips with the treacherously wet track.
Alfie Wratten stole the lead from James Barnard after just two racing laps and was the quickest to adapt. Wratten was able to build a comfortable lead and Barnard managed to survive a late charge from Goldsmith and Collinson to take a commanding victory.
The second heat was a fairly straightforward affair for Goldsmith as he took a lights to flag victory despite never being more than a second clear of Collinson throughout the race. Wratten managed another podium finish in third but a combination of great defensive driving and difficult conditions made it impossible for the Heat 1 winner to progress further.
You’ve probably gathered by now that the meeting was wet – oh so very wet – but this race suffered from the worst of the rain which allowed the drivers to showcase several different ways to cope with a slippery track.
Some drivers went for the ‘slide it and floor it’ approach – kicking the back out and drifting around a corner – while others used a much more cautious approach.
Harry Fleming was definitely from the school of drifting and this enabled him to pull out a significant lead right at the start.
The race was hardly a classic with lap times 15 seconds slower than in the dry, but a win is a win and Fleming was more than happy to take it!
In these conditions, consistency is more important than ever and the was exactly what Carleton displayed throughout the final – despite not having the fastest lap.
A race winner earlier on, Wratten started from second on the grid but suffered a couple of off laps in the first half of the race, dropping him down to sixth although he would eventually recover to fourth by the finish.
Up at the front with Carleton was the All Star Cup winner, Collinson and he was on a mission. The two pushed each other past the limit of what should have been possible on Lake Brentwood without ever putting a foot wrong.
In the end Collinson just couldn’t get quite close enough to make a move and the lead pair were closely followed home by Goldsmith.
Driving in the wet on slick tyres is an incredibly difficult skill and the wetter it gets, the more difficult it gets. All of the drivers managed to cope well – despite a few moments here and there – the standard of driving was very good.
As said right at the top, this was the first outright victory for Carleton but there was cause for a double celebration as his younger brother, Harley Carleton, topped the standings in the cadet class.