Club 100 2015: Season Preview

Team G3 & Team Farécla head to Buckmore Park for the first of Ten rounds 

A KARTING team who overcame the odds to triumph in a national championship in only their second season of competition will be even stronger this year – as a third brother has been recruited.

Matt Hale (36), and brothers Barry (35) and Stewart Luetchford (34), all from Harlow, are hoping to emulate their success winning the 2014 Club100 championship when the karting season gets under way later this month.

The Luetchfords’ other brother, Craig (30), will be joining the team – called Team G3pro – as they aim for success in the 2015 Championship, and they will compete at a higher level having won promotion last year.

The first round is at Buckmore Park this Saturday 21st February.

Divide and conquer

Hale, of Radburn Close, is a close friend as well as the brothers’ racing colleague. He explained: “After racing to Championship glory in 2014, Team G3 Pro have decided to divide and conquer the world of endurance racing within Club100.”

Hale and Barry Luetchford will spearhead the Class 3 Championship title bid while newly-formed team Farecla G3 will be headed up by drivers Stewart and Craig Luetchford, who will be competing in Class 4 vying for podiums.

The teams will do battle over ten rounds across the UK, with all four men hoping to repeat the championship success of last season which included six podium finishes from nine races.

During the summer, the teams will unite along with multiple MG Champion Chris Bray for a special charity race called the Deepings 12hrs F1 karting challenge, an endurance race which will include teams from F1 giants Williams, Mercedes, Force India to name but a few.

Hale and the Luetchfords secured the 2014 Club100 championship, with their victory at their ‘home’ track at Hoddesdon’s Rye House – where a young karter named Lewis Hamilton first made his name – and this was undoubtedly the highlight.

Reflecting on their success last year, Hale said: “Throughout the 2014 season of highly competitive motorsport, it has been drama, stress and high-fives abound for Team G3 as they raced tenaciously for race wins all season.

“Highlights for the team included six podium finishes from nine rounds, wins at Llandow in Wales, Buckmore Park in Kent and an epic home race victory at Rye House, which was enough for the team who were competing in their second season of the championship to clinch their first title.”

Hale recalls how tight it was last season when the trio arrived at Buckmore Park for round nine in November and the championship title decider.

“Never have I raced in conditions like what I experienced at Buckmore Park,” said Hale. “Qualifying was really wet with drivers struggling to get round the mile long circuit. However, I managed to pop in a fairly decent lap time towards the end putting us in eighth place for the start.”

The team managed to keep out of trouble at the start of the race and moved up to fifth place.

Things were going pretty well given the conditions but disaster nearly struck when Hale headed flat out into hairpin one. “I applied the brakes for the throttle to lock full open, which led to a spin but managed to avoid contact with the front runners. This put us down the order.”

As the light faded, visibility was so bad that almost every corner had a kart which either crashed or had been crash into. A yellow flag was out on virtually every corner.

The race was eventually red flagged and ended after three-quarters of the laps were completed – the conditions had become almost undriveable and the start/finish strait was an aquaplane danger zone.

Team G3 ended the race in seventh but this was enough to clinch the team’s first championship.

Highlights from the final race of 2014 can be viewed here Buckmore Park footage   

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