Podiums at Buckmore Park for Teams G3Pro
G3 Pro Premier – 5th
The G3 Pro Premier team arrived at a sunny but bitterly cold Buckmore Park with renewed optimism for the start of the 2018 Club100 Endurance season following somewhat of a disappointing 2017 campaign.
The Premier Class line up for 2018 looks to be even tougher than the previous season so George Turner, Fernando Moreira and Alex Burgess knew they would be up against the very best drivers in the series during the race.
The team qualified a steady 5th in class and Fernando started the race well for the team, making progress until a black flag incident (running wide over track limits;)before the end of his stint cost the team a valuable 30-second stop-go penalty in the pits. George took over and almost immediately hit more trouble when a nudge from a competitor sent the kart into a deep slide which almost put the engine into a stall. Again around 20 seconds was lost as George attempted to re-fire the engine up from a very slow speed.
From a lowest position of 19th overall in the race after this incident, the drivers never gave up and slowly began to creep back up the order to a final finishing position after Alex‘s consistent stint towards the end of 5th position in the Premier Class.
The team were buoyed by a good overall pace in the race and enjoyed running in the sunny and dry conditions for their first run in the Club100 machinery since last November. “We turned up with a good attitude at Buckmore, we arrived early and were well prepared for the race and the strategy played out well, it was a shame that we had another hiccup with a black flag and that is something we need to work on going forward,” said George.“Overall it was an good day and I was enjoying racing in the conditions after over three months out of a kart.”
G3 Pro Clubman – 3rd
An interesting day for the veteran G3 Pro as the main challengers in the championship this year had changed from 2017, with established teams such as Run Time, CKS Motorsport, Lucid, and Pixel gunning for glory. They would also have to contend with new hot shots teams including Sound FP and Race Craft along with teams SMJ Racing, Brawn, Speedy, and Ballinger.
During qualifying, Barry quickly got into the groove around the 1.6km Kent circuit and was able to set a team best all time best in the clubman qualify in 4th overall and 1st in class.
The race start was action-packed which saw Barry dropping three places on the opening lap whilst riding out some big hits from the competition. By the first round of pit stops Team G3Pro were in a comfortable third place overall. It was then over to Matt who quickly settled in to the flow. The duo drove as quickly as possible over the remaining 153-lap race, both drivers fought hard and although unable to close down the leaders, Matt eventually crossed the line to take the team’s first podium of the year.
Matt said: “It’s a solid start for us, and congratulations to newly promoted teams Racecraft and Sound FP, both of which showed good form to finish in front of us.It’s going to be a tough Championship to crack but I know we are good enough to be in the mix. Roll on Whilton.”
G3 Pro Intermediate – 5th
It was great to jump back to Club100 for the start of the 2018 season and racing in brand new karts was epic. Testing felt good, track conditions were optimal and the kart was on point. Our comms let us down a little and spent a lot of the time in testing messing about with them.
Stewart went out and qualified for us, he said, “I found it tough going as I never found clear track to put in a solid lap, but managed to bag us a 5th in class”.
Stewart started the race; coming back from Quads to Enrdro he thought it would be a little less hectic but how wrong he was. He said: “I found myself being pushed about and having to hold my own. Being the first race of the season everyone was fighting for a great first lap, I was more concerned about getting a few clean laps and not missing my first pit stop. The pit stop went well, no petrol cap drops! Frustratingly I came out into a lot to traffic where I spent the rest of that stint, I needed to come in early as I couldn’t make much progress, so I handed over to Craig.”
Craig added: “Stew coming in worked out to be a good strategic move as I got into a clear space and had a good half stint without any traffic. I managed to get my head down and raced until I got behind Apteryx Racing where we battled for five laps. He was on the pace but I knew I needed to get past, he held his lines keeping me at bay until I was overtaken. The two karts in front proceeded to battle it out until both karts took each other out on turn one allowing me to take 4th place where I remained until the end of my stint.”
Stewart then jumped back in the kart for his next stint:“I came out on track beside my brother Barry, racing for G3 Prems. I knew he had great pace as he had qualified 4th overall, so I dropped in behind and worked my way past a fair few karts, putting us back into a podium position. Not many dramas in that stint and managed to put in my fasts lap of the race.”
Craig then was back out, straight on pace and chasing 3rd place. Half way through the race at the bottom half of the course near turn give, the throttle appeared to stick which spun Craigout. HE said: “Luckily the pusher kart was on hand to pick me up and get me back on track. I decided to stay out on track as the issue seemed to have resolved itself, but I was wrong… as I made my way back toward the pits the throttle got stuck again. Braking and releasing made no difference and I got sent into the barriers, spinning me around. We lost a few places as I handed over to Stew for the last stint.”
Meanwhile, they had lost comms and had resorted to the old school poles. Stewart said “I saw Craig acknowledge the poles and saw him come down the straightnear the pit lane entrance only to see him put it into the barriers, on a straight! I could not work out what he’d done. During the refuelling all I heard him shout was “sticky throttle”, I then jumped in for the last 20 minutes of the race. Annoyingly I came out of the pits in to a large pack, it was some top Inters and Prems. I kept pace with them and a few laps from the end found the issue with the sticky throttle… but just about managed to keep the kart on the track and bring it home without a spin.”
Started 5th, finished 5th. Podium lost experience gained! No spins in the next race and they’ll be hunting down a podium for sure!
G3 Pro Quadrant – 2nd
Former KOKS drivers Calum Jones and Rhodri Parry formed the new G3 Pro Quadrant team for 2018 looking for success in the Club100 Quadrant Class 1 series. Each event will see the pair compete in two of the four sprint races each, with their best three results determining their overall position.
Heat one saw Calum start well, muscling his way into a comfortable win from 6th on the grid, a good few seconds clear of the of the chasing pack. However penalties accrued during the race meant a drop to 3rd in the final result.
Rhodri went out in a lower grid slot of 18th for heat two and faced a tough battle through the competitive field to clock in a result of 8th.
Calum took on heat 3 from 8th on the grid and worked his way into 2nd behind the Hicks Racing kart but couldn’t find the extra little bit of speed to overtake for what would have been a second win on the road for Calum in his two heats.
The final heat was taken by Rhodri Parry from 20th position and he managed again to pick off the competition to come home an impressive 6th overall come the final chequered flag.
The best three results of 2nd, 3rd and 6th were enough to earn the team a deserved 2nd place just 5 points (1 finishing position) behind overall winners Hicks Racing. “It was an epic start to the season,” remarked Calum Jones.
The team head into the season with a strong opening result and we are confident of more success in the year ahead. Round 2 will see the team heading to Whilton Mill in Northamptonshire on the 14th April.