Team G3Pro make it back-to-back wins
Harlow-based racers Team G3pro and Team Farécla travelled to Ellough Park Raceway in Suffolk to compete in round two of the national championship.
Team G3pro drivers Matt Hale and Barry Luetchford were full of confidence after a convincing round one victory in Kent last month, but knew they would have to be at the top of their game to repeat the same success.
The day started fairly well with Barry able to qualify the team at the sharp end of the grid in sixth out of 31 teams.
Race start was hectic with Barry managing to fight his way forward and able to make his way up to third place in time for the first of five fuel stops.
During the race, Team G3Pro were trading places with their closest rivals Koks Racing but it was a lightning-quick final pit stop which got the pair to second place and eight seconds behind the leaders with 16 laps remaining. Matt, behind the wheel for the final stint, chipped away at the leader’s lead and with four laps left to go, shifted into first place.
Matt said: “We raced at Ellough Park two years ago and it didn’t go well. It’s not our favourite track that’s for sure but me and Barry were both on form and we had to push our driving to the edge of the track limits to stay in contention. Our pit stops made the difference thanks to our sister team Farécla who we execute each pit stop with. Chasing down the leaders at the end of the race was pretty exciting, I could see the guys on the pit wall willing me on to close the gap – after I took the lead I had to keep it together until I crossed the line.
Back to back wins! Things cannot not get much better!! Although it’s still early days in the championship. Now we set our focus firmly on round 3.
Mechanical woes for junior team Farécla
After the bad result at Buckmore Park, Team Farécla went into this race with real optimism.
Stewart had only raced at Ellough once before and, like Barry and Matt, it wasn’t his favourite track. Sadly, the latest race only served to compound this.
The Luetchford brothers noticed during practice and qualifying that the kart had issues with grip, which Stewart particularly noticed in his first stint meaning he was only able to qualify fourth in class (21st on the grid).
The team had an eventful first lap, making up several places but, on coming up to the seventh bend, another driver cut right across the racing line and Stewart had to take evasive action to avoid contact. With the lack of grip, this sent him into a spin, and to the back of the grid.
Just when they thought it couldn’t get worse, just over an hour into the race, the kart suffered a puncture, relegating it to the pits for a wheel change and meaning a loss of two laps and several places.
But that wasn’t it. Craig was up next for his second stint and if things could go from bad to worse to disastrous, they did. He lost a wheel. The front right wheel ripped free from the kart on a fast 90-degree bend. Craig skilfully avoided crashing, got the kart back to the pits, and the team got a new kart.
Thankfully the race continued without more drama, but the team weren’t ever able to recoup the loss, and finished towards the back. This means that whilst Team G3pro sit at the top of the championship table, Farécla prop up the bottom.
Craig said: “That’s just how racing goes sadly. This is a learning curve for me so still very much excited about the next race at Red Lodge where we hope to make improvements.”