Victory for Team G3Pro
G3 PRO- CLUBMAN CLASS – 1st
Team G3Pro returned to their home circuit for Round 3 of the Club100 championship at Rye House raceway, Hertfordshire, whilst Team Farécla G3Pro had a weekend of endurance racing with a stint in individual racing on the Sunday.
The duo from Team G3Pro were hoping for another decent result after a fourth at Buckmore Park and a podium second at Whilton Mill.
Greeted by a wet track, the team went out in practice looking to get on the pace quickly. Both Matt and Barry felt at home immediately and started putting in some quick laps. As the qualifying session started, Matt noticed a vibration coming from the front of the kart and when heading into turn five the front left wheel gave way and snapped off. Matt quickly dived into the pits and waited whilst the Club100 mechanics worked their magic unfortunately by the time the kart was fixed qualifying had ended meaning that the team started from the back of the grid.
Matt said: “It wasn’t ideal an ideal start to the day. I knew that we had our work cut out although we’d been in the same situation before so I knew it was possible to salvage something from the race. We just had to keep calm and play the long game; fortunately I made a decent start avoiding lots of first laps crashes which helped.”
Next out on track was Barry who gave another outstanding performance. He said: “We were in 13th place by the time I got out on track and I knew it was going to be difficult to move forward. The teams in front were all very experienced and on the pace so I just put my head down and gave it everything I had.”
Over the 183-lap race, the Team G3Pro drivers both put on a master class in driver skill and were able to move into the top three. Towards the final 40 minutes of the race the pair took the lead in an immense battle with their old time rivals Run Time Racing and Koks Clubmans. After trading places several times Team G3Pro crossed the line for maiden victory in 2017.
Barry said: “After qualifying I thought a podium was out of the question, but great driving and a lot of luck helped us onto the top step.”
G3 PRO RACING- CLASS 3 QUADRANT – 2nd
Team G3Pro Racing were really excited to be racing at their home track Rye House, and were very optimistic they could break the spell of the second-place finish.
The format of Craig Luetchford driving in the opening race seemed to be working, so they decided to stick with that format.
The racing got under way for heat 1 with Craig commenting: “I started 31st on the grid, row 16, and 10th in the class. I had a great start to the race – the track was dry and the conditions were good, and I had made my way up into third in class behind Rapid Robots and Ocset Motorsport. After an entertaining race with Ocset, I managed to secure third spot finish with Rapid Robots in another class once again to take the heat win.”
Next up was heat 2 with driver Stewart Luetchford, who said: “In Heat 2 I started in 25th position – being up front is tough! In hindsight it would have been good to have done some extra testing like most of the grid had – only having five minutes warm up, that became apparent early on! But skill was on my side; I avoided four crashes in the opening lap which it put me in the lead of Class 3 and mid pack Class 2/Class 1. But as the faster drivers were trying to make up from the earlier crashes, it put me off my racing line as they came past, allowing Rapid Robots and Smidsy to squeeze through too. The rest of the race was spent with us three trading places. That was until Smidsy out broke himself in hairpin 1 – he managed to keep moving, I however did not and spun! That was the end of my race but had managed to accumulate a bit of a lead and consolidate a sixth-place finish.”
Craig was back in for heat 3 and said of the stint: “Where I started 30th on the grid, row 15, was almost at the back of the grid! I had another great start with the track being slightly cooler this time, which I played to my advantage – many teams crashed out ahead of me and I just kept out of trouble and finished third once again.”
It was then all to play for in the final race of the day for Heat 4: Stewart said: “As per the last two rounds the pressure was on, with two solid third positions from Craig and a poor sixth from me in Heat 2; only first place in heat would do for a podium finish. Luck would have it I started P24, which is the sharp end of the grid for the Class 3 runners. It again leaves you battling with over-enthusiastic Class 2 / Class 1 drivers and at the start of the race, I took a few knocks but managed to hold my own and lead the Class 3 runners. Our main rivals Rapid Robots didn’t fair as well and got into a tussle costing them valuable time. It was my race to lose, which I didn’t. A solid race and solid points brought us on to, you guessed it, the second step of the podium. But it was the closest it had ever been: joint first on points so it came down to a countback on finishing positions. Rapid Robots had a second place, so that beats our third. Still the bridesmaids!”
FARECLA G3 PRO – PREMIER CLASS – 5TH
During qualifying, a heroic last lap effort on a drying track saw driver Fernando Moreira set the third quickest time and put team Farecla G3 Pro at the sharp end of the field once again.
As per Buckmore Park and Whilton Mill, Fernando made his trademark blistering start over the opening laps, cementing the team into third overall. Fernando continued to fight for position throughout the opening stages of the race but was unable to move forward before handing over to George Turner.
George, now back into the team after moonlighting for G3Pro once again, put in consistent stints to keep the team running in a strong podium third; as the race progressed and the final pits stops were completed, things were looking good!
Blasting out of the pits, driver Alex Burgess went on the attack chasing down the leaders and closing the gap considerably. As time progressed the gap reduced evermore and the fight was on! Unfortunately this wasn’t to continue when a competitor mis-judged an over take move, firing Alex into a spin.
An unimpressed Alex set about making up lost ground and continued to pull the team forward up the order! Unfortunately with the hammer down and only a few laps remaining, he got caught up in a dubious black flag incident thus cruelly ending the team’s hopes for a podium finish and eventually crossing the line in fifth place.
George said: “It was good to finally see all three drivers in the team on the pace at Rye House and we hope better luck moving forward at Llandow.”
All three teams would once again like to thank our sponsors G3 Pro for giving us the opportunity to fly the flag for the brand; our supporters, for turning out to races and following us online; our fellow competitors for the challenge and camaraderie; Jam Motorsport/Club100 who took these amazing set of pictures.
The teams are now looking towards round 4 held on 6th May at Llandow raceway in South Wales.