1st Grand Final
Joint Championship leaders Shanaka Clay and Jamie Caroline matched each other for pace throughout Friday’s practice sessions, but it was Daniel Ticktum who appeared to have a slight edge.
Saturday’s scenario was rather different, as scattered showers and drying winds produced variable track conditions. Dean MacDonald topped Timed Qualifying just a tenth quicker than Lando Norris, with Charlie Barlow and Ticktum following in their wake.
Ticktum proved his mettle with a convincing win over MacDonald, Caroline and Norris in the opening heat. In the next heat Daniel recovered well from a first lap incident that initially relegated him to 15th. He lit up the timing screen with some astonishingly quick laps that allowed him to catch the race leader MacDonald. Dean made it across the line, but only by half a kart’s length. Harrison Newey finished ahead of Charlie Barlow in 3rd.
MacDonald had earned pole position for Final 1 by virtue of his superior performance in Timed Qualifying, but Ticktum started this race as a clear favourite. MacDonald got a good start but Ticktum managed to squeeze past coming out of the chicane. Jordan Collard and Jack Armstrong weren’t quite so fortunate as they both came unstuck on this corner and retired from the race. From the Grid 3 slot, Ryan Anderton was another early casualty although he managed to restart back in 25th.
Caroline took over 2nd on Lap 1. Back in 4th, Norris produced a quick lap that brought him within a few inches of MacDonald’s rear bumper. MacDonald took over 2nd at Paddock Bend on Lap 4, but next time round Caroline pulled off an identical move on the same corner. His tenure on 2nd was only temporary, though, because half a lap later MacDonald pulled off a neat move around Stewarts. Next time it was Norris who swept through at Paddock Bend to take 3rd from Caroline.
All this activity behind him allowed Ticktum to open up a gap of some 40 yards or more and already you sensed that he had the race won. Norris took over 2nd at Stewarts and was soon followed by Caroline. Back in 6th, Clay was showing his team-mate Alfie Brown a little too much respect and both drivers soon fell into the clutches of Hugo Bently-Ellis. With just a couple of laps remaining, though, Hugo had gone off the circuit before resuming in 10th. Caroline made a successful bid for 2nd on the last lap but by that stage Ticktum was approaching the chequered flag with a lead of almost 7s.
Ticktum led from the lights in Final 2 but Norris managed to get his nose ahead halfway around the opening lap. Caroline had a bad start to this race dropping 14 places immediately. Ticktum assumed his rightful place at Stewarts next time around and Norris lost a further place when MacDonald nipped through on Paddock Bend. William Taylforth had incurred a five place penalty in Final 1 which placed him 25th on the grid for this one. However, he made a lightning start and was up to 8th after just two laps. Josh Smith went up into 4th but dropped down to 6th after an off track excursion.
Norris assumed 2nd at half distance and began a prolonged battle with MacDonald that helped Ticktum stretch his lead even further. Ticktum eventually crossed the line 80 yards or more ahead of MacDonald who had only just succeeded in fighting off the advances of Norris.
When dropped scores are taken into account, Ticktum is three points ahead of Caroline and 19 points ahead of Clay.
Karting Magazine November 2011