There was a night of close and exciting racing at Round 5 of the 2018 PKC recently as the series returned to West Wales Karting before the Summer break.
It was a night of mixed racing with the heavyweights racing with the intermediates. Michael Lloyd Davies (Carmarthen) kept the inters honest and was able to secure the heavyweight win ahead of Andrew Cook(Clydach) and Andy Martin (Haverfordwest).
The intermediate category continued to provide thrilling racing among it's drivers with several competitors vying for the event win. Trev McCullagh (Newport) struck first with a pole in qualifying but the race format meant he started last in race 1. A strong drive saw him fight through to third with John Mason (Johnston) taking the controlled victory. Races 2 and 3 saw Tess Howell (Drefach Felindre) emerge as favourite with consecutive wins although McCullagh and Ashley Hutchings(Pembroke) continued to mount a strong challenge with Hutchings taking the final race win of the event. There wasn't much between the top 3 drivers but it was Tess who ultimately kept a cool head to lead Trevor and Ash on the podium.
The lightweight division saw the competition compete closer than ever with a mere 0.230 seconds recorded between first and last placed fastest laps in race 2 - a true testament to West Wales Karting's commitment to kart parity. Reigning Champion Sam Joseph (Swansea) was first out of the blocks with the fastest time in qualifying which translated into 4th place in race 1 ahead of closest title rival Colin Rowland Mason (Johnston) with rookie driver Eirian Joyner (Pencader) taking his first indoor win in the PKC. The preceding races saw Mason and Joseph trading places. Mason has been gradually closing the performance gap to Joseph on the indoor circuit all season and it was this round he was able to claim an event victory over Sam and his first event win since his return to the PKC! Joshua Partis (Milford Haven) is renowned for his consistency and once again proved this trait by taking a string of third places, although a last place in race 2 halted his hopes of a strong finish, instead settling for the final step of the podium. Partis is definitely a driver to keep note of as an outside bet for the title.
Andrew Cook picked up best rookie and masters driver of the event while Tess Howell claimed best female. In a slight change to the Fastest Lap Challenge format, the competition was held as drivers arrived with Sam Joseph taking the win.
A big thank you to West Wales Karting and all of their staff for looking after everyone and providing fantastic equipment enabling the competitors to really showcase their talents.
We now enjoy a period of calm over the Summer months before the PKC roars back into action for Round 6 in September!
Another night of great racing at Round 4 of the 2018 PKC. Carew Kartinghosted the event in one of the hottest days of the year. The competition stepped up a gear as each race in each weight category saw a different winner meaning the podium was within reach to nearly every driver.
In the lightweights, an early pole for Sam Joseph had bittersweet consequences as he had to start race one at the back of the field due to the reverse grid rule. Joseph and closest title rival Colin Rowland Mason had their work cut out to fight their way through the pack but were unable to get the better of the leading drivers. Eirian Joyner drove a fantastic race to claim his maiden PKC race win ahead of a charging Wais Kuba. Race 2 saw Mike Holder claim the lead in the opening laps and was able to maintain his position to take his first outdoor win of the season. Race 3 saw Colin Mason back at the sharp end of the grid with a victory with Sam Joseph taking the win in Race 4. Despite their wins, brilliant defensive driving and consistency from Joshua Partis allowed him to finish near the front in each of the races and some flashes of brilliance from Wais Kuba put him into the mix. Ultimately it was Sam Joseph who was able to draw on his many years of experience and talent to just edge his rivals to the top step of the podium and secure the event win ahead of Joshua and Colin.
It was a very similar story in the intermediate class with pole sitter James Williams unable to convert his pole into a win in Race 1 with Trev McCullaghstorming to his second win of the season. Williams had the speed to put his kart on the front row for Race 2 and managed to jump ahead of Brian Newton to take the honours before Tess Howell staked her claim to the podium with a win in Race 3. For Race 4, it was Ashley Hutchings who took the victory after starting on pole and holding his position. Notable drives from Nathan James, Brian Newton and Alix Alliston allowed them to be in with an outside chance of the podium but Williams was able to take the overall win ahead of Hutchings with Newton narrowly missing out to McCullagh due to on-track finishes.
It was a good event for heavyweight driver Michael Lloyd Davies as he was the only driver present from the category that made his weight class, it meant he left the event with maximum points for his division but was able to race with the Inters during the round.
Wais Kuba took the accolade for being the best rookie driver of the day with Brian Newton claiming best masters driver. Tess Howell took home the best ladies driver award.
In the Fastest Lap Challenge, drivers were treated to the reverse layout of the circuit. A spin on the outlap for Wais Kuba effectively takes him out of the running. Colin Mason took the kart home in a quicker time than Sam Joseph and John Mason and claimed victory on this front. There is now just 0.167 seconds between Colin and Sam on the leader board heading into the second half of the season.
A big thank you to Carew Karting for hosting the round and to all the track staff who worked through the heat and blazing sun to look after the drivers.
The PKC now looks ahead to Round 5 when we head back to West Wales Karting on Saturday July 28th at 5pm
Twenty-five drivers took to the track last night to engage in some very close racing as the PKC returned indoors to West Wales Karting in Haverfordwest.
In a slight change of format, drivers were sent out for their combined practice & qualifying as they arrived at the circuit, giving them the benefit of no on-track distractions, allowing them to focus on hitting the quickest times.
The lightweight division enjoyed a near full grid of drivers meaning there was plenty of action on the track - especially into the first corner! The protagonists of the group were two previous PKC Champions; Sam Joseph(Swansea) and Colin Rowland Mason (Johnston). Both drivers were very evenly matched during the event, with Mason looking on course for his maiden win of the year after a difficult start to the event saw Joseph finish 4th in his opening heat. With the pressure on, Joseph kept his head down and delivered a win in race 2 cutting Mason's advantage to a single point. A very opportunistic Ricciardo-esque lunge on Mason for the win in race 3 was all Joseph needed to do to secure overall victory. Tied on points, Sam Joseph took the win with the better finishing record. It was a close battle for third with Wais Kuba (Cardiff) and Joshua Partis (Milford Haven) both keen to make the final spot of the podium. With near identical results, Kuba claimed third from Partis by a single point. Elsewhere, Mike Holder(Llanycefn) took his maiden indoors win in race 1 after some fantastic defensive driving with Callum Davies (Tycroes) and Dylan Butland (Pembroke Dock) showing they are the PKC young guns of the future with some brilliant and controlled driving.
The intermediate category continued to provide excitement as all ten drivers were very evenly matched all event. It was hard to pick a favourite early on, with standings leader James Williams (Swansea) struggling to build an advantage over rivals. Ashley Hutchings (Milford Haven) was on top form with a string of top 3 finishes and threatening to take his maiden event win of the year. Trev McCullagh (Newport) took a win in race 2 with Matthew Morgan (Pembroke) claiming wins in races 3 and 4. Morgan could've won the event had it not been for an early crash in the opening race. All four drivers could've taken the gold but it was Williams who found a way to the top step of the podium by a single point from Hutchings with McCullagh in third.
Thea heavyweight group had the smallest grid of the evening but the racing was just as intense. Brendan Evans returned to the grid to take on current leader Michael Lloyd Davies (Carmarthen) and his closest rival Damien Holmes (Haverfordwest). Each driver traded race wins and were often racing bumper to bumper. A point penalty cost Evans the momentum and possibly a higher spot on the podium but it was Holmes who emerged victorious out of the trio with two strong wins in the final races of the night. Davies finished second Damien's win now means he had reduced the points deficit to Davies in the overall standings to just 2 points. With four rounds remaining, it will be fascinating to see how this plays out.
Andrew Cook (Clydach) benefited from the smaller heavyweight grid by achieving the best rookie driver and masters driver of the evening with Tess Howell (Drefach Felindre) taking home best female driver.
With all the drivers taking on qualifying in an orderly fashion, using the same kart, it was decided to use the qualifying times for the Fastest Lap Challenge. After weight adjustment, Damien Holmes topped the leaderboard for the quickest time of the night.
A big thank you to all drivers and spectators who came along to the event and a special thanks to the staff at West Wales Karting for putting in the hours before the event to ensure the karts were as evenly matched as possible after a busy Half Term!
Focus now turns to Round 4 as the season marches on to Carew Karting on Saturday, June 30th.
Full resultsand standings can be downloaded on our website