MSA Super 1
Round 2 - PF International - 17th April 2005
Reigning Formula A Champion Mark Litchfield (Rocester, Staffordshire) returned to winning ways at PF International Circuit near Grantham on Sunday, with two good Finals victories to kick-start his 2005 British Karting Championship campaign.
The Renault-sponsored Formula A class, the pinnacle of the domestic karting scene, saw Riki Christodoulou (Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands) take the early initiative during Saturday’s official timed qualifying but come the two points-scoring Finals, it was Litchfield who left Lincolnshire with the maximum 100 points in his pocket.
Final One was a reasonably sedate affair for Litchfield who led from pole position and was never headed throughout the course of the 18-laps, his first win of the year never looking in doubt. Christodoulou, who started third on the grid, ran well during the early stages but after a seesaw battle with Gary Catt (Andover, Thruxton), Jason Parrott (Crowland, Peterborough), Chris Rogers (Waltham Cross) and David Gregory (Sheffield), it was Parrott who eventually finished in second position ahead of 2003 Champion Catt.
Final Two was a much more hard-fought affair for Litchfield, losing the lead on lap three to Catt and then dropping behind Christodoulou. On lap six, Litchfield returned to the front but Catt regained the lead of the race once more the next time around. Parrott’s turn to seize the advantage came on lap eight but after a valiant attempt to keep a charging Litchfield at bay, he wasn’t able to resist any longer with the reigning champion assuming the lead on lap 12 and taking the victory six laps later. Catt finished in second position while Parrott took a well-deserved podium in third place.
Female star Tiffany Chittenden (Chislehurst, Kent), meanwhile, produced some excellent performances all weekend, resulting in an eighth place finish in Final One and seventh position in Final Two.
Formula A Provisional Driver Standings: 1st Gary Catt, 192pts; 2nd Jason Parrott, 180pts; 3rd Riki Christodoulou, 175pts; 4th David Gregory, 172pts; 5th Mark Litchfield, 170pts; 11th Tiffany Chittenden, 140pts.
Formula ICA points leader Matthew Bell (Morpeth, Northumberland) kept his 100 per cent strike rate of wins in the 2005 season intact at PF International Circuit on Sunday – but the youngster was forced to fight every inch of the way for maximum points. The Grantham venue played host to the second round of the Renault-sponsored B4 Group British Karting Championships and after a dominant performance last month during the opening round of the year at Three Sisters, great things were expected of Bell at PF International.
Bell certainly performed well in the heats and a brace of victories in the two points-scoring Finals definitely looked more than probable. Having qualified on pole position for Final One, Bell got away well at the obligatory rolling-start to lead from Danny Cruttenden (Wilmington, Kent) and Benjy Russell (Wisbech, Cambridgeshire). On lap three, however, Bell fell to third place and a lap later the championship leader was down to fifth position with Cruttenden leading. Russell hit the front of the pack on lap four but then Cruttenden re-assumed the advantage on lap eight and remained at the front up until lap 18 when Bell, who had fought his way past several drivers, made a decisive move for the lead. Russell also made a move past Cruttenden on the final lap and looked like he had the chance to pass Bell for the lead. The Morpeth driver held-on to make it a trio of Finals wins from three races though, with Russell finishing in second and Daniel Rowbottom (Mamble, Kidderminster) edging past a luckless Cruttenden for the last podium place.
Final Two saw Bell again lead from the front at the start but on lap six Rowbottom, who started third on the grid, made a good passing move before Bell re-took the lead on lap eight. Another victory looked a certainty but then, on the final lap of the race, Rowbottom made a bold pass at the second corner to edge ahead. Bell, though, wouldn’t be denied, and fought his way back past for an incredibly close victory.
Formula ICA Provisional Driver Standings: 1st Matthew Bell, 200pts; 2nd Daniel Rowbottom, 175pts; 3rd Benjy Russell, 162pts; 4th Richard Kent, 161pts; 5th Tom Brown, 157pts; =6th Henry Arundel/Garry Findlay, 154pts.
Formula JICA front-runners Lee Bell (High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire) and Oliver Rowland (Penistone, Sheffield) took a Finals race victory apiece at PF International on Sunday, ensuring the country’s leading junior karting category is set for a classic year.
Will Stevens (Hadleigh, Essex), leader of the Renault-sponsored British Karting Championship JICA class heading into the weekend’s second round of the 2005 season, was unable to continue his double-winning form from the opening meeting of the year last month and so it fell to Bell and Rowland to fight it out at the front. Both drivers were in good form throughout qualifying and the heats, so by the time of the first of the points-scoring Finals, much was expected from the race and the young stars of Formula JICA most definitely delivered.
Having set pole position for Final One, Rowland got off to a flying start to lead from Bell with Scott Jenkins (Winterbourne Down, Bristol) in third position. Although Rowland opened up a sizeable gap on the first lap, Bell soon began to reel him in and on lap three the Buckinghamshire teenager took the lead as Jenkins moved into second place ahead of Rowland. The front trio of started to pull away from the chasing pack and by lap nine the order had changed to see Rowland back ahead with Jenkins second and Bell now relegated down to third place. Lap 16 proved to be the turning point of the race though, when Bell produced an excellent move to gain the lead and the eventual win. Jenkins finished in second position and Rowland took the final podium spot in third.
In Final Two, Bell led throughout the early stages and like his namesake in Formula ICA, Matthew Bell, looked as though a double-Finals victory was on the cards. It wasn’t to be though, with Rowland earning a good victory over a second clear of Bell with Ollie Millroy (Claygate, Surrey) rounding out the podium in third position.
Formula JICA Provisional Driver Standings: 1st Lee Bell, 194pts; 2nd Will Stevens, 186pts; 3rd Ollie Millroy, 178pts; 4th Oliver Rowland, 168pts; 5th Dean Stoneman, 163pts; 6th Ben Cooper, 160pts.
Round 3 of the 2005 Renault-sponsored B4 Group British Karting Championships takes place at Clay Pigeon, Dorset, on Sunday, 1st May.
Full Race Results from Round 2...
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