Super 1 - MSA
Round 6 - PF International - 14/09/03
Double race victory gives Catt Formula A title
A superb 100-point maximum from the final two races of the 2003 Formula A ELF-Hill House Hammond Super One MSA British Karting Championship gave an ecstatic Gary Catt (Thruxton) the title victory at PF International on Sunday.
Catt and team-mate Mark Litchfield (Marston Montgomery) went into the final meeting of the season with just a single point separating them after taking into account the championship's double "drop score" ruling but it was Catt that enjoyed an almost faultless weekend. After going quickest in qualifying and also taking pole position for each points scoring final, Catt did appear to already be on his way to title glory and after a couple of well controlled races he ended up 2003 Formula A Champion.
At the start of Final One Catt took a good lead from pole position to head David Gregory (Sheffield) and Sam Quinlan (Sittingbourne) but by lap two a charging Mark Sargent (Yeovil) was up into third place. Catt continued to consolidate his place at the front and by lap four title-rival Litchfield was behind outgoing champion Mark Rochford (Wincanton) in sixth position. By one third race distance Catt's lead did seem to be diminishing but he held on the flag, eventually crossing the line just 0.15 seconds ahead of a flying Sargent in second place. Rochford enjoyed his best finish for quite some time with third while 2002 Formula JICA Champion Alexander Sims was fourth.
Final Two saw another copybook start by Catt with a fired-up Rochford in second but as the pack headed towards the third corner an ambitious move by Mark Sargent on Rochford eliminated both karters from the proceedings - Sargent rejoined though to finish 12th and last. At the front Catt led from Litchfield with Quinlan third, Tom Ward (Romford) fourth and Duncan Tappy (West Ewell) in fifth. A far more sedate affair than the first race resulted in Catt making it two wins out of two with Litchfield second and Quinlan in third. Jordan Wise (Epping) did well too to finish fifth having started 13th.
New champion Gary Catt commented: "I'm absolutely over the moon to have won the Formula A title and it was great to end the season with two wins. It made it really interesting in the team with the championship being between me and Mark (Litchfield) - I'm just really happy that I've become the 2003 champion."
Formula A final points (provisional): 1st Gary Catt, 479pts; 2nd Mark Litchfield, 471pts; 3rd Duncan Tappy, 424pts; 4th Benjy Russell, 413pts; 5th James Sutton, 407pts; 6th David Gregory, 406pts.
Christodoulou crowned Formula JICA champion
Everyone knew the climax to the Formula JICA category of the ELF-Hill House Hammond Super One MSA British Karting Championships would be a tense affair during the final meeting of the year on Sunday at PF International near Grantham but few could have predicted how close the outcome would be with Riki Christodoulou (Sutton Coldfield) taking the title by just two points. The West Midlander endured an up and down weekend and two very tough points scoring finals to provisionally take the title ahead of season-long challenger Freddie Martin-Dye (Shamley Green) who did all he could to try and wrest the championship from Christodoulou's grasp. But while the title is decided the final overall standings could still change lower down the order with an appeal against Jonathan Legris' exclusion at Shenington still to be heard.
Christodoulou can now bask in the glory of a well-deserved Formula JICA title triumph that was far from easy at PF International. Martin-Dye seemed to have by far the better package all weekend but his third position in Final One and second place in Final Two just weren't enough to snatch the title from under Riki's nose. Away from the title battle the meeting belonged to Jon Lancaster (Pudsey) who dominated both points scoring finals with two victories after qualifying second on the grid for Final One and in pole position for Final Two.
In Final One Lancaster and Adam Batch (North Ferriby) diced for the lead with Martin-Dye in a fairly comfortable third place throughout. Christodoulou, meanwhile, had a much harder time with Viktor Jensen (Esher) and Daniel Rowbottom (Mamble) both pressurising him. Riki eventually finished fourth with Jensen just taking fifth ahead of Rowbottom.
The second final saw Lancaster once again in dominant form from the off with Martin-Dye taking second place early on ahead of Batch and Jensen. By lap three the front trio of karts had opened up a fair lead over the rest of the pack which at that point was headed by Christodoulou who started the race in fourth. While Lancaster literally walked away with his second win of the afternoon, behind it was Martin-Dye taking second ahead of Batch, Jason Parrott (Crowland), Rowbottom and Kieren Clark (Royston) rounding out the top six. Christodoulou eventually crossed the line in eighth knowing he had done enough to take the championship by just a couple of points. Parrott, meanwhile, had a superb run to finish fourth after starting a lowly 17th on the grid.
2003 Formula JICA Champion Riki Christodoulou said: "We're obviously delighted to win the championship especially because the package we had this weekend wasn't the best. I asked my dad what I had to do to make sure I won the title after the first Final and so I knew as long as Freddie wasn't winning the race I could finish anywhere down the order and still be champion.
"This is just reward for all the hard work and determination we've shown all season and I'd like to say thank you to Freddie and his dad Phil who were both very generous to me with their congratulations. We're not sure what we'll be doing next year yet - for now I'm going to enjoy being the Formula JICA Champion."
Formula JICA final points (provisional): 1st Riki Christodoulou, 482pts; 2nd Freddie Martin-Dye, 480pts; 3rd Jon Lancaster, 457pts; 4th Jason Parrott, 430pts; 5th Daniel Rowbottom, 424pts; 6th James McCarthy, 423pts.
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