RAFMSA 2005 Individual Kart Championship
Incorporating Round 3 of the RAFMSA Kart Series
The RAFMSA Individual Kart Championship incorporating the 3rd round of the 2005 PAX Insurance assisted RAFMSA Kart Championship Series was held in July at the Little Rissington circuit. The event is the biggest race meeting in the RAF karting calendar and proved to be the best supported for many years with a grid of 24 2-stroke sprint karts (rather more than some F1 grids this year, in fact bigger than any of them).
The first heat got underway and it was obvious that most drivers were keen to make their mark from the off. Phil Hill powered his way to the front where he stayed to the flag. Dougy Attewell back after a long lay off made good progress throughout the race improving his lap times dramatically toward the end of the heat to finish 5th. Always there or thereabouts was Dean Maratty who steadily moved up the field to take the second spot.
The second heat saw Dougy contine to improve, this time achieving 2nd place behind an uncatchable Phil. Several drivers went out with mechanical problems including the Richie Scott whose jammed throttle caused him an exciting moment after a minor contact.
Heat three and all bar one kart made the grid. Phil once again showed everyone the way home ahead of Vince Lewis who drove hard to keep a charging Doug behind in 3rd place.
So for the final, Super One veteran Phil Hill once again claimed pole followed by Doug Atwell. The second row was Dean Maratty and Luke Bourne, with Paul Brown and Si Rich on Row 3.
The final eventually got the green light after three rolling laps, one too many for Doug Atwell who suffered from an oiled plug and was forced to retire before the start. This allowed Luke Bourne to squeeze into second place at the first corner just behind Phil Hill and ahead of Dean Maratty. The three lead drivers stretched a 10 second gap on the rest of the field. Dean was shown the warning flag, by the Clerk of the Course around half distance for contacting Luke in his attempts to pass. Phil developed an engine problem but managed to hold his lead of about 5 seconds to the chequered flag. On the penultimate lap Dean tried a desperate late braking move on Luke to no avail and after gathering his half spin finished a further 5 seconds back in 3rd place.
Even more action developed in the mid field where places were changing frequently over the 15 laps. Remarkably, even though the racing was so close, few offs were experienced and although Viv Ward completed an unintentional but spectacular spin (right in front of the BFBS camera crew) the race ended with only three retirements. Marcus Ramsden drove a much improved race to finish 4th with Nez Ross finishing 5th.
The Honda seniors once again produced very close racing. The front-runners Nigel Kent and Paul Saunders were evenly matched and either looked like potential winners. As it panned out Nigel managed to pip Paul for a well-deserved victory with the only driver of the fairer sex Louise Dixon finishing 3rd.
The meeting was completed with former F1 world champion Nigel Mansell kindly agreeing to present the prizes and trophies.
RAF Premier Results
Phil Hill - Leopard/Intrepid
Luke Bourne - Rotax Max/Tony
Dean Maratty - Leopard/Tony
During the event the Clerk of the course announced the illness of one of their longest serving officials and arranged a collection for the UK Cancer charity to which the RAF drivers donated the sum of £200.
Little Rissington circuit provided yet another fantastic venue for the main RAF Kart meeting of the year, and all of the drivers would like to extend their thanks to the Circuit’s highly professional officials and staff for their excellent help and support.
Dean Maratty now leads the Championship series on 303 points ahead of Luke Bourne on 291 points and Sgt Simon Rich on 275.
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