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Aug 13, 2014 - 05:42 PM
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Strawberry Tastes Glory at GYG
Posted by: newsla on Aug 13, 2014 - 05:39 PM
Strawberry Tastes Glory at GYG

Kiern Jewiss came from the ninth row of the Honda Cadet grid to win the main final at Glan Y Gors (10 August), whilst his Strawberry Racing teammate Dean McDonald stood on the top step of the Mini Max podium. The pair now lead the Super One Championship in their respective classes. There was also an outstanding performance from Axel Charpentier, who joined McDonald on the rostrum thanks to a fine 3rd place.


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Fresh from his IAME Cadet success in last week’s Kart Masters event, Jewiss carried his form into North Wales and was again one of the principal contenders by the time Sunday’s finals came around. Having qualified 3rd overall after the heats, Kiern was fighting for the lead in the pre-final, but over-committed himself. His Tony Kart Rocky speared off the circuit and although he was able to regain the track, the talented youngster crossed the line in 18th place.

Unruffled, he charged up the order in the main final to take the chequered flag well clear of his rivals. With this, his second victory of the Super One campaign, Kiern returned to the top of the points table.

Like Jewiss, Dean McDonald demonstrated a cool head under pressure after making an earlier mistake. The Scottish ace was leading the Mini Max pre-final, but was caught and passed on the last lap after leaving a marginal gap that proved too tempting to resist for Alex Quinn.

Dean made amends with a terrific getaway at the start of the main final and, with a clear track ahead of him, simply drove away from the other 27 karts. France’s Axel Charpentier enjoyed a far more dramatic encounter, as he scrapped his way from 7th to 3rd. What made Charpentier’s podium all the more satisfying was the fact that he too had demonstrated great strength of character after a poor timed qualifying performance. Having been compromised on his track position in the five-minute session, Axel could only record the 24th-fastest time. From there he chipped his way forward and was 7th overall after the heats.

Strawberry’s other Mini Max drivers, Connor McCarthy and Jack Young, were compromised (by a lack of experience and seat-time respectively) but benefited from the experience. Connor left Glan Y Gors with his best points tally to date (78) by virtue of his finish inside the top twenty. Jack came home in 22nd place after being forced onto the grass in the final’s formative stages. He had started from p12 and was frustrated not to be able to convert that into a top ten result.

As the Junior pre-final got underway, the heavens opened and deluged the circuit. With the entire field on slicks, chaos resulted, but some mature thinking from Jack McCarthy saw him opt to bring his Tony Kart EVK home safely rather than risk crashing. He was rewarded with 7th, whilst Darren Keane came home seven places further back in 14thfollowing a spin and Jack Martin struggling in the conditions down in 26th position.

McCarthy’s 5th in the main final kept him in touch with his nearest championship rivals with two rounds to go. Keane’s 16th finish also maintained his place in the series’ top ten, whilst Martin’s frustrating weekend ended with a DNF.

A burst appendix ended Kyle Fowlie’s title hopes prior to the weekend. It was an especially bitter blow for the flying Scot and Strawberry, after missing the season opener at Rowrah. Thus the spotlight swung back to Rowrah victor, Joe Reilly and his pacy colleagues Josh Price, Gary Donnelly, Lars Lamborelle and Jessica Backman.

Price opened his account with pole position in timed qualifying and subsequently took it again with back-to-back heat wins. Lamborelle started the pre-final nearby; going off the 4th row with Reilly on p13, Backman 15th and Donnelly 25th.
Joe used all his experience to claim 4th just half a second ahead of Josh in 5th. Gary made up nine places to end up 16th with Lars struggling with his set-up to finish 20th. Jessica’s race ended in the pits after just three laps.

The rain gave way to fast-drying conditions and this presented a fresh problem for the competitors, who were running on wet tyres. Tyre degradation hampered performance and Reilly did well to net another 4th place. Donnelly demonstrated his racecraft and raw pace with 8th. Price bounced back from a start-line crash that damaged his chassis. Later in the race he clouted a kerb and was launched off the circuit, dropping him to stone last. He caught and passed eleven drivers to finish 19th, one place ahead of Lamborelle. Backman’s torrid debut in the 2014 series was completed with 24th, an unaccustomed outcome for the Swedish Junior champion.

Strawberry Racing’s Warwick Ringham said “Glan Y Gors is always a tough place to go to, as the weather is always a factor and we don’t really race here more than once a year. Kiern and Dean did a great job though. They were very professional. Axel also showed that he’s developing into a good little racer who can pull a result off when it doesn’t seem possible.”

He added: “Jack McCarthy got caught out by the rain, but changed his strategy to go for the finish and points. That’s very sensible and shows his maturity. Darren was good and fast, but his spin denied him a better finish.”

“Josh was quite convincing, in terms of his speed in qualifying and the heats. He had the upper hand but it unravelled for him in the final. Joe lacked a tenth (of a second) in pace due to the gearing selection but he didn’t flap, he just made the most of it and I think the title fight is between him and Jack Bartholomew now.”

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