Wall secures GP as Platt goes close to retaining his title

Michael Groves July 20, 2012 0

Motorsport Visions Snetterton circuit would play host to Rounds 7 and 8 of the MSA British Superkart Championship for 250 National and the 250/450 Clubman Challenge, and as per tradition for the July round of the Championship, also plays host to the MSA British Superkart Grand Prix. At Bishopscourt, reigning champion Paul Platt was finally beaten, for the first time in a year! Despite this, he extended his lead in the MSA British Championship, and secured the UK Cup title, and arrived at Snetterton hoping to add the GP title to his list of honours. It wouldn’t be easy for him, as a long list of drivers were lining up to challenge him, but only Toby Davis could claim to have beaten Paul in the last twelve months. Could Toby’s brother Ben, Louis Wall, Jason Dredge, Dan Clark, Adam Underhill or returnee James O’Reilly add their name to the list of Platt-conquerors?

The top seven in qualifying were split by less than a second, and it was Dredge who’d line up pole for the first race of the weekend, edging out James O’Reilly by 0.181s, with Ben Davis less than a tenth further back. Next to Ben on row two would be Louis Wall half a tenth further back, with Trevor Roberts alongside Paul Platt on row three, Platt suffering a sticking throttle and only completing four laps in the session. Toby Davis would line up seventh, the last driver within a second of the pole and would be joined on row four by Aaron Sifleet, 1.238 behind the Viper Racing driver. Dan Clark and Adam Underhill would fill the top ten, however with twelve drivers from 8th to 19thsplit by less than two seconds the racing for the final top ten places would be red hot.

Courtesy of Bryant Photography

Off the start Dredge shot into the lead and was followed through the Montreal hairpin by a fast-starting Platt, with O’Reilly and Ben Davis side by side for the first three corners. Davis got a fantastic DRS assisted run on O’Reilly under the bridge and into the Esses, and set off after Platt and Dredge, Platt leading across the line at the end of the first lap, while behind O’Reilly in fourth Roberts headed Dan Clark, Wall, Toby Davis and Underhill, with Sifleet fending off top 450 Chris Purdie for tenth. Onto lap three Underhill was sidelined with engine problems and Ben Davis dragged past Dredge into turn one, and made the pass stick, only for Dredge to come back at him a lap later into Agostini. Ben repeated his move down the inside into turn one, with Platt using the battle for second to pull out a lead. The lead trio were breaking away from Roberts, O’Reilly and Wall, with Toby Davis settling into a somewhat lonely seventh. Working together, Ben Davis and Dredge started to reel in the race leader, but on the final lap Dredge suffered from a case of de-ja vu, as his engine gave up as he rounded Williams for the last time, leaving Platt to cross the line two seconds ahead of Ben Davis, O’Reilly out-dragging Roberts to the line for third with Wall in close attendance. Toby Davis finished in sixth with a nine second cushion in both directions. Dan Clark finished an equally lonely seventh, while Chris Purdie used his 450 grunt to hold off Francois Kishtoo and James Hassall for eighth.

With Dredge starting race two in 27thplace, the questions now were could any of the others stop Platt taking another double win, and could Dredge drag

Courtesy of Bryant Photography

himself far enough up the grid to put him in contention for the GP race. Sunday morning remained dry, and Platt found himself on the receiving end of a good start this time, with Ben Davis sweeping round the outside to lead into Montreal, with O’Reilly also finding a way past the number 1. O’Reilly’s race was largely over at Montreal on lap two, locking his rear brakes and spinning to the back. With Platt released, he sat behind Ben Davis for four laps, making his move into turn one and pulling a gap, as Ben began to suffer from an intermittent and mysterious power issue at the end of the Bentley Straight. Behind the leaders, Roberts inherited third after O’Reilly’s off followed by Wall, Dan Clark and Toby Davis. Toby gradually picked his way through the karts in front and eased on to take a solid third place, as Platt crossed the line a second and a half clear of Ben Davis to put himself one result away from securing the British Championship. Behind Toby, Dan Clark finished a lonely fourth, with Dredge quietly picking his way through to finish an excellent fifth, with Wall finishing sixth. Roberts was suffering a sticking throttle which dropped him back through the field to eventually cross the line seventh just ahead of Kishtoo, with Ely racer Ashley Mack finishing a solid ninth ahead of Sifleet, who fended off Peter Bennett for the final place in the top ten.

Courtesy of Bryant Photography

With the National Championship races done and dusted, attention turned to the GP, where Platt was hoping to claim the GP to add to his 0 and 1 plates, which would mean he’d achieved the treble in two classes, having done so in 125 Open. Dredge, Toby Davis and Wall got blinding starts and led the field into turn one, with Ben Davis dropping back. Wall got the better of Toby to follow Dredge across the line, with Platt in behind and Ben Davis gathering himself to cross the line fifth ahead of Roberts. Platt passed Toby at the end of the Bentley straight on lap two, only for Toby to come back at him across the start line, up the inside into turn one Toby clipped the kerb, got a slide on and the two touched, allowing Ben to get through and dropping Toby between Kishtoo and Stephen Clark in sixth. With Wall now leading from Dredge, Platt knew he had to make a move on Ben Davis and despite a broken clutch cable, did so on lap five, slipping past as Ben ran wide into Montreal. By this point, Wall had built up a one second lead over Dredge, and Platt caught and passed him for second a lap later with Ben following him through a lap later, outbraking him into Montreal. Platt harried Wall for the remainder of the race, passing him at the end of the Bentley Straight on both of the last two laps, but Wall held his ground and beat Platt back into second place to cross the line as the Superkart GP winner for 2012, three tenths clear of Platt. Ben Davis’ race ended prematurely on the final lap when his engine let go on the approach to Agostini, handing Dredge third on a plate, with Toby Davis recovering from his early off to finish fourth, clear of Stephen Clark in fifth and Kishtoo in sixth. Ashley Mack finished a distant seventh, five seconds clear of Peter Bennett, with Sam Moss finishing a disappointing meeting for him with ninth place ahead of Martin Goodliffe.

Courtesy of Bryant Photography

Paul Platt leaves Snetterton with the lap record and knowing one result at Thruxton will secure him the championship for the second year in succession. Louis Wall celebrates his new title and currently sits second in the standings, ahead of Toby and Ben Davis, with Dan Clark fourty points behind Ben in fifth. Two solid finishes for Trevor Roberts lift him to sixth jumping him ahead of Aaron Sifleet and Adam Underhill, with Sam Moss also gaining places to sit ninth ahead of Lee Harpham, who contested the European Division 1 Championship races at Snetterton instead of the 250 National class. Last year Platt won both races at Thruxton with Louis Wall finishing both races in second, can Platt secure the title there this year? On August 18th/19th you’ll find out.

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