Round 3 of the Prokart SSS endurance produced some of the closest racing seen this season with the final outcome in the balance right up to last 15 minutes of the race. Ultimately 2P Racing #64 prevailed to notch up their third straight victory of the season. Team Logan #35 ran them close and but for a late drive through penalty would have pushed the winners all the way.
Qualifying was a hectic affair with Team Logan #35 and Containerforce #13 making the early running. Right at the death Team GTR #11 popped in a hot lap of 52.826 to pip Team Logan for pole. The top 12 teams were covered by 1 second. This laid the foundation for what was to be a frenetic first hour of racing.
From the start Team Logan, Team GTR and Containerforce opened a gap of about 5 seconds over the next group including Karting 101, 2P Racing, Hooligans#212, Team RKT #5, Team Dask#14 and JK Racing#33, Splashed Ink #43, Kart Shoppe #1 all vying for position. This was allowing the leading three to open up a gap.
A little further back another group consisting of Furmanite #94, Farmtruckers #45, Speedophiles #78, Half Tonne #27, Heaton Racing #77, Ghost Karting #54, Team SPH #46, Shake and Bake #98, Road Runner #30 and Team F60 #60, were duking it out. On occasion there were three abreast into the corners and no quarter was given. Amazingly despite the closeness of the racing there were no contacts or accidents, with everyone giving the other sufficient space to avoid tears. Lesson learned #1. You can race closely in a group without bumping and barging.
With all the leading contenders running lap times within tenths of seconds of each other, gaining places was extremely hard work and the slightest mistake would have one joining the back of a train of four or five karts. This was like sprint racing at its best excepting it was an endurance race.
Team Dask #14 were the first suffer some misfortune when their clutch collapsed after 8 laps consigning them to a 38 minute pit stop whilst it was repaired. This dropped them to back of the field from which they were unable to recover due to there not being any major breakdowns happening. Team Dask were not the only team to suffer some mechanical issues. Kartinator Rosso #20 had an accelerator cable break after 7 laps and lost a total of 15 minutes in the pits repairing it. Thereafter they had good clean run to the end. JK Racing #33 had some major issues judging by the fact they had a pit stop in excess of two hours, but were running at the end and still classified as a finisher, having completed more than two-thirds of the race distance. Team Hooligans #212 who had been challenging for a top ten position early in the race suffered a setback late in the race that saw them lose 9 minutes in the pits and with that a top ten finish. Lesson learned #2: Preparation is the key to a good race.
At the death of the race with 2P Racing# 64 looking like comfortable victors, but closely pursued by Team Logan #35, a final twist, which could have affected the outcome, came into play. A rule infringement at their last pitstop lead to a drive through penalty that handed the lead to #Team Logan. However with about 15 minutes to go Team Logan were themselves a victim of a rule infringement that saw them having to take a drive through penalty, which handed the lead back to 2P Racing. A little further back with a podium in sight Team GTR #11 were black flagged for a loose bumper, the result of tap from behind by Splashed Ink # 43, and had to pit for repairs. This allowed the closely following Team RKT1 #5 and Containerforce #13 through to fill third and fourth spots respectively.
In one of the best endurance races of the year all competitors were classified as finishers and all competitors were running at the fall of the chequered flag. This is a testament to the high level of preparation that has gone into the karts
Although 2P Racing are the winners, the series is a winner and all the teams are winners in their own right.
For a full set of results and latest Championship and Index of Performance standings go to RACE RESULTS.