Our resident expert Phillip Clew, suggested the track had an interesting mix of fast and slow corners, which made for a competitive competition.
Organiser Nick Moss commended the drivers, stating 'standards were getting better and better'.
James Godfrey of Contractors Balfour Beatty came in first despite starting the race at sixth place on the Grid. Reigning champ Simon Ham of Arup Associates took second place, with Peter Wallis of Saper Glass Industries at third. It was Peter that had the fastest lap of the heat at 24.65 seconds.
The teams that will face a 1 hour endurance race, at the final, will be Arup Associates, Brunton Boobyer Partnership, and Mountford Pigott.
The second qualifying heat got underway at Streatham Kart Raceway with 46 drivers gathering for the chance to progress to the UK final in July. In heat 1, the 2003 Champion, Jonathan Lisseter of the ATP Group, showed his class with a dominant performance to win by 7 seconds. He also set what was to be the fastest lap in all the heats putting him in pole position for the final. Heat 2 had a little more controversy and incident when leader Terry Rodgers came up behind a back marker. For lap after lap Terry tried to get past and failed allowing second placed Jorge Ortega to catch and pass them both for the heat win! The evening's race format gave Terry another chance in the semi-finals and he later used that to prove his undoubted speed.
Gary Bartholomew, a UK finalist for the last two years, secured his place in the night's final with a win in the third heat and he was joined from the fourth heat by Adam Bryan, also appearing in his third Schuco Challenge. Another former UK qualifier in both 2003 and 2004 was Terry Pearce of Baily Garner and he gave himself every opportunity by winning Heat 5 with a five second margin over Douglas Fuller. The final automatic qualifier from the heats was Dean Goodwin, also from ATP Group and, therefore setting up a strong position for the company in the team competition.
The remaining grid slots on the night go to the first two in the 5 minute long 'last chance' semi-finals. The first saw Douglas Fuller get the jump on polesitter Terry Rodgers into the first corner and lead over the line after the first lap. But Terry fought back hard and managed to squeeze past Douglas, finishing with a 1.5 second margin! The second semi saw Gensler's Darren Ross-Dreher fighting with Tobias Fielding-Crawley from Hamilton associates while the rest of the field seemed to simply want to push each other off and spin at every corner! Tobias crossed the line less than a second ahead and both went into the night's final.
10 drivers battling over 12 minutes for the top 5 qualifying places proved an exciting spectacle. However, the winner was never really in doubt. Jonathan Lisseter started from pole, set the fastest lap and cruised over the finishing line with around 5 seconds to spare! A justifiable second place went to a determined and quick Terry Rodgers who battled through the field from 8th on the grid, equalling Jonathan's best lap time in the process. Gary Bartholomew started in second and finished in third to grab the last podium place!
There are five qualifier's for the July Whilton Mill event and the remaining two places (4th and 5th in the night's final) went to colleagues from Hamilton Associates, Jorge Ortega and Tobias Fielding-Crawley. However, their team score could only match that of ATP Group and event organiser Nick Moss announced that both would be invited to take part in the UK Endurance race in July.
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