Mixed Fortunes for the Team at Shenington
Wednesday, 10 December 2008 08:46
After convincing victory 2 weeks earlier at Whilton Mill, the team went to Shenington with an outside chance of Dominic stealing the championship, despite missing two rounds. Jackson could take 2nd in the title race in his first full season of minimax competition.

Working at capacity, the usual driver line up of Danny and Dominic Russell in Rotax Senior, Henry Jackson in Minimax, and Will Blackwell-Chambers in Rotax Junior were joined by Adam Bonham also in Rotax Junior. Moving up from Minimax, he is looking for a team to run with in the 2009 Super 1 series.

Saturday, although hectic, went without a glitch. Dominic and Danny were both lapping quickly, Danny finishing fastest of the day, despite having to deal with a bent chassis. The junior pairing of Chambers and Bonham went well. Bonham ended the day lapping within 3 tenths of the pace in his first Junior race. Chambers saw massive improvement on his last outing at Shenington, lapping consistently in top 10 times. Minimax driver, Jackson, was running in contention with the top drivers all day, and went fastest in 2 sessions, finally having to settle for 2nd fastest time of the day behind British championship frontrunner, Sam Ward.

‘Overall, testing has gone well today. We have been understaffed, and so it is a shame that we could not give Adam Bonham a bit more guidance throughout the day, but the team has coped well with the pressure. I am hopeful for some good results tomorrow. The Senior championship is going to be a long shot, but Jackson should be able to secure 2nd in minimax after lapping consistently faster than his main rivals.’ Team Manager, Tom Smith.

After a DNF in heat 1, Jackson bounced back to set fastest lap and finish 4th in the 2nd qualifier. With a good kart underneath him, he lined up on grid 8 for the final. A good start saw him move to 6th through turn 1, and then a move in turn 3 on the opening lap saw him move past championship rival McCarthy, and 4th place driver Morgan. With shortened 12 lap finals, the lead duo of Latif and Davies seemed to have escaped the clutches of the 3DR protégé. Once into 3rd, with the championship all but sealed, Jackson relentlessly closed in on the leaders. He crossed the line 3rd; needing 2 more laps to catch them. Fastest lap, and 2nd place in the championship, along with his first Shenington podium of his career made for good reading.

The Junior pairing of Bonham and Chambers lined up 7th and 11th respectively in a strong grid of drivers. A bad start for Bonham unfortunately saw him forced to the escape road through Turn 1, and rather put pay to his race. He worked relentlessly to regain positions throughout the race and eventually recovered to 12th position. Comfortingly, he had pace to run with the top drivers. Chambers drove an excellent start, and settled into 9th. A train of 10 karts all pretty much for the lead included the Basingstoke driver, and as he made a move on Callum Hughes for 8th, he looked set for his best result of his career. Unfortunately, a mistake on lap 5 at Turn 3 saw him forced out of contention by the whole grid. After rejoining the circuit, he eventually recovered to finish behind Bonham in 13th position.

With the team having to resort to team tactics for the championship, Danny was racing the Senior final to back up Dominic’s championship rival. Starting from grid 11, he did a perfect job, holding the competition in 7th place over the first 7 laps of the race. Dominic started 8th after being taken out in qualifying heat 2, but quickly recovered with stunning pace to move into 4th, reeling in the leaders at up to 5 tenths of a second per lap! On lap 6 he caught the lead trio, and made his way through into 2nd at Turn 6. A good move into Café on the rather over adventurous Le-Boutillier saw him briefly take the lead. The Clay kart shop driver unduly forced Dominic unfairly off the circuit and down to 4th. The ensuing battle resulted in 8 karts vying for the lead. Impossible to hold Lawley back, and with Dominic losing out in traffic, Danny decided the race win was on. Moving swiftly through the grid to 3rd, a move on Glenister into the chicane saw him taken out for 2 months in succession! A recovering Dominic recovered to 4th by the end, and Danny took fastest lap.

‘Good speed didn’t quite return the right result this weekend, but 2nd in the championship for both Jackson and Russell is a good result overall. We have worked tirelessly this weekend, and some of the hard work with junior driver, Chambers is starting to pay off. He now looks like results could start to come his way. The team travel to Kimbolton with 4 drivers at the season finale next weekend. Watch this space!’ Team Manager, Tom Smith
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