October 6, 2013

Joe Kerry takes Rd9 of British 200mm Nats

Joe Kerry takes Rd9 of British 200mm Nats

The last round of the 2013 British 200mm National series took place at the fantastic Cotswold circuit at Kemble airfield. The conditions were much better than expected with dry weather all weekend and even some sunshine on the Sunday as well. This gave all drivers plenty of time to find the right set-up on Saturday. At the end of practice it was Joe Kerry setting the pace with his O.S. powered Serpent 747 consistently hitting 16.1 laptimes.

Overnight there had been some rain which washed away the grip, so when the first round of qualifying went out many drivers were struggling with their cars. The traction got better and better as qualifying went on with nearly everyone setting their fastest times in the last two rounds. Joe Kerry took the TQ with a time of 19/311.19 just 2 seconds away from the track record he set earlier this season. Behind Joe there was a very close battle for 2nd between Team Shepherd’s Andy Hastings and Xray driver Simon Wood. After running almost identical laptimes for the whole run, Simon ran out of fuel just two corners from the line, while Andy just got through to make a 19 lap run. The battle for 2nd was close, but the race for 4th overall was even closer as Matthew Cook, John Zottl, Pete Hastings, Alex Thurston, and James Conolly were all separated by just 2 seconds.

Qualifying results:
1. Joe Kerry – Serpent/O.S./Xceed – 19/311.19
2. Andy Hastings – Shepherd/Sonic/Shepherd – 19/315.30
3. Simon Wood – Xray/Reds/Matrix – 18/297.93
4. John Zottl – Shepherd/Sonic/Shepherd – 18/302.39
5. Alex Thurston – Serpent/IDM/Contact – 18/302.45
6. Matthew Cook – Hot Bodies/O.S./Contact – 18/303.75
7. James Conolly – Serpent/Novarossi/Xceed – 18/304.53
8. Pete Hastings – Shepherd/Sonic/Shepherd – 18/304.72
9. Dominic Carter – Serpent/Novarossi/Contact – 18/311.78
10.Peter Spratley – Xray/Novarossi/Matrix – 18/316.32

The tyre wear was actually really low which is very rare in the UK. So this was going to be a race where drivers didn’t have to worry too much about the tyres and just focus on the racing. The final started and straight away Joe pulled out a decent lead with Simon Wood just a little further back jumping straight into 2nd place. There was a collision involving two or three cars from the middle of the grid which dropped them to the back of the pack. Serpent driver James Conolly had an excellent start going from 7th to 3rd on the opening lap. Up front, Joe was steadily increasing his lead over Simon as they approached the first lot of fuel stops. A hard charging Pete Hastings caught up to Simon soon after the stops and found a way past to move into 2nd place. At the halfway point Alex Thurston found himself in 3rd position with Simon Wood just behind, but they both moved up a place as Pete Hastings was forced to retire from 2nd position. Around 10 laps from the finish Simon got past Alex and held on to 2nd until the end. The race for 4th was almost as close as qualifying as James Conolly finished less than 1 second ahead of Andy, with Matthew Cook only 4 seconds behind them both. Joe took the win over 2 laps clear and sets a new finals track record at the Cotswolds circuit of 107/1800.65

Final results:
1. Joe Kerry – Serpent/O.S./Xceed – 107Laps
2. Simon Wood – Xray/Reds/Matrix – 105Laps
3. Alex Thurston – Serpent/IDM/Contact – 105Laps
4. James Conolly – Serpent/Novarossi/Xceed – 103Laps
5. Andy Hastings – Shepherd/Sonic/Shepherd – 103Laps
6. Matthew Cook – Hot Bodies/O.S./Contact – 103Laps
7. John Zottl – Shepherd/Sonic/Shepherd – 102Laps
8. Dominic Carter – Serpent/Novarossi/Contact – 101Laps
9. Pete Hastings – Shepherd/Sonic/Shepherd – 85Laps
10.Peter Spratley – Xray/Novarossi/Matrix – 83Laps

With Mark Green having wrapped up the championship last time out at Snetterton, this weekend’s result means that Joe becomes the first driver to ever score over 600 points and not end up winning the title. Alex Thurston had to beat John Zottl to take 3rd overall and managed exactly that to complete an all Serpent 747 podium for the 2013 British Championship.

Thanks to Joe Kerry for sending the report.


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