Another big turnout for the second round of the 2018 PKC held at Carew Karting. The sun was out and the temperature was just right in creating perfect track conditions allowing the lap record to be smashed multiple times throughout the event.
The heavyweight drivers were the first on the track with reigning Champion Michael Lloyd Davies (Carmarthen) trading places and fastest lap times with championship rival Damien Holmes (Haverfordwest) over the course of the event with both drivers equally matched. Martin Lewis and Will Butler-Jenkins (both Carmarthen) troubled the leaders on occasion with Lewis taking a win and several strong finishes along the way but was ultimately unable to prevent Davies from taking the overall win ahead of Holmes.
In the intermediate category, it was difficult to pick a favourite initially as several drivers displayed a mixture of speed and ability. Jack Jay Allen(Kidwelly) and Matthew Morgan took top spot in qualifying and race 1 respectively until James Williams (Swansea) found his stride to win races 2 & 3. Ashley Hutchings (Pembroke) raced hard with old rival Chris Davies(Crymych) with Trev McCullagh (Newport) and Alix Alliston (Capel Dewi) finding themselves closely matched on the track. In the end, it was Williams who found consistency and took the win ahead of a returning Brian Newton(Llanybri) and PKC newcomer Nathan James (Neath)
There were fireworks in the lightweight division as several big PKC names were pitted against each other. Reigning Champion Sam Joseph (Swansea) found himself in the pack fighting with old rivals Kieran Davies (Tycroes) and Colin Rowland Mason (Johnston) but was able to keep his head down and claim several decisive wins. Mike Holder (Llanycefn) did a fantastic job defending his position in the opening race. Joshua Partis (Milford Haven) made an impact by posting some quick times during the event along with Callum Davies (Tycroes) who consistently topped the second tier group. It was Joseph who took the overall win whilst setting several new lap records on the way meaning it was damage limitation for Kieran and Colin who finished second and third respectively.
With his strong drives in the heavyweight races, Martin Lewis secured the best Rookie Driver of the event, with Tash Reynolds (Letterston) picking up the best Female Driver honours. Brian Newton picked up the award for best Masters Driver but faced stiff competition from Will Butler-Jenkins.
Off the back of his new lap record for the circuit, it was no surprise that Sam Joseph took the quickest lap in the Fastest Lap Challenge after the event.
We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came along to the event and especially to the drivers mentioned above and also those who may not have received a mention this time round. The racing across the board was very impressive and often the competition among the second tier drivers was more thrilling than the top drivers!
Also a big thank you is extended to the staff at Carew Karting for hosting and running the event.
Round 3 is now less than three weeks away as the PKC heads back indoors.
Keep an eye on our website for full results
The opening round of the 2018 Pembrokeshire Karting Championship was held last Sunday at West Wales Karting. It was the first time the venue hosted the season opener and what an event it was!
The event marked the 50th PKC round in our 10th season of running the Championship. 39 competitors joined us for the race which is a new record. Organisers were thrilled to see so many new and returning faces join our regular drivers and were very impressed by the talent, competitiveness and sportsmanship shown by everyone.
All drivers were keen to test their abilities against each other after taking the next step from arrive and drive racing in the hope to be in the running to win a place on our exclusive tour of the Williams Martini Racing F1 facility and heritage museum!
In the heavyweight division, rookie driver Brendan Evans emerged as an early favourite by being the fastest driver ahead of reigning Champion Michael Lloyd Davies (Carmarthen) and PKC45K winner Damien Holmes(Haverfordwest). First blood was awarded to Martin Lewis (Carmarthen) who took the win in Race 1 but spent the rest of the event in a close battle with Will Butler-Jenkins (Carmarthen). Michael and Damien traded wins during the remainder of the event with Brendan keeping the pair honest. Both lead drivers were so evenly matched that both tied on points at the end of the round with Michael just managing to edge Damien with a better finishing position record allowing him to record his first event win of 2018.
There was much interest and anticipation in the new intermediate weight division. Several quick drivers found themselves in the group and were keen to stake an early claim to the title. 2016 PKC Champion Dan Thomas(Templeton) was the favourite heading into the event and he lived up to expectation with a good scorecard allowing him to take the event win, however it wasn't all plain sailing with James Williams (Swansea) keeping Dan honest with similar lap times and a consistent finishing record seeing him finish second overall. Melany Howell (Drefach Felindre) qualified faster than Dan in the first session and took a decisive victory of her own in Race 4. Elsewhere Ashley Hutchings (Pembroke) and newcomer Matthew Morgan drove a strong event with the former taking a win in Race 1 and Matthew taking three consecutive second places. With such a range of talent in this category, there could be a few surprises in store as the season develops. All of the other competitors in this division drove extremely well with notable drives from John Mason (Johnston), Alix Aliston (Capel Dewi), Trev McCullagh (Newport) and Tash Reynolds (Letterston).
The lightweight division saw some big PKC names face off against each other during this event with reigning lightweight Champion Sam Joseph(Swansea) hoping to retain his title from Adam Jones (Tenby) who came very close last season and also Stuart Davis (Milford Haven) who has now established himself as a consistent front runner. There were two other problems for Sam heading into this event; the dangerously fast Kieran Davies (Tycroes) returned to the PKC along with his brother Callum and Colin Rowland Mason (Johnston), who was our inaugural PKC Champion in 2009 is back, thirsty for more success. Sam had his work cut out for him initially with Adam topping the qualifying times and Callum winning Race 1 but two consecutive wins in Race 2 & 3 were enough to edge Sam to victory. Adam raced hard taking a victory in Race 4 which allowed him to take second overall ahead of Stuart in third, who was a single point ahead of Kieran. It is going to be very exciting watching this group of drivers over the course of the season and you cannot rule out Joshua Partis (Milford Haven), Mike Holder (Llanycefn) or Wais Kuba (Cardiff).
The best rookie driver of the event was awarded to Brendan Evans but it is clear from all of the new drivers that we could see a different winner each event. Matthew Morgan, Callum Davies (Tycroes), Wais Kuba and Dylan Butland (Pembroke Dock) are all drivers to watch.
Tess Howell (Drefach Felindre) picked up the award for best over 40's driver in the Masters category. Will Butler-Jenkins, Mike Holder and John Mason are all capable of challenging for this award later in the season.
Melany Howell was the best female driver in action on the night with Tess Howell and Tash Reynolds both displaying the potential to be up there also.
At the end of the event several drivers contested in the Fastest Lap Challenge, where Colin Rowland Mason drew first blood and tops the leaderboard.
We would again like to issue a big thank you to the staff and management of West Wales Karting for helping us put on a great event and for all the work behind the scenes they did to get everything ready.
All eyes now eagerly await Round 2, where the PKC will visit the outdoor track of Carew Karting. All results and standings can be found on our website www.pembrokeshirekarting.co.uk
Remember, if you missed Round 1 or didn't get the results you were hoping for, this year only your top 6 rounds out of the 7 will count meaning you can afford to miss or have a bad round.