With six drivers taking to Clay Pigeon Raceway to battle it out, Elliot Bennett rose up to the challenge, fending off the likes of Alfie Garrett, Felix Barrie and Eddison Burroughs to take the first club victory in a dramatic final.
Garrett’s impressive performance in qualifying saw him start from pole position for the first heat of the weekend ahead of Bennett. However, it was Garrett that was in front after the Heat’s, putting him in a prime position to win during the final. After multiple incidents throughout the final, the top three crossed the line with Elliott Bennett claiming his first win, in addition to never being outside of the top four all weekend.
Total Karting Zero
The Total Karting Zero Bambino’s provided an exciting new entry point for those looking to enter Motorsport, with Rob and Lucy Smedley showcasing the benefits of low-cost electric Karting around Clay Pigeon Raceway. As with all Total Karting Zero events, the championship followed the usual club format, with practices, qualifying, heats culminating in the final. Taking care of all the preparations and support, where parents are encouraged to get involved, to help push their young drivers and become more involved in the championship.
Neil Burroughs, parent of Eddison Burroughs: “”Having enjoyed karting for over 10 years, it took 2 years of learning the ropes, how to understand the kart. I wanted Eddison’s gateway to be easier than mine into the sport.”
“I understood that petrol engine racing excludes many on cost. Knowing that no one can spend £10k on an engine in petrol cadets to get ahead means a lot and investing in a kart they will grow out very soon is a massive win.”
“It’s a level playing field where he can fun, understand how to respect rules and accept penalties when things go wrong, I felt his enthusiasm with friends was as high as the racing itself. The entry to motorsport does not get any better and safer than this on many levels.”
Ryan Bennett, parent of Elliott Bennett: “We were looking for some competitive motorsport to participate in but had been put off from karting due to having a complete lack of information and the expense involved in the sport”
“I came across total karting on social media and after a 10-minute chat with Lucy we have been guided and supported exceptionally well.”
Alfie Garrett & Felix Barrie, Total Karting Zero by Rob Smedley Images Supplied by Matt Gale at Behind The Fence Photography
Qualifying – Garrett dominates to take pole position
Alfie Garrett produced a dominant performance at Clay Pigeon Kart Club, setting the fastest lap of the session and a new Clay Pigeon Raceway lap record for Total Karting Zero Bambino’s. Elliot Bennett looked the most likely to challenge for the top spot, only for Garrett to improve on his practice best to secure pole position.
Tommie Morris was the first to set a competitive lap time with 1:13.25, his time was swiftly bettered by Mimi Tenner who lapped at 1:00.85, Bennett dropped the leading time down to 54.44, only for Garrett to move into P1 with 52.92, knocking him off top spot.
The times continued to tumble, Felix Barrie improved his own opening lap with a 54.71, Bennett improved as well, jumping to within one second off the leading pace shaving his time down to 53.92, with Garrett only fractionally improving pole position with a 52.48. He was left thanking his lucky stars as Bennett crossed the line, 53.12, it was a significant improvement, with Bennett lapping to within 0.64s of pole, thanks to a personal best first and third sector.
As his closest rivals were unable to further better their times, Garrett wasted no time improving his own first and third sectors to improve pole, 52.22, which he immediately dropped down further by posting a 51.28.
With just minutes left in the session to set a competitive time, it was Barrie who improved late on, and made it count with a time of 54.34, jumping up to third. Eddison Burroughs put in a solid run to fourth, dropping Tenner down to fifth, allowing her to start alongside Tommi Morris on the final row of the grid.
On his final competitive run, Garrett looked certain to retain control of Qualifying, posting session best first and second sectors, following it up with a personal best final sector improving his own personal best time, setting a new Total Karting Zero lap record with a 50.89, taking pole position in the process.
Eddison Burroughs, Total Karting Zero by Rob Smedley Images Supplied by Matt Gale at Behind The Fence Photography
Heat 1 – Garrett scores maiden Total Karting Zero Bambino club win
A serene drive by Alfie Garrett led to victory in a hot race at Clay Pigeon Raceway, controlling the Total Karting Zero Bambino race from lights-to-flag, with Felix Barrie in tow. It was not such a productive opening Heat for Elliot Bennett, who suffered issues during the race and was unable to make up lost ground.
With temperatures around the track soaring to more than 25 degrees since the morning Qualifying session, the grid lined up in difficult conditions for the opening Heat of the weekend, a real challenge for those involved.
Despite not quite getting the best start off the line, Garrett managed the lead when the lights went out pulling away from pole with little trouble, followed by Bennett. Barrie managed to get a run along Sturmey Straight passing Bennett into Hann’s Hairpin. The young charger had done enough to take second, but was unable to match the pace of Garrett, who had a 1.4s advantage.
Following problems on the opening lap Eddison Burroughs had plenty to do from the back, promoting Tommi Morris to fifth and Mimi Tanner to fourth. Tanner appeared to be unusually relaxed on the grid, began to chase down Bennett having made the most of her opening lap.
Barrie was now within touching distance of Garrett, hunting the leader down to within 0.7s. But just as he seemed to be closing the gap down ready to make a move, Garrett responded with a string of fastest laps building the gap at the front back up to 5s. With Bennett unable to hang on, he suffered further heartbreak on as he lost power and slowed, his loss was Tanner’s gain, instantly promoting her into a provisional podium position before Bennett got going again now a lap down on the leading pair.
Garrett continued on at the front crossing the finish line with an 8s advantage over Barrie, Tanner hung on to retain third, Bennett came home fourth ahead of Morris in fifth and a lap clear of Burroughs who came home sixth.
Felix Barrie, Total Karting Zero by Rob Smedley Images Supplied by Matt Gale at Behind The Fence Photography
Heat 2 – Garrett scores dominant second win ahead of Barrie
An early head-to-head between Alfie Garrett and Felix Barrie looked to provide an entertaining race for the lead, until the Heat 1 winner set a string of fastest laps to ensure his Total Karting Zero Bambino victory was ensured.
Garrett once again made a good start from pole position while Barrie slotted in behind before attempting to go side-by-side through Billy’s Blind. This allowed Elliott Bennett, starting fourth, to eye a move up the inside Mimi Tanner, Tanner held on until The Horseshoe when Bennett made a move up the inside for third.
With the front trio now braking away from the pack, Garret held a slender gap of 0.6, over Barrie at the end of the second lap, Eddison Burroughs found a way past Tanner for fourth, further issues for Bennett promoting Burroughs to third. A lap later Bennett got alongside Burroughs on the way past the Pit Straight and pulled ahead under braking for Billy’s Blind, Through Button’s Burroughs fought back and got alongside, squeezing up the inside on the approach to Top Bend. The pair nearly touching wheels, but Burroughs made the move stick through the fast left hander.
But further drama followed, Bennett squeezed past with a brave move up the inside heading into Hann’s Hairpin. That allowed him to pass Burroughs into The Horseshoe sealing third place. From there on Garrett was able to comfortably stretch his lead over Barrie, extending that out to over 10s by the midpoint end of the race. A string of fastest laps ensured he stretched his advantage, with his dominant performance rewarded with his second win of the weekend, 14s clear of the opposition.
Behind the action, Tanner secured fifth, with Morris coming home sixth, the final finishers on track in what had been a dramatic mid pack Heat for the Total Karting Zero Bambino’s.
Mimi Tanner, Total Karting Zero by Rob Smedley Images Supplied by Matt Gale at Behind The Fence Photography
Final – Bennett beats Burroughs in chaotic final race
Elliot Bennett completed a remarkable win from third on the grid in the Total Karting Zero Bambino Final, making the most of an early collision between race favourite Alfie Garrett and Felix Barrie. After losing out in the Heats, Bennett had spent most of the weekend in a three-way tussle with Tanner and Burroughs, while Garrett had stormed his way to multiple Heat victories.
Starting from third, Bennett began to show some of the promise he had shown in Qualifying. When the lights went out, he initially pulled alongside Barrie into Billy’s Blind, Barrie’s start was slightly stronger than Bennett, with Barrie acing the Esses to retain second. Contact for Mimi Tanner into Billy’s Blind, with Tommi Morris sent the pair spinning at the start, Eddison Burroughs quietly picked his way through the chaos to come away in fourth.
Out front, Garrett had been unable to break away, unfortunately for Garrett a collision with Barrie through The Esses, threw the pair around resulting in an instant retirement, Barrie escaped unscathed.
Not that the field were allowed to get away, a full course caution was required when Burroughs accidently hit the emergency cut off, pulling to a stop. Making up the most places was Tanner, now up to second with Morris in third. With the field so spread out, a second full course caution was thrown by the steward on Lap 5 in order to bring the racers closer together and calm everything down.
When the racing resumed, the top three separated out, with Tanner now leading Bennett and Morris. It was far from plain sailing for Burroughs, cracking under pressure from Barrie, suffering a wide moment at The Horseshoe, dropping down to fifth.
After several more laps, Bennett nailed the pass of the race, coming from around the outside of Buttons to reclaim first from Tanner into Top Bend. Third was gifted to Burroughs, as Morris ran wide at The Horseshoe, allowing both Burroughs and Barrie to pass with ease.
Barrie managed to recover more ground, but Burroughs looked to be out of contention, suffering his own wide moment at The Horseshoe, as Barrie caught and collected the side of him as he attempted to pass.
With Bennett out in front, Tanner had all her hard work undone in a matter of corners, a wobble, and a spin through The Esses allowed Barrie to pass closely followed by Burroughs. Barrie managed to defend second all the way to the line with Burroughs taking the final podium position, Barrie would later receive a 2-place penalty for the incident with Garrett, handing Burroughs second and Tanner third.
There had been plenty of action behind him in the closing laps, but Elliott Bennett had kept his nose clean in a chaotic final to take his first-ever win, in Total Karting Zero, putting on a brilliant display amongst multiple cautions and issues, during a tense final.
Ryan Bennett, parent of Elliott Bennett: “It’s safe to say my son is hooked on the sport and I’m sure if it wasn’t for total karting, we wouldn’t have been on a race track this weekend let alone have him standing first place on the podium.”
“Total karting has made getting involved in this sport a breeze by providing all their expertise and knowledge openly and willingly.”
“Rob Lucy and their dedicated team provide a first-class service to the children involved and we couldn’t rate them higher”
Neil Burroughs, parent of Eddison Burroughs: “The race weekend at the Clay Pigeon club round provided so much track time that he gained 6 seconds a lap in 1 day. We had all made some great friendships and Eddison couldn’t wait to get back for race day”
“The most rewarding part is that he now would rather do this than football, rugby or even attend a school friends birthday party although he did fall asleep with his trophy and took it to school.”
“He now wants to be a racing driver and get into cars when he is older and that is a community of friends that usually last a lifetime. Everyone’s a winner.”