Round 1 -Little Rissington
Round 1 Write Up – Little Rissington
The opening round of the truncated 2020 Daniel Ricciardo series took place at Little Rissington, with a solid grid of 16 drivers taking to the track in the DRS125 class.
The opening qualifying session gave an indication of how close this season was going to be, with the top 4 drivers seperated by less than a tenth. It was close through the whole field, with all 16 drivers covered by around 7 tenths. The top 10 were separated by just 0.419 seconds.
Topping the session was last year’s vice champion Matthew Pearce (#2) who bested the rest of the field by just 0.021 seconds. 2nd went the way of Patrick Lay (#175) with Tyrone Stansfield (#3) and Harry Barlow (#315) completing the top 4. Dave Burns (#197) was residing in 8th place just 0.328 seconds from Matt.
The first race of the season went the way of Matt Pearce, who took a lights to flag victory over Lay who remained in touch with the #2. Matt crosses the line 0.741 seconds in front of Lay.
Dave Burns meanwhile gained a position and moved into 7th place, but unfortunately lost some momentum and finished the race 8th. After some good battles with Morgan Cole (#5), the pair finished just 0.247 seconds apart after the 8 minute race.
The Pre Grand Prix would be an extremely close fought contest between the top 2. Pearce held the early lead ahead of Lay, until a battenberg flag was deployed for an incident on track. The #175 of Lay managed to get the jump when the track went full green, to catch and pass Matt. From there, the pair were inseperable, changing position twice before Pearce reclaimed the lead with a great overtake into turn 9. Then, in the closing stages, Lay made his move to take the win away from Pearce.
Dave Burns also had a difficult Pre Grand Prix and made a mistake early on in the tight section, costing him 4 places. He managed to gain those places back, but was later forced off the track by Elliot Stanley in a battle and dropped 2 positions, meaning he crossed the line in 10th place.
The Grand Prix would be disastrous for Dave Burns. The kart would not start on the dummy grid and as the rest of the pack departed for the rolling lap, he was requiring help. With what seemed like an electrical fault he was finally started by the crank gun, but only made it 200m before the kart cut out again. He was out of the final!!!
However, it was another close fought contest at the front of the pack. Matt Pearce got the drop on Lay at the start and held the lead into turn 1 with Pat Lay having to slot into 2nd. Lay was in hot pursuit straight away, but couldn’t quite close the gap enough to show his nose.
After his early DNF, Ty Stansfield was on a mission, he quickly gained 6th place from Morgan Cole who had a torrid start, before setting out after Corey Alleyne for 5th.
At the front, Pearce managed to hold Lay at arms length to take the first Grand Prix win of the season by just over 4 tenths from Lay.
A dominating display all weekend from Pearce was celebrated with the win and deservedly so. An amazing start to the 2020 season for Matt, let hope he can take that level of dominance into Round 2. Dave showed good pace and was certainly in the running for a top 8 finish, but the electrical fault scuppered those plans. Let’s see what he can do when the championship heads to Round 2 at Clay Pigeon in September.
That leaves Matthew Pearce leading the championship by 6 points over Lay (322 points and 316 points respectively). Tom Snape is in 3rd place on 297 points.
Dave Burns resides in 11th place on 268 points, despite not starting the Grand Prix, so has it all to do in the coming rounds.
As always, we are so thankful for the continued support from our sponsors Oakenhurst Aircraft Services Limited and Flour BC.