January 7, 2020
The start of a new decade and the start of a new era for many of the #YRDArmy with the winter transfers seeing Vinnie Phillips, Ethian Symonds and Luke Watts all moving classes. Joining the trio at the TVKC Winter Series opening round would be Lewis Halliday who remains in Senior Rotax. Also present was Freddie Allum who joins the programme for 2020 and steps up to Mini X30 alongside Phillips and Symonds.
Vinnie has settled into the Mini X30 class very quickly after jumping up from the IAME Cadet class. It was a tough season for Vinnie overall and it’s clear he feels very comfortable in Mini X30 after taking a podium finish at the TVKC Winter Series opening round. Vinnie showed immediate pace qualifying 3rd and winning heat two, but his DNF in heat one left him down in 9th for the final. But Vinnie made fast progress and would even battle for victory eventually finishing 3rd just 0.94 seconds behind the race winner. An extremely positive result and hopefully the start of a strong season for Vinnie.
Ethian Symonds began his preparation for Mini X30 at the tail end of last season leaving him in good shape for 2020. Ethian picked up from where he left off qualifying inside the top ten for the heats which he would convert into two 7th place finishes despite a nose cone penalty in heat one. The results left Ethian 6th on the grid for the final and he continued to make progress, but in his attempts to take 4th Ethian would take a trip to the grass which dropped him down the field. However, Ethian would recover to finish where he started in 6th place.
New recruit Freddie Allum had his first race in #YRDArmy colours and also his first race in Mini X30 leaving with plenty of positives. As well as setting his personal best lap at the circuit Freddie would be knocking on the door of the top ten all weekend with 12th in qualifying and two 11th place finishes in the heats. Although he would finish 13th in the final Freddie was within a second of 2nd place in terms of pace which was a huge positive and a brilliant way to start his season.
Luke made the jump up to Junior X30 after a brilliant season in Mini X30 last year. With 52 drivers on the grid Luke was certainly thrown in at the deep end, but made a decent start to the weekend with 18th in qualifying. A penalty in heat two would drop Luke from 12th to 23rd on the grid for the final, but it all seemed to happen for a reason and it gave Luke the chance to put on a fantastic display in the final gaining 15 places to finish 8th.
It was a weekend of missed opportunities for Lewis after torrid luck would deny him the chance of challenging for the win in the final. Lewis made a great start to the weekend qualifying 4th for the heats. He would convert that into a 3rd in heat one, but a DNF in heat two would be the start of Lewis’ problems. The result put him down the grid for the final and that would unfortunately lead to another DNF. A disappointing end to what started out as a very positive weekend.