Watts and Phillips victorious in British Kart Championship preparations

June 25, 2019

Karting

It was a successful weekend for both Vinnie Phillips and Luke Watts who were racing at Three Sisters and Whilton Mill as they prepare for upcoming British Kart Championship races at the respected circuits. For Vinnie, he took victory in a tough IAME Cadet grid whilst Luke was quite simply unbeatable at Whilton Mill with comfortable wins in all three heats and the final.

Vinnie Phillips

Vinnie was fast out of the blocks taking victory in the opening heat of the day. Starting eleventh on the grid Vinnie had to work hard to get to the front of the field moving up the order in the first six laps in the race. He did get hit with a setback dropping to third from second, but if anything it made the Fusion Motorsport driver stronger and took the win in a close fought battle to the flag. 

With the top five covered by just three tenths in heat one it was clear taking overall victory was going to be a tough task as the countries best had gathered in Wigan for round five. Heat two saw Vinnie starting up in fifth and after pushing Archie Clark away from the field he hit the front at the halfway stage. He would remain under pressure until the end where he pulled out a sensational last lap to take his second win of the day.

Unfortunately, the third heat would not end in the same manor the previous two had. With Vinnie back in 22nd winning the race seemed highly unlikely so the aim was all about securing pole position for the final. A half decent result would do that, but just three laps into the race Vinnie was pushed all the way back to 29th place. After huge progress early on it was a big blow and left Vinnie only able to finish 22nd. It was a result that would leave him sixth on the grid for the final despite the two heat wins previously!

A tough start left Vinnie back in eighth after lap one with his hopes of victory slipping away. But the number seven seed responded to the situation in fine style setting fastest laps to quickly get into fifth in just two laps. Now flying, Vinnie had pulled himself into the battle for the lead and a superb lap five saw him jump up to second place!

Another fastest lap saw Vinnie hit the front but he was now under pressure from the number five seed Aiden Neate and six seed Maximus Hall. The penultimate lap saw Vinnie lose the lead for the first time since taking it bringing us to a last lap showdown. It was a fascinating race and brilliant battle which would see Vinnie emerge victorious on the final lap taking what would be a memorable win given the events in heat three and where he found himself on the opening lap of the final. 

Luke Watts

Luke started the day as he would end it. The opening heat saw him starting sixth on the grid, but Luke would go straight into the race lead on the opening lap before quickly establishing a lead. In just eleven laps Luke would build a 2.5 second lead and for the 24 fellow competitors it was a sign of things to come with heat one victory in the bag. 

Heat two would provide a hard challenge with Luke starting all the way back in seventeenth place. However, a fast opening lap saw Luke shoot straight into the top ten before slowly calving his way through what had become a chasing pack. With eight laps completed Luke was into second with Theo Micouris seven tenths clear. But Luke was on fire setting fastest lap after fastest lap and just two laps later he was into the race lead going on to take yet another victory.

Despite starting eleventh on the grid for heat three it seemed almost inevitable that Luke was going to win and to no one’s surprise, he did just that! It took Luke all but five laps to get into a race lead and once there he was never seen again this time winning by an impressive 2.6 seconds.  

Three wins in as many races left Luke a strong favourite to do the same in the final and it seemed only a mechanical would be able to stop him now.

Thankfully for Luke there were no such problems in the final and with the rest of the field simply unable to match his pace he set off into the distance leaving the rest of the field to fight for second behind. An astonishing achievement given the quality of the field, added with his absence in recent months. It was a weekend he’ll certainly remember and one that leaves him one to watch in the upcoming British Kart Championship races!