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Gibson shows Heavy mettle at the Mill

20 July 2010

Having looked like a bit of a Barnaby Pittingale benefit for the first half of the season the 2010 Easykart UK Senior Heavyweight class will go into the final two rounds of the season far more open than Pittingale would have liked as Will Gibson scored his maiden win of the season at Whilton Mill.

With mechanical troubles thwarting his bid for a fourth straight win last time out at Llandow Pittingale was anxious to re-establish himself as the clear title favourite at the physically draining Whilton Mill circuit but even though he was quick in timed qualifying and looked strong in the heat race, things didn't quite go his way.

Battling for the lead with debutant Nick Moss in the closing stages of the heat the lead pair collided, sending Pittingale spearing down the order as Moss claimed the win. However the stewards took a dim view of the clash and demoted Moss to 20th place, one spot behind Pittingale in the 31-strong field.

Qualifying pacesetter Tim Hill inherited the win thanks to a last lap pass on Will Gibson for what he initially thought was second place with Michael Roots, another driver making his Easykart debut at this round, completing a very close top three.

Gibson got his revenge on Hill in the pre-final, taking the lead on the opening lap and holding off Roots for the win with Hill third, two seconds down.

From the tenth row on the starting grid Moss and Pittingale had differing fortunes with Pittingale making some excellent early race progress before seeing nearly all his hard work go to waste when he got embroiled with Glen Beard and Gary Poynter, which pushed him back to 15th. Moss' progress was slower in the early going but he continued to pick up places as the race wore on and eventually made it up to fifth.

Gibson, Roots and Hill were able to make a break in the 20-lap final but neither of Gibson's two rivals could usurp him, leaving him to take the chequered flag for a popular win by half a second.

With the top three finishing together, the next kart across the line was Pittingale, who made a sensational start and was closing on the top three as the race drew to a close. After his points lead looked in serious jeopardy as the start of the race Pittingale had limited the damage when it mattered most.

Adrian Batty completed the top five after briefly running in third place with Llandow winner Mark Lawrence only eighth and Moss retiring shortly before half distance.

Thanks to his fine recovery in the final Pittingale retains his championship lead but by a slightly reduced margin of 17 points over Rice with Lawrence five more markers back in third. Gibson's maiden win pushes him up to fourth overall but he is nearly 50 points down on Pittingale with just two rounds to go.


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