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Rice on the boil at Rowrah
23 August 2010
E-Plate holder Elliot Rice grabbed the lead of the 2010 Easykart Senior Lightweight championship after a win and a second place finish in the doubleheader round at Rowrah in Cumbria.
Rice arrived at the scenic, undulating venue six points adrift of Kieran McCullough after McCullough's victories in the previous two rounds at Llandow and Whilton Mill but he gained ground in Saturday's final with a strong second place, albeit more than three second behind debut winner Owen Jenman.
Rice had his hands full throughout the 20-lap final trying to hold off Patrick Lay with McCullough locked in his own battle for seventh with Oliver Tiernay, which Tiernay eventually won. For Jenman, who led from start to finish, his victory kept him in the title hunt while Lay's strong run to third also kept him in contention.
Sunday's final started the same way as Saturday's did with Jenman leading but unlike Saturday, when he was able to draw away from the field this time Rice and Brad Fairhurst were able to peg him back and pass him as the race entered its closing stages.
With his kart fading in the final few laps Jenman couldn't re-assert himself and dropped away in third place as Fairhurst continued to pressurise Rice for the lead. However Rice didn't budge and eventually crossed the line eight tenths of a second ahead of Fairhurst for his long awaited first win of the season.
Fairhurst's second place effort was by far and away his best finish of the year while a second podium in two days kept Jenman happy.
After starting sixth in the final McCullough knew he had to make good ground in order to keep himself in the title race and after passing Tiernay in the early stages he then spent the majority of the final scrapping with Lay for fifth.
Eventually McCullough found a way past Lay for fourth and had the race gone a few laps further he may have caught Jenman for third. Jack Sales finished sixth with Jamie Crease seventh and Tiernay slipping back to eighth.
With one round of the season to go Rice now holds an eleven point lead over McCullough with Lay just one marker behind McCullough in third and Jenman just 21 points behind Rice in fourth.
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