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Double KF3 joy for Barnicoat in Wales

6 July 2010

Ben Barnicoat roared to a double KF3 win in rounds five and six of the 2010 Formula Kart Stars Championship at Glan Y Gors in North Wales and moved into the championship lead in the process.

Barnicoat guided his Mick Barrett Racing Tonykart chassis around the superb 1100 metre GYG circuit to become the first driver in the KF3 class to win more than once this year in Saturday's final but had to hold off an inspired charge from Dylon Phibbs in the process.

Charlie Robertson set the pace in timed qualifying but Barnicoat took control in the two heats, which both took place under warm summer skies to guarantee him pole position for the 23-lap final. Starting alongside him would be the driver with whom Barnicoat shared the wins with at Whilton Mill, Matthew Graham with Robertson and championship returnee Edward Jones on row two.

Graham got off to a good start and ran side by side with Barnicoat through turn one before Barnicoat established himself at the front and began to pull a gap. Graham's race then turned sour on lap seven when the reeds in his engine blew, forcing him out.

But if Barnicoat thought Graham's retirement would give him an easy run to the flag he hadn't bargained on Phibbs who, in his first weekend with the Global Karting team, sliced his way up from sixth on the grid and passed Robertson for second shortly before half distance.

Phibbs then closed in on Barnicoat and took the lead going into the Spoon Curve with five laps remaining. However Barnicoat fought straight back and reclaimed the lead two corners later. While Barnicoat couldn't shake Phibbs he was able to keep enough of a gap to stop Phibbs from trying another move and took the chequered flag two tenths clear for his second win of the season.

Phibbs was delighted with his best ever FKS finish while Robertson was also happy with his first podium in KF3. Sam MacLeod finished fourth just ahead of Alex Hamilton with Ricky Collard, son of touring car ace Rob, completing the top six.

Sunday's conditions were radically different to Saturday's with a strong wind ripping across the paddock, bringing with it enough rain to keep the track wet and greasy for qualifying and the two heats.

Revelling in the mixed weather was Alex Gill who surged to pole position ahead of Barnicoat and while Barnicoat won the opening heat, Gill claimed the best result of his season so far with second place. Gill went one better in heat two, beating Barnicoat in a straight fight when conditions were at their trickiest but with the track dry for the final Gill's dry weather pace couldn't match what he was capable of in the wet.

Gill and Barnicoat shared the front row of the grid for the final with Jones, who grabbed second from Barnicoat in heat two, set to start third. However there was heartbreak for Jones when his kart refused to start, leaving him stranded on the dummy grid.

Gill tried in vain to keep Barnicoat behind him at the start but Barnicoat was too strong on the first run down the Dragon Straight and slowly Gill began to fade leaving Graham as Barnicoat's nearest challenger. For lap after lap the two leaders traded fastest lap with Barnicoat barely maintaining a five kart length lead over Graham.

In the final three laps Barnicoat finally broke Graham's challenge and took the chequered flag by nine tenths of a second, inheriting the championship lead from the absent Xavier Warburton in the process.

Graham admitted that Barnicoat hadn't put a wheel wrong all race and wasn't too disappointed with second while Phibbs finished third but was more than five seconds behind the top two. Hamilton and Robertson completed the top five with Gill only eighth.


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