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Aston takes Cadet title on tiebreaker
18 October 2010
The 2010 MSA British Cadet Championship came down to a tie between Nathan Aston and Connor Jupp with Aston taking the crown despite Jupp's double win in the final two rounds of the Formula Kart Stars Championship at Ellough Park.
Tom Harvey, Aston and Jupp all had a realistic shot at the title. Harvey's eleven point lead over Aston was tenuous while outsider Jupp, 31 points behind, had nothing to lose.
Harvey's grip started to loosen in qualifying when mechanical problems stopped him and relegated him to mid grid positions for his heats. Jupp also struggled and was only ninth fastest in his group, led by Trevyn Jay Nelson.
Aston's weekend got off to a better start as he set the fastest time of all to ensure pole position for both his heats. He didn't have an answer for Nelson in heat one as he kept his extremely slim mathematical championship hopes alive with a narrow win. Harvey also showed that he wasn't going to give up without a fight as he drove from 15th to fourth behind Shanaka Clay.
Nelson kept his momentum rolling in heat two as he won again with Jupp keeping the pressure on Harvey and Aston with a fighting drive from twelfth to second.
Aston kept his rock solid weekend going in the final heat, winning comfortably from Jamie Caroline and Dean MacDonald. Harvey ran second despite starting 15th but was pushed back to seventh on the final lap with Jupp fifth.
Nelson started the final from pole with Aston alongside, Jupp third and Harvey fifth but it soon became clear that Jupp had the kart to beat as he took the lead on lap five and then kept the rest at arms length to score his third win of the year and play himself right into the thick of the title battle.
Nelson and Aston completed the podium with Aston taking the championship lead in the process. Harvey finished fifth behind Philip Rawson, his race compromised after a tangle with Rory Cuff that sent the latter barrel-rolling onto the grass. Incredibly Cuff turned his kart upright and tried to continue only to discover that his spark plug cap had fallen off.
Jupp's Saturday triumph moved him to within 15 points of Aston with Harvey now nine points out of first.
Nelson's strong Saturday meant he was just 60 points behind but his feint title chances took a terminal blow early in qualifying when his kart failed leaving him near the back of the field.
Aston led group one but his time was eclipsed by Jupp who became the first Cadet to lap Ellough Park in under 50-seconds with a lap of 49.99-seconds to secure overall pole.
Jupp won heat one, heading home Macdonald with Aston third and Rawson fourth. Aston won heat two in Jupp's absence to keep the pressure on despite pressure from Cuff and Lando Norris. Harvey was penalised for driving out of bounds at turn three, relegating him to tenth.
Heat three was all about Jupp again as he led every lap to win from Rawson with Nelson third and Macdonald fourth. That win meant that Jupp would start the final from pole needing Aston to finish fourth or lower. Harvey could still win the title but he needed to win with Jupp and Aston, who started second, out of the top ten.
Harvey's chances became almost academic at the first corner when Nelson spun to the inside, coming across the track in front of the field and allowing Jupp and Aston to break clear. Everyone else except eleventh place starter Ross Gunn was delayed.
The top three circulated as one with Jupp ahead and Gunn passing Aston, who remained in overall control. In the closing stages Jupp desperately tried to slow the pace to bring the chasing pack into play but after 19 dramatic laps Aston crossed the line in third, two tenths ahead of fourth place man Callum Ilott to end the season tied on points with Jupp but champion courtesy of a higher overall total before dropped scores.
Jupp put a brave smile on the result while Gunn was over the moon with second. Harvey was sixth, behind leading independent runner Rawson and finished the year third overall.
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