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Corbett wounded

09.05.15 2447 (640x427) Jones inherits the win as his sparring partner struggles.

It’s little surprise that Rob Corbett was top qualifier, with Adam Henley, Huw Jones and Darren Grasby also a little way ahead of the other finalists, and herein lays one of the points of interest in the class this season.
Henley has been undeniably quick for a number of years in his old Mini, but perhaps outclassed a little of late by the more modern machinery. Corbett has become ever more dominant in the last few seasons, but now Henley has a Micra too there’s the potential for a few upsets in the results this season.
The battles between Jones and Corbett are often one of the highlights of class four, but in Henley we may now have a more regular interloper.
Despite his unbeaten run through the heats, Corbett lies in third in the points after the first round, 14 points behind Henley and Jones tied at the top, as they were the main beneficiaries when the reigning champion had problems in the final.
Into the first corner Corbett was led by Grasby but the Welshman had taken the position by the second lap, with the Evesham Imp dropping to fourth. On the next lap the chasing pack had closed up considerably and it was clear that Corbett had a left front puncture, which quickly allowed his rivals past.
Jones and Henley circulated side by side but the latter being on the outside meant that Jones was the one best place to take the lead, though Henley stayed on his tail for the duration and made him work for the win.
Luke Smith and Grasby soon moved past Corbett too and engaged in a side-by-side battle of their own. Grasby was in front of the South Somerset Mini for a while but after their tussle it was Smith who triumphed and moved up to third by the time the chequer fell, with Corbett limping home quite a way behind.
Mike Jones and Sam Street were casualties from an earlier attempt at the final. Damian Harris was the last qualifier after the heats and was at the tail end when the race went full distance, but a black flag meant no points and he stayed in eighth overall.

Some of the ladies classes have a much healthier entry than last year, but still class four continues to suffer.
There were four names on the entry sheet, but only three of them raced as Josie Cox was a non-starter in Jake Bartlett’s car, which was a shame as it would be good to have the former class six champion back out on track again.
Gwen Reeves, Lisa Cooper and Amy Morris took a first second and third respectively throughout each of the heats, but then it was a two car final with the former two in a head to head.
Cooper took the lead and drove a brilliant race, holding Reeves behind where before she had been unable, and took a narrow victory with the Welsh lady on her tail to the end.


Main: Jones was quickly past Corbett when he pickup up his puncture but had Henley to contend with behind. Middle: The reigning champion was lucky: a five car finish meant more championship points. Above: Cooper went one better than her heat positions to take a narrow win.