Donington Park played host to the inaugural EnduroKA race, and what an event it was! Qualifying set the tone for the day with the top ten cars covered by only a second. All eyes were on the battle for the top spot, as early pacesetters Track-Club traded times with Three in a Pink Racing and M&D Racing. At the end of his stint George Wright had left the Three in a Pink car on pole, but it was to be short lived as just minutes later Adam Blair in the IP Racing KA put together a brilliant lap to claim the top spot. This was a position they would hold for the remainder of the session, despite a late charge by PistonHeads who had to settle for second place just one tenth of a second behind the leaders. Third place went to Octane Junkies, with Three in a Pink Racing having to settle for fourth despite their early pace.
The drama started right off the bat, as the Octane Junkies car stopped on track with an apparent fluid leak. This proved to be nothing major, and the 111 car was recovered to the pits to be a pit lane starter.
With the KA now clear the grid rolled to the line and the lights went out. EnduroKA was a go!
Unsurprisingly it was pole sitters IP racing who took the early lead, but with the top four cars separated by only half a second at times it was far from secure. Pistonheads, Burton Power, three in a Pink and Track Club were all fighting hard to be best of the rest. Ten laps in and under mounting pressure from the Pink KA, IP racing cracked and, as is often the case in close racing the flood gates were open. KA's managed to rush through and the IP car was fourth. The lead changed again just one lap later as Burton Power took the lead for the first time leaving the Pink KA and Track-Club fighting it out. Four laps the Burton car managed in the lead before the Pink KA and then IP racing took their turns at the top. This rapid change brought about the first lot of driver changes, with PistonHeads first of the lead pack to pit, Burton Power just one lap later.
Racing further down the field was just as fierce as at the top, with Kool AirRunnings and SuperKA Racing trading lap times for fifth and sixth, ahead of the battle for seventh which included four cars after the pit stops.
One hour in and the Safety car appeared for a 2 lap blast to recover a KA back to the pits. This brought a flurry of activity in the pits as ten teams, including the duelling pair of LDR Performance Tuning and CHR Motorsport with Motex, took to the pit lane to take advantage of a free driver change pit stop.
As the KA’s appeared from behind the safety car, it was the Kool Airunnings KA with a small lead from over Peak Performance Reviews and CHR Motorsport with Motex who made the most of the safety car period. This is how it stayed until the Kool KA pulled into the pits releasing Peak Performance for their stint at the top.
As the stops continued to rotate the field, SuperKA Racing found themselves in the top spot. Early front runners PistonHeads were again in second and the Pink KA was back in third. Unable to catch the SuperKA Racing team on the track, PistonHeads had to wait until a further stop promoted them to the lead. This was a lead they would hold on to for a large portion of the mid race as a long stint helped them outlast the Pink KA and a challenge from the IP racing team. Track Club however had been quietly closing the gap however and managed to take the lead just as the PistonHeads car pulled into the pit lane.
Another Safety Car period shuffled the pack again as a beached KA found itself being recovered back to the pit lane.
This time the leaders Track-Club decided to stay out as the cars around them headed to the pit lane, gifting the team a full lap advantage over second place G&B Finch who was now in second place, with Frost Racing in third holding off Burton Power.
With nine laps to go the Burton Power car was able to find a way past IP racing. It was clear that pit strategy would be pivotal and this was proven with a late stop for IP racing now in second. Second wasn’t a good place to be as just one lap later the Pink KA also had a late stop from second dropping it to sixth with five laps to go.
As they crossed the line, it was the Burton Power KA that took the inaugural win, ahead of a late charge by G&B Finch. PistonHeads capitalised on those late stops to take the last podium space ahead of IP Racing fourth and Track-Club in fifth.
1. Burton Power Racing – Andy Burton, Ashley Davies, Tom Valentine
2. G & B F Inch Ltd – James Baxter, Steve Finch, Ben Smith, Vince Turp
3. PistonHeads – Pete Dignan, Oliver Lewis, Ben Lowden, Sam Sheehan
Dagenham Dustbin (for best presented KA):
Shine Automotive Racing – Collin French, Kevin Hunton, Ian Danby, Wayne Clelland
Track-Club – Craig Denman & Joe Taylor - 1:37.729