The time finally arrived for EnduroKA’s inaugural 24 hour race! Anglesey would play host to the historic event for the Series, with a buzzing paddock ready to vie for victory across Trac Môn’s coastal circuit.
The first test for competitors was an evening qualifying session on Wednesday (June 1st). This offered the opportunity for drivers to get their eye in with the track and prepare them for the dark race conditions that they would be facing the following evening. It was Chris Weatherill of AxiaMetrics who set the early pace, with a time of 1:30:529 establishing itself firmly as the benchmark time to beat. The lap time remained unbeaten for over an hour, before Ben O’Hare of Vpex Motorsport eventually bested the time. However, just a few moments after Vpex had taken provisional pole from AxiaMetrics, Cadwell Park winners IP Racing mustered a 1:30.035 to put themselves fastest in the session - courtesy of Adam Blair.
Thursday morning provided a shorter second qualifying session, giving teams the chance to better their time from the previous evening and cement their fastest lap times. It was Ben O’Hare of Vpex Motorsport who held the fastest lap as the 45-minute session came to an end, albeit with a time slower than the one that he had set in the previous session. In fact, most teams found that the Wednesday evening was the prime time to set their fastest lap, while the Thursday session seemed the ideal moment to gain some last minute track time before man and machine began the 24-hour endurance test.
Only the fastest lap from either of the qualifying sessions would count and so it was IP Racing who earned the prestigious title of being EnduroKA’s first ever polesitter in Wales. Ben O’Hare’s consistent strong pace was rewarded with second on the grid for Vpex Motorsport – just 0.058secs behind IP Racing. Wolf Motorsport’s ‘Pink Pig’ lined up in third, ahead of: AxiaMetrics, Turn 7, VEC Motorsport, Autotech Motorsport and Burton Power Racing rounding out the top eight.
Despite clouds having rolled in before race start, the Welsh sun beamed down as Ynys Môn 24 got underway. There were plenty of eyes watching as the KA’s jostled for position in the opening laps, with close battles ensuing throughout the opening exchanges. After the first hour, the competitiveness of the field showed as just 1.3secs separated the top three – polesitters IP Racing, a fast starting Turn 7 and Wolf Motorsport.
Wolf Motorsport had secured the lead by the end of hour two, with Turn 7 remaining in second and IP Racing dropping to third. At this point attention would turn to the first (of many!) pit stops. As with the case with all endurance races, pit stop strategy would be of paramount importance to the outcome of the race and it was IP Racing and AxiaMetrics who seemed to best-manage the opening rounds. As the clock struck midnight, signaling the first third of the race coming to an end, AxiaMetrics had earned the right to lead at the front – one lap ahead of IP Racing in second and VEC Motorsport in third. Problems for Turn 7 had seem them slide down the order, while MSVTRACING 1 had mounted an impressive rise through the pack.
Throughout the night and early hours of the morning a two horse race began to develop, with IP Racing and AxiaMetrics duking it out to lead the field. Wolf Motorsport and Autotech Motorsport would keep the leaders honest with their strong pace, albeit a lap down behind the front two. Donington Park victors Yippee-KA-yay continued to post solid lap after solid lap and had risen drastically from starting 13th on the grid to run comfortably inside the top ten as morning broke.
The AxiaMetrics and IP Racing duel continued throughout the morning and for hours it was anyone’s guess who would take the checkered flag first, however, as we headed into the final hour of the race it seemed to be heading the way of AxiaMetrics.
Sure enough, at 4:09PM on Friday 3rd June 2022, it was AxiaMetrics lineup of: Chris Weatherill, Dominic Jackson, Nigel Griffiths and Kristian Rose who became the winners of EnduroKA’s first ever 24 hour race! IP Racing fought to the end and were rewarded with second on the podium, while Wolf Motorsport capitalised on strong pace to occupy the final step. Congratulations to all!
Vpex Motorsport demonstrated some fantastic racing on their way to 4th, as did the Autotech Motorsport team who finished a lap behind Vpex in 5th. PSR rose from 11th on the grid to finish in 6th, while great race management from Coversure and Semprini Racing saw the two cars rise from 21st and 22nd on the grid to 14th and 13th respectively.
Incredibly, despite the leaders lapping Trac Môn 884 times, every single one of the KA’s who entered the event finished and a massive congratulations goes out to each and every member of the teams for their hard work and effort in getting their KA over the line.
A special mention also goes out to Ben O’Hare of Vpex Motorsport, for setting the races fastest lap (1:30.124) on lap 419. Congratulations Ben!
After a short break, attention now shifts to the next EnudroKA event of the year – the ‘Schweinerennen’ - at Snetterton in early July. See you there!