WALTON FINISHES TOP TRUMPS IN TT
By VW Cup, Apr 17 2017 03:00PM
Changing weather conditions made tyre choice difficult for the inaugural race of the season. Mixed tyre choices through-out the field set the scene as the cars lined up on the drying tarmac. Lights out and a clean start saw Gordon drop a few places getting off the line slowly. Toby Davis making a blinding start gained three positions by the Cascades, with Darelle Wilson keeping him company close behind.
A gap began to form between the top three starters and the rest of the field, as the dry line became more visible. A spinning Mark Smith slides off at Hislops but is quick to recover dropping seven positions. Further up the grid a change for fourth position saw Wilson displace Bond whilst setting the fastest lap of the race going onto lap 3. A few corners later saw Wilson pass Bobby Thompson for third going through Old Hall Corner. Another lap past and another fastest lap competed by the number 50 Scirocco pulling past Witts to take second position.
Lower down the grid a fast charging TT in the form of Owen Walton displaced a trio of Team Hard Golfs to move up to eight position an impressive 7 places up from the start as the field completed lap 4. At the front, Wilson on the slicks made the lunge into Lodge Corner to snatch the lead from pole sitter Phil House who had opened for the Wet tyre on an ever-drying track. Sam Smelt and Harry McQuillan took to the pits to unfortunately retire from the race with mechanical issues.
Bond closing up on Witts goes side by side over the Hill top, before making the pass into Hislops displacing Witts to fourth. A flash of purple appeared beside car number 91 as Owen Walton set the fastest lap of the race, the TT pair seemingly having made the correct tyre choice. Making his intentions known Owen displaced the white Golf of Bobby Thompson heading up Clay Hill, before taking Witts a lap later down the inside into Hislops for fourth.
The battle for second came alive on lap 7 with Jamie Bond closing up on reigning champion House but before progress could be made the charging TT of Owen Walton was already alongside and past them both with the superior grip of the Slick tyre. Bond stuck the pass on House attempting to secure the final position on the podium with little time left on the board. Walton closing in on Wilson saw a pass for the lead going into Coppice before the chequered fell just two laps later.
Owen Walton picks up the first-place honours with an impressive charge from fifteenth on the grid, Darelle Wilson takes second, with Jamie Bond the first of the wet tyre finishers completing the top 3. “The team made the right decision with tyres, it really could have gone one way or the other… with a new car and a new championship, I was just hoping to find my feet, so I’m elated with the win” commented Owen Walton on the podium.
“Unfortunately, we had a brake issue midway through the race but I’m happy to have finished on the podium, we opped for the correct tyre and it paid off” said Darelle Wilson post-Race.
“We didn’t have the qualifying that we had hoped for, so we started the race on the back foot, but I knew we had a strong car, we choose the wrong tyre, as did many but I’m happy with third, I’ll be pushing on in Race 2.” Commented Jamie Bond from his podium celebrations.