Donington Park was the backdrop to the Speed Group F1000 Championship season finale, and the eighteen car grid provided some great racing as Michael Watton was crowned champion for a second successive year.
After taking pole position in qualifying Lee Morgan couldn’t be threatened as he stormed to a lights to flag win in race 1, finishing just under six seconds ahead of Colin Brown. Former karting world champion, Brown, drove brilliantly to secure second in his debut F1000 race, and his first in a car for fifteen years! Watton was next to cross the line to take the final podium position, but more importantly doing enough to take the 2018 title and retaining it for a second year as his main rival, Dan Clowes, was forced out of the meeting with engine woes. Former champ Andrew Dunn, making a return to the F1000 grid since last competing in 2016 took fourth ahead of Reece Lycett who had a solid drive to fifth. Richard Gittings finished in sixth, also taking the Sonic Equipment Invitation Cup race win. After qualifying third and looking destined for a top six finish, Rob Welham originally finished fourth on the road, but was hampered with penalties for both a jump start and a track limits infringement which dropped him down the order to seventh.
Welham and Rob Bailey led the field away for the ‘reversed top eight’ race 2, and it was Welham who took the early advantage as Dunn gave chase and moved up into second. The two stared to pull away and were around three and a half seconds clear when mistakes by both ruined their chances. Dunn swapped ends on the approach to Old Hairpin, ending his race in the gravel, while Welham went off the road at McLean’s a lap later. Although able to recover, Welham re-joined way down the order in eleventh as Morgan inherited the lead. Now out front Morgan wasn’t going to have it as easy as he did in race 1 as a determined looking Brown was within half a second and adding some pressure as the pair went into the last half of the race. As the laps ticked by Morgan seemed to have things under control until Brown squeezed by as back markers came into play to take an emotional win, a great achievement. Frustrated at being held up, Morgan had to settle for second as Watton again joined the pair on the podium after finishing in third. Lycett improved on his race 1 result by again putting a strong race together and finishing an impressive fourth, whilst fellow karting graduate, Welham, recovered to fifth, rueing what could have been a potential win. After a race 1 ‘off’ Elliot Mitchell produced a top six result, only half a second off fifth.
Photo: Naiad Photography