2014 | Race 1 Results
The Heat Is On!
The 2014 Piaggio Ape World Championship got underway on Saturday with a dramatic race at Rye House Raceway in Hertfordshire. With the temperatures topping 32°C (90°F), the race proved to be tough one for all involved. Even as practice got underway, 2 of the 8 entries failed to make it on track.
The first big shock of the day however would be from championship contender Mach-V, who managed just one practice lap before ignition problems struck and ending their running for the day. BY the end of qualifying however, it was Piaggio Commercial’s new lead driver Kelvyn Woodhead that showing that the factory works team will be the ones to beat in 2014. Their stunning pace put them nearly 2 seconds clear of slicedbread Racing in 2nd place and Ape Bee in 3rd.
The race however would ultimately be a battle of attrition. Piaggio Commercial got a bad start allowing slicedbread into an early lead but a few laps later, a mistake from Owens at turn 2 dropped slicedbread back to 3rd place beyond Piaggio Commercial and Ape Bee. Unhindered, Woodhead reignited his blistering qualifying pace and quickly built a large lead. While the leaders muscled around each other, Alfasud-parts.co.uk had had an early mechanical problem which left them stuck out on track. They would ultimately return to the pits and lose 25 laps before they were able to get their stricken truck repaired. Back at the sharp end, slicedbread soon battled back to 2nd but would became the next casualty. Just a few laps after regaining 2nd place, their engine suddenly failed, leaving Owens to coast out of the final turn in front of the watching pits. Desperate efforts on track to get the truck restarted were fruitless, leaving the Owens/Coy pairing disappointed in their attempts to make an early impression on the championship.
Up front, Woodhead’s charge would also come to a premature halt; as they started dropping a few seconds per lap, it soon became clear that there was a problem. A clutch failure eventually stripped the #7 machine of 4th gear and turning what promised to be a dominant victory for the factory team into an early shower. Consequently it would be the 2013 runners-up, Ape Bee, who stepped into the lead. Like their entire 2013 championship challenge, they maintained a strong pace throughout as their challengers fell at the wayside. The Allen brothers eventually took victory by just 3 laps from the surprised debutants in the number 8 RLD truck. They did a sterling job to run so consistently in their first race. With the unprecedented rate of attrition, early victims Alfasud-parts.co.uk would also get some reward for their efforts by inheriting a popular 3rd place – just payback for team captain Peter Grummitt who had failed to start in two previous attempts last year due to mechanical problems.
With 3 of the 4 front-runners failing to finish, Ape Bee got their championship off to a flying start and must surely feel confident with their superior reliability ahead of round 2 on August 31st.
2014 - Race 01