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Flawless Rebello refusing to rest on his laurels

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Dominant display: Jason North (91), who won all three heats of the L206 Seniors Class in round two of the Bermuda Karting Club National Championships at the Southside Raceway. (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Under pressure: Jorja Thomas (34) looks to hold off Ben Savill in the Shifter Class in round two of the Bermuda Karting Club National Championships at the Southside Raceway (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Chasing pack: Brian Bulhoes (19) tries to keep pace with Scott Barnes in the Tag Senior Class in round two of the Bermuda Karting Club National Championships at the Southside Raceway (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Mixed Fortunes: Nile Bean (115) competing in the Tag Juniors Class in round two of the Bermuda Karting Club National Championships at the Southside Raceway (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Full throttle: Robert Wheatley (95) in action L206 Seniors in round two of the Bermuda Karting Club National Championships at the Southside Raceway (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Close quarters: Ryan Burgess (318) tries to chase down Robert Wheatley (95) while holding off Jeff Sousa (76) in the L206 Senior Class in round two of the Bermuda Karting Club National Championships at the Southside Raceway (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Ryan Rebello is refusing to get carried away despite extending his overall lead in the Shifter Class of the Karting National Championships with a faultless performance yesterday.

Having won two of the three heats in the season opener last week, Rebello drove flawlessly at the Rubis Southside Raceway, holding off a strong challenge from Blake Horseman and Jorja Thomas to finish the day with a perfect record. Horseman and Thomas settled for second and third respectively in each of the three heats.

Despite winning five of the six heats so far this season and holding a commanding lead in the early standings, Rebello is well aware of the threat of his rapidly improving rivals.

“I’m really pleased to get a first place from every heat,” said Rebello, who made a late pass on Horseman in the final heat to complete a clean sweep. “It is important for me to keep doing that because I’ve got young competition coming up very quickly and so I know I have to be on top of my game.

“It’s really difficult to pass on this track, especially in the last couple of heats because the tyres are worn badly. It was case of being patient and waiting for an opportunity or a mistake and, thankfully, I managed to do that.

“Blake is new to the Shifter Class, but he is a very experienced driver and he knows the track very well. Jorja, too. She is improving very quickly and will be a threat all season.”

Rebello added: “Except for the first heat of the first weekend, where I had a mechanical failure, I’ve managed to sweep the rest of the races since, so I can’t complain with my season so far.

“However, I won’t be taking anything for granted because things change from every heat. The only place to go from the top is down, so I have to be wary of that.”

Ben Savill also raced alongside the trio but his points counted towards a separate modified shifter class, of which he was the only competitor.

There was also a dominant display from Jason North, who claimed three successive victories in the bumper L206 Seniors Class, having missed last week’s action.

Rian Lindo, who claimed two heat victories last weekend, had to settle for second in the opening heat, ahead of Justin Lindo, before back-to-back third-place finishes in the remaining races.

David Barbosa, who just missed out on the top three in the first race, rallied to claim successive second-place finishes behind North in heats two and three.

“I was fortunate today to have the advantage of new tyres,” North said of his perfect record. “I didn’t race last weekend and so I was able to go out with fresh tyres today, which is a big advantage.

“In such a big class with 12 drivers where everyone one has the same engine package, it helps to be out in front. It comes down to engine set-up and the driver. So when there is some really close nose-to-nose action, it helps to be away from the trouble.

“Next week I’ll be back on these tyres, whereas much of the field will be on fresh tyres, so I’ll be at the disadvantage. It will be interesting to see how I fare in comparison. Hopefully, I can still be competitive.

Just as it was last week, the Tag Junior Class proved a hard-fought battle between Jauza James, Nile Bean and Jayden Brimmer.

James built on the momentum of winning the final heat last week to take victory in the first two races ahead of Bean and Brimmer, before the latter was able to capitalise on a moment of misfortune for Bean in the final race.

Bean had looked set to take victory before a burst tyre derailed his charge, opening the door for Brimmer to take victory ahead of James.

As well as competitive action across the senior classes, the day involved a cadet class for the first time in three years, with Junah Moniz and Isaiah Greene gaining their first taste of competitive karting.

Club president Scott Barnes, who claimed three successive victories against Brian Bulhoes in the Tag Senior Class, hailed the importance of the cadets in preserving the future of the club.

“Having those two cadet drivers means we’ve had five new drivers in total already this season, which is amazing,” he said.

“My aim this year was to try and continue to build the club from the youth because without them there is no future for this club.

“It is amazing after three years to be able to include cadets again, and we’ve had some more interest in others getting involved as well. We’re certainly moving in the right direction.

“It’s particularly pleasing when you consider the impact of Covid-19 on the economy. To have the majority of previous drivers come back is one thing, but to have new young drivers join up is brilliant.”

HEAT PLACINGS

TAG JUNIOR CLASS

Heat one

Juaza James

Nile Bean

Jayden Brimmer

Heat two

Juaza James

Nile Bean

Jayden Brimmer

Heat three

Jayden Brimmer

Juaza James

Nile Bean

TAG SENIORS CLASS

Heat one

Scott Barnes

Brian Bulhoes

Heat two

Scott Barnes

Brian Bulhoes

Heat three

Scott Barnes

Brian Bulhoes

L206 SENIORS

Heat one

Jason North

Rian Lindo

Justin Lindo

David Barbosa

Jeff Sousa

Travis Lewis

Ryan Burgess

Robert Wheatley

Marc Tucker

Brian Hall

Max Correia

Scott Barnes

Heat two

Jason North

David Barbosa

Rian Lindo

Robert Wheatley

Ryan Burgess

Travis Lewis

Jeff Sousa

Marc Tucker

Brian Hall

Scott Barnes

Justin Lindo

Heat three

Jason North

David Barbosa

Rian Lindo

Justin Lindo

Travis Lewis

Jeff Sousa

Robert Wheatley

Ryan Burgess

Marc Tucker

Brian Hall

Scott Barnes

SHIFTER CLASS

Heat one

Ryan Rebello

Blake Horseman

Jorja Thomas

Heat two

Ryan Rebello

Blake Horseman

Jorja Thomas

Heat three

Ryan Rebello

Blake Horseman

Jorja Thomas

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Published October 19, 2020 at 1:00 pm (Updated October 19, 2020 at 1:43 am)

Flawless Rebello refusing to rest on his laurels

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