Bradshaw takes the early Academy Trophy lead after Essay
British entry Callum Bradshaw dominated the Academy Trophy weekend at Essay and won the Final by just under a second from Mads Eielso Hansen of Denmark, with the other Brit Oliver Clarke coming in 4th.
Bradshaw now leads the Trophy by 12 points from Thomas Mialane.
This year there has been a change in equipment and the drivers are now using OTK equipment:
- Vortex DDJ engine with dell’Orto carburettor VHST 24mm, KG nitro intake silencer, CIK FIA homologated exhaust and Roklube lubricant
- Exprit Noesis chassis with rear brake system (SA2) only
- “N” type axle and OTK MXJ 130–210 wheels
The drivers will keep the chassis for all three rounds of the series but will randomly draw their engine for each round.
The conditions were difficult for the first Qualifying session for the Academy Trophy in 2016 at Essay on a still slippery but improving track. Callum Bradshaw (GBR) was widely ahead in the first timed session of the Academy Trophy at Essay with a lap of 59.009s, over 0.5s ahead of Emil Heyerdahl (NOR) and Alfred Nilsson (SWE).
The second session was much faster with the best time going to Thomas Mialane (FRA) with 58.000s ahead of Kas Haverkort (NLD) and Mads Eielso Hansen (DNK). Thomas Imbourg (FRA) finished 9th. The large gap between the two sessions warranted a mix of positions overall in lap times.
With two victories in the qualifying heats of the Academy Trophy, Bradshaw took the lead of the competition on Saturday at Essay. The winner of his last race, Nilsson returned to 2nd position ahead of Mialane who was always on the pace despite the changing grip conditions of the Normandy track. Oliver Clarke (GBR) managed a good progression from 11th to 4th place by beating Heyerdahl, while Jagger Jones (USA) climbed from 12th to 6th position. Shion Tsujimoto (JPN) was the first of two women in 12th place. Imbourg moved up to 16th place.
The three races were hotly contested with many battles. The first heat began with a massive crash immediately after the start, which required the application of the slow procedure to clear the track, with the young drivers mostly unable to restart their karts despite the slight slope of the track after the first corner.
Although the weather was still good at Essay, Nilsson got caught up in the Prefinal of the Academy Trophy and dropped to 17th. Bradshaw led the race ahead of Mialane when the rain began to fall on the third of 13 laps, for a while complicating the task of the young drivers. Bradshaw accentuated his advantage over Mialane while Hansen closed on 2nd place far ahead of Lee. Clarke disappeared to the bottom of the ranking on the penultimate lap. Alvis Ang (SGP) recovered 5th position in front of Haverkort, Senna van Walstijn (NLD), Heyerdahl, Imbourg in 9th and Siim Leedmaa (EST) 10th. Elie Goldstein (BEL) did not finish the race.
Unsurprisingly Bradshaw took the holeshot in the Final, with Hansen 2nd and Mialane 3rd, a trio that quickly pulled away from the peloton led by Ang from Clarke, Chan Lee Joon (KOR), Heyerdahl and Imbourg 8th. Jones moved into the top 10 with the fastest time of the day. At halfway, Bradshaw and Hansen were separated by 0.6s, and Mialane was behind by 1.5s. Recovering were Alex Bergqvist (SWE) in 16th and Goldstein in 18th. Imbourg fought against Heyerdahl for 9th position.
Bradshaw increased his lead over 2nd, Hansen while Mialane distanced Clarke who had moved up to 4th, more than a second behind, while Jones continued to regain places in 7th place. Bradshaw took control of the 2016 Academy Trophy against Hansen and Mialane with Clarke 4th, Jones 5th (+ 9p), Ang 6th, Lee 7th, Imbourg 8th, fastest lap for Piotr Wisnicki (POL) in 9th and Heyerdahl 10th. The biggest rise was Goldstein in 16th (+ 16p).