Griffiths shines at UKC finale
Three Sisters Race Circuit in Wigan hosted the sixth and final round of the 2022 Ultimate Karting Championship and it turned out to be PaddlUp-sponsored Honda Cadet driver Ethan Griffiths' finest performance of the campaign.
As a rule, the circuit is not open for general practice, generating a level playing field amongst the competitors, many of whom were learning the intricacies of the circuit as the weekend progressed.
There was a limited turnout for the final round but that did nothing to curb the level of competitiveness as season-long rivalries reached fever pitch and the final points standings were decided.
It quickly became evident that the track's fast and flowing Clay Pigeon-esque nature seemed to suit Griffiths' smooth driving style, hitting the ground running and producing competitive lap times from the outset.
Saturday signalled the start of running with practice and the three heats getting underway. Random grid selections generated a sixth-place start for the first race of the weekend and the Zip Factory Team driver masterfully translated that into a win at the flag by just under one-tenth of a second.
The second heat was arguably the most eventful of the weekend. Griffiths started in P11 and fought his way up to third place. The last lap, however, would spell disaster as he was pushed wide at Valley Corner and dropped to fifth. Mercifully, the secondary pack were slightly adrift of the lead group and he could slot in without losing any further positions.
Heat 3 proved to be a pole position masterclass from Griffiths, who led the race in its entirety, aided by the chasing pair behind who began battling and eventually collided enabling the PaddlUp Academy's youngest racer to storm to a well-deserved victory by over two seconds.
The first item on Sunday's agenda was the aptly-named Super Heat. Owing to Griffiths' outstanding performances not 24 hours prior, he lined up on the enviable side of the grid in pole position. With Kenzo Craigie seemingly glued to his rear bumper, the #99 kart took yet another lights to flag victory ahead of the all-important final.
With the Super Final mere moments away, Grffiths once again lined up in the best position possible, a grid slot he was becoming used to during the weekend. Leading for much of the opening stages, he dropped back to third and the battling ensued. Spectators were treated to some thrilling racing as the P2 to P5 positions changed almost corner by corner. He eventually crossed the line in P3 but the second-place kart received a penalty promoting Griffiths to P3 overall.
Sharing the podium with Zip stablemates was a fantastic way to sign off the season for Griffiths and a fantastic weekend at Three Sisters Race Circuit secured the third-place spot in the championship table.
UKC Round 5 report HERE.