Heat winners Ryan Cooper and Max Goff unsurprisingly shared the front row of the grid for the second JICA final of the weekend, followed by Sam Jenkins and Mackenzie Taylor, James Godbehere, Dino Zamparelli and Jordon Lennox-Lamb – who had salvaged a decent starting spot for the race with a brace of stunning performances in the heats, though was agonisingly just one point away from a place on the third row.
A first corner contretemps removed the luckless Max McGuire and Ashley Craig from contention on the spot, and left Harrison Andrews right at the rear of the pack. Back at the front, meanwhile, the action was fast and frantic, with Cooper holding onto his pole advantage from Jenkins, Goff, Godbehere, Taylor and an already racy-looking Lennox-Lamb.
There was a change for fifth place at the start of lap three, as Lennox-Lamb came from a long way back to dive neatly down the inside of Taylor into turn one. The Bedford star’s cause was further aided by Goff, Godbehere and Jenkins going three-abreast for second place across the start-finish line a lap later, but it would all come to grief entering the first corner as Goff and Jenkins tangled, forcing each other wide. While Godbehere managed to escape the mêlée, the opportunistic Lennox-Lamb dived down the inside only to be collected by Jenkins attempting to return to the racing line.
The subsequent impact between the pair sent Jenkins flying into the air and into Goff. All three would regain the track, with Lennox-Lamb third, Jenkins sixth and Goff suffering the most and slipping right back down the order. This confusion allowed Cooper to pull ahead in the lead, with Godbehere up to second and Taylor and Zamparelli running close behind Lennox-Lamb in fourth and fifth.
Jenkins soon reclaimed fifth spot from Zamparelli, with Lennox-Lamb not in the mood to take any prisoners and rapidly regaining his composure to attack Godbehere’s second place. With a little over four laps to go the position was his, and now only one man stood in his way of avenging his disqualification from victory in Saturday’s final.
With Cooper switching onto the defensive and Godbehere being left in the leading pair’s wake, it was always going to be a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’, and the answer came at the beginning of the penultimate lap, as Jordon aimed his kart neatly down the inside of Ryan’s into turn one, never again to be headed.
As Lennox-Lamb sped on to the chequered flag, Cooper was faced with having to protect his second position from the closing Godbehere and Taylor, but neither of them had counted on a fired-up Jenkins, who charged back to steal third place at the close, safeguarding Cooper’s runner-up spot and at the same time sealing his second podium finish in a Stars JICA final from as many starts.
Controversy would follow the end of the race, however, as Lennox-Lamb was again excluded, this time for his part in the contretemps involving Goff and Jenkins. Deemed to have been guilty of irresponsible driving, the 15-year-old was stripped of his second final victory of the weekend, belatedly promoting Cooper to the top step of the rostrum, followed by Jenkins and Taylor, with Godbehere, Jack Parker and Craig Stirling completing the top six.