FORMULA 600 title protagonists CARL Booth and Jamie Pearson shared the honours at Darley Moor this weekend as their championship battle got even tighter.
Booth entered the round trailing the series leader by 15 points, but a missing Pearson on Saturday and a clean sweep by the current runner-up meant his gap was cut to just 11 with two rounds remaining.
During the club’s fourth round on Saturday, Booth thrilled the spectators with the closest finishes of the day as he won by a mere 0.65s in total.
Rich Baker led across the line for the first half of race one, with Booth and Chris Sammons close behind. But a small error on lap five cost Baker two seconds and allowed the chasing pair through, Booth’s advantage over Sammons just 0.75s.
Sammons then closed the gap on Booth to just 0.11s at the chequered flag, helped by his fastest lap on lap six, whilst another error from Baker on the penultimate lap dropped him down to fifth place, leaving David Carson to third.
In race two, Booth was quicker off the start, leading from the first lap with Baker and Sammons battling it out throughout the race. The trio were split by just 0.73s at the flag as Baker took second by 0.19s from Sammons.
But on Sunday, championship front-runner Jamie Pearson reared his head to put paid to Booths’ chances of taking the lead.
Booth got the best start in Sunday’s first race and led the field at the end of lap one with Pearson in second. But Pearson found a way past and led the pack on lap two, stretching out a dominant six second advantage at the flag.
While Booth looked on for a solid runner-up finish, he dropped down to third on lap four when Sammons moved into second as they maintained their positions at the chequered flag.
The second race saw Pearson lead from the off, with Rich Baker second and Sammons third for four laps. But Sammons then moved into second place on the penultimate lap, finishing five seconds behind Pearson, with Baker a further 1.2sec back to take the final rostrum spot.
With just two points-scoring opportunities left, Pearson heads the order on 39 to Booth’s 28, with defending champ Lloyd Shelley and Sammons tied for third on 27 and just one point ahead of Baker.
*Image: Tony Else