The TKM Festival. The one weekend a year where the TKM classes completely take over the paddock to fight for one of the most prestigious titles. With one race deciding all at the end of the weekend, form books are thrown out of the window. Old faces often return for a play and mistakes are devastatingly costly. Winning requires a strong performance over the entire weekend and with Kimbolton’s deadly first corner, often a bit of luck in needed too!
In terms of results the TKM Extreme class lived up to all of the above with winners Dean Hale and Joe Stockford coming as a surprise to some.
TKM Extreme Elite Final
Dean Hale may have been invisible to some on the entry list in the TKM Extreme class which brought in a packed and competitive grid. Now working with the Williams F1 Team Dean’s racing experience is hugely limited. He tends to play around in different classes which has included 250 Gearbox in recent months but his last proper crack at racing was in the Senior X30 class.
But any signs of Hale being rusty were quickly put to bed when the Jade Racing Team driver won all three heats and stamped his authority that he was here to beat the regulars in their own class! Speaking of those regulars Adam Sparrow responded to this in the Pre-Final taking victory from Hale.
Finishing in 3rd was Michael Cornell who finished over two seconds back after starting on the front row. Not something he would have planned but an inside row two start at Kimbolton is not a bad place to be.
Hale thought he may have let his hand slip from the title in the Pre-Final but he quickly took a firm grip back on the most coveted title in TKM driving a stunning lights to flag victory in the final! It was an awesome performance from someone who simply shouldn’t be showing that form with his recent Karting experience.
What Hale showed is what he could do when everything comes together for him. As a very chilled out character off circuit nerves clearly never got the better of him and as a former teammate hearing of his victory was a nice surprise!
Credit must go to Sparrow. He was the only driver who could get anywhere near Hale in the final keeping him honest all the way to the flag. Hale was not allowed to check out with the current Super One British Championship leader finishing just 0.55 seconds back.
The pair were well clear from the rest with Rob Welham finishing 3rd. A hugely impressive performance from the Junior TKM graduate who has jumped up to cars in F1000 this year and the confidence of good results there has clearly been transferred to his TKM Extreme campaign.
In the Festival Cup it was Charlie Machin who took the win by just under two seconds from David Haynes. Both very comfortable in their respected positions and 3rd was Alex Ready after gaining three places.
Special mentions have to go to Susanne Gutzold who gained 16 places to finish 12th and Jake Campbell-Mills who gained 21 places to finish 11th place despite a ten second penalty! Jake had got on the podium with the fastest lap on track but was unfortunately given a ten second front fairing penalty. A superb performance nevertheless!
Lewis Wadley drew first blood in the TKM Extreme O Plate weekend with pole position in the Pre-Final after brilliant performances in the heats. However he would start on the outside of the front row the Final with Matthew Taylor taking the win and starting from row two would be Chris Whitton and Michael Cornell.
The Final turned out to be one of the most eventful races of the weekend! Taylor led the race without any huge problems until we got to lap thirteen and that is when things started to kick off as they say! In a four way battle for the lead Welham jumped into the lead having come from 13th on the grid with Whitton in 4th.
As Welham hit the front Taylor and Wadley disappeared from the race giving Welham a break out front. However, behind Whitton was closing in with the assistance of Joe Stockford and Louis Beaven. With two laps to go Stockford had hit the front taking Beaven with him leaving with Welham in 3rd and the number six seed now just needed to defend to the flag!
With Beaven appearing to be in slightly more trouble Stockford was allowed to slightly escape and from 8th on the grid he went on take victory! It was a brilliant drive which showed huge perseverance particularly when working with Beaven to close Welham down. He made his moves at the right time and his experience showed as he crowned himself the British Open Champion of TKM Extreme.
Special Mention – Owain Rosser
A special mention must go to Owain Rosser not just for his performance in the O Plate but his performance in the Elite Cup as well. In the Elite Cup Rosser gained a staggering 21 places to finish in 11th and gained 14 places in the O Plate Final to finish 7th. That’s a total of 35 places gained in two of the most competitive races in UK Karting! That’s not a bad effort at all.
In TKM Clubman it was Sam Baker who took a deserved victory from pole position after storming away to win by almost five seconds with the fastest lap also in hand. He left a good battle in his wake for 2nd which went down to the wire between Ciaran McDonald and Will Hulacki who were split by just 0.2 seconds across the line!
Once again the TKM Festival lived up to the expectations of intense racing, close finishes, superb performances and deserved winners! The Festival never fails to produce a fantastic race and there’s no doubt when the videos are released of the finals the viewing figures through the roof.
In this article, we’ll focus on the Junior TKM class looking at the Elite Final, Festival Cup and O plate.
Abbi Pulling continues to prove that number one plate truly belongs on her kart after winning the Elite Final from Spencer Stevenson and Zak Oates. The only thing that was unfortunate to see was the slight drop in the Junior TKM grids. It reflects a similar situation in Super One, but it made no affect on the quality of the racing.
It would be Pulling who would start the Final from pole position after qualifying pole position for the Pre-Final before going on to win that by just over three tenths. All weekend it was the ever improving Stevenson who seemed to be the only driver to challenge Pulling and that did not change in the Final.
The start of the race would see the pair hold station before working together to pull a gap over the rest of the field. Once near the end of the race it was expected to be a real showdown, but credit to Pulling. When the pressure was on and the clock was ticking down she was able to find something that Stevenson couldn’t and opened up a gap of half a second to successfully defend her title.
Speaking of, the win comes off the back of her complete domination at round four of the British Championships at Shenington. Now she has retained one title, can she go on to retain another?
Completing the podium…
You have to give credit to Stevenson for his 2nd place finish. Quite simply the best of the rest and with the next driver over three seconds behind he, along with Abbi, were in a league of their own. Having finished 2nd last year there’s no doubt he’ll be slightly disappointed to just miss out, but if he keeps this form up he’ll have big titles coming his way very shortly.
Zak Oates finished in 3rd place after gaining six places in the final. The English Champion was never able to close the gap from there but it was his performance in the O plate that had everyone talking. More on that later…
The Festival Cup Final provided lots of drama with race winning contenders, Joe Harrison, Charlie Gaillard, James Barty and Jack Saunders all going from the front two rows to the back of the field! A mixture of penalties and incidents were the cause but this left William Baxter out front picking up the pieces. He would go on to win by just under half a second from Charlie Flynn and Marcus Jarmesty.
O Plate Final
It was a pleasant surprise to see Reggie Duhy’s name appear on the entry list ahead of the Junior TKM O Plate. He’s currently seeded third in the country in Junior X30 but after an eventful season, it was good to see him try something new and unsurprisingly he didn’t too badly!
After a strong set of heats Duhy qualified 3rd for the Pre-Final which he went on to win. The major surprise of the Pre-Final came from Oates who appeared to get involved in an incident after retiring from the ace on lap one which would leave him 18th and last in the Final. Another one to watch starting further back would Stevenson, but whilst some danger lay further down the field Duhy would be most concerned about Pulling who started directly alongside him.
Pulling got the lead and hit the front on lap one leaving Duhy to play catch up. It took five laps but with the race settling down slightly Duhy went into the lead on lap six but Pulling was having none of it and quickly changed things back a lap later. With a gap of almost 1.5 seconds behind Duhy waited a few more laps before trying again and once again Pulling went straight back past.
It was clear if Duhy was going to win this race he’d have to work very hard for it! Over the next two laps the pair would exchange places several times in what was an enthralling battle to watch, but what they didn’t realise is that there was a problem on it’s way and it’s name was Zak Oates!
Somehow from dead last Oates had worked his way through to 3rd place after twelve laps but by the time he was there the gap to the leaders was three seconds. But it was at this point the battle up ahead and kicked off and with that Oates was beginning to take chunks out of their gap and with every lap more people were starting to believe the ultimate achievement of last to first could be possible!
With three laps to go Oates was almost one second behind but he managed to close that gap down and take follow Duhy through to take 2nd. All that lay in his way now was Duhy but a master of defensive driving Duhy had now put the anchors on and after his difficult season he wanted this win as much as anyone else!
For Oates the fairy-tale wouldn’t quite come true with Duhy doing a brilliant job to hold him off and take victory by 0.07 seconds! But for Oates the drive can be described as northing other than stunning! A race he’ll remember forever I’m sure and one he’ll definitely enjoy watching back. He really did steal the show with that performance.
A big mention has to go to the driver who completed the podium in Morgan Kidd. Starting 6th she took a sensible approach to the race and never went backwards during the race. Good moves throughout the race would eventually see her finish 3rd overall and the driver who is currently sitting 12th in Super One is now really starting to show some strong form!
Mark Kimber made it a British domination across both the Junior and Senior X30 classes in the X30 Euro Series by sealing the Senior title at Castelletto (ITA) yesterday. Despite scoring zero points when the championship headed to Mariembourg in Belgium for round two, Kimber was still able to beat Joey van Splunteren to the title by eleven points.
Bar the huge hiccup in Belgium Mark’s journey to the last round has been plain sailing. He took both the win in Pre-Final and Final at Salbris (FRA) and almost repeated those efforts at Wackersdorf (GER). However, in Germany it would be a 2nd in the Pre-Final that would cost him all 89 points but nevertheless with the second round dropped Mark was in cruise control.
But even with all of this Mark still had a job to do in Italy. The Strawberry Racing driver could not afford a single slip up as any damage caused would be points he’d have to count in his championship. The extended grid didn’t help and new faces in Lorenzo Travisanutto would make a podium finish even more tough.
Any signs of nerves were quickly put to bed from Kimber who performed tremendously in the heats to qualify on the front row of the grid for the Pre-Final alongside Clayton Ravenscroft. In the Pre-Final Kimber got into a quintet of drivers who had broken away and with the championship in mind was happy to sit at the back of it and cruise round to finish 5th place.
The championship was certainly not over by the time the final had rolled around there was still two drivers who could take the title from Kimber in Keirle and Ravenscroft and to make things worse, there was rain in the air! Despite falling back to 6th at the start Kimber was still on to win the title, but despite this he quickly moved up to 4th place just as the rain started to hit the track.
As the heavens opened Kimber had closed in to the top three and just as he looked to be moving forward he had a scare as he ran wide, but before anymore changes could be made the full course yellows were out. The conditions at this point were becoming extremely difficult to deal with even under full course yellows! For the neutrals to get the race back going would be an ideal end to the season with a variety of different endings being possible.
However, for the safety of the drivers the chequered flag would be waved meaning Kimber would hold on to become champion. It’s perhaps not how he imagined his championships winning moment, but I’m sure receiving his impressive championship trophy would have made up for that! It’s been a fantastic season for Kimber and after his performances in Salbris and Wackersdorf there was certainly no one else who deserved the title more than he did!
Ravenscroft, Keirle and Turney round out top five in final standings
As mentioned earlier in this article this years X30 Euro Series has been completely dominated by the Brits! Four of the top five in the standings were British drivers which speaks volumes for the amount of talent being produced in the UK at the moment.
Clayton Ravenscroft rounded out the championship podium after taking a podium at round two. Considering he still races in Junior’s back the UK this is a hugely impressive achievement and it was only rain in the final that cost him that 2nd place to Van Splunteren. Other than that Ravenscroft has been in and around the top five all season and with the form he is currently showing back in the UK could become almost unbeatable next season in the Senior class.
Danny Keirle was a title contender going into the final race of the season but was another driver who’s luck ran out on more than one occasion. The reigning FIA World Champion has been apart of the Kart Republic setup this season and racing with the HTP Racing Team in the X30 Euro Series has been a brilliant advert for the product. A 2nd and 6th place were followed by two unfortunate results costing him his space on the podium.
Joe Turney is another driver who is always blisteringly quick but this was just not going to be his year. Terrible luck throughout the season left him constantly chasing his tail and he did a fantastic job to finish as high up as he did in the championship. It was largely down to his 2nd in the final at Castelletto and with a few more laps that certainly could have been a victory.
Lewis Gilbert is quickly becoming one of the fastest rising stars in European Karting after being crowned the X30 Euro Series Champion in the X30 Junior class last week. With the final round of the championship taking place at Castelletto (ITA) Gilbert won the coveted title after finishing 5th place in the Final. Despite the hard fought challenges of fellow Brit, who took the win and was crowned Vice Champion, Lewis held on to the title by eleven points.
Gibert’s journey to top spot has been largely down to his success throughout the series. The start of the season couldn’t have gone any better for the KR Sport driver after he took the win in the Final at Salbris. An 8th place at Mariembourg (BEL) would be just a tiny bump in the road for the young Scot who would return back to the top step of the podium at Wackersdorf (GER). That result put Gilbert in the driving seat heading into the final round which saw him with no need to take any huge risks to win the title.
Heading into the final round Gilbert kept a cool head on his shoulders throughout the weekend. He started with 11th in Qualifying Practice and followed that up with two 2nd place finishes and a 6th to secure an outside row three start for the Pre-Final. In an enthralling race Gilbert fought hard for the lead in that race before eventually settling for 4th place. The Final was a similar story with Gilbert close to a podium at times and earlier in the season he most certainly would have challenged harder. But Sunday would be all about the championship and Gilbert took that as he cruised home in 5th place.
For any driver winning something like the X30 Euro Series is a huge achievement. You’re racing against the best X30 drivers in the World and have just four rounds to win the title, so there is simply no margin for error. However, for me this result came as no surprise and that is no disrespect to any of Gilbert’s competitors! Let’s look at some facts. He is the reigning IAME International Final Vice Champion (in a field of over 120 drivers). He is currently 2nd in Super One behind Clayton Ravenscroft, who finished 3rd in the X30 Senior class. He recently won the MSA Kartmasters British Kart Grand Prix in Junior Max and is also the reigning British Champion in Mini Max.
It’s fair to say Lewis is cleaning up at the moment and he’ll be looking to continue that when he heads to Le Mans in October for the IAME International Final. He’s one of the fastest rising talents in the sport and his confidence will now be through the roof! Despite the fact that the grid was hugely tough including the likes of Alex Lloyd, Dilano Van’t Hoff and Mari Boya. Gilbert is one who is frequently winning big races and that perhaps gave him the edge over the rest of the field this year.
Alex Lloyd crowned Vice Champion
We have to get a lot of credit for his performance this year with the Dan Holland Racing driver claiming 2nd in the championship. Lloyd got off to a difficult start to the season and with only one dropped score available that immediately put him under a lot of pressure for the rest of the championship.
But Lloyd made no mistakes from there and took top five finishes in all three remaining finals which included a win at Castelletto. With no wins or podiums going into the final round Lloyd’s task of becoming champion was always going to be difficult, but you can’t say he didn’t give it a good go!
He scored 88 out of a possible 89 points which would have had Gilbert nervous at times, but it wasn’t quite enough to get there. However, the thought of winning the title had probably gone from Lloyd’s mind after round one and for me it’s the comeback that is the most impressive. It’ll be a real confidence booster with the IAME International Final just two months away and sets him up nicely going into the 2019 season.
Sunday 22nd April dawned bright and sunny for round 3 of the BMKR championships, following on from a period of lovely spring weather, ideal for the latest round of the popular series. With the club recently announcing a new Spring Cup, which is based over race times recorded over the first three rounds of the series, incentives for drivers were high, as this was the deciding round.
Bambinos – O’Sullivan victorious
The growing number of entries in the Bambino class was great to see at the friendly Sittingbourne circuit, with 15 youngsters continuing their first steps into the competitive karting scene. The three timed runs provided us with some closely matched times at front. Oscar O’Sullivan took the first, just 0.077 seconds in front of Fletcher Jamieson, Charlie Warren was close behind in third. O’Sullivan then took the second run this time 0.206 in front of Jamieson, Jayden Sherwood sped around some engine problems to take third. Freddie Duncan starred in the third run to take the fastest time, ahead of Jamieson and Warren. The merged points results after the three runs, showed that O’Sullivan came out on top, with Jamieson second and Duncan taking third; Warren and Sherwood were 4th and 5th. Alfie Howland and Jack Pullen were next up, separated by just two points in 6th and 7th. Harry Freeman, Jesse Phillips and Rio King rounded out the top 10. O’Sullivan won the inaugural Spring Cup from Jamieson and Sherwood.
Junior Club Max – Stephenson dominates
9 karts rolled out for the Junior Club Max class this month, this was down to eight for the second Pre Final as Lewis Boret failed to make the grid. The two Pre Finals had been won comfortably by the Clarke kart of Riley Stephenson, his teammate Joshua Pullen was 2nd in the first but pipped by the Project One kart of Zac Spence in the second. Stephenson blasted away from the rolling start to take the lead in the Grand Final, Spence faltered and ended up going wide at turn 1, leaving him back in 7th at the end of the first lap. Pullen was in a comfortable second early on; behind him he had the LICA run kart of Ross Hastings, who was showing a good turn of speed this month, nailing a beautiful getaway. The immaculately turned out Bristol Street Motors backed kart of James Black, was snapping at his rear bumper and increased the pressure with each lap. Back at the front Stephenson was in a class of his own, stretching out his lead over his teammate Pullen, who had gapped the fierce Hastings/Black battle. Spence had found his way back up past Oliver Bullion and Jack Richards to run 5th and was closing in on the duo ahead. Black finally pulled off a move down the inside of the blue LICA kart on lap 9 and set off after Pullen in 2nd, falling just short of time to mount a challenge. Spence did manage to pass Hastings for 4th but the crafty Ross wasn’t giving the place up easily and snatched it back to take a confidence boosting 4th. Stephenson eventually won by just over 7 seconds, a crushing victory over his rivals. Pullen took a good 2nd from Black, both happy with their races. Behind Hastings and Spence were Richards and Bullion in 6th and 7th. Harvey Colyerwallis struggled throughout the day with engine problems and retired early from the final. Stephenson took the fastest lap and the Spring cup, from Spence and teammate Pullen.
Honda Clubman Elite – Frosty on top form
The Clubman Elite class witnessed another Clarke karts driver at the top of his game, following on from the Riley Stephenson victory in Junior Club Max. Leon ‘Frosty’ Frost took victories in both of the Pre Finals and started as the favourite for the 13 lap Grand Final. Jack Badger showed a great turn of speed in the first Pre Final by shadowing Frost to the finish, things didn’t go so well for him in the 2nd Pre Final though, as he found himself spinning into the tyre barrier on the exit of turn one on lap 4, Jamie Perilly was following Jack closely at the time and was given a 10 second penalty post-race for contact, which left him starting from the back of the Grand Final. From the start of the final Frost got the hammer down and opened up an all-important gap by the end of the first lap. Josh Rudd had his Ambition run kart in 2nd with the Evolution kart of Nathan Marques close behind. Damien Baruss-Haggett initially ran 4th but slipped back into a competitive pack early on, Vinnie Lloyd, Jack Badger and eventually the recovering Perilly took over the position, a fine and impressive drive by Jamie. At the head of the field Frosty was stroking it along; any pre-race nerves completely vanished as he crossed the line 2.67 seconds ahead after enjoying a fine win. Marques overturned Rudd’s 2nd position to take the runner up spot; Rudd was still glued to the former’s bumper as they finished the race. Perilly’s fine charge ended at 4th, Badger took something away from an eventful day with 5th and fastest lap, Lloyd took 6th, Chris Doble 7th, Baruss-Haggett 8th, 9th and 10th were Ian Marginean and Jack Theobald. The top three in the Spring cup after three events were Frost, Perilly and Marques.
Junior Subaru UK – Clark takes dramatic final
The Junior Subaru UK championship this year is proving to be very competitive, with the closely matched karts putting on some thrilling races., the two Pre Finals provided us with two of the best kart races that you will witness anywhere in the UK ! SAIT driver James Tomsett annexed the pole after qualifying, ahead of Lewie Weaver, Leon Clark, Charlie Hand, Kieran Janali and Harvey Roffe, 2018 star performer Katherine White was next up in 7th of the 26 karts entered.
The first Pre Final saw many place changes, with the head wind down the main straight providing a good tow for following karts – turn 1 witnessed many exiting lunges ! Tomsett and Clark fought hard for most of the race until Clark was sucked into a scrap involving Weaver and amazingly White from 7th on the grid, a great drive up from the Clarke karts driver. Going into the last turn – 3 into 1 was never going to work, somehow through the chaos White emerged in front, with Clark and a despondent Weaver behind her, Tomsett meanwhile was cruising over the finishing line ahead. Pre Final 2 featured the same protagonists battling for the all-important Grand Final pole position spot. Tomsett initially led away until the Clark Motorsport kart of Leon Clark and Katherine White usurped him, they then entertained swapping the lead position repeatedly, at the end of 9 breath taking laps it was Leon Clark who led them over the line, in a kart set up by his absent father, who was out of the country on business, it was his mother and the experienced DG racing squad that ensured Leon was switched on for the day. Tomsett confirmed his credentials for the Grand Final by taking 2nd from White at the end. Red Beswick and Charlie Hand were close by, ready to push for honours in the final, although Hand had picked up a nose drop penalty dropping him back to 16th.
The 14 lap final began with Clark leading the 26 colourful karts away, snaking their way around the home of Junior Subaru racing. As they began to settle down, White’s Clarke kart continued to battle with Leon’s Clark Motorsport version, Tomsett had slotted in behind for now. An early off by Kipp Chorley, who hit the tyres hard after being caught up in somebody else’s crash on the run down the turn 2 hairpin, threatened to bring out the red flag, but double waved yellows covered the incident, as Chorley extracted himself from his kart. Just as the dust settled from this incident though a more serious incident happened just past the same point, when White and Tomsett tangled, the consequences of which were that the unlucky number 13 kart of Tomsett was launched into a scary roll, leaving his kart inverted and the driver nursing a very sore broken finger. This time the red flags were flown and the drivers brought to a stop out on the circuit
The race resumed after the Senior Club Max final in single file and this time Leon Clark looked comfortable out in the lead, Katherine White soon came under fire from the GMS kart of Red Beswick, giving Clark a breather out in front.. White eventually pulled back to 2nd but Clark was gone finishing 1.6 seconds clear in front of her. Beswick crossed the line almost side by side with Katherine, a fine result for Red. 4th went to Lewie Weaver who found some good pace in the final to move up the order, dropping Harvey Roffe down to 6th, in 5th was Charlie Hand, a fabulous effort up from 16th. Behind teammate Roffe in 7th was Catlin May, who finished as the top silver rated driver, a fine effort for her. 8th went to the 2nd silver rated driver Oliver Martynski, with Joseph Knight 9th and 3rd in the silver driver honours. 10th place went to Poppi Stephenson. Beswick recorded the fastest lap and finished 2nd to Clark in the Spring Cup, with White taking 3rd.
Senior Club Max – Hunt out in front
In-between the two part Junior Subaru UK final was the Senior Club Max event. Joe Hunt rocked up to the Swale circuit in great form, as he won each of the Pre Finals with relative ease from Stephen Bouffé (1st Pre Final) and Troy Beswick (2nd Pre Final). Hunt again made a perfect rolling start in the final and pulled comfortably away in his Project One run kart, eventually taking 5.3 second win over the GMS kart of Beswick. Bouffé was a delighted 3rd having briefly held 2nd early in the race and managing to keep within striking distance of Beswick in his LICA run kart.. Both Lewis Deacon and Drew Holmes were delayed on the first lap of the final, they then fought back up through the field, enjoying some great racing between themselves as they did so. Mike Ashby drove to a comfortable 4th and as top classic driver picked up a trophy too. James Popple took 5th just over 2 seconds behind the Happy Headlights driver Ashby. 6th and first in the 177 class went to Karl Mepham, carrying on his good form from Lydd a couple of weeks ago. The battling Holmes and Deacon recovered to 7th and 8th, 177 driver Mark Figes was 9th and Tom Richards 10th. Fastest lap went the way of victor Hunt, he also wrapped up the Spring Cup from Bouffé and Ashby.
Honda Clubman Standard – White wins
A bumper entry of 27 karts required the drivers to be split into three groups A, B and C for their two Pre Finals. The winners in the three finals were Jessica White, who took two wins with the other going to super-fast novice Rylan Echberg. A ‘B’ final was required due the entry numbers with for four drivers progressing through to the 20 kart final, the four that made the cut were Ethan Bentley, Rohan Nainei, Owen Neave and Joshua Graham. As the starter marshal dropped the Union flag Jessica White took off into the lead in her Clarke kart, behind Rylee Brown was debuting his DNL sticker kit and was keen to get ahead of the DG kart of Ryan Echberg and chase after the speedy White, it all went wrong for Brown however as he was sent spinning on the twisty infield section and also suffered a dropped nose cone, leaving him devastated. Young Jess was away and gapped the impressive novice Echberg, romping to a 4 second win after 12 laps. The battle for third wen the way of Harry Chamberlin, after a good race with Ralph Jungling who finished 4th . Matthew Copsey was next up in 5th ahead of the recovering Brown, prior to his enforced nose drop penalty. 6th place fell to a battling Henry Ng- Zeederberg, Zain Khan finished 7th, in 8th was Reg Heywood, 9th Will Hickman and 10th B final winner Ethan Bentley. Jessica White took 1st in the Spring Cup, Harry Chamberlin 2nd and Rylee Brown 3rd; fastest lap went to the charging Brown, some reward for the disappointed driver.
Racing returns to Bayford Meadows on May 27th for round 4, this also incorporates the next round of the Kent Championships.
Report and images courtesy of Paul Babington
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A very soggy Sunday morning greeted the competitors for round 1 of Lydd’s IKR Championship and round 2 of the Kent Kart Championship, which alternates between Bayford Meadows and the Clarke family run venue, situated between lakes in a picturesque corner of the south east. The ongoing circuit improvements are noticeable with every visit to the fast and flowing venue, promising a bright future for karting in the SE Kent area. Qualifying was held on a wet circuit, which mixed up the grids in one or two classes, ensuring some eventful races during the two pre finals. Later as the warm spring sunshine burnt through the clouds, the circuit dried until the end of the day.
The enthusiastic young Bambino drivers had three timed runs during the day and the results proved to be close in each. It was great to see the diminutive racers mixing it confidently out on the track, as the set intervals between each was gradually eroded. The merged results of the three runs had Fletcher Jamieson prevailing victorious, with two 2nds and a 1st in the final run. Charlie Warren was just two points behind after taking the fastest time in the second run. Third overall was Jayden Sherwood, he was fastest in the first timed run of the day.
Jack Pullen was 4th, with consistent points scoring, just two points in front of Alfie Howland in 5th. Archie Beard took 6th in his number 10 kart, matching Archie Howland’s points tally as he did so. Rio’s King and Licata were 7th and 8th. Oscar Askell-Tucker was 9th, after suffering a DQ in the second of the runs. Harry Freeman was classified 10th looked fast out on track but had also suffered unfortunate disqualifications in each of the runs.
Honda Clubman Standard
One driver dominated in the Clubman Standard class – Rylee Brown’s black number 53 kart. He took off from the front of the qualification races and the main final, to take convincing wins, highly impressive performances in all three. Ethan Bentley became the closest to being able to run with the rapid Rylee out in front, but a mistake at the fast first chicane early in the final, cost him dearly. Ethan smote the last of the tyre conveyor belts hard, bending his kart’s steering and brought out the red flag, as he was gently lifted from his kart.
Although thankfully okay, he was unable to make the restart of the final as the drivers completed the remaining 10 laps. Brown carried on back out in front and took the flag a good distance ahead of delighted Harry Chamberlin, Kyan Upton had initially diced with Chamberlin only to slip back as the race wore on, behind Kyan in 3rd was Reg Heywood’s Ambition kart in 4th, Jack Minter-Young finished in 5th. Cameron Charman was 6thh, a close battle for 7th featured Thomas Bearman, Joshua Graham 8th and Beau Sullivan 9th.
Eleven karts started the Junior Subaru final and this was a very close affair. Katherine White continued her stunning 2018 pace by taking the wins in the qualifying Pre Finals; she didn’t have it her own way though as Harvey Roffe, Ben Harper and Red Beswick finished right in her slipstream in both races. White led away from the pole and as the final settled down it was clear that both Roffe and Beswick wanted to topple White for the victory. Over the last few laps White drove very wisely, covering the inside line down the long back straight, preventing either of her pursuers from passing.
Roffe and Beswick took it in turns to attack the Clarke kart of White, but neither could find a way past. At the finish White celebrated a hard earned win, Beswick moved ahead of Roffe over the closing laps to take 2nd. It had been a tense battle and one that was great to watch. Marlo Cordell took 4th from Daniel Hughes in 5th, 6th was Rory Burke, Ollie Martynski 7th and debutant Chloe Clarke 8th. Kieran Janali was unfortunately disqualified after enjoying racing with Burke and Hughes, Ben Harper retired whilst challenging at the front and poor Poppi Stephenson never made the start , as her kart hit problems on the dummy grid.
Marcus Shephard came out on top of the quartet of 175 Prokarts, beating Archie Sherwood, Daniel Tidwell and Les Partridge. The trio of 200 Prokarts was won by Jack Denne, with John Denne 2nd and Ross Tidwell 3rd.
Junior Club Max
A disappointing four karts made it out for the Junior Club Max final, clashing events elsewhere unfortunately taking their toll on the class. The Clarke karts duo of Riley Stephenson and Josh Pullen were up against Jack Richards and Oliver Bullion. All three races produced the same results, as Stephenson got his head down early on in the races and pulled away from his teammate Pullen, who in turn gapped Richards and Bullion. It was emphatic display from Stephenson and he now looks to be an early favourite for the Kent Championship title.
Honda Clubman Elite
The Clubman Elite class proved to be very competitive for this second round of the Championship and first of the IKR summer series. Declan Russell made a welcome return to the Kent scene after travelling for his racing for most of this year. He was immediately bang on the pace and enjoyed some great racing with Leon Frost. ‘Frosty’ drove a corker in the second Pre Final, as he came through to take the win and therefore started the final from pole. He briefly led away before Russell passed him, then settling down into the lead. Barely had the race began when a big crash occurred at the final corner involving a number of karts, with drivers looking hurt the race was immediately halted. Luckily everybody was okay and the race restarted later after the Senior final had ended. Damian Baruss-Haggart, Jess White and George Oxford did not make the restart, having been involved in the incident. The last race of the day over 10 laps, had Russell once again taking the lead before the end of the first lap with Frost latched on behind him.
Archie Sugar-Harmer and Jamie Perilly were next up with Ethan Barford right behind them. As they started their penultimate lap it looked as though Frost was saving himself for a move on the yellow and blue kart ahead, however it never came and his Clarke kart dropped back a length on the final lap, leaving Russell clear to take the win, a great confidence booster for him. Frosty was happy with a bag full of points for the championship in 2nd. Perilly came out on top in the battle for 3rd, leaving Sugar-Harmer disconsolate as he crossed the finish line in 4th. Barford was in a very comfortable 5th, perhaps hoping that the track had stayed wet to show the speed he had in those conditions. Chris Doble also looked comfortable in 6th, clear of a battle between Nathan Marques and Jack Theobald in 7th and 8th. Finley Watson was 9th and Sonny Mortenson 10th.
Senior Club Max
19 karts rolled out on the fast Lydd circuit for the Senior Club Max final, the grid made up of 13 162s and 6 177 class karts. Watching these karts through the fast chicane, the swooping bends, the lift over the rise and high speeds along the back straight, is always exciting, as the drivers try to keep up a good rhythm without becoming too erratic, which can cost valuable lap time. To win against a quality field and make it look as though you are out for a Sunday drive is no mean feat, one driver who managed that on Sunday, was Bobby Grove. He calmly drove away from those behind, hitting his apexes with precision every lap and even managed a cheeky wave to his Dad on the back straight of the final tour! Behind the laid back Grove, Drew Holmes brought his immaculate kart through to 2nd place, passing Sam Gumbrell who had started well to take the runner up spot.
Hobbie Vickerman was next up until he disappeared from the lap charts, inheriting his 4th place was Troy Beswick who had worked his way up through the grid after morning problems. Josh Bacon was next up in 5th, ahead of Tom Richards, Mike Ashby and Will Barnes, the trio finding it difficult to pass the well driven 177 kart of Mark Figes. Behind Barnes was Stephen Bouffe in 9th, 10th place went to Jonathan Harrison. Karl Mepham impressed in the 177 class by showing a great turn of speed to finish on the road behind the Beswick and many of the lighter 162 drivers. Figes was 2nd in the 177 class, Dean Horlock 3rd, Dennis Tzeciak, Mark Waters and Nick Floyd.
So after a tough day for the officials with timing issues and the red flag incidents, the day came to an end, next up for the Kent Kart Championships is a trip back to Bayford Meadows in May, while the IKR summer championship continues here at Lydd next month.
Report and images courtesy of Paul Babington
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