Category Archives: British Universities Karting Championship

BUKC Report 2014

Rounds 5 & 6, Glan-Y-Gors, 19th March 2014

The Evo Triangle has legendary status, Glan-Y-Gors is located just off one side of the triangle.

It remained a dry but extremely windy day. Coventry got off to a perfect start with a win for Luke Russell in Race 1 and Race 2 followed a similar pattern which saw Hertfordshire B’s Jono Davis snatch victory from Huddersfield right at the wire. Huddersfield’s form continued into Race 3 as they battled with Leicester’s Sam Snell for victory which he took on the last lap. Race 4 was won by UWE, who have impressed consistently in their first season in the BUKC with a string of victories and high-placed finishes. The fifth sprint saw Durham’s on-form Will Van Es dominate, lapping all the way up to 11th place. UWE’s star driver Sebastian Hutchinson won the final sprint by 14s, with Swansea A and Imperial A following. Title contenders Coventry A had a disastrous race, finishing in 32nd, but the BUKC format worked well as the round was dropped to propel them to their third round win of the year. Southampton A took the second step with a great set of results and UWTSD Swansea A rounded out the podium for Round 5.

In the three one-hour endurance races, Durham A again dominated with their team of Will Van Es and Andrew Dawson lapping the field up to the podium, 2nd placed were Hertfordshire A, finishing 20s ahead of Cardiff A. Race 2 turned into an intense battle for the overall victory as UWE took the chequered flag first – but with a double penalty of 20s for two separate incidents during the race they had to finish at least 20s ahead of 2nd place in order to hold onto their victory. Unfortunately they couldn’t quite manage it, with the penalty dropping them off the podium to 5th to stop UWE securing a hat-trick of race wins. Leicester’s Team Sam took the victory with title-defending Hertfordshire A and Loughborough A taking the remaining two steps of the podium. The final race of the day saw Coventry run out clear victors after romping 28 places up the field in the first half of the race to drive away from the field. Their 12s lead was enough to secure them the win from an on-form UWTSD Swansea A and last year’s runners up Southampton A. Coventry’s win in the final race of the day ensured that they secured a vital 2nd place finish overall in Round 6, with Hertfordshire A taking the overall victory and UWTSD Swansea A placing 3rd. With Oxford Brookes finishing down in 5th this meant for the first time this year that Coventry A took the lead of the championship. With just a 5 point advantage this means the title will be decided at the final race of the year at Clay Pigeon.

 

British Universities Karting Championship, Rounds 5 & 6

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This trio of roads in the North of Wales is well known as one of the best driving spots in the entire country, and it seemed appropriate that the BUKC should visit this hallowed ground.

The weather gods seemed to favour the days action as it remained a dry but extremely windy day.

Coventry got their continuing campaign for their first ever BUKC title off to a perfect start with a win for Luke Russell in Race 1 and Race 2 followed a similar pattern which saw Hertfordshire B’s Jono Davis snatch victory from Huddersfield right at the wire.

Huddersfield’s good form continued into race 3 as they battled with Leicester A’s Sam Snell for the victory in race 3. Not content with losing the lead right at the close, Sam waited until the final lap of the race to make his move, snatching victory from right underneath the bumper of the Huddersfield kart.

Race 4 resulted in a win for the University of the West of England, who have impressed consistently in their first season in the BUKC with a string of victories and high-placed finishes. Continuing this trend was Race 4 winner Jack Hughes. The fifth sprint saw Durham’s on-form Will “Can’t do a 360” Van Es continue to show why he’s the top driver currently in the BUKC with an utterly dominant 20s victory over the entire field, lapping all the way up to 11th place.

UWE’s star driver Sebastian Hutchinson followed Will’s example in the final sprint of the day with a victory by 14s, with Swansea A and Imperial A following to take some great points for their championship totals. Title contenders Coventry A had a disastrous race, finishing in 32nd, but the BUKC format played to their favour as the round was dropped to propel them to their third round win of the year. Southampton A took the second step with a great set of results and UWTSD Swansea A rounded out the podium for Round 5.

During the lunch break the wind picked up significantly. Due to the undulating nature of the circuit it was already playing havoc at the top of the hill with the karts being buffeted in the strong winds. After the marshals had rescued some runaway furniture it was into the afternoon’s three one-hour endurance races.

Durham A once again proved dominant with their team of Will Van Es and Andrew Dawson driving a lights-to-flag victory in Race 1 following some slick pit stops and excellent driving. They lapped the entire field up to the podium, and finished a total of 19s ahead of 2nd placed Hertfordshire A, who finished a further 20s ahead of Cardiff A.

Race 2 turned into an intense battle for the overall victory as UWE took the chequered flag first – but with a double penalty of 20s for two separate incidents during the race they had to finish at least 20s ahead of 2nd place in order to hold onto their victory. Unfortunately they couldn’t quite manage it, with the penalty dropping them off the podium to 5th to stop UWE securing a hat-trick of race wins at Glan-Y-Gors. Leicester A’s Team Sam (Sam Snell and Sam Jones) took the victory with title-defending Hertfordshire A and Loughborough A taking the remaining two steps of the podium.

The final race of the day saw Coventry run out clear victors after romping 28 places up the field in the first half of the race to drive away from the field – only briefly losing their lead after their final pitstop. Their 12s lead was enough to secure them the win from an on-form UWTSD Swansea A and last year’s runners up Southampton A.

Coventry’s win in the final race of the day ensured that they secured a vital 2nd place finish overall in Round 6, with Hertfordshire A taking the overall victory and UWTSD Swansea A placing 3rd. With Oxford Brookes finishing down in 5th this meant for the first time this year (with dropped scores taken into account) that Coventry A took the lead of the championship. With just a 5 point advantage though this meant that the title would be decided at the final race day of the year at Clay Pigeon.

BUKC Whilton Mill Round 3 & 4 Report

BUKC2014_Whilton_main (74)The Midlands are famous for a few reasons. Cadbury’s make chocolate there. In the 60s factories in the area built rusty cars. But in more recent times, it’s become known as the heartland of British Motorsport. Centered around Silverstone in Northamptonshire there are a total of four F1 teams (Marussia, Lotus, Mercedes and Red Bull), with McLaren, Caterham and Williams not much further away. It was here, sat just off a ribbon of potholed B-roads, that students from all over the country converged for Rounds 3 & 4 of the British Universities Karting Championship 2014 at Whilton Mill.

Following the monsoon that affected the majority of the racing last time out at Buckmore Park, the teams were quietly optimistic – the BBC had predicted a significant improvement in the weather, and everyone was praying to the Gods of Motorsport that it might stay that way.

Sadly not. The first race of the day began after a brief yet heavy rain shower appeared to drench the track and dash everyone’s hopes of a pleasant dry day. At least there would be action. And lots of it. Bernie would approve!

Sam Sheehan of Coventry A, Joe Richardson of Medway A, Jono Davis of Hertfordshire B and Ollie Greenwood of Huddersfield A put on an incredible show in the first sprint race of the day, but it was Nottingham A’s Tom Seddon that came out on top as the quintet diced their way through the rest of the field in a battle that went right down to the final few laps. Tom took the chequered flag by just under a second, after the group were spread a bit thin by backmarkers in the closing stages. Sam for Coventry A finished second, with Joe Richardson for Medway holding onto third. It was a superb race to watch, and Joe summed up his reaction to it on Twitter soon afterwards.

Race 2 followed on with another close, yet controversial, finish. The start was chaotic, but after a few laps the field had settled down with Coventry A’s Luke Russell taking the early lead, although he was swiftly chased down by Jason Thatcher of Imperial A who took over first place. It wouldn’t be a BUKC race without some backmarker related controversy however, and it was the unfortunate Jason who fell victim to some devastating banditry as he was spun out from the lead of the race with just three minutes remaining. This meant that Oxford Brookes B and C inherited the top two steps of the podium going into the final stages of the race, and it would have finished that way had the Oxford Brookes B driver Zach Swannell found himself on the receiving end of a black flag, meaning that Will Walter of Brookes C took the chequered flag. The elation was short lived though with a post-race penalty for excessive kerbing (we all know how protective JV is of his karts!) meaning that the win was handed back to original leader Luke Russell of Coventry A, with Cardiff A second and Brookes C slotting into third after their penalty.

Hertfordshire B’s Dave Waters broke the trend of close finishes in the morning’s racing with a dominant Vettel-esque lights to flag victory in the third race. He crossed the line a full 16 seconds ahead of the rest of the field, with closest challenger Scott Michals from Southampton A dicing 18 places up the grid to finish second. Oxford Brookes bounced back from their nightmare in the second race with their B team taking the final step of the podium.

Race 4 featured an appearance from the BUKC’s own track guide ‘specialist’ Matt ‘Mish’ Isherwood from Cardiff A. Perhaps teams should have paid more attention to it as he steamed 22 places up the field to land himself just shy of a great win in second place. The victory was taken by the unfaltering Club 100 specialist Chris Hansen of Hertfordshire A, who finished 5 seconds clear, with Oxford B rounding out the podium.

The fifth sprint race saw newcomers UWE take their first ever win in the BUKC courtesy of their driver Sebastian Hutchinson, who successfully navigated through a huge water-induced pile up on turn 5, fighting a close battle with eventual second place finishers Southampton B. UCL rounded out the top 3 after they managed to successfully hold onto their 3rd place grid slot.

360 ‘superstar’ Will Van Es came out victorious in an intense battle for the lead during the closing stages of the final sprint race of the day, besting James Theodore from Oxford Brookes A and Coventry A’s Miles Murphy, who lost second to James in the last few turns. Did Will try a 360 to celebrate his sprint victory? Certainly did. Was it a spectacular failure once again? You bet. Don’t worry though Will, this time everybody saw it.

After the results were tallied it was Coventry A that took the spoils, breaking Oxford Brookes streak of round victories with a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place ensuring the win was theirs. A superb set of results (or was it the track guide?) secured Cardiff A the second step, with reigning champions Hertfordshire A rounding out the top 3.

It was time for a quick break before the Endurance races, and whilst the Club 100 staff prepped the karts, a well-timed rain shower appeared to once again wet the track and make life difficult for the drivers.

The greasy conditions ensured that lap times skyrocketed as drivers struggled to control the slick tyres on the wet surface. Some superb strategy calls for the Coventry teams saw their A and B pairs both finish on the podium after well timed pit-stops. UWTSD Swansea A managed to separate the two teams by snatching second place.

Towards the end of the first race the dry line had begun to reappear, and luckily the rain held off during the second enduro as UWE A took their second win of the day with the team of Sebastian Hutchinson and Jack Hughes, followed closely by Southampton A and organiser Will Tew with David Tan for the ‘University of Life’. Luckily for Cardiff A, the ‘University’ of Life were promptly disqualified from their third place finish for being far too old and not even remotely a university, meaning that the Welsh team inherited the final podium place.

The final race of the day saw Oxford Brookes A finally breaking their duck and winning their first race of the 2014 season; an incredible statistic considering they won both rounds at Buckmore Park and took fourth place in round 3. The Brookes team stormed 28 places through the field to take the win with a combination of well-timed pit stops and superb driving, clawing out a 12 second lead to second place Durham A after jumping them in the pits, with Hertfordshire B beating their A team and finishing in third to close out the racing for the day.

With a first and third in round 4 it was Coventry who locked out a double round in at Whilton Mill, adding another 60 points to their championship total. Cardiff A followed suit with a double second place, and Oxford Brookes bounced back from narrowly missing out on the podium in round 3 to take the final podium spot for round 4. This also meant that whilst they missed out on any round wins, Brookes’ decent set of results ensured that overall they still head the table leading into rounds 5 & 6 in two weeks time, albeit with a noticeable chink in their armour. Hertfordshire A are in close contention, just four points behind, with Coventry A after their superb double win another 4 points below respectively.

You can see a full list of the day’s results http://www.bukc.co.uk/results/2014

 

British Universities Karting Championship Round 1

It’s quite strange, standing behind the counter and watching the sea of half asleep students filing into the Cafe at the crack of dawn to dose up on coffee, Red Bull and a full english. Not your stereotypical pre-race breakfast. It’s relatively unlikely that you’ll see Sebastian Vettel tucking into a plate of Currywurst an hour before hopping into the ‘Bull to begin his title defence.

Complete with its very own microclimate, Buckmore Park is a permanent fixture on the BUKC calendar, and a firm favourite of many drivers competing in the championship. It’s a fast, tight and twisty circuit, with little room for mistakes and even less for overtaking. In the dry it is a tricky circuit to race on, but today it was raining. The whole of England was drenched and Buckmore Park was no exception.

Highlights of the six morning Sprint races included David Pittard of Brunel A pulling out 17s to win the first race of the day and a very tight finish in the third race where Southampton A, Oxford Brookes A and Coventry A all finished within a couple of seconds. Not forgetting international star and Leicester student Sam Snell’s 17 place gain to give his Uni their first ever BUKC win.

A 3rd place result in the last race meant that without winning a single race in the morning, Oxford Brookes took overall victory in the first round of the 2014 season, with reigning champions Hertfordshire A in 2nd place, followed by Oxford A who claimed a superb set of results grabbing them 3rd place.

So with the conclusion of the morning sprint races and after a short kart-fettling break for the Club 100 staff the action progressed into the afternoon’s three one-hour endurance races. Yes, it was still raining. The downpour even saw BUKC gaffer Will Tew pitching in to try and clear the substantial lake that was forming on the start/finish line, but with seemingly little effect.

Will Van Es and Andrew Dawson of Durham A won the first Enduro by 49s, with Will showing off at the end, spinning, and having to be rescued! UWTSD Swansea A took race 2 despite a 10s penalty for jumping the start.

With a 2nd place finish in the final race, Oxford Brookes cemented their second round win of the day, meaning that having also won their qualifier they are currently unbeaten in the 2014 championship. Brunel A finished in 2nd place and Cardiff A a brilliant 3rd.

Overall this meant that, of course, Oxford Brookes head the board after their superb performance – with reigning champions Hertfordshire A a close second, and Southampton A in 3rd. It’s still early doors however, and Brookes’ five point championship lead is sure to look under threat at the next race day in a few weeks time.

Results
Sprint winners
Brunel A, Medway A, Southampton A, Leicester A, Cambridge A, Hertfordshire A

Endurance winners
Durham A, UWTSD Swansea A, Hertfordshire A