Round 6 of the BPKC summer championship incorporated the final rounds of the Kent Kart Championships and also the British F100 series. If that wasn’t enough for karting fans, the MSA Bambino championship runners also packed out the Chatham parkland circuit.
Eden Spanswick takes MSA Bambino trial race win
Thirteen young Bambino drivers took part in a trial MSA race day at Buckmore Park on Sunday and the outcome proved to be a resounding success. The circuit commentator – Allan Smallman thoroughly enjoying the on track action from the diminutive and combative pilots. The Grand Final was won by Eden Spanswick, his margin of victory was just over 6 seconds after 10 laps, outlining his phenomenal pace. Jack Cunningham came through the field from the back to finish 2nd, a very accomplished drive amongst his fellow competitors. Mason Bishop was 3rd from Fraser Anderson in 4th. 5th went to Henry McCarthy from the fastest lap holder Freddie Housley in 6th. Completing the runners were – Archie Clark, Laith Khan, Benjamin Clark, Freddie Duncan, Jack Sant, Joshua Humpherston and Kristian Stefanov.
Theo soars to debut circuit win in Honda Cadets
Having watched Theo Micouris many times being the bridesmaid in the Honda Cadet class, it was wonderful to see him turn up and dominate on Sunday, leading every competitive lap during the day. His commitment was evident on every lap as he tucked his body in behind his #74 kart’s steering wheel on the exit of every corner. His immaculate Tiger Prints Teamware livered kart was almost caught over the last lap by Louis Horsley, who was a mere 0.48seconds behind over the line. Horsley had suffered a huge crash during one of Saturday afternoon’s testing sessions, leaving him with a wrecked crash helmet, cut shoulder and feeling battered all over. With that in mind it was a superb recovery drive by the #38. Sebastian Bloch had a great opening lap and enjoyed a great dice with Horsley, Justin Breward and Ronnie Mansfield until Horsley broke clear.
Onto the last lap Bloch and Mansfield slowed each other down at hairpin 2 allowing Zach Ripley through, he finished 3rd on the road behind Micouris and Horsley but then cruelly received a 10 second drop nose penalty, hurting him greatly in the championship. So the Ambition #9 of Bloch took third from Mansfield in 4th. Frankie Elwell had towed along behind Ripley for much of the race and finished 5th. Oscar Teuten was in the mix in 6th, Mitchell Gibbons 7th, Declan Russell 8th, Breward ended up 9th from a bruised Zach Walters in 10th, who had a heavy impact with the Champion barriers earlier in the day. Fastest lap went to the unfortunate Ripley who was eventually classified 14th.
Oliver Appleby takes race and championship in Junior Max
The damp qualifying session caused KPi’s Oliver Appleby a few problems in the morning, leaving him languishing near the back of the competitive Junior Max field. He made up for that with a storming drive in heat one, when he finished behind the Project One kart of James Wharrier. He then won the Pre final and the Grand Final in style, holding off his rivals by just enough over the 16 lap race. The Project One team drivers of Wharrier, Jack Steadman and Declan Lee had enjoyed racing amongst themselves all day, come the final Lee had the pace over his teammates charging through to 2nd behind Appleby. Steadman was 3rd from Wharrier in 4th.Tom Rotherham finished 5th with Thomas Lawson in 6th. Ryan Chapman, Max Goodwin, Sam Sanders and Lewis Boret completed the top 10. Wharrier set the fastest lap on lap 15. Save of the day went to Josh Wellard who had his axle snap leaving him reversing down the hill on the opening lap, scattering those behind across the track in avoidance!
Freddy Simpson-Stacey takes close win in JX30, Kristian Brookes victorious in Mini X30
Seven karts made it out for the JX30 final, with two Mini X30s sharing the track for their class battle. Once underway two drivers lapped the 17 laps of the final as one, Freddy Simpson-Stacey leading away from pole with Alfie Brookes shadowing his every move. Behind a good race developed, between Daniel Gale, Ben Cowley, Finley Cross, Scott Sumpton and Charlie Sladden, giving us the excitement the class has often promised. In the Mini X30 class Bradlley Hardy couldn’t match the pace of Kristian Brookes and eventually retired from the race, leaving Brookes to take the win. Back at the front the Roalf racing kart of Alfie Brooks made his move on the Evolution kart of Simpson-Stacey on the penultimate lap at turn 1. He could only hold down the lead as far as the bottom end of the circuit though, when his adversary took the place back. Over the final lap Brooks had a try around the outside of hairpin 2 but it was never going to come off, even though he had briefly edged in front as they turned into the tight left hand corner. Simpson-Stacey took the win and fastest lap, Brooks just 0.009 seconds behind as they crossed the finish line. Behind Gale had secured 3rd place a few laps from home finishing 6 seconds behind the leading duo, Ben Cowley won the battle for 4th, from the new Kent champion Finley Cross in 5th. Scott Sumpton was 6th and Charlie Sladden 7th. The winner also took the race’s fastest lap.
Callum’s race, Riley’s championship in Junior Subaru UK
32 Junior Subaru UK drivers arrived at the circuit for round 12 of their championship, marking another record breaking entry milestone, for the popular junior 4 stroke class. With the circuit starting off very damp in places, wet tyres were the favourite choice for the morning qualifying session and making the most of the conditions, putting a new face to the top of the leader board was Ross Hastings, his LICA kart setting pole position for heat 1. Callum Gunning took the other front row slot, from Harvey Roffe, Owen Hizzy, Tom Emson and Poppi Stephenson completing what was an unusual looking top 6 grid. Poppi’s championship elect brother Riley languished way back down in 26th after gambling on slicks, although he didn’t seem too perturbed at all by this according to his anxious mum!
Hastings flew off the line to lead away heat 1 from Gunning with Hizzy and Roffe settling into 3rd and 4th. At the end of lap 2 Gunning’s DNL kart had a good run up the hill and ran alongside Hastings through Café bend, something had to give and the two made contact, sending the LICA kart briefly off the track and facing in the wrong direction, before recovering now way back in 23rd spot. Gunning from then cruised to an 8 second victory taking the heat win comfortably. Behind the Ambition kart of Zac Spence usurped Roffe and Hizzy to take 2nd place, in 3rd amazingly was Stephenson! His well driven Clarke kart scything its way up 23 places through the pack, setting the fastest lap along the way too, it had been a breathtaking drive. The top 6 was completed by a frugal James Black, Hizzy and Tom Emson, with Roffe slipping to 8th behind Josh Pullen in 7th.The Pre Final was a more settled affair with Gunning leading every lap, soon to be shadowed by Stephenson who had dispatched Spence down to 3rd eventually over four seconds behind the leading two. Black continued to show good pace in 4th, from Hizzy 5th and Tom Emson 6th.
The Grand Final was a two part affair after a nasty incident on the run up the hill on the 6th lap binging out the red flag; thankfully all the drivers involved were okay, though Novice and newcomer Kieran Ives was worse affected, he soon vowed to return his Sait run kart to the series. At the time of the red flag Gunning had led from Stephenson and after a single file restart they continued their two man fight at the front. With his recent impressive Birel Art debut under his belt, also at the same circuit, Callum’s consistent pace was effortless, Riley though knew that just finishing on his rivals bumper would assure him of the outright championship win, this he did perfectly. Zac Spence completed a good day at the office with a fine 3rd, from a charging James Tomsett, who had fought his Sait kart back from earlier nose fairing penalties to take 4th. Hizzy capped a good competitive day with 5th, another to fight his way up was Joe Hunt in 6th, Ross Hastings made a good recovery to finish 7th, James Black was bundled back to 8th after an unexplained power loss, Josh Pullen was 9th and Louis Barker 10th.
The fastest lap once again went to Stephenson’s rocket Clarke kart, on lap 13 of 14.
Leon Frost back to winning ways in Clubman, while Macauley Bishop wins in IAME
Leon Frost had a rough time of things during his last visit to Buckmore Park, for this month however he put those demons behind him and took a thoroughly deserved win, he led the race for 7 laps until he fell behind a Virtus mounted Joseph Knight, who was revelling in his new kart. The Clarke kart of Frost though timed his move right, snatching back the lead on the last lap to take the win. Jack Matthews (KPi) moved up from 6th on the grid to 3rd at the finish just in front of a very competitive and fastest lap holder – Macie Hitter (Virtus) in 4th. Vinny Lloyd took a good 5th ahead of last month’s victor Max Solarski, who had a real up and down day in 6th. Jack Theobald took 7th, Christopher Doble 8th, Nathan Marques 9th and Josh Rudd in 10th. Macauley Bishop finished ahead of the only other IAME runner Jakub Jakoniuk.
Elliot Rice takes Senior Max thriller, Ayers cruises to X30 win
The Senior drivers enjoyed their usual 3 heats and a final format with no qualifying to determine their grids. After the trio of frantic heats Elliot Rice sat on pole position, at the circuit where he has always shone. Championship leader Lewis Brown sat alongside him on the grid, Luke Freestone capped some good heat results with 3rd position and Daniel Devereaux started from 4th on the 19 kart grid. Henry Ayers and Michael Hafford were the only X30 entrants; they started some distance behind the Rotax runners. The opening few laps saw Rice and Brown pull clear until they were joined by Charlie Turner, who had started from P10 which he promptly proved wasn’t a deterrent. Devereaux fell back from the leaders after a flying start; Freestone also fell back behind Lewis Ridd. By mid-race Turner was ready to make his bid for the lead, firstly passing Brown on lap 5 and then Rice for the lead on lap 7. Rice and Brown didn’t let Turner go though and returned the pressure that he himself had put on them. Rice grabbed the lead back on lap 10 of 12 and then managed to fend off Turner to the flag, the last two laps being particularly fraught between the threesome. Rice was delighted to have ended the championship with a win after an indifferent run earlier in his campaign; Turner had tried everything to take the win but ultimately had to settle for 2nd, with Brown on his tail, in doing so securing the title. Lewis Ridd took a fine 4th; Harry Gent up 4 places to take 5th, Devereaux was 6th, Freestone 7th, Troy Beswick 8th, Drew Holmes 9th and Harry Smithson 10th. Mark Figues took the 177 class win finishing 12th overall. Henry Ayers comfortably won the X30 class from Michael Hafford.
For Buckmore Park the day wasn’t over as the British F100 and MOD 160 classes ran into the evening, entreating those left clearing up in the busy paddock.
Report and images courtesy of Paul Babington