Category Archives: Lotus Cup

Lotus Cup April Race Report

Saturday April 2, 2016  Rye House Kart Raceway

‘Brothers “Poole” the points’

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend this month as I was away celebrating my dear Uncle and Auntie’s Golden Wedding anniversary.

Talking about anniversaries, most people would think all the interesting and exciting stuff occurred on April 1st — The ‘Fools’ Day’.

But no! Not only, did Leonard Griggs marry his sweetheart Jean, Gawd bless ‘em, on this second day of April, 50 years ago but   this year it witnessed the second round of the Rye House Lotus Cup Championship.

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The treacherous water is swept off Stadium Bend so that the second race can start

Many other momentous things happened on this post-Fools day; also some sadness this week, which I’ll come to later.

  • If you’re worried that you missed an apex or two today, don’t be too hard on yourselves. In 1963, the USSR space programme fired a Sputnik rocket to land on the Moon: they missed their apex by some 8,000km.
  • If you feel like you’re in fighting mode that may be because in 1982, Argentina invaded the Falklands.
  • Sitting on the grid was heart galloping? That will be because in 1973, Red Rum won his third Grand National.
  • If you’re the deep-thinking type and ponder stuff like,  how the energy of the kart propels you forward through space and time etc, Albert Einstein gave  his first public lecture on the ‘Theory of Relativity’ in New York City in 1921.
  • Three times Formula One World Champion Sir Jack Brabham was born on this day in 1936.
  • For creative types appreciating their motors singing sweet music behind them, a certain Ludwig Van Beethoven performed his first ever concert on the evening of April 2, 1800.

But back to the excitement of  the Lotus Cup. Brothers Poole, Gary first and Stu second, lock out the top of the points table. There is no brotherly love lost between this pair when in racing mode. I can see an epic Kane and Abel-style battle brewing between them as the season goes on. Who’s the best? Gary is the current Senna Cup Champion and Stu the reigning Lotus Cup holder. Both are very fast and hungry to beat a sibling as much as anybody else.

Jaunius Zukas fought hard to get on terms with the Poole boys to finish third, with popular Dad ‘n’ Lad combo Richard and Chris Dennis returning with fine performances to keep the leaders on their toes.

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Close encounters of the sibling kind:  Gary Poole turns to see how close his brother Stu is behind him

A few of the new drivers also impressed: Stephen and Lucy Cook (nice to see another lady driver in this competitive open championship).  Also Adam Pearce, James Cross, Owen McLean, and Michal Gierymski enjoying the thrills and spills of this exciting “two race/reverse grid” format.

I had my snouts and snitches on the scene to report back on a red flag situation: a Stadium Bend incident, which sounded very similar to the eight kart pile-up during the Senna Cup a few weeks ago.

Once again, water and mud was dragged onto the fastest part of the circuit by one anonymous driver or more. Apart from  driving off the circuit limits,  to be dipping wheels off the kerb at that part on the circuit is simple bad driving and poor track position awareness. A minor error maybe, but with seriously dangerous consequences.

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A speedy Jaunius Zukas, came third overall but no match for the Poole brothers on this occasion

When a charging pack turns into the high speed Stadium Bend, they will hit the unsighted wet patch, spin out of control, and head straight into the solid tyre wall at some 35-40 mph before impact.

You don’t have to be an Einstein to know that the energy of the kart has an equal and opposite reaction on a soft human body and the hard tyre wall. Drivers would need to very fortunate not to sustain an injury or two after such a crash.

Most corporate karts are not considered fast enough to cause serious hurt but these are no ordinary corporate karts. The new fleet of Biz ‘twin engine’ Le Mans inspired prokarts are seriously quick in the right hands. Combine that with the fast Stadium Bend at the legendary Rye House (the most iconic and infamous corner in karting history) with unexpected water on the track and the result can be disastrous.

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Chris Dennis leads his father Richard round the infield bend

Let us not forget that this is the Lotus Cup, the pinnacle of hire kart racing in the UK. It’s namesake’s most celebrated driver was Jim Clark, widely considered to be the most naturally talented driver to ever sit behind the wheel of a race car. This week, April 7 1968, spinning off the Hockenheim circuit and hitting a tree, he suffered horrendous injuries from which he sadly died.

So guys ‘n’ gals – Lotus and Senna Cup – please be more careful out there. No more reports of multiple karts in the barriers and red flagged races. Besides, a brand new fleet of superbly made Biz karts is getting damaged within just a few weeks of delivery. The many others competing in other cup and corporate events won’t

Be happy stepping into a kart that won’t go around the corners properly because the chassis is bent and twisted from too many trips into the walls.

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The podium with two apiece for the Poole Brothers: Gary winning with the champagne and Stu, second with the fastest lap.  Jaunius Zukas was third overall this time

See you all at the next round. I shall be watching driving standards very closely and perpetrators of poor driving may have to suffer the cost of a cuppa and bacon butty to yours truly – in return for one of my famous track walks and race craft coaching sessions!

Have fun, enjoy yourselves, and most of all, and be safe.


Nick Griggs

Report written by Nick Griggs

Images courtesy of Andrew Webb, Sprocket photography

Andrew Webb 07850 693495


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Lotus Cup Round 1 Race Report

March 6, 2016


An impressive grid of twenty drivers turned out for this first round of the Rye House open Adult championship — the first regular Rye House Championship to try out the all-new superb Biz Le Mans hire karts, The 35-strong fleet was launched just a week earlier at the Biz Kart MINI Champions Challenge, held for the first time at Rye House.

The Lotus Cup is one of several structured hire-kart championships at Rye House and whilst open to all-comers booking online, there is a hard core of regulars who keenly fight for points month by month. The Senna format is a five-minute practice followed by a twenty-five minute race on a random grid draw, with the positions reversed for the second race taking the meeting to the top of the hour.  Highest amalgamated points determine the winners on the day.

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Stu Poole winner of Race two and second overall

It couldn’t have been much wetter, or colder for that matter, but thankfully the snow flurries stopped by the time the first race got underway at 10:00 am.  From pole position, Jaunius Zukas got an early break from the chasing pack and pulled out a commanding lead of nine seconds all the way to the flag. Wayne Edwards was mighty in the traffic and rocketed from thirteenth on the grid to second by the third lap, later dropping back to fifth behind Poole brothers, Stuart & Gary.   Mike March impressively justified his “Rain Master” tag and was the only driver to get close to Zukas’ lap times, bringing it home nice ‘n’ easy in second.

It was still wet at the changeover but a  much closer start  with a bunch of regular Rye House racers – Philip Lampole, Wayne Edwards, Gary and Stuart Poole, Billy Griggs and Lovis Wentworth —  duke’ing it out for the lead. Now reverted to the back of the grid, Zukas and March “danced in the rain” to join the party up front with Steve Jones and Andy Burton waltzing along behind them.  Down to the last two laps, with the leaders getting among the back-markers,  March takes a lunge down the inside of Stuart Poole for the lead, but gets tangled in the mêlée at the outer-field hairpin, and drops out of contention. Last lap, last corner, Zukas takes up the challenge when a back-marker spins and parks slap in the middle of the entrance to the infamous hairpin. Poole splits left to go outside around the back-marker while Zukas swerves inside right. They reconnect neck and neck at the apex, and exit for a side by side 50 meter drag race to the flag. Stu Poole just clinches it by 1/4 of a kart ahead of Zukas.

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Gary Poole (12) fighting the slippery conditions in good company with Jaunius Zukas (20)

An amazing Championship opener for the Lotus Cup series which saw Gary Poole third, Philip Lampole fourth, recovering Mike March fifth. And Wayne Edwards finishing sixth.

Drying out at the podium party, waiting for the two results to be consolidated, Rye House ProKart SuperPro driver Steve Jones and Burton Power Performance boss Andy Burton agreed the new Biz Kart fleet was excellent with a nicely balanced chassis and predictable, handling control for drifting through the corners in wet conditions. A lot of fun, which always brings a big smile to a Rye House Racer!

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Jaunius Zukas winning the first race by 9 seconds.  He went on to produce the highest aggregate score and posted the fastest lap time

A Spokesman for Biz Kart said, “We are so pleased the first in-house championship meeting at Rye, has been an enormous success”.   The new design and set-up of these karts has great feed-back and control which gives the drivers the confidence to go for it, in close wheel to wheel racing so we can expect plenty more of that in the coming months.

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The final consolidated podium for the March Lotus Cup consisting of three reigning Champions:  L to R Gary Poole (Senna Cup Champion), second today, Jaunius Zukas (Sprints Champion) winner of the first race with the fastest overall lap time, Stu Poole (reigning Lotus Champion) winner of the second race

Report by Nick Griggs

Photos by:

Andrew W Webb — Sprocket Photography

07850 693495/


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