Category Archives: COVKARTSPORT

CovKartSport Winter Series Round 2 Report

Daytona Tamworth

Covkartsport made a return to Tamworth after six years away for the second round of the 2016 Winter Series.

The Tamworth circuit was once a regular on the Covkartsport calendar in its old, much smaller incarnation as Priory Park but ever-growing entry lists meant that by the time the series made its last visit to the circuit in January 2010 it had begun to outgrow it somewhat.

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Since then the circuit has been taken over by Daytona and expanded into a fast, challenging 1000m layout.

As at the first round at Whilton Mill, the Winter Series format involves a seven-minute qualifying session determining the grid for a short pre-final race and longer finals in each of the three classes: Juniors (age 12 to 16), Lightweights and Heavyweights (drivers over 80kg). And also just like the Whilton event, practice conditions the day before were completely different from those on race day, so drivers who attended practice were not at any great advantage.

In the Junior class, Daniel Beardmore put Whilton winner Dante Dhillon under serious pressure for the entire final but the win escaped him. Henry Miles rounded out the podium behind Dhillon and Beardmore, with fastest lap going to Dhillon at 60.44sec.

Juniors: Daniel Beardmore, Dante Dhillon
Juniors: Daniel Beardmore, Dante Dhillon

Special mention goes to Lightweight class victor Brandon Williams for achieving the fastest lap of the day. At 59.82sec he was the only driver on the day to dip under the 60-second barrier – said to be some achievement at the Tamworth circuit. James Saunders, winner at Whilton Mill, took second place behind Williams with Paul Cox making it two podiums in a row in third place.

Lights: James Saunders, Brandon Williams, Paul Cox
Lights: James Saunders, Brandon Williams, Paul Cox

The Heavyweight final saw a great battle between a gaggle of drivers from third to sixth place. In the end no-one could get past Tim ‘The Wall’ Ellis, who held on for third behind winner Andrew Spencer and runner-up Neil Humpherston. Spencer also took fastest lap of the class with 60.46sec.

Heavies podium left to right: Neil Humpherstone, Andrew Spencer, Tim Ellis
Heavies podium left to right: Neil Humpherstone, Andrew Spencer, Tim Ellis

Elsewhere in the Heavies class Ben White had an unlucky day, suffering a puncture on the last lap of the B Final while in a clear second place in the B Final and looking set to qualify for the A Final. Luck does tend to even itself out over the year in Covkartsport, so maybe he’s getting his bad luck out of the way before the main championship begins in April.

Another Daytona venue is up next for the third and final round of the 2016 Winter Series, at the flowing 1360m Milton Keynes International Circuit on 20 March.

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Words: James Taylor

Photos: Mandy Marsh

 

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CovKartSport Winter Series Round 1 Report

The 2016 Covkartsport Winter Series kicked off at Whilton Mill on 31 January in tricky conditions, challenging each and every competitor’s kart control skills on a track surface that seemingly became ever slipperier as the day went on.

Alongside the championship’s seasoned hands, 2016 has brought plenty of friendly new faces to the series, novice and experienced drivers alike. Founded in 1996, Covkartsport will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year as a four-stroke arrive and drive multi-circuit championship, offering organised racing at the lowest cost possible, using karts supplied by each track on the calendar.

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Stephen Allsopp (kart 19) and Bob Moss (15) grapple with epic understeer at a slippery Whilton Mill

Aimed at experts and beginners alike, the three-round Winter Series runs from January to March, offering drivers a chance to stay sharp at a time of the year when organised racing tends to be thinner on the ground than frost.

The 2016 Winter Series continues the format established last season, with a seven-minute qualifying determining the grid positions for a quick-fire ‘pre-final’ race, and a longer feature-length final, with the grid decided by a combination of the pre-final results and fastest lap times.

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Alex Harding crossed up the treacherous Turn Two

This was to be the final day of racing for Whilton Mill’s fleet of 390cc Sodikarts before a new fleet was introduced the following week. They were given a fitting send off (and the odd mud bath), with spectacular racing throughout the day in all three classes.

In the Junior category (age 12 to 16), Daniel Beardmore scored a fine win in the pre-final but it was 2015 champion Dante Dhillon back on top in the final, recovering from a mid-race spin to regain the lead. George Hucknell, beginning his first full season in Covkartsport, took second place ahead of Andre Careless. Fastest lap (67.60 seconds) went to Daniel Beardmore.

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Another driver falls foul of the bog at Turn Two

In the senior Lightweight class, James Taylor started the final from pole position but fell foul of the increasingly treacherous Turn Two, leaving fellow front-row starter Paul Cox to battle with James Saunders and Louis Dymond. Saunders took the chequered flag, ahead of Dymond and Cox with fastest lap (67.13s) going to Sam Lovelace.

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The Heavyweight final gets underway

In the Heavyweight class (80kg and above), Connor Marsh took an early lead from third on the grid before also getting caught out by the butter-slippery Turn Two, falling to fifth place after a 360degree spin. Despite the setback, Marsh fought back to take the win ahead of Andrew Spencer and Slawek Piskorz. Elsewhere in the Heavyweight class, Dean Davis missed out on the podium following a muddy moment, but showed his pace with the fastest lap of the entire day, an untouchable 66.01 seconds.

Connor Marsh leads the way in the Heavyweight class
Connor Marsh leads the way in the Heavyweight class

Round 2 will take place at Daytona Tamworth on  21 February, with all drivers welcome. Visit www.covkartsport.co.uk for details.

 

Words: James Taylor

Photos: Mandy Marsh

 

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COVKARTSPORT National Series 2015 – Round 2

On Sunday 26th April, Ancaster Karting hosted the second round of the COVKARTSPORT National Series. To the joy of the drivers and spectators alike, bright skies and sunshine replaced the expected showers to leave the conditions perfect for racing.

In the Junior class, Taylor Ascroft fought back from a disappointing opening round to put his title challenge back
on track with overall victory at Ancaster. Ascroft claimed his first COVKARTSPORT overall victory with three strong drives leaving him five points clear ahead of the rest of the field
and now sits second place in the championship. Behind Ascroft, the battle for the podium was much closer. In fact,
the remainder of the podium was decided by lap time as
both Daniel Beardmore and round one winner Dante Dhillon finished on forty-nine points for the day with Beardmore taking second although third place was enough for Dhillon to retain the championship lead. Fourth place is Nathan Bull’s career best result after only joining the series in January and fifth place was a good reward for three solid drives by Skye Siddall on her return to the series. Reigning champion Sam Lovelace took sixth and will have a fight on his hands to make it a third title in a row in 2015 whilst seventh placed Matt Tetley continues to lead the Plus category at this early stage. Debutant Jack Warren claimed a fine eighth ahead of Joe Perkins whilst Charlie Andrews rounded out the top ten on his series debut.

The Lightweight class also had a first time winner but this
driver won on his debut in the series. Jake Campbell-Mills, who finished second in Junior TKM during 2012, claimed two race wins on his way to the overall victory but he did not have it all his own way. Campbell-Mills was matched on fifty-seven points by Mark Bramford, who was only a hundredth of a second slower on lap time and had to settle for second. Third place went to another debutant as Harry Andrews showed he could be a factor in the championship after only missing the opening round. James Saunders may have missed out on a podium but fourth place was enough for him to continue to lead the Lightweight class in the championship. Former Lightweight Plus champion

Gary Jones started his part-time campaign this season with fifth ahead of Stephen Allsopp, who continued his strong form at the circuit. A strong seventh went to Jack Wallace and Tom Emsden followed up to continue his successful start to the season after finishing second in round one. Ninth placed Alex Harding was close behind whilst Kayleigh Vincent got the better of brother Neil in the battle for tenth. Reigning Lightweight champion Brandon Williams was the only driver outside of the top ten to take a race win during the day but finished in twelfth overall.

After missing out on a podium in the opening round, Winter Champion Chris Daines fought back with two race wins on his way to overall victory. The win moves Daines back up to second in the championship and closes the gap by three points to current leader Wayne Lidgbird, who took third place to add to his Sandown dominance. Jason Keeler split the two on the podium with a career best performance. Keeler, who had never made

the podium in any of his previous events, found his form around the Ancaster circuit finishing the day with the fastest lap of the day alongside his podium. Neil Humpherston got the better of Ben White in a close battle for fourth, with White scoring his a well deserved first race win in COVKARTSPORT. Jordan Taylor followed home in sixth after scoring his first race win and could be a thorn in the side of the championship contenders this year if he can keep up the consistency. Carl Bannister is another driver who has had a strong start to the season and seventh continues this ahead of David Whitehouse in eighth. Ninth placed Kosta Kyritsis showed strong pace on his series debut ahead of Jonathan Carty in tenth.

With two rounds gone, the championship is starting to take shape but with six dropped scores allowed at the end of the season, anything can still happen!

COVKARTSPORT Winter Series 2015 – Round 2

COVKARTSPORT Winter Series 2015 – Round 2 – Whilton Mill

A foggy Whilton Mill circuit played host to the second round of the 2015 Winter Series with 84 drivers arriving to challenge themselves round one of Britain’s top circuits. With the racing closer than ever and one round to go after Whilton, a mistake could cost a driver the Winter title. After the disappointment of missing out on third place at the opening round, Daniel Beardmore bounced back at Whilton with a strong drive to victory in the Junior Final. Beardmore fought from fifth to second by the half way point of the race and took
the lead as Matthew Tetley made a mistake at the end of the
Zulu section, running wide resulting in a 360 degrees spin and continuing in fifth. Tetley managed to climb back to third but could n’t stop Beardmore claiming his first win of the season and moving into championship contention. Second place went to Daytona victor Sam Lovelace, who extended his championship lead to eight points and making him favourite to retain his Winter title from the previous two seasons. Series newcomer George Hucknall impressed on his debut with fourth place after starting the
Final on pole position. Hucknall was involved in the battle for the lead for the most of the race and will be one to watch in the National Series, which starts in April. Fifth went to Dante Dhillon and boosted his championship challenge whilst Tom Sherriff followed Dhillon home, moving forward in the Final after starting on grid eleven.

2014 was an impressive debut year for Connor Marsh with a number of podium finishes but the first victory had eluded
him. That was until Whilton. The youngster dominated the day finishing qualifying and his Pre-final in first place before cruising to victory, well clear of the rest of the field. Brandon Williams had to settle for second place whilst James Saunders consolidated his championship lead with third. Mark Bramford finished just off the podium in fourth
to hold on to his lead in the Plus class but will go into the final round just one point ahead of Marsh. Kayleigh Vincent will go into the final round with a chance of the title after finishing fifth but will also only be two points behind younger brother Neil, who finished in eighth. A close battle for sixth was forged between two of the most experienced racers in the class, both former champions. Paul Cox, a former Plus champion, managed to hold off the attacks from Graham Wallace throughout the race to finish sixth with Wallace in turn holding off Neil Vincent for seventh.

Chris Daines has made a strong impression on the Heavyweight grid since making his debut during 2014 and this has continued during the Winter Series but after getting beaten on the last lap at Daytona, Daines was not going to let that happen this time. It was 2014 Winter Champion Wayne Lidgbird who took the lead off the line but it took Daines less than a lap to get the lead back as he undercut Lidgbird at the boot. Daines then disappeared as the next four drivers battled hard behind but once that had been settled with Lidgbird leading the group, the battle was on. Lidgbird closed down the gap and made his move on the final lap, which he made it stick. Daines’ worst nightmare was happening as he lost the lead on the final lap for the second event running but this time, he was determined not to let the win go. In a repeat of the opening lap, Lidgbird ran slightly wide at the boot and Daines didn’t need a second invite to drive up the inside of the final corner to claim the win. Behind the leading two, the battle was just as close for the final podium position.

David Whitehouse held it early on but was closed on by Jeff Chapman and Richard Middleton respectively, both who managed to get by at the boot in the same manner as Chris Daines at the front of the field and finishing in that order. These five were clear of the chasing back where Dean Davis and Alex Vangeen had fought through the pack after poor Pre-finals to finish in sixth and seventh. The final round of the Winter Series will take place at the Ancaster circuit, near Grantham with close battles in all the classes. Who will step up the pace to claim their respective championship?

COVKARTSPORT National Series 2015, Round 8

After 21 races the COVKARTSPORT series travelled to Milton Keynes to decide the champions of 2015. Mixed conditions, due to overnight rain, did not make it easy for the drivers Sam Lovelace could have been forgiven for taking it easy at Milton Keynes after practically sealing the Junior title at Lakeside but he did the complete opposite. Reigning champion Lovelace pushed hard all day to retain his title in style with the final win
of the season ahead of championship rival and second placed James Saunders. The podium for Saunders was enough to give him second place in the points ahead of Jodi Humphreys, who finished down in sixth at Milton Keynes. Third in the round was the ever improving Ethan Holmes. After joining the series at Ellough, where he finished outside of the top ten, Holmes has impressed with two podiums, including an overall victory at Lakeside in October. He will certainly be a name to watch out
for in 2015.

Oliver Baines returned to the series for the first time since the opening round and the outgoing Junior Plus champion showed he has lost none of his speed with fourth overall in the ever changing conditions. Fih overall went to the new Junior Plus champion Ami Jerger, who takes over the crown from Baines. Jerger has the unwanted record of scoring the most second places in races this year without a win but that will not concern her as she became the second woman to take a major COVKARTSPORT National title after Kayleigh Vincent claimed the same crown in 2012. After Humphreys in sixth came a bale between some of the top drivers from 2014. Daniel Beardmore, Mahew Tetley and Luke O’Sullivan all scored 44 points throughout the day with the lap time deciding the positions in the same order, seventh to ninth, whilst Joe Tuffin rounded out the top ten.

Former champion Paul Cox returned after a year away and showed he had lost known of his speed by claiming a clear victory. Cox, who won the title in 2001 and 2003, dominated the day ahead of championship contender Daniel Truman. Unfortunately for Truman, second place was not enough to overturn the difference to title rival and sixth placed Brandon Williams when it came down to dropped scores and missed out on the title by five points. Former Junior Plus champion Kyle Morby also scored a podium on his return after racing in TKM this season. Fourth went to Mark Bramford, who finished the highest driver in the championship without a race win, ahead of Connor Marsh and newly crowned champion Williams. Seventh placed James Taylor ended a successful year for himself whilst John Stanton fought off the attention of Rikki Gunner for eighth. Gunner has impressed in his debut season and could be a strong title contender in 2015. Richard Dunn’s eleventh place was enough to seal the Lightweight Plus title ahead of Marsh and former champion Gary Jones.

A huge Novice bale had been brewing all season between James Curtis and Aaron Hipkiss and it ended in Curtis’ favour on the day and in the championship with only three points between them after the final race. In the Heavyweight class, Ed White showed his dominance again with a full score and overall victory. White, who has
won eight of the nine races he has competed in this season, dominated the day and finished clear of any championship bale. Championship contenders Wayne Lidgbird and Allan Smith did all they could to catch the points leader Jeff Chapman but even second and third respectively was not enough to deny Chapman a second championship in a row. Former champion David Whitehouse just missed out on a podium after drawing with Smith on the day, but the faster lap time from Smith sealed third. Meanwhile, Jonathan Carty’s fih place was his best result of the season to seal the Heavyweight Plus crown with ease. Sixth placed Neil Humpherston and seventh placed Michael Holdcro must wonder what could have been this season after scoring a large number of wins each but luck deserted them when they needed it. They came home just ahead of the champion Jeff Chapman, who did not let nerves earlier in the
day get in the way of a controlled final race, even when the rain poured down with three corners to go! Tim Ellis and Ben White rounded out the top ten and Slawek Piskorz kept Daniel Beech at arm’s length to take the Novice crown.

 

Covkartsport, Round 7 2014

National Series 2014 – Round 7 – Lakeside, 12th October

The Lakeside circuit is one of the favourites on the COVKARTSPORT calendar. The circuit allows no room for error with close barriers around the whole circuit and the tight twisty start to the track is equalled out by a flat-out blast around the back of the circuit, which includes the feared ‘Devil’s Drop’, which is taken flat by the bravest.

After entering the series for the first time at Ellough Park, Ethan Holmes sprung a surprise by taking overall victory around the tight Lakeside circuit. Holmes, who finished twelfth on his debut, produced three strong drives to take the win ahead of Daniel Beardmore and championship leader Sam Lovelace. Beardmore took second with his best points total of the season so far whilst Lovelace extended his lead to give himself one hand on the championship going into the final round. Fourth placed Skye Siddall continues to improve as the season goes on and has now set herself up for a top five in the championship standings. Another driver who continues to improve race by race is fifth placed Taylor Ashcroft, his best result of the season including his first race win. Jodi Humphreys’ sixth place meant that he stays in third in the championship but only one point behind James Saunders, who could only finish eighth at Lakeside. Splitting the two drivers was the highest Plus driver in the results. Joe Tuffin drove well to top the Plus class race standings for the first time and seals third in the Plus standings as well. Jack Baines sealed his first win on his return to the series on his way to ninth whilst Tom Sherriff rounded out the top ten.

With two rounds of the championship to go, the perfect way to stamp your authority on the championship is to take the penultimate victory and that is exactly what Brandon Williams did at Lakeside. Williams took the victory with a dominating performance, taking a full score of sixty points and a five point championship lead. Behind Williams in a distant second place came Connor Marsh, who scored his best result and first podium since the opening round at Sandown. Third place went to debutant Adam Kellett. Kellett scored two race wins during his first event and could be one to watch if he returns in 2015 as he had to fight off the attention of reigning champion Alex Harding to make the podium. Behind Harding came Daniel Truman and fifth place leaves him in a tight battle with Williams for the title. Sixth went to Mark Bramford, who is still looking for a race win this year whilst Neil Vincent led home a four-way tie for seventh. Any ties are decided on lap time so Vincent finished ahead of Richard Dunn, debutant Tom Murray with Tyler Mays rounding out the top ten. Chris Brookshaw finished sixteenth overall but claimed his first COVKARTSPORT race win during the day.

Former champion David Whitehouse has struggled for form in 2014 but kept himself in touch in the championship with victory at Lakeside. Whitehouse, who won the title in 2011 and 2012, now sits ten points off the championship lead going into the final round. Second placed Allan Smith pushed himself into the heart of the championship battle, finishing one point behind Whitehouse, whilst Marcus Lungley took the final step on the podium with another assured performance. Fourth for Wayne Lidgbird meant he still has a strong shot at title, now being only one point behind Allan Smith. Chris Smith returned to the series with a bang, claiming fifth overall and a race win during the day ahead of Mike Mooney and Robert Ford, who claimed his best result of the season with seventh. With all his championship rivals ahead, Jeff Chapman could have been disappointed with eighth at Lakeside but the way the dropped scores work, it meant he left the event stretching his lead out to five points from Allan Smith and Wayne Lidgbird and looking strong for Milton Keynes. Slawek Piskorz scored his best result of his debut season with ninth, his second top ten in a row, meaning Piskorz had all but sealed the Novice crown ahead of Dan Beech. Sam Foster lost his slim hopes of the title with tenth.

COVKARTSPORT – Round 5

National Series 2014 – Round 5, 20th July – Ancaster

Round five whilst also doubled up as the annual Open Championship. This allows guest drivers to take on the very best drivers that COVKARTSPORT has to offer.

This also features a change in the format. While the drivers still compete in three races that count towards the championship, they also take part in finals based on the points accumulated during the day. The finals don’t count towards the championship but allow the drivers to do battle for the Open crown.

After qualifying fourth for the final, Jodi Humphreys raced hard to carve past the early leaders and take victory in the Junior class ahead of polesitter James Saunders. Following Humphreys through the field in the early stages, the fast-improving Skye Siddall scored her first podium in COVKARTSPORT as she pulled clear of fellow female driver Ami Jerger, who finished as the winner of the Junior Plus class and fourth overall. Championship leader Sam Lovelace followed home in fifth after a quiet final, leading home the second of the Plus category drivers Matthew Tetley, who continues to improve and impress after missing the opening round. Tetley is now Jerger’s nearest challenger for the Plus title and the next circuit is his ‘home’ event at Ellough.

Stephen Allsopp claimed the Lightweight Open Championship title with a dominating display from second on the grid. Allsopp, who started second on the grid, overtook Gary Jones on the opening lap and never looked back, winning ahead of Rhianna Purcocks, who took her first COVKARTSPORT podium in second. Another newcomer to the podium was third placed Mike Eccles, a local to the Ancaster circuit making his debut in the series. The Lightweight Plus Champion came home in fourth in the form of Richard Dunn. Dunn, who started fifth, managed to retain his points lead going into the summer break as he fought off the attention of fellow Plus category racer Adam Wheeldon. Fifth place gave Wheeldon his best result of the season after a tough first half of the year and sixth placed Neil Vincent moved up to fourth in the points and first of the lighter Lightweight drivers. Sean Brierley continues to be more and more of force with consistency being added to his speed as he came home seventh and scored good points to move up to seventh in the championship points table whilst the extremely consistent Connor Marsh finished in ninth and is still looking for his first race win after five second places in his debut year. Pole position holder Gary Jones suffered during the ‘A’ final and finished down in ninth place but with a strong points total from the heats, Jones closes the gap to Dunn by five points. Joshua Tomlinson rounded out the top ten and James Curtis came out as the top Novice ahead of Aaron Hipkiss. The top vetran in COVKARTSPORT went to Lightweight Plus driver Stuart Lindsay, who finished thirty-third overall.

Chris Daines may not be taking part in a full campaign this year but he became the first two-time winner as he claimed the Heavyweight Open Championship. Despite leading every lap of the A final, Daines had to fight off the attentions of three other drivers to take the win, especially Russell Endean who finished second on his debut in the series. Third in line at the finish was James Fitchew. The Whilton Mill round winner scored his second podium in only his second start in the series, certainly one to watch for the rest of the season and could have a say in where the title goes at the end of the season. Dean Davis pressurised the top three all race long but could not make his way past, settling for fourth ahead of Michael Holdcroft, who fought with Ed White until late in the race. Sixth placed Sam Foster did his championship challenge no harm by outscoring all of his closest rivals, including a second race win of the season during the day. Wayne Lidgbird managed to pass David Whitehouse going on to the final lap to take seventh and Allan Smith followed home in ninth. Richard Middleton rounded out the top ten during a strong round with top Heavyweight Plus driver Nicklas Mason in fourteenth overall after making the A final with a move in the B final in the last few metres. Slawek Piskorz finished as top novice in 20th, four places ahead of his closest rival.

Chris Daines was announced as the Overall COVKARTSPORT Champion, which is decided by the amount of the points all the A final winners had scored throughout the day.

The drivers now have a summer break to reflect on their championships so far and plan their next move for the final three rounds. The next round of the series is at Ellough Park on Sunday 14th September.