With the 2016 Kartmasters British Kart Grand Prix meeting due to kick off in less than 48 hours we thought we’d look back through the last few years at five of the best moments to come out of the prestigious event.
PF International and Trent Valley Kart Club always do a good job at making the event memorable and this year is set to be no different with a live stream in action from Friday through to Sunday along with live music and daytime entertainment over the weekend.
On track, seven classes will be in action including the new OK class with recent CIK-FIA European Championship Round 4 winner Clement Novalak included on the entry list.
2015 – Barnicoat double champion
The big news that came out of last years Kartmasters was of course F3 driver, Ben Barnicoat taking two GP plates in one day. He won in both the Senior Rotax and Senior X30 classes.
First up was the Senior Rotax final where, after a close battle with Josh Collings, Ben was just able to win at the line by 0.23 seconds.
It was then on to an even tougher Senior X30 field. A total of 51 drivers entered for the weekend and Ben qualified 10th for the final and with the countries best ahead the possibility of a double win looked unlikely. However, it only took the RSF driver ten laps to negotiate his way through to the lead and once there he was able to successfully hold off the challenges of Danny Kierle and Oliver Hodgson.
It was a new chapter in Kartmasters history with Ben leaving the circuit with two GP plates to choose from.
2014 – Jewiss wins from the pit lane!
Who could forget the IAME Cadet final is 2014? As the green flag flew, from the inside of row four Jewiss’ kart decided it didn’t want to go and as he was rolled back to the pitlane all his 33 competitors set off on their rolling up lap. A false start the first time round perhaps decided Kiern’s fate as during the next warm up lap the mechanics were able to get the kart started. Kiern would now start from the pitlane.
I was commentating that day and it wasn’t until lap twelve that Kiern really came to my attention. Having quietly worked his way through the order he sat in 10th with three laps to go, but as the karts crossed the line to complete lap thirteen all of a sudden he was in 6th!
Next time round the last lap board came out and Kiern was now 2nd half a second behind Teddy Wilson with assistance from Lewis Thompson. To the surprise of the onlooking spectators Thompson passed Kiern at the bridge, but in the end this worked in his favour! At hairpin two Thompson went for a move on Wilson running the pair wide with Jewiss inheriting the lead. You could hear the roar from the crowd, every neutral wanted to Jewiss to win and that’s exactly what he did by 0.08 seconds over Harry Thompson with the top five split by 0.52 seconds!
Coming out onto the track at the end every single person at PFI that day stood to applaud Kiern on his parade lap with Kiern struggling to hold back tears. It was a day that would change his career as shortly after he was signed to the Mark Blundell Partners management company.
2013 – Close finish in Honda Cadets!
This was undoubtedly one of the best races I have ever seen! There was half the field within three seconds as they went onto the last lap with Mark Kimber leading. Commentator Henry Beaudette at the time said “you have a better chance then winning the lottery than you do at picking a winner of this race” and that was certainly no exaggeration.
In their attempts for glory one by one the lead group got smaller with the lead constantly changing. Heading into the final bend it was Kimber who led with Jewiss and Hudson immediatley behind and in what is by no means the longest straight in the country Hudson got an almighty run to pip Kimber at the line by 0.01 seconds with Jewiss just 0.05 seconds behind.
It was a finish that had everyone shocked, excited and I guess in some ways in laughter. Unbelievable racing and one of the best races this event has ever produced!
2011 – Gaby Weyer does it for the girl racers
Five years ago saw a female winner in the WTP class. It was a podium that always looked decided with Gaby Weyer, Lewis Brown and Scott Snell breaking away at the front only to be split by 0.84 seconds at the line.
It was Weyer who eventually took the victory although she did not originally stand on the top step of the podium. That at the time was Brown with Snell 3rd, but it was a result that changed post race. It’s one of the rare female victories we’ve seen at the event, but could that change this weekend by the likes of Alicia Barrett in IAME Cadet?
2010 – Fielding close to a memorable victory
KF3 2010 was almost the year Sennan Fielding produced a memorable victory after starting from the inside of row seven. Clearly fired up the number three seed wasted no time in hitting the front as he led the race after just ten laps.
From there he was in the close company of Ben Barnicoat and Daniel Vaughn who were no pushovers and were not prepared to let Fielding get away!
After playing chaser on lap seventeen Barnicoat took the lead back from Fielding and on the last lap things got worse for Fielding as he lost 2nd to Vaughn.
Perhpas running out of steam towards to end Fielding would have to settle for 3rd, but a ten place gain is nevertheless still a fantastic result!
Written by Chris McCarthy
Images courtesy of Chris Walker, Kartpix