British Universities Karting Championship – Rounds 1 & 2

Rounds 1 & 2: Buckmore Park, 12th Feb 2014

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 ‚ÄòBull 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