“‘Twas the night before Christmas corner, when all thro’ the Rye house
Not a bandit was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the trophies with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The cadets were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Super 1 danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my Tonykart cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long off-season’s nap…”
While most people are winding down ready for a relaxing christmas with the family and a much needed break, us hardcore kart racers are just rueing the fact the circuits close meaning the loss of valuable seat time. This month’s A&D article is here to distract you from the withdrawal symptoms that come with the winter break. We’re having a reflection on what’s been a bumper year of A&D karting, looking back on our Top 10 moments from 2016. Sit back, grab a mince pie, maybe a glass of Baileys (18 and over please kids) and enjoy.
1. Start as you mean to go on – Club100 Buckmore February
We’re going to cast our minds back to the beginning of the year, way back on the 28th February at a chilly Buckmore Park (pre refurbishment!).
They say ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ but this season in Club100 seems to be the exception. The winners of the 3 sprint finals, Steve Brown, Tom Golding, and Joe Holmes in Elites, Lights and Heavies all went on to win their respective championships. I wonder if thats ever happened before?
2. Sodi World Finals – Circuit du RKC, France
Back in early July the Sodikart rental world finals took place at the immaculate French RKC circuit with British entrants in all 3 categories, Junior, Senior, and Endurance. The Sodi world series event gets bigger and better every year and is one of the largest races in world karting with drivers coming from 5 continents and over 22 countries to compete.
In Juniors brit Matt Luff (pictured) once again dominated defending his title he won a year earlier. This was even more impressive due to the fact he was running nearly 10kg above minimum weight.
There were two teams racing in the Endurance Cup, Jackpot and Chaos. Both teams qualified inside the top 10 in a 35+ kart grid, they eventually came home in 13th and 14th after 12 hours of racing overnight. CG Racing Pro from Dubai autodrome took overall victory finishing less than a lap ahead of SWS veterans Team Swiss Pro.
3. NKL round 8 – Whilton Mill Zulu
This round of the NKL was a cracker, with the fight for the lead in the final being one of the closest all season. Season champion Andy Spencer took victory over Karl Spencer by just 3 tenths of a second, and Louis Dymond closely following behind. The top 9 karts were covered by a mere 7 seconds, definitely worth a re-watch.
4. Daytona 25 hour – Milton Keynes
Daytona motorsport was 25 years old this year and to celebrate held a special 25 hour event at their circuit in Milton Keynes. The event was a massive success and great racing was had in both the Sodi and DMAX classes. Team Sign Logic took the spoils in the DMAX class, and F1 superstars won in the Sodi’s once again after wining last year’s 24 hour event.
DMAX have had great coverage of all their races throughout the year and this event was no different so catch the highlights above.
5. HSF Challenges
The HSF challenge at Buckmore Park in October is one of the most prestigious one off events in karting. The event not only raises money for the Henry Surtees Foundation but also gives drivers the opportunity to fight for the best prizes of any kart event with car tests, helmets, tools, and many other opportunities being available. Youngster Callum Bradshaw took victory ahead of suprise of the day Michael Crees, and Piers Prior rounded out the top three backing up his win from 2015.
The HSF team challenge is a highlight for many in the motorsport world. Using the Daytona DMAX karts at the Mercedes-Benz world test track at Brooklands followed by a motorsport memorabilia auction, its a truly unique day. Titan Motorsport showed their class by winning ahead of teams from such establishments as Ginetta, Carlin, RSF and many more.
6. British 24 hour – Teesside
The British 24 hour is a the kart endurance race in the UK. With a full grid of hires and owners totalling 52 karts, its an event any seasoned racer needs to experience. The Le Mans start, the long straights, and multi-class action all make the event about as close the actual Le Mans 24h as possible without venturing abroad. The competition was as high as ever and in the Hire class the Cosley Cougars reigned supreme with a faultless drive for the whole 24 hours.
7. DMAX Inter Heats
DMAX this season has been one of the best yet, and 2017 is set to be even better with their new calendar, but this season the Inter heat championship provided a huge amount of drama, awesome racing from start to finish.
Bobby Trundley, Lee Hollywood, and Luke Cousins fought hard all year taking a majority of the podium places and race wins. The rivalry between Bobby and Lee especially was something to behold. Hard racing throughout provided breathtaking action, and sometimes caused controversy. Relive the best bits of what was a great season below.
8. The BUKC
The British Universitys karting championship is an incredible series run along with the guys at Club100. The student series travel the country and gives many young drivers affordable racing while they undergo further education. The atmosphere at the BUKC events is nothing like any other series. Its a team championship running both sprints and endurances, and the camaraderie is incredible. The BUKC really optimises why we all do karting, and A&D karting especially, it’s fun!
The series embraces Banditry and you will be able to find plenty of footage on YouTube as many of the drivers run onboard cameras. 2017 is set to be just as wacky.
9. Covkartsport – Glan-Y-Gors
The picturesque circuit of Glan-Y-Gors in Wales is one of the most beautiful locations for a kart circuit in the United Kingdom, and one of the best tracks too. GYG as its often known has a huge amount of elevation change, fast corners, slow technical sections, and overtaking in abundance. This year Covkartsport visited the circuit in May for their third round. In seniors the Lights were dominated by Brandon Williams who racked up 3 class wins from 3 in changeable conditions.
10. End of year Christmas cheer from DMAX
The Christmas period is a great time to catch up the best and worst moments of the year. Often its when things don’t go as planned when you end up having the most fun, and the DMAX presenting team showed us just that with this hilarious blooper reel from this year’s championship coverage.
(Please be aware that this video contains bad language)
A&D Driver of the year
Last month we announced our nominations for driver of year. Our expert panel of judges have deliberated long and hard and have come to the conclusion that the 2016 A&D Driver of the year is…
Tom has had a great year by anyone’s standards. Tom won the Club100 Lightweight championship, the DMAX light heats, Dmax Light Enduro, Daytona 25 hour as part of Sign Logic also taking pole position, and winning our driver of the month competition.
The judges also selected 3 highly commended drivers who deserve a mention.
Joe has dominated the heavyweight division of Club100 winning pretty much every race he entered, most of them by quite some margin too. He then thought he’d have a crack at the Elites and won on debut. His skill didn’t go un-noticed.
Steve’s consistency in the Club100 Elite championship brought him the title a round early at Ellough. Rarely off the podium and never outside the top 10 he gave us a master-class in A&D karting this year, and then helpfully posts all of his races on his YouTube channel, literally showing us how its done. Plus that drive in the Round 11 final at Buckmore from 9th to 1st was something else!
Brandon has had a great season winning the Covkartsport championship overall and in the lightweights, plus he won the British 24 hour at Teesside as part of Cosley Cougars, and had sucess in the NKL championship at Whilton Mill.
The Judges also wanted to acknowledge Jack Goldsmith who got the most votes from the public at nearly 250!
Looking ahead to 2017 there are a few improvements that ill make 2017 another great year of A&D racing.
Club100 are in the process of refurbishing all their equipment, rebuilding their engines, as well as installing all new Kelgate braking systems to their karts. Find out more here
As mentioned above DMAX is going to be bigger and better than ever with their new improved calendar visiting the favourites as well a couple of new circuits including Shennington, and a return to PFi. More info available here.
Merry Christmas and a happy new year!
From us here at Karting magazine, we would like to wish you a very merry christmas and a happy new year. And remember no matter how much you eat over the Christmas period us lucky A&D drivers have heavyweight classes ready and waiting for us, so enjoy yourself.
Here’s to 2017!
Written by Piers Prior
Like this article? Read more Arrive and drive column’s here: