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“There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.” (Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar).
There’s a lot of discussion taking place amongst parents of Bambino drivers right now. It’s focused mainly on motors that are allegedly “illegal”. There’s even talk in some circles about tyre softener being used to enhance performance, although it’s debatable whether achieving more grip on these karts would actually improve lap times. There’s nothing new here as charges of unfair practice are commonplace in just about every branch of motorsport. In the case of Bambinos, though, they’ve become more potent because there are no clear regulations for parents and organisers to follow.
There’s a school of thought that the Bambino class should be non competitive, serving as an enjoyable training ground for future cadet participants. In that case any regulation should be as light as possible. Understandably, though, there’s a desire amongst many drivers and their parents to introduce some level of competition. With only one or two exceptions, Bambino events take place at meetings outside MSA control. That situation is entirely of the MSA’s own making. It’s surely time for them to consult with all interested parties and determine a future direction with or without the need for strict regulation.
“The class has also produced a number of talented females”.
Ten years after its introduction into Britain, he tide hasn’t ebbed just yet for WTP racing. When production of the motors ceased in 2009 I believed that this class would wither away shortly afterwards. I’m delighted to have been proved wrong on that particular score. Many notable champions have emerged from WTP and one or two might even make it into the exalted world of F1. The class has also produced a number of talented female drivers, of which Hannah Pym, Gaby Weyer, Louise Richardson and Pippa Coleman are obvious examples.
In her first full season of competitive karting Bryony King has already shown signs that she can join this select group. “Bryony’s 15 year old brother Macaulay has been involved in schoolboy Motocross since the age of eight, but she always wanted to take up karting,” says her dad, Alan. “We had a few holidays where she attempted to get in a kart but was always too small. Then early last year we went to a circuit at Chippenham where she took everyone by surprise with her speed and control. On our return home I knew that I’d have to buy her a kart and found a BRM/WTP on e-bay. We took it to PF where I discovered that the motor was an old B1 type and wouldn’t really be competitive. I bought a B5 motor for her and she used this to pass her ARKS test.
“The target is a top ten place which might be over- ambitious but you may as well aim high.”
Five wins as a novice was proof of Bryony’s potential and Mike Mills suggested that she should enter the Little Green Man Championships for 2011. “We were still pretty green at that stage,” Alan confesses, “but Bryony was quite keen on the idea and so we decided to give it a try. The target this year is a top ten place which might be over ambitious but you may as well aim high. Her speed is very good and she’s often been able to match the race winners’ lap times. Whereas the top drivers have been karting for quite a number of years, Bryony just has 12 months experience behind her and at this level the lack of race-craft is quite telling.”
Bryony lives in Ely where Hereward the Wake led a stubborn resistance to William the Conqueror’s army. She’s already proved to be something of a fighter herself and has attained a purple belt in Karate. An avid fan of Lewis Hamilton she aspires to be a full time racing driver eventually. Apart from the obvious support of dad, she also receives lots of encouragement from her mum, Mandy, while Macaulay is often on hand to offer racing tips. Kato Adams from JM Racing has also been providing advice on chassis set-up and she reports that her RK kart is handling very well indeed.
Bryony King’s tide appears to be coming in and you can bet that she’ll take it at the flood.