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Maxxis TKM Festival 2016 Preview

Maxxis TKM Festival 2016 Preview

Tomorrow 180 drivers will ascend on the Kimbolton circuit for the annual Maxxis TKM Festival. It’s by far the biggest weekend in TKM, if not UK Karting! Here’s what we expect from the weekend ahead and our predictions of who may walk away the 2016 TKM Festival champions…

Maxxis joined forces with the Festival yet again. Photo GB

“HKRC are pleased to be hosting the TKM O plate again as part of the TKM Festival , With the site ready, kerbs painted, track swept , grass cut and paddock area looking tidy and organised and in addition good weather for the weekend this makes for a great weekend for all. Friday practice and two days of racing. Saturday evening there will be a hog roast along with a licensed bar”

  • Entry 180 – that’s +20 on last year
  • Circuit will have a new look for the event this year
  • On Motors TV and drone will be in use (subject to weather)

At Kimbolton in July, there was a grid of 21 Junior’s and 26 Senior’s, most of which were testing for the Festival and O plate. In Junior’s Abbi Pulling and Joe Fowler were quickest with Leanna Page and Jordan Lee-Chapman not far behind. In Senior’s it was Charles Machin and Michael Cornell who were fast in qualifying, Cornell won the final with Ross Darlington in 2nd.

Leanna Page

Leanna Page

Junior TKM Festival – 51 entries

With 51 drivers entered, this is definitely going to result in some interesting and exciting racing! Super One front runners Bradley White and Abbi Pulling will no doubt be in the mix! Leanna Page is definitely one to watch this year after her win at Kimbolton last month.

Abbi Pulling

Abbi Pulling

Chris McCarthy Prediction

To win the Festival requires lots of skill, consistency over the weekend and sometimes luck. The Junior grid is packed with names who can go well. Ones to watch could include Junior X30 racers Roman Haskett and Robert Welham and recently crowned Sodi World Series Champion Matt Luff who will undoubdetly be coming in high on confidence.

Amongst favourites will surely be Abbi Pulling and Adam Sparrow, both winners in Super One this season. But if I had to pick one person for glory it’d be Bradley White. He’s ‘Mr Consistency’ this season and could win the race even if he is to start down the order.

Bradley White

Bradley White

TKM Extreme Festival – 75 entries

TKM extreme is definitely back and bigger than ever after the new Super One format brought drivers out of retirement. With so much talent throughout the grid it’s almost impossible to predict who will end up on the top step of the podium. Ryan Edwards and Mathew Taylor were both amongst the front runners in Junior’s last year. After showing some good pace in Super One and winning the C plate (Ryan) and the E plate (Matt) earlier this year, I’ll be surprised if they aren’t in the mix for the win.

Matthew Taylor

Matthew Taylor

Chris McCarthy Prediction

There’s some exciting names returning to the Festival this year. Ryan Cole has barely raced since he won last year, but cannot be seen as anything bar a podium contender. Joe Porter also returns out of retirement in a class he was so successful in and also watch for Ben Eden. A former Rotax Max Euro Challenge front runner could be quick come the finals.

Lewis Round has hit form just in time for this event and John Hogan has been impressive in Super One so far this season. Trying to pick one driver was almost impossible with four seeded drivers and the Welsh, English and reigning Open Champion also entered.

However, I think the one they will all need to beat come Sunday afternoon is Phil Smith. A seriously quick driver who knows how to win these one off events!

Phil Smith

Phil Smith

Junior TKM ‘O’ plate – 13 entries

Joe Fowler and Kristian Brierley are two drivers that are entered for the ‘O’ plate, but not the festival this year, giving themselves more time and energy to focus on winning just the ‘O’ plate. So it’s possible it could be a straight fight for victory between the pair come the final. However, having a lot of track time didn’t seem to affect drivers last year and with the competition still obviously still there from the very talented and competitive grid, I feel as though this could be a very interesting race.

Kristian Brierley

Kristian Brierley

Chris McCarthy Prediction

As previously mentioned Joe Fowler has only entered the ‘O’ plate this weekend skipping the Festival. It’s a shame as he would have had a great chance at victory in the Festival, but I think that decision will help him to victory in the ‘O’ plate. His approach should be more aggressive and determined than those around also entered in the Festival. He’s the recent English Champion and if it was possible I’d be putting money on him to win this weekend.

Joe Fowler

Joe Fowler

TKM Extreme ‘O’ plate – 27 entries

The afore mentioned seeded drivers are all entered into the ‘O’ plate meeting along with the Welsh, English and reigning Open Champion Matthew Allnutt. They will all of course be there or there abouts but who’s likely to join them?

Sam Fowler has been quick this year, with his team mate Harry Moore being even more impressive with a win at Llandow Super One earlier this season. Louis Beaven has a chance of a top five finish as does the ever improving Lewis Wadley. Racing alongside Phil Smith seems to have brought on the Precision Racing driver who looks more confident then ever. One to watch!

Harry Moore

Harry Moore

Chris McCarthy Prediction

Similar to Joe Fowler, Chris Whitton has bailed out of the Festival and just entered the ‘O’ plate this weekend. Despite just coming out of Junior’s he’s been very quick this year and currently sits 2nd in the Super One Championship. He’s a calculated driver who I think will stay out of trouble and be in the mix come Sunday. His dream season I feel will continue with victory at Kimbolton this weekend.

Chris Whitton

Chris Whitton

TKM Clubman – 13 entries

With two thirds of last years podium missing and all of the recent Superprix podium finishers deciding not to take part in the Festival, the TKM Clubman class is by far the most wide open. Last years’ runner up, Matthew Grant has to be a favourite for the event, but I strongly believe Dave Turton will give him a good run for his money.

It may be a reduced grid in the Clubman class, but I don’t think that’ll affect the racing at the front and I reckon this biggest surprise could come in this class.

Matthew Grant

Matthew Grant

Chris McCarthy Prediction

Matthew Grant is certainly a favourite for this event but the driver I will be keeping one eye on is Daniel Mense. He has come on leaps and bounds this year and finished 2nd to Dean Hale in Round six of the Shenington KRC Championship. I think Daniel has a solid chance at a podium and could win the event if luck is on his side!

Click here to see the full entry lists for this weekend

Written by Bethanie Lawson

Images courtesy of Bethanie Lawson & Chris Walker, Kartpix

 

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