With the threat of morning rain disappearing, the competitors were left with near perfect conditions for their finals in the afternoon at the Sittingbourne circuit.
The merge of the three Bambino timed runs revealed that Blake Ticehurst had scored maximum points in each, with Tighe Wratten securing the runner up slot in each of the three runs. Macauley Bishop secured third in the merge by finishing in that position twice in two of the runs. Sherrie Powell took fourth with her 3rd and two 4th positions. Mason Bishop finished 5th, from Eden Spanswick in 6th, rounding out the nine drivers were Reg Heywood, Mikey Walker and the ever photogenic Lewis Stannard.
The Junior Subaru class were running an Enduro Cup event for this weekend, with practice, a 10 minute qualifying session and then a 20 minute final to finish off with. Starting from pole Riley Stephenson led away, closely perused by Troy Beswick, James Tomsett and Ross Connolly. On lap 3 Tomsett and Connolly tangled down at turn 2, the former was out on the spot and Connolly severely delayed. This also gave the top 2 of now Beswick and Stephenson a break over a fast starting Tom Emson, Owen Hizzey, James Popple and Emily Linscott. By lap 15 Stephenson’s Clarke’s kart had taken the fastest lap and the lead back from the GMS kart of Beswick and it looked as though we were in for a grandstand finish over the final few minutes of the race. However on lap 17 disaster struck the group dicing over third whilst lapping novice driver Keston Cornwall. Tom Emson who was behind Owen Hizzey in 4th at this point was unsighted as they lapped the slowing Cornwall, Emson’s kart hit the back of Cornwall’s with enough force to launch his kart into a roll, ending up inverted on the track. A circuit worker was promptly on the scene, as was commendably the delayed Connolly, to help extricate the unfortunate and stunned Emson. With only 3 minutes left on the clock the results were declared at the end of the 17th lap with Stephenson winning from Beswick, Hizzey took 3rd with Emson painfully nursing a broken arm classified in 4th, 5th went to James Popple and Emily Linscott 6th. I’m sure that everyone will be wishing Tom well on his recovery from injury and that he can return to racing soon.
The two Honda Clubman Prefinals were won by the on form GDC/KC Car sales backed Alfie Brooks, but he was hard pressed by Evolution novice Declan Russell in both. The second of the Prefinals had been a bruising affair, and an explosive final was on the cards. This proved to be the case as early as the 2nd corner as the Clarke kart of Leon Frost and KPi driver Jack Matthews touched, Frost was delayed and Matthews was out on the spot, caught up in the incident were Chris Doble, and the Harrisons’ Crowther and Esqualant. At the front the familiar pairing of Brooks and Russell broke clear leaving behind a battling bunch of at least 6 karts, which conducted a race long duel to the finish. Russell did find a way past the Roalf racing Brooks kart for a period near the end, but as they crossed the line it was Alfie celebrating while Declan had his head down trying to inch his way past, failing to do so by 0.118 seconds. In the race to 3rd place Archie Walker (RHP) clinched it from Ryan Willis 4th, last month’s winner Jamie Perilly 5th (both with Project One) and Joshua Hoy (DNL) 6TH. Worth a mention as they were a part of this frantic battle were Joseph Knight and Mika Renzullo, the latter who managed to secure the race’s fastest lap.
There were just four entrants in the Junior X30 class for this round of the championship. Evolution driver Luke Shopland held the upper hand in the final, passing both Privateers Ben Cowley and Bobby Grove over the early laps to take the win and fastest lap. Grove tried desperately hard to stay with Shopland but struggled to match his pace on worn tyres. Cowley had a spin in the dying laps which Cameron Poynton, running close behind, took full advantage of, grabbing the final podium position, Cowley did recover from his spin to finish 4th.
The Mini Max class also featured just four karts for this month, continuing his recent breath-taking form was Thomas Rotherham, the slick LICA run kart finishing 5.944 seconds in front of a happy Thomas Lawson. Declan Lee had been behind Lawson when his kart gave up the ghost, leaving him watching from the start/finish area. Benjamin Boras finished 3rd. Rotherham also took the fastest lap on his way to victory.
The Senior Rotax class had a very healthy 17 kart grid starting their final, the only problem for 16 of those drivers, was the fact that Charlie Bennett (Project One) had moved up from Juniors to Seniors this month! He took to the class like a duck to water and sped off from his pole position slot to leave the rest to sort themselves out. Another of the recent Junior to Senior class movers – Lewis Ridd (Team Bull), did things the other way around – he qualified dead last and yet worked his way up to 2nd place by the 6th of the 14 lap final, as an impressive drive as Bennett’s had been out in front. In the early laps of the race Michael Finch, Spencer Younger and Ridd enjoyed a good battle over the 2nd place position before Ridd made it his own. Finch slipped to 4th at the finish as Younger secured 3rd, in 5th was Tom Fuller with Jack Wall close behind. Bennett’s margin of victory was up to 9.5 seconds at the finish, an impressive debut in the class, securing the fastest lap also. Paul Williams secured the 177 class and enjoyed an entertaining podium presentation as a reward!
The Honda Cadet final gave us a race long duel between two young drivers who were desperate to clinch their first Bayford Meadows MSA win. Max Herbert who for this weekend was under the comforting guidance of the RHP team, was driving beautifully winning both of the Prefinals. He led away from the start and settled down in front, behind Max the other driver whose potential has been proven many times this year but not completely rewarded, was Theo Micouris (Virtus), he had decisively passed Callum Gunning (DNL) on lap 4 and glued himself onto the RHP kart in front. For lap after lap Micouris towed along the long start/finish straight behind Herbert and then on the run down to turn 2, giving him a gentle push, which in turn gave the duo a performance gain over the battling Gunning and Frank Elwell (Project One) behind. Despite setting the fastest lap young Theo fell a mere 0.059 seconds short of taking that first victory, Max Herbert looking to his left at the crouched down Virtus driver as he crossed the finish line had taken his first win. The Gunning / Elwell duo finished equally as close in 3rd and 4th, in 5th was impressive novice Declan Russell, with Kristian Brookes (both Evolution) close by in 6th, as was James Higgins (LICA) in 7th.
The last race of the day for the Junior Rotax class was comfortably won by KPi star driver Oliver Appleby, without his recent nemesis Charlie Bennett present in the class, his margin of victory was 5.9 seconds over welcome returnee Liam Carter (Team Bull) in 2nd. Privateer Sean Berry was 3rd, Henry Ayers (Project One) 4th, Ben Gosling (Wavetree) 5th, Luke Freestone (Team Bull) 6th and Lewis Halliday (Racing Perfection) in 7th. The fastest lap went to the dominant Appleby.
Report and Images courtesy of Paul Babington