Joining the regular classes for this month’s event were two championships from the opposite spectrums of karting. Representing those just starting out in the sport were the National MSA Bambino championship drivers, who were competing in the final round of their series. At the opposite end of the spectrum were the drivers in the burgeoning F100s ‘Spirit of the 90s’ championship, a series that is on the up with big grids, immaculate karts and very enthusiastic drivers, some of whom themselves were making a comeback to karting.
Bambinos battle for National honours
The Bambino drivers were split into two groups A & B each having two runs to decide who made it into the all-important A final. With the top 16 settled after the pair of runs the three remaining competitors decided who would join them from the B final, after their timed run it was Archie Clark who had made it through, leaving Ollie Wise and Lewis Stannard disappointed onlookers. The 17 finalist had 8 minutes to find out who was the Buckmore Park winner and it looked as though each one of them was giving it their all to win at the heart of British karting circuit. Completing 9 laps and finishing first with a fastest time of 55.71 was Finlay Brown, 2nd was the lap record holder Blake Ticehurst who was 0.45 seconds slower on his quickest lap. In total seven drivers were within a second of the flying Finlay, with the positions behind the runner up Ticehurst as follows: – Monde Konini, Damian Barruss-Haggett, Leo Robinson, with Lewis Wherrell rounding out the top 6.
Bearman dominates in Honda Cadet
When I arrived at the circuit’s paddock on Saturday afternoon, Oliver Bearman was pushing around his friend around the paddock area in a kart trolley, less than 24hrs later the British Honda Cadet number two and O plate winner, was driving a stunningly mature final in tricky conditions, to win handsomely from a very competitive 29 kart field. Such has his driving evolved this year he won by a comfortable 2.75 seconds from Josh Mclean. Sebastian Bloch is another driver who is showing increasing maturity behind the wheel, under the guidance of mentor Kiern Jewiss and he rounded out the top 3 finishing close behind the impressive McLean .Callum Gunning and Ivan Lomliev had a feisty duel over 4th place which ended going in the favour of the latter in the closing stages of the race. Owen Tolley drove well to move up to 6th after qualifying poorly and vowed to win the coveted ‘H’ trophy next time out! Zach Ripley, Aston Millar, Theo Micouris and Oliver Greenall rounded out the top 10. In 11th was former champion Sam Heading who sadly may have been racing in his last Honda cadet race before moving up the junior ladder. Bearman also took the fastest lap of the race on lap 11 of 12.
Fayers wins as Lloyd slips up
Returning to Buckmore Park after a very up and down season was Alex Lloyd in the Mini Max class and he looked in fine form as he shot away at the start of the final. Circuit commentator Allan Smallman excitedly announced his surprise at the lead that Alex had pulled at the end of the opening lap, this then turned out to be the commentators curse, as Lloyd understeered on the wet surface at turn 1, his slick tyres losing their bite – ending up in the recently installed Champion barriers. The wet apex also caught out circuit class debutant Oliver Marsh and Josh Wellard, although this stuttering pair didn’t lose as much time as young Alex, as he had to jump from his kart to remove it from the barrier. Through all of this out in front were the Project One pairing of Ben Fayers and James Wharrier, they circulated never very far apart from lap 4 onwards until the end once they had sorted themselves out and had gotten heat into their slick tyres. Fayers was delighted to take the chequered flag after set up problems in the wet qualifying heats. Marsh rounded off a stellar debut with 3rd place, with Lloyd recovering and taking the fastest lap on his way back up to 4th. A wet tyred Josh Wellard struggled on a drying track as he continued his apprenticeship within the class in 5th heading home the remaining runner Lorraine Baalham in 6th.
Kit laps up the cream to take Senior Max honours
Arguably the race of the day was up next and what an absolute cracker it was. Elliot Rice has for so long been dominant around Buckmore Park’s sweeps and curves but, for the second month in a row the planets aligned and he had a race on his hands! Junior stars Charlie Bennett and former Buckmore Park O plate winner – Myles Apps, were making their class debuts at the circuit proving very rapid and bang on the pace during Saturday’s testing. Another on the pace was Kit Brough after a recent holiday and some tweaks to his engine, he was now hungry and firing on all cylinders. Throw into the equation the ever present Sam Baker, who is desperate for a win and Lewis Brown, we had a terrific final on the cards.
It was Brough who led away looking comfortable for the first half of the race; however the damp surface at turn 1 was proving to be his downfall as he found it very difficult to find any grip through the long right hand Henry Surtees corner. The young guns were coming being pushed hard by the more experienced Rice and Baker and they forced their way past Brough on lap 7, both taking turns in leading over the next few laps. Once in front though neither of them could pull away and the 5 karts circulated as one, Brough constantly pulling alongside on the approach to turn 1 but unable to pass. Over the last lap something had to give and although they disappeared as one going down the incredibly fast hill past the packed grandstand, they reappeared around Café corner with the train fragmented – it was now Brough who was shaking his left fist in delight as he crossed the line in first. Rice was 2nd followed by Bennett and Baker. Finishing 4th behind young Bennett, Baker looked frustrated at the young chargers, who had made contact at Garda and then the following left hand bend over that last lap. Ryan Haines claimed a good 5th from the recovering Apps in 6th. Rice claimed the fastest lap at the end of the race, proving that his pace is still there.
Chris Bridle tops X30 quartet
Four karts made it out for the Senior X30 final this month tagging onto the Rotax grid. KPI ‘s Emily Rogers made a welcome return to the class and enjoyed heat wins on the way to the final but could not live with Ambition’s Chris Bridle who drove the perfect race to take the win. Frankie Flunt managed to hold off Ed (‘sausage’) Bridle to take 3rd place at the finish.
Brooks and Russell battle for Clubman win
Two drivers stood out in the Honda Clubman class on Sunday, Alfie Brooks and Declan Russell. They spent the whole day in very close company swapping positions, which carried on all the way through the duration of the final. After 12 laps the two drivers were separated by a mere 0.110 seconds with the inform Brooks sealing another victory to add to his superb recent run. In 3rd and 4th Jamie Perilly and Jack Matthews enjoyed a similar fight to the flag, with the former taking the final podium spot. Behind Matthews in 5th was Joseph Knight with Joshua Hoy finishing 6th, Alex Preston was the top novice. In the IAME class which ran with the Clubmans, Aston Millar headed home Luke Watts.
Jermey takes victory on debut in Juniors
Tooley pilot Kieron Jermey made a seamless jump from Mini Max to the Junior class with a close but controlled win over the recently victorious KPi’s Oliver Appleby, who took the fastest lap in his quest to beat the class debutant, failing by 0.33 seconds at the finish. Conrad Collinson finished 3rd on the road but ended up 5th in the results. William Newham inherited the 3rd place from Collinson, Luke Freeman took 4th and Ben Burgess 6th.
Luke’s successful Buckmore return in JX30
Luke Whitehead made a welcome return to the circuit that has seen some of his best drives including winning the H trophy in Honda cadets, this time he was driving in the Junior X30 class, being run out of the popular KPi awning. He was up against fierce competition with the Evolution team drivers of Ronnie Foster Freddy Simpson-Stacey, Kent Champion Alfie Glenie and Luke Shopland. At the start of the final another of his rivals Bobby Grove, had a disastrous first lap spinning on the exit of turn one ending his challenge. It was the Fullerton kart of Whitehead that led away and pulled a small gap over Foster early on, he was then able to control this gap throughout the final, driving beautifully. Both drivers were setting an electric pace finishing 7 seconds in front of Simpson-Stacey and Glenie in 3rd and 4th. Whitehead took the fastest lap on the penultimate tour, proving that he was pushing to keep ahead of the ever present Foster. Finley Cross had a better meeting after last month’s disappointment by finishing in 5th in front of Shopland and Grove in 6th and 7th.
The show continues with exciting F100s
The F100 karts ran their meeting directly after the MSA event, keeping the circuit’s officials and marshals busy into the darkness of the evening, with the sound of their high revving 100cc engines reverberating around the M2 corridor The results from the two classes that were presented with the FMC Engineering trophies were as follows;
Pre 2000 1. Drew Stewart 2. Glenn Guest 3. Daniel Devereaux 4. Alex Cobb 5. Matt Bedford.
Pre 2000 Heavy 1. Oliver Smith 2. Lee Gadsby 3. David Catt 4. Jay Fairbrass.
Pre 95 1. Oliver Scullion 2. Chris Derrick 3. Joe Holloway 4. Alan Lamb.
Pre 95 Heavy 1. Ashleigh Curtis 2. Simon Nicholson. Best Novice – Gareth Brewer.
F100 Driver of the day was welcome karting returnee Daniel Devereaux, driving a fully restored Trulli Kart.
Report and images courtesy of Paul Babington