Double points bonanza finale at the ‘Circuit of the Year ‘.
The final round of the BPKC kart championships were held at the recently awarded outdoor kart circuit of the year, by a poll of public votes on the Karting Magazine website and double points were on offer for those competitors who braved the chilly December weather.
Nine excitable Bambino competitors tore around the Chatham circuit for their timed run final, with Archie Clark bagging the fastest lap to take the honours, close behind was Macauley Bishop, Freddie Housley, Zac Drummond, Joe Lewis, Lewis Wherrell, Oliver Poole, Kacper Tomalewski and Archie’s brother Benjamin.
Bearman bounces back with a win in Honda Cadets
After the Bambinos were the older excitable youngsters driving in the Honda Cadets class, featuring a very healthy 28 kart grid. Virtus pilot Oliver Bearman was back on form after an off day last month, controlling the race from the front, not putting a foot wrong throughout the 12 lap duration. He was shadowed initially by his teammate Theo Micouris, until Archie Brown took over the chase ending up on his bumper as they crossed the finish line. Indeed there was a gaggle of 5 hungry youngsters separated by less than a second behind Britain’s number 2 Bearman. As they flashed across the line the order behind runner up Brown was Coskun Irfan, Ivan Lomliev, Micouris and Sebastian Bloch. Highest climber during the final was Oliver Greenall, up 12 places to 15th at the finish after starting last, Theo Micouris took the fastest lap. In taking the double points win Bearman, also secured the BPKC Cadet championship from DNL driver Callum Gunning who finished in 10th place and Bloch in third.
Porter defeats champion Foster for JX30 win
The Junior X30 class is beginning to gather pace at Buckmore Park, with 11 entered in the program for this month. This allowed them to race as one class all day giving us some fast and at times noisy racing! Morgan Porter made up for finishing 2nd last month by taking a narrow win over new BPKC champion – Ronnie Foster, who’s luck and kart held together this month. Finishing 3rd in the race and runner up in the championship was current Kent champion – Alfie Glenie, backing up his Evolution teammate by finishing 3 seconds behind. Ambition’s Alfie Prince took a good 4th after a close dice with Jack Johns in 5th and his Ambition teammate Finley Cross 6th, who had looked comfortable in 4th earlier in the race. Bobby Grove had been embroiled with this dice and as high as 5th with two to go, only to slip to 7th at the finish. Race winner Morgan Porter showed his consistency with the fastest lap on his penultimate tour. The final top 3 in the championship were Foster, Glenie and Cross.
Wharrier wins for Project One in Junior Max
Project One drivers have always been to the fore of the Junior Rotax class at Buckmore Park and Sunday’s final carried on the trend with James Wharrier coming out on top of the 10 drivers. He led throughout looking very comfortable once his teammate Ben Fayers had slipped back with a misfiring engine. Things might have been different though if Oliver Appleby (KPi) had started further up the grid from the beginning. Appleby loves to charge through the field and after a heat penalty found himself with work to do. He set the fastest lap on his way to 2nd place and managed to trim Wharrier’s margin of victory to 0.73 seconds. Last month’s winner Harry Ayers, made it a Project One – 1,3 & 4 with a solid 3rd place behind Appleby. Conrad Collinson (5th) and Thomas Rotherham (6th) had mixed days, both showing good pace but finding themselves at the wrong end of the top 6 at the finish. The final championship positions were Appleby, Collinson and William Newnham.
Heading takes debut Mini Max win
The three Mini Max runners ran with the faster Junior karts with the trio showing a surprising turn of speed against the faster karts. Former double Cadet champion Sam Heading shadowed the Project One kart of Oliver Marsh until he eventually found a way past the Bose backed driver. Sam and his mechanic/engineer Dean ‘the machine’ Meyer, proving that they are coming to grips with their move into the Mini Max class. Marsh didn’t let Heading out of his sight and impressively held the gap to less than a second at the finish. KPi’s Josh Wellard is also showing that he is coming to grips with the class jump, by running with the two ahead until he became caught up with two of the Junior drivers, who were having their own private battle. It was still a good fighting performance for the local lad, which he can take into the 2017 season. The final championship positions confirmed James Wharrier as the winner, Wellard 2nd and Marsh in 3rd.
Brooks ends his season in style while teammates clash behind
The Clubman Honda entries appear to be on the wane at Buckmore Park with many moving onto the full Cadet class or Mini Max, only eight karts had entered for this month’s final; however the lack in quantity didn’t have much effect on the quality of the racing. Joseph Knight lead the field away in his DNL kart, leading until lap 4 when the inevitable attack from this year’s class standout driver Alfie Brooks began. The already confirmed class champion Brooks dug in and soon pulled away from firstly Evolution’s Declan Russell and then another DNL driver Joshua Hoy. A lap later Knight had fought back behind Hoy and made his move at the first hairpin, the move down the inside led to an unfortunate clash between the two teammates delaying both, with Hoy affected the worse, slipping back and losing the tow to the three ahead. Brooks cruised to victory, with Knight finishing 2nd (in the race and championship) and Russell running in tandem 1.18 seconds behind him. Hoy was crestfallen in 4th stymied by the earlier clash, although he was pleased to learn that he had secured 3rd in the overall championship later. Ambition novice Harrison Crowther impressed with 5th from DNL’s Benjamin Whitham and an unfortunate Jack Matthews(KPi), who had everything seemingly go against him. Spare a thought for Jamie Perilly who had his throttle cable snap on the grid at the start, wasting two days of testing and preparation in an instant and falling from 2nd to 5th in the championship! Declan Russell took the fastest lap on lap 11 and 6th in the final championship standings.
Bearman doubles up in IAME Cadets
The IAME Cadet class ran with the Clubmans during the heat and Pre final but had their own final to end the day. That man Oliver Bearman was back out after his win in the Honda final and he once again led every lap, this after losing a clutch during the morning qualifying heat, which had left him starting the Prefinal (which he won!) from the back. Bearman took his second final win of the day from Aston Millar, Samuel Shaw, Matthew Rees, Rashan Chigorimbo and Vinnie Phillips, who rounded out the top 6. Samuel Shaw took the fastest lap. The end of season championship positions had Millar on top, with Jacob Baldry 2nd and Vinnie Phillips in 3rd.
Rice seals win with a kiss in Senior Rotax
The last race of the day was for the Senior Rotax and X30 competitors. Last years champion Elliot Rice topped the table going into the final round and after a recent run of difficult races, put in a champions drive . He pulled a gap from the start and then controlled the pace, even setting his fastest lap after he had backed off to save his kart from any possible kerb damage. Seeing Elliot blowing kisses as he crossed the finish line, showed how much winning back to back championships meant to him! Sam Baker returned to earlier season form by managing to pass recent double winner Kit Brough mid race and taking the runner up spot. Lewis Brown was 4th, top novice Rory Pye 5th and James Freeman 6th. Behind Rice in the championship standings were Brown, Baker, Brough and Mike Ashby.
Bennett moves class and takes the victory in X30
Charlie Bennett dominated in X30s after a recent move across from the Rotax class, also managing the overall fastest lap. Jack Leese was 2nd in class with Chris Bridle in 3rd, Callum Hopcutt and Edward Bridle managing to keep apart after an earlier hefty clash, in 4th and 5th. Chris Bridle took the overall championship win from sibling rival Edward, the absent Emily Rogers finishing 3rd.
The 2016 BPKC final championship standings can be found at this link –
Report and images courtesy of Paul Babington