Buckmore Park Kart Club Summer Championships Round 2
A sunny and warm Buckmore Park played host to round 2 of the BPKC summer championships, incorporating round 3 of the increasingly popular Kent kart Championships, the first of two visits this year for the county wide series. A bumper entry filled the paddock and kept the keen Buckmore Park staff on their toes all day.
The Bambino class for the diminutive youngsters kicked off the finals, with the 11 entries having had two timed runs beforehand. Archie Clark topped the timing sheets in all three of the runs, with his fastest lap topping out each of the three timing sectors in the final. Just 0.280 seconds behind was Eden Spanswick in 2nd place, Freddie Duncan filled the podium positions in third, within a second of the fastest time set by Archie. Novice driver Mason Bishop was 4th, ahead of Lewis Islin and Archie’s brother Benjamin Clark in 5th & 6th. Rounding out the positions in the final were Alexi Sorial, Laith Khan, Sonny Mortensen, Kobe Taylor and Kristian Stefanov.
In the Honda Cadet final three drivers managed to break clear of the pack, these were led by local star Zach Ripley, with Frank Elwell and Zach Walters in his tow. Walters and Elwell traded places early on, with the latter Elwell putting his Project One kart in the lead on lap 9, before Ripley claimed the position back. Walters driving for Ambition hung on tight to Elwell and this paid off when the Project One driver received a dropped nose 10 second penalty post race. Ripley’s Evolution kart managed to pull a slight gap at the finish after 12 laps over 2nd place on the road Elwell, who ended up 12th after his penalty was enforced. Behind 2nd placed Walters, was a huge battle going on with the majority of the remaining field fighting for the remaining positions, coming out top in what would be the fight for the last podium spot, was Archie Walker – he had literally come from nowhere, making up 12 spots during the race, setting the fastest lap in doing so. Ronnie Mansfield was completely off the track in his endeavour to pass the flying Walker approaching the flag having to settle for 4th. The remaining pack finished in the order of Ryan Willis, Oscar Teuten, Declan Russell, a delayed Liam McNeilly in 8th, Mitchell Gibbons 9th and Louis Horsley completing the top 10.
A healthy grid of 18 karts lined up for the Junior Max final up next. Project One’s Declan Lee continued to show his pace over one lap with the fastest time in timed practice, however come the heat and Pre final, it was KPi’s Oliver Appleby who proved the dominant teenager, by taking wins in both. He led away the final too and looked in control comfortably building up a lead in his immaculately turned out blue kart. Behind him Ben Fayers had looked ready to take up the challenge until he fell back behind Sean Berry. Another fast mover early on in the race was Thomas Rotherham, he had been penalised in the first heat and had felt that this was unjust. Starting from 6th (where he finished after starting from the back of the grid in the Pre final), he surged his LICA kart initially past Thomas Lawson and Mason Ruff over a single lap, before then setting off after the Project One kart of Fayers, passing him on the 9th lap. Back at the front Appleby was losing pace, allowing Berry to home in onto his bumper, failing just short of making a move by a mere 0.11 seconds at the finish. Another lap and things might have been different admitted the winner post race, Berry had been keen to respond to his disappointment the last time out at Lydd, when he lost the win on the final lap. Rotherham set the fastest lap during his charge and was just 1.79 seconds behind after 14 laps. Fayer was comfortable in 4th while behind him a train of karts ran together. Ruff held on to 5th, closely followed by early fastest qualifier Lee, Max Goodwin was 7th, Thomas Lawson slipped to 8th, Jake Kolosowski was 9th and Josh Wellard rounded out the top 10.
Junior Subaru UK
The popular Junior Subaru UK championship arrived at Buckmore Park with a bumper 27 kart entry, making it the joint largest class of the day. With the championship battle now starting to take shape, it was important for title protagonists to keep hauling in the big points as we head into the summer months. Callum Gunning and Riley Stephenson finished 1st & 2nd in the first heat, with Zac Spence in close attendance. They then lined up on the front row for the Pre final. Gunning starting from the pole reacted slightly slower to the start light which gave the Clarke Kart of Stephenson a slight edge on the run down to the right handed first turn. The two ran side by side along the straight both trying to guess each other’s next move. Stephenson then decided to come across to hit the apex, thinking that he was clear and possibly worried that if he let the DNL kart go, another competitor would follow him through, leaving him out in the marbles. His actions however put Gunning into the inside barrier, heavily damaging his kart and possible championship hopes. The clash did delay Stephenson dropping him down to 9th, although he eventually recovered well to third, behind were Zac Spence and Owen Hizzey. A post race report into the incident filed by the observer at the first corner, decided not to penalise Stephenson for his move on Gunning, which left the Herne Bay driver Gunning distraught. For the final Gunning would now start last and have to fight his way through.
A clean start saw Spence’s Ambition kart pull clear of first Hizzey and then Stephenson, who closed up onto the #32 kart of Spence. These two then fought a race long duel exchanging the lead and pulling clear of Hizzey, James’s Black and Thomsett. At the mid race point Spence had the lead only for Stephenson to claim it back on lap 10 of 15, Spence seemed incensed by this waving his arm at the officials as he crossed the line and try as he might could not snatch the lead back from the Clarke kart over the remaining laps, finishing nailed to Stephenson’s rear bumper. The snarling pack behind had closed up onto the lead battle and places swapped repeatedly throughout the race. Owen Hizzey eventually won the intense fight for 3rd, James Thomsett had a stellar drive to 4th, Emily Linscott overcome a thrown chain in qualifying leaving her last, to move through to 5th, in front of her sparring partner Black in 6th, who was complaining about a lack of grunt up the hill after running third for a spell. 7th to 10th places were filled by Tom Emson, top novice Jonathan Dalton, Lewie Weaver and Leon Clark. Gunning had a fraught final after initially recovering well, but then finding himself involved in another incident which lost him places collecting a dropped nose penalty along the way, a day to forget and championship chances damaged. The plus class was won by Lewis Deacon with fastest lap going to the unlucky Gunning.
Honda Clubman & IAME
Another close final was enacted in the Clubman class with Leon Frost, Jai Lawrence and Jack Matthews taking turns at the front of a very close train of karts. Frost managed to hit the front on lap 7 and then hold off his attackers until the chequered flag in his Clarke kart, Matthews was having a much improved weekend over last month’s event, proving very competitive in his KPi kart as he pushed the celebrating Frost over the finish line. Craig Morgan and Joseph Knight were in the fight finishing 3rd and 4th, with Lawrence finishing 5th, Maksymilian Solarski was 6th from top novice Macie Hitter 7th, Nathan Marques 8th, Jack Theobald 9th and Christopher Doble in 10th. Macauley Bishop took the fastest lap on his way to cross the line first in the IAME class, but unfortunately picked up a dropped nose penalty, therefore handing the win to 303 Squadron’s Jakub Jakoniuk.
Matching the Junior Subaru entry with an impressive 27 entries was the Rotax Max class. For this round of the Kent Championship the drivers raced to the BPKC format of 3 heats and a final format, as opposed to the usual qualifying, heat Pre final – Grand final format, a popular choice with the drivers as it really gave them chance to test their racing skills. Charlie Turner and Championship leader Jack Mayle made it through the heats to start from the front row in the final, Lewis Ridd and Lewis Brown lining up behind them. Turner led away Mayle, with Ridd and circuit champion Elliot Rice 4th. As the race settled down Mayle closed in on Turner, who was relieved to be over his Saturday testing troubles, on lap 10 of 12 Mayle made his move and looked to keeping his 100% Kent Championship record in tact, Turner however saw a chance into Paddock bend, upon seeing a gap he pounced, squeezing his kart down the inside of Mayle, holding on through Garda and the run up the hill, to take the win after what had been a dramatic final lap. Ridd just lost out to Sam Baker over the closing laps but was still very happy with his 4th place. Baker driving for GMS had made up 4 places to finish a fine 3rd, proving best of the circuit regulars. Lewis Brown finished 5th, Kit Brough 6th, Liam Carter 7th. Harry Gent moved up a staggering 12 places to finish 8th, a fine effort in what was a very competitive grid. Rice’s hobbled kart slipped to a disappointing 9th after putting in the fastest lap early on, from Bobby Grove 10th.
Mini and Junior X30
The Mini and Junior X30 classes shared the same final due to the lower entries in the respective classes. Freddy Simpson-Stacey dominated the JX30 class all day in his Evolution kart, driving serenely in the final to take the victory. Alfie Prince finished 3.13 seconds behind with Daniel Gale close behind in 3rd. Alfie Glenie had a tough day as did one or two others in the class, by finishing 4th on the road after a first lap skirmish, but then received a drop nose 10 second penalty, relegating him to 9th overall, he did however secure the fastest lap. Alfie Brookes inherited 4th from Glenie after surviving attacks from behind throughout the race. Ben Cowley took 5th, Alexander Moody 6th, Rupert Flynn 7th and a battle scarred (after first lap contact with Glenie) Finlay Cross 8th.
In the Mini X30 class Charlie Typaldo-Cole overcame a troubled build up to win convincingly from Kristian Brookes, Frankie Taylor and Peter Knight.
Senior X30 & Rotax 177
Also sharing their finals were the Senior X30 and Rotax 177 classes. Charlie Bennett (debuting a new crash helmet) made a welcome return to Buckmore Park and marked the occasion by taking the X30 win, cruising to victory over his Project One teammate Henry Ayers, who had managed to pass Jenson Harvey’s Evolution kart and close to within 0.68 of Bennett at the finish, taking the fastest lap as he did so. Michael Hafford continued his learning experience finishing some way behind Harvey in 4th, the last of the runners.
Buster Mepham comfortably led home Novice Michael Kemsley in the 177 class after Jamie McGeoghan retired after 6 laps, Karl Mepham failed to make the start.
Report and images courtesy of Paul Babington