Buckmore Park, Round 1, 23rd March
The first round of the Easykart season took place at the technical Buckmore Park circuit, in extreme weather conditions which most coped very well with.
11 of the 17 drivers in Cadet were novices, a great advert for the class. Harry Barlow led Georgie Anker in the final as it started to hail and there were several spinners in the slick-shod field. Charlotte Fox was 3rd just ahead of Ethan Marr who had been working his way through over the day from last in qualifying. The leaders lapped more and more karts while still fighting each other. Anker took the lead just before Barlow spun and lost 6s. Marr had also taken Fox, she attacked again on the last lap and Marr spun at the last corner securing her a podium position.
17 Juniors started the final with Sam Faulkner on pole and he got the jump at the start then Jordan Sanders took the lead going round the outside at Conways before Faulkner spun dropping him to the back of the pack. Sanders and Esmee Hawkey were fighting for the lead as the hail fell. Sanders pulled away from Hawkey for a few laps and they started to overtake backmarkers. Faulkner’s wet tyres were ruined and not only was he not gaining places he was also dropping behind drivers he would usually beat as he tried to nurse the kart home and preserve points. Lots of spinners in this race again, one in front of Sanders as he was lapping him. Sanders won a steady second ahead of Hawkey with Matas Grigalauskas 3rd and fastest at the end of the race.
The sun came out for the 20-lap Senior Heavy final but the track was still wet and there were black clouds all around. There was drama as Simon Mace spun out of 2nd on the first lap and Jim Rainbird, from 7th on the grid, took the lead ahead of Joe Paterson who soon found himself 4th. Rainbird had a big lead but Moritz Mello was a second a lap quicker in mid race and reeled him in while Paterson took back 3rd. The leaders were careful not to fight too hard which would let Paterson catch back up, and then Roland Breadner overtook him for 3rd briefly. Mello finally took the lead on lap 15 and it didn’t take him long to pull out 2s to win, with Rainbird and Mace filling the podium. But in a dramatic twist Mello was excluded as his rear width was slightly too narrow, promoting Rainbird to the win.
The Senior Light Final B was won by 3/4 of a lap by Damien Hodge from Jamie Falvey after Hodge saw off the challenging Gary Poynter early in the race. There was a dry line by the time the Light A Final went out. Owen Jenman was on pole next to Michael Naylor and Barnaby Pittingale was at the back after an earlier accident. He made up 10 places in half a lap. Sam Massey and Naylor both passed Jenman at the pits corner, Jenman dropped to 5th and was clearly struggling. There were a few karts at the back on slicks including Phil Ingram but after a few laps the dry line was getting wider and he was 3s faster and coming through. He ended up 3rd but towards the end the leaders were on the same pace as him as it was getting towards the tipping point where it was cold enough for wets to have enough heat in them without destroying themselves. There were a lot of ruined wets in this race though.