Round 3, Bayford Meadows
A hot sunny day awaited the first ever visit of the OEKC to Bayford Meadows.
The team list included 2 new teams, Know Idea Racing & Flat Out Racing, both using Rotax engines. As expected many of the teams used the 60 minute practice to familiarise themselves with the “new” circuit. Once the 15 minutes qualifying started the lap times started to drop. By the end of the session Box-Tech had taken pole with Specsavers alongside .085 seconds behind. KKC & Screwloose occupied row2 with Bumpdraft & OMR behind. Row 4 saw Ikonn alongside Kartmasters with Volga & Blue Lizard finishing off the top 10.
A last minute brake issue meant To The Max struggling to make the grid & Easypeasy were also left rushing to make the starting lineup. An interesting first few laps left championship leaders, Specsavers, in the pits fitting a new chain alongside Ikonn who had suffered the same problem.
One particular kerb was causing the chain problems, but teams were taking their time learning the hard way that it needed to be avoided. Whilst other teams were having problems, Box Tech were drawing clear of the pack. By lap 36 Box Tech & OMR were a lap ahead of Blue Lizard & Kartmasters. Bumpdraft, Screwloose, HVAC1, Volga, JRJ,MTH & RSA who were all on lap 35. KKC were down in eleventh place having also suffered with a broken chain. As the teams reached the one hour mark Box Tech were still leading OMR. STI were struggling in last place with To the Max just ahead of them.
Several of the drivers were suffering due to the hot weather and the technical circuit. By the 2 hour mark Box Tech had extended their lead to two laps over second place Screwloose.KKC had moved up to sixth place and Specsavers were two places behind them. Ikonn & Easypeasy had moved up to just outside the top 10. The new teams, Flat Out Racing & Know Idea Racing were finding out the hard way just how hard endurance racing can be, they were in 20th & 21st place. A further 30 minutes on and the top 3 were Box Tech, Screwloose & OMR followed by HVAC1. Blue Lizard, Specsavers & JRJ were now just a lap behind them. The top 14 teams were covered by 14 laps. 180 minutes into the race and a fine drive by Blue Lizard put them in third place, just 19 seconds behind Screwloose.
In only their second OEKC race Easypeasy were up to 13th place. By now Bumpdraft had dropped well down the grid following a mechanical problem that cost them a ten lap visit to the pits.
The next 30 minutes proved eventful for several teams. Blue Lizard lost a chain and the kart had to be recovered from the far part of the circuit. This dropped them down to 14th place. Kartmasters took an unscheduled pit stop to sort a dirty carb & STI retired from the race. HVAC2 had used the time to progress up the grid and they were now running in 8th place. Specsavers were now running in 4th place just a lap behind OMR. In the following 30 minutes Specsavers made up that lap & were within 8 seconds of OMR. Know Idea were now back on track and making up laps. After four hours racing the top 10 teams were covered by just 10 laps. MTH, Ikonn, HVAC2 & JRJ were all running in the top 10.
As the teams reached the end of the race & having completed 4.5 hours Box Tech took the win after completing 330 laps following a fine drive by Russell Wilcox & Sean Durcan. The next three teams all completed 327 laps with Screwloose fending off Specsavers to take a well deserved second place. A great recovery from their early broken chain had Specsavers completing the top 3 for the Premier class. The top three teams were all on GMS X30 chassis. OMR finished 4th with KKC 5th & HVAC1 6th. The Clubman teams were lead home by HVAC2 followed by MTH & in third place Easypeasy Racing. Kartmasters finished top of the OPEN class and Big Blue won the Prokart class.