National Championship – Whilton Mill
The excellent Whilton Mill kart circuit played host to this years National Sprints for The National Schools and Youth Group Karting Association
Over these 3 days the drivers compete for the NatSKA sprint plate, a one meeting shoot out which gives all the drivers a chance to show what they’re made of. On top of this the championships for each class which runs alongside all the meetings through out the season are concluded, awarding drivers with seeded numbers of which they can compete under next season. Not only do the winners get awarded with trophies, they also get their name engraved on the long standing NatSKA shields, putting their names down in history!
The National Sprints sees Parents, helpers and everyone involved get the opportunity to spend 3 days camping, socialising and relaxing together (when the racings over of course) bringing a lot more than just racing to the experience.
The Nationals also marks the end of the school year, meaning the inevitable loss of drivers who have reached the end of their NatSKA careers. Not only does NatSKA make drivers out of young people, it also provides opportunities to move into the world of scrutineering, clerking, marshalling and mechanics. As a organisation that is run ‘by its members for its member’s NatSKA is very reliant on the help of volunteers who give up their free time. Be it parents or family, retired drivers or friends of team members everyone provides a valid service for NatSKA.
For the last 4 years NatSKA has offered up a once in a life time experience with Force India who provide one lucky driver with the opportunity to complete two weeks work experience at the Silverstone factory.
In class 7 Junior TKM the battle of consistent results among the 28 kart grid came into play as it so often does in this competitive class. David Hayes of Tarporley fought the battle the best by starting off the weekend very strong with a 2nd, 1st and 7th place finish. This set him up nicely for the Sunday which saw a similar set of results comfortably giving him both the Sprint plate and Championship victory come the 6th heat on Sunday. Behind David came Shane Power of AMS carrying on his strong season by beating Jodene Newman of BCOT to the 2nd podium step. Shanes 2nd place finish from the weekend wasn’t enough to jump team mate Joe Longden though who piped him by 2 points for 2nd place in the Championship table.
Class 11 Junior Honda 4-Stroke represented itself strongly with 16 karts lining up on the grid, se ing spectators up for some spectacular racing throughout the weekend. The battle for supremacy emerged between two teams, St Michaels and Barclays diced it out on track with 5 drivers involved but a lone wolf from AMS emerged the victor come Sunday, Ciara Power. Ciara never finished lower than 5th, allowing her to beat close rival Josh fish of St Michaels by 1 point. This was a similar story in the Championship standings, where Ciara beat Josh and his team mate James Scanlon to the number 1 spot by a very narrow margin. finishing off the Sprint podium for the weekend was Harvey Hollick of Barclay putting in a strong performance.
Class 12 Senior Honda 4-Stroke saw a whitewash from Matthew Hearst of Crossdale winning all 6 heats, a familiar site from the young driver. Last years champion and rival to the Crossdale driver Connor Murrill had his work cut out, as well as having to chase Matthew for the top step he also had to fend off Jordan Brown of AMS who finished every one of his races in 3rd place. These finishes pretty much spelt out the Sprint results as well as the Championship, Matthew led Connor by 2 points with Jordan a close 8 behind him, an ultimate fight to the finish!
In the modified Honda class 13 4 drivers from Barclay carried on the teams support for the class with 1 driver from OLCS joining them. OLCS driver Georgia Haslam fought the pack of Barclay drivers valiantly to finish a strong 3rd, beaten by team mates Ethan Murrill and Daniel Byrne. Ethan and Daniel battled it out all weekend exchanging results as they went. fortunately for Daniel Ethan suffered a 5th place finish in his 5th heat which allowed him the chance to seize victory from his team mate. This resulted in Daniel finishing 3 points ahead of his rival come Sunday evening bagging himself both the Sprint victory and Championship. Ethan rolled in in 2nd in both also with team mate Ryan Newcombe rounding up the championship in 3rd thanks to his early results in the season.
The Long standing class 14 Raket grid may of seen a decline in drivers this season but it didn’t affected the standard of driving this weekend. 3 drivers from the 8 kart grid took it upon themselves to make sure the spectators got a show. Sam Palmer of St Michaels started the weekend off the way any of 3 would of liked too by finishing in 1st, then Kurt Roberts of Tarporley stepped up to the plate bagging himself a win followed by team mate Theo Hesketh in the 3rd heat. All 3 drivers tussled it out to the very end but Kurt managed a further 2 wins which won him the Sprint and Championship victories over his rivals. Theo trailed in 2nd followed by last years champion Sam Palmer in both the sprint and Championship results.
The Class 15 Junior Rotax continued last years theme of quickly becoming a NatSKA favourite with a total of 21 drivers turning up for the weekends action. The championships favourite Matthew Boyle of St Michaels didn’t disappoint, he managed 3 victories from his 6 heats, never risking his chances by racing very calculated all weekend. This allowed him to comfortably take the victory in both the weekends action and the Championship over rivals Jack Ward and Alek Modro. Jack of Barclay put it on the 2nd step for the weekend and 3rd over all for the championship, Alek of 1165ATC did the opposite finishing 1 point behind Jack on the day and 2nd in the Championship.
The Veteran 100c Rotary Class 8 saw a different winner this year. Henry Kirby of Tarporley and Corey O’Connor of AMS battled it out among themselves all weekend. Corey experienced a few hiccups throughout which gave Henry the edge over his opponent, seizing this opportunity Henry took the victory by 2nd points and 2nd place in the Championship. All was not lost for Corey, as well as managing 2nd on the day he managed to win the Championship. Harry Keeley of Beths brought it home in 3rd place for both!
The novice of the weekend trophy was handed out to Bossion Adeoye from Beths for showing a competitive, skilful and responsible attitude out on track. The prestigious Graham Ketye trophy, which is awarded to recognise a member of NatSKA was this year awarded to Jon Hunting, one of the longest serving members of NatSKA and leader of Loughborough’s all Girls School Kart club. His involvement in the organisation has proved very valuable over the years, giving up a considerable amount of time and eff ort to the running of his team and NatSKA itself. Also alongside such a prestigious trophy another is given out to the volunteer who scruitneers the most karts in a year, the Golden Spanner award! This year the award went to Duanna Kelly of Barclay.
The NatSKA organisation now takes a break following the school holidays, where it will return on the 20th September at Whilton Mill to kick start the season. If you are interested in joining NatSKA please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Facebook under natskakarting.