9th & 10th of August, 2014
Hurricane Bertha was the big news at the 17th running of the Maxxis TKM Festival, almost stopping the event but British grit and sturdy brooms kept the water away. Mostly.
Lewis Taylor should have been on pole by but was underweight and sent to the back. Bradley White, Ryan Edwards, Alex Forward, Dino Lee and Chris Whitton were all up front – the latter only just into the class. The six dry heats were great races with White, Forward, Lee and Whitton always battling and each taking a win. The Elite Pre-final in very wet conditions saw Alex Forward take a secure victory from a chasing Bradley White. Whitton struggled in the wet to finish 8th.
Come the final Forward pulled a clear lead while those behind battled, but then tripped over a backmarker leaving the door open for Lee. He made no mistakes heading to the flag. Arran Mills came through to 2nd, while Bradley White was excluded for being underweight and lost third spot to Saul Robinson who had passed 23 karts on his way through the field. In the Festival Final pole man Sam Fowler got taken out leaving Joe Taylor to take victory from Harrison Smith. But with Smith excluded for an illegal engine it was Lewis Wadley who took 2nd from Neil Burgess – who also got the novice award.
Joe Porter, having not raced for a year, was back to see if he could make it three wins at the Festival. He was second fastest to Arran Maile in quali. TKM scholarship winner Matt England failed to make the track after a mechanical problem. Porter took three heat wins. Vercoe had a win taken away for overtaking over the white lines, with James Ogden, Jack Partridge and Joe Stockford taking the other wins. England drove superbly from the back in each heat getting as high as 7th. The very wet Elite Pre final saw Porter take the win. Paul Monks was second with Zach Jones up 10 places to 3rd.
The final was a cracker. Porter on pole managed to drown himself and kart in a pool just off track; out before the start. England’s chain guard came adrift; also out. The track was dry apart from two splashes.
James Ogden took the lead and powered ahead running on wet tyres ahead of Kyle Sproat also on wets. Josh Waring took the gamble on slicks. Delayed by a spinner, Waring was on a charge and took Sproat for 2nd before giving it everything to catch Ogden. Catching a second a lap he was right on his bumper at the finish and just one more corner would have given him victory. As it was a well judged win to Ogden ahead of Waring. For his brave drive Waring also got the Bernie Turney Memorial Trophy for an outstanding performance.
In Festival, Joe Forsdyke and Daniel Baybutt were both up front after disastrous heats. When Baybutt spun out of the lead in the pre final, Forsdyke was effectively gifted the final and had an easy win from Brendan Speight and Joe Barrow – the latter up 20 places.
Jade Sheppard made it all look easy with pole position and then two good heat wins followed by a second. But in the monsoon like pre final she got taken out on the first lap leaving Tom Longfield to win.
In the final Longfield make the best of his pole position to take the win chased by a recovering Jack Macauley and Ricky Johnson. Jade recovered to finish 8th.