Tag Archives: whilton mill

Circuit Guide: Whilton Mill

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Circuit1

Turn 1 and 2 – Oblivion

Oblivion is a corner in which the braver, stronger driver can pull an advantage out on their competitors. With the fast nature of the last corner the run into oblivion is a quick one, the driver must therefore be both patient and strong with the steering. Using the entire track on the right hand side of the circuit to minimise the steering input required to get the kart around the fast left-hander, this also reduces the chances of the driver turning too much, too quickly. This will cause the rear of the kart to feel loose and step out, resulting in under steer. If the driver has done this correctly and been brave enough on the throttle they will find the kart just to the left side of the middle of the track entering the right hand part of Oblivion. This corner is crucial to a fast lap as it leads straight on to the run up the hill; a slow exit leaves the driver vulnerable all the way up to Christmas corner. The driver should be aiming for a slightly later apex; there is a drain right on the apex, which provides the driver with a great marker point. If done correctly the driver should only have to use a small amount of the run off kerb, any more and the driver has probably been over zealous on the power into the corner.

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Turn 3 and 4 – Christmas Corner

The driver should have gradually moved over to the left hand side of the track on the run up the hill to prepare for this corner. While in a kart it doesn’t feel particularly steep at the turn in point or at the apex, it is worth walking the circuit to realise just how steep it is. The clever drivers will realise they can use this to aid the slowing down of the kart and the faster drivers will brake late enough that they are required to hold the brake all the way to the apex, this helps the loading of the kart maximising the amount of grip available through the corner. It should be noted that the entrance is quite bumpy so the driver should set their arms, chest and shoulders solid in order to take the force of the bumps without unsettling the kart. If the driver brakes too late they will find themselves under steering and end up far too wide for the lead into the left hand part of Christmas corner. The driver should aim to be just past mid track on exit, ready to attack the entire kerb on the left.

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Turn 5 – Inkermans

If the driver has taken the kerb through the left late enough they will find themselves over to the left for the incredibly fast and physical Inkermans. This corner is absolutely flat out in every class, combined with the three bumps through it to make it incredibly physical, it is fundamental again for the drivers to set their upper body to take control of the kart over the bumps.

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Turn 6 – Ashby

On the flip side to the uphill late braking required for Christmas corner, a much earlier braking point is required for the downhill Ashby. It is easy for a driver to out brake themselves into this downhill hairpin and this can quickly be spotted if excessive amounts of the run off are required to keep them going. The inside kerb can be used lap by lap, but it is only quicker if the driver is strong over it, not allowing great steering inputs on impact as this will cause the kart to be unloaded and will result in the kart bogging on exit.

Turn 7 – Parker

A large bump on the entrance to parker makes the braking point a difficult one. The key to it is, is to avoid the bump as much as possible. This can be achieved by keeping well over to the right and using part of the old layout (Zulu corner), which crosses the track at this point; this also allows a larger arc into the corner. The driver must use the kerb again with a solid, set upper body to maintain speed at the apex of the corner. The driver should aim to use the cross over point of the cut through on the exit to maximise the arc of the corner, however a quick return to the circuit is required or a large bump and a whole lot of grass will be the follow.

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Turn 8 – Chapman

Chapman requires a lot of patience from the driver as the majority will try to turn in too early for the left, making for a steep and tricky exit through the right. The driver must hold the brake into the late apex of the left in order to load the kart slowly, incredibly small steering inputs are required when it is correctly loaded, excessive amounts and under steer will quickly follow. If the driver has apexed at the correct point they will not need to turn right on the exit of chapman, they will simply drive straight across the kerb.

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Turn 9 and 10 – The Boot

Edging back over to the right hand side of the kerb, it is important for the driver to brake hard with a strong posture over the bumps, but also not to be tempted to brake too late as this will result in the right hand part of the boot being incredibly steep. A large amount of kerb should be used into the left hander resulting in the driver exiting closer to the left hand side of the circuit but not right on the edge. The right-hander is one of the only corners on the track that an earlier turn in is faster, this is due to the fact that the kart dropping off the left hand kerb creates a load transfer to the outside wheels for the right hander. The driver needs to pick up the throttle as early as possible; maintaining an exit just past mid track, ignoring the ‘apex’ of the final kerb, use of all of the circuit on exit is required.

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Turn 11 – Pit Bend

The final corner is another fast and physical one. A slight lift in the faster karts is required to get the kart to the apex without under steer. Getting close to the inside kerb but just avoiding it, then allowing the kart to run out to the run off allowing all but 2 of the wheels to cross onto it. If over steer is occurring through pit bend look to the steering input of the driver, often they are simply putting in too much or too quickly, not allowing the kart to load up properly, resulting the rear tyres letting go. It is important to get through this corner fast as it is the beginning of the sequence of corners in the run up the hill.

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Overtaking hotspots

Christmas Corner – if the driver is able to drive through oblivion better or their engine setup allows them to travel up the hill faster than the opposing driver, Christmas corner is by far the easiest overtaking opportunity. The driver should avoid braking too late as they will find themselves running out of track on exit and thus vulnerable to a switch back manoeuvre.

Ashby – If the driver has traveled over the top of the hill and is brave on the brakes down into Ashby, it is a good overtaking opportunity. With the downhill braking already proving tricky, an overtake can be a little difficult. The driver can however use a little more of the run off if they find themselves coming in a little ‘hot’. A switchback manoeuvre is difficult due to being on the wrong side for the next corner.

Chapman – This appears to be a difficult overtake as it is downhill again, but due to such a late apex it can easily be achieved simply by turning in earlier and braking slightly later. With the track changing direction on exit it is difficult for the driver to switchback unless the overtaking driver is completely misjudged their braking point, often leading in them bailing out over the exit kerb anyway.

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The Boot – This corner provides three options for overtaking; in, through and out. A good exit from chapman can allow the driver to overtake going into the boot, the overtaking driver must avoid running too wide due to the tighter entry into the right as this will leave them vulnerable to the passed driver. A brave move in the transition from the left into the right can be achieved by carrying more speed into the left, naturally pushing the kart onto the overtaking, tighter line. If the driver runs too wide out of the right an overtake can be on by driving underneath them, placing them on the inside for the final corner.

Photos by Jamie Morris

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NatSKA – National Championship – Whilton Mill

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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 secretary@natska.co.uk or find us on Facebook under natskakarting.

Easykart Cadet Winner Scoops Top Prize

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Stock-FlagOliver Gray aged 9 years from Sevenoaks has won this year’s ‘Win an Easykart Cadet competition’ organised and run by Easykart UK.

Eighteen finalists aged between 8 and 10 years old were evaluated after qualifying for the final through karting leagues run at Brentwood Karting, Buckmore Park circuit, Xtreme Karting in Scotland, Herefordshire Raceway and Mr Karting in Leamington Spa.

The final evaluation day was held at the Whilton Mill International circuit using Easykart Cadet Karts.

For some of the drivers it was the first time for them on a large outdoor track and also the first time driving a racing kart. Drivers were evaluated on racing lines, kart control and speed over two separate test sessions, each driver was also interviewed!

This year’s standard of driving was very high and all the drivers were very impressive but after the testing and interviews there could only be one winner – Oliver Gray, who is yet another protege of Brentwood Karting!

Oliver impressed from his very first session and looked completely at home in the Easykart cadet. Oliver does indeed look to be an exciting addition to the Easy cadet grid for 2015.

Oliver’s prize is a brand new Easykart Cadet worth £2500 plus free race entries to every round of the 2015 Easykart UK Championship run and promoted by Club100.

Easykart UK would like to thank all the drivers and parents for supporting this years competition as well as our supporting karting schools.

Easykart UK runs Easy Cadet for ages 8 – 13 , Easy Junior for ages 12 -16 and Easy Senior from 16 +.

For more information on the Easykart UK Championship visit www.easykart.co.uk or find them on Facebook.

Women Only Karting Event

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The first ever women-only karting event will be run at Whilton Mill on the 1st of November. The event is called the WKS Cup ‘Women’s Best of the Best’.

The event has been set up to help promote the society and to help encourage more girls and women into the sport and support the ones who are already out there racing.

We spoke to Stephanie Walters who’s running the event and she said: “I created the event to help bring all the members we currently have together and to help encourage more girls to get involved and to take part and publicise the society. The cost is only £45 and the race is for all women whether you’re a experienced karter or a complete novice. So far, uptake has been really good. Come along, it’ll be fun!”

Search for ‘Women’s Karting Society’ on Facebook for more info.