Racing the winner despite conditions
Racing the winner despite conditions

Racers battled the elements at the penultimate round of the Bayford Meadows Kart Racing Club Championship.

Bambinos.

A healthy 13 kart entry supported the Bambino class for this month, with the young drivers having to cope with some very tricky conditions throughout the day. The competition at the head of the leader board has been close all year, with no one driver being able to assert themselves at the top. Sunday added to this when Harry Freeman topped the morning practice, and then in the first timed run of the day, Charlie Warren came out with the fastest time, a 1:14.05 in damp conditions. For the second timed run Fletcher Jamieson jumped from 3rd to 1st with a 1:15.82 on a now sodden circuit, Freeman was 2nd and Oscar O’Sullivan 3rd , with Warren failing to set a time.

The top four were involved in the final run shoot out and once again the brightly coloured #99 kart of Jamieson hit the top of the time sheets, he set a 1:14.31 lap time, O’Sullivan and Freeman set identical times of 1:15.27, nearly a full second adrift of the flying Fletcher. Warren was another second back in 4th place, Kristian Stefanov took a fine 5th, Jack Pullen 6th after scoring a 4th and 5th in the first two runs. Ayda Sexton was 7th in the final run after consistently finishing in the top 10, Maayan Patel, Rio Licata and Noah Baglin completed the top 10 positions, 11th – 13th were Alfie Mew, Isaac Barker and Leon Knight.

Junior Subaru UK.

GMS driver Lewie Weaver headed the 24 kart Junior Suabru class after qualifying and looked in fine form as he romped to the Heat and Pre Final wins, although SAIT driver and championship challenger – James Tomsett kept him in check during both races. Harvey Roffe and Charlie Hand were both driving well in taking up the second row of the grid for the final, in their identical CHR livered karts. Leon Clark and Red Beswick were next up on the third row, on the 4th  were Josephs’ Knight and Gethin, Kieran Janali and Max Lee filled the 5th row.

Weaver led away on a now slightly drying track under still threatening skies, with Tomsett tracking him as they led away. Roffe, Hand, Clark, Beswick and Knight maintained their grid order over the majority of the 11 lap final. Gethin couldn’t keep up with their pace as Lee moved ahead into 8th driving well in his Roalf backed kart. As the race reached its closing laps – Tomsett looked more threatening, eventually finding his way ahead of Weaver’s #96 kart on lap 9, he then managed to keep his brightly coloured #13 machine ahead to the finish, earning some important championship points as the season nears its climax.

Weaver stayed within a second of the winner at the finish, comfortably clear of Roffe who had a lonely race in 3rd, he celebrated in style, at being very happy with his podium finish. The Clark Motorsport kart of Clark did manage to pass Hand near the end, until the orange CHR kart of Hand snatched the place back to take 4th. Behind Clark in 5th Knight managed a stellar result by finishing 6th having moved ahead of Beswick on the last lap.

Gethin was 8th from on off form Louis Barker,  whose kart sounded awful as it ran with a loose chain guard for much of the race, eventually falling off before the finish. Caitlin May did well to finish 10th and top silver driver award, after suffering from a 10s dropped fairing penalty in an earlier race, Jayden Neal-Holder finished as the top novice. Winner Tomsett completed his excellent day by taking the races’ fastest lap.

Honda Clubman Elite.

Project One’s Jamie Perilly arrived at Bayford Meadows as the new Kent Champion and was favourite to clinch the club’s circuit Championship too. He placed his kart comfortably on pole after qualifying and then had a great dice with Jack Williamson in the Heat, narrowly missing out on the win. He made up for it next time out by this time reversing the positions in the Pre Final, giving himself pole for the Final. Williamson was driving very well and looked a threat for the final victory, Nathan Marques returned to form by taking third in the Pre Final from Vinny Lloyd, Leon Frost and Ethan Barford.

As the Union flag dropped for the final  Perilly set off in the lead, Williamson had a moment on the infield losing time, dropping himself out of contention, leaving Marques and Lloyd to give chase of the flying Kent champ ahead. Frost and Barford continued their earlier race battles over 5th place behind the recovering Williamson. Rylee Brown was next up with Jack Theoblad and Tighe Wratten hot on his rear bumper. As the race progressed it was clear that nobody was going to stop Perilly from taking the win and wrapping up the championship at the same time, he completed the 11th lap, 5 seconds in front, with a one finger gesture signifying his championship win, his second in a matter of weeks. Marques was delighted with 2nd, having held off Lloyd for the full race distance, only 0.3s between them. Williamson never quite recovered from hi earlier moment, finishing just over 1s behind in 4th. Both Frost and Barford held their positions in 5t5and 6th, with just 1second covering them both. Brown took 7th from Wratten in 8th, Theobald 9th and Ian Marginean in 10th. Perilly’s fine day was made complete by taking the fastest lap.

Junior Club Max.

Just when your scribe thought that the worst of the weather had moved on for the afternoon, a huge black cloud descended back over the Sittingbourne circuit, this just as the Junior Club Max grid left the dummy grid…well all but for one as front row starter – Jack Davis’s kart refused to start. This gave the 12 karts circulating several warm up laps on the rain lashed circuit, which was gradually being covered by standing water, especially along the start/finish straight. Once Davis had joined the circuit and caught up, the grid was set on their way from a rolling start. Pre Final winner Declan Lee led Will Egby and the recently crowned Kent champion – Riley Stephenson, with early heat one leader James Black in 4th. Behind Ross Hastings was showing that he has now recovered from his recent rib injury by running in 5th, Davis now had fought his way up from the back to 6th but then inexplicably aquaplaned off of the circuit on the start/finish straight! He hit the tyres lining the inside of the circuit very hard, his kart spinning violently several times, almost ejecting him from his machine. Thankfully once his kart came to rest he was able to extricate himself without injury. The race was red flagged immediately while Jack was given medical attention and the tyre barrier repaired.

At the restart Lee once again led away, Black briefly managed to grab 2nd from Egby but couldn’t hold the Project One kart back , as Egby then set off after his teammate ahead. Stephenson’s kart bogged down at the restart and he slipped back behind circuit returnee Max Herbert, until his momentum was restored and the GMS kart moved onto the back of Black’s Compkart. Egby was flying at the front and moved ahead of Lee on the 4th lap, the two now circulating clear of Stephenson who had passed Black by the third lap. The appalling conditions continued leaving the drivers facing a huge puddle as they finished each lap; visibility was a major problem too – with tyre spray blinding closely following drivers. Egby’s tenure in the lead last until lap 9 when Lee somehow managed to place his kart inside around the boot, taking his teammate by surprise, he then held on to secure a very well deserved win. Egby had to be pleased with his 2nd place as it was his best result of the year, in what were the worst conditions (so far) of the year. Stephenson brought his GMS kart home in 3rd, a good result after a hefty coming together with the Clarke kart of Katherine White had brought the morning Heat to a halt. Unfortunately for White the crash signalled the end of her day’s racing. Black couldn’t live with the three ahead but was happy with some good championship points in his JB Motorsport kart. Hastings took a strong 5th having got the better of Herbert early on. Joshua Pullen was 6th on the road – he had a tough race fighting his way up from a grid 11 slot, only to see his hard work be lost with a nose 10s fairing penalty, dropping him  down to 9th, behind Herbert, Brendan Sathees and Jack Aldis. Fredrick Lubin was 10th, Oliver Bullion 11th and Poppi Stephenson 12th after the latter two both took post-race nose fairing penalties. Stephenson R confirmed his pace with the fastest lap on his way to 3rd.

Senior Club Max.

With the track still heavily sodden after the Junior Club Max final, it was the turn of the Senior Club Max drivers to experience the hazardous conditions. A 10 second dropped nose fairing penalty in the morning’s Heat, was to prove costly for champion elect Joe Hunt, as he was demoted to 4th place after finishing first on the road.  Lewis Ridd, Thomas Lawson and Andrew Coles therefore started the Pre Final ahead of Hunt and although he managed to pass Coles, he couldn’t do anything about Ridd and Lawson who finished 1st and 2nd, giving them the important front row for the Final. Coles placed 4th for the final, Michael Ashby lined up on the 3rd row alongside recent Lydd winner Anqi Stenning, Jason Chong and Alfie Cockerell followed up on the 4th.

Ridd and Lawson led away the final in the spray, the Dad & lad run leader having the major advantage of a clear track ahead, Lawson in his GMS kart was as close as he could be to the leader giving the conditions. Coles had usurped Hunt for 3rd and was pushing Lawson hard for 2nd. Behind Hunt’s Project One kart was Stenning who had moved ahead of Ashby. Jason Chong was next up in front of Cockerell in 8th, Will Barnes going well briefly in 9th, before Sam Holgate worked his way past.  For lap after lap the top four ran as one through the spray, this eventually caused problems for Coles and Hunt as they both collected further nose fairing penalties.

After 12 tense laps Ridd brought his Works Renovations backed kart home in front of the all black kart of Lawson, who had given his all in trying to pass the eventual winner. Stenning inherited 3rd place after Coles and Hunt’s penalties were applied, 5th place was still enough to give Hunt a popular championship win, after haven driven beautifully all year in the Senior class. Ashby just pipped Chong to the finish line for 6th place, taking a deserved Classic class win. Behind the charging Chong in 8th finished Harry Smithson, he had a good dice with Barnes’s LICA kart, who eventually slipped to 12th, but was still stoked to have actually ran all day without any problems! Stephen Bouffe and Lewis Deacon completed the top 10, Sam Holgate having picked up a nose drop penalty and Alfie Cockerell retired. The fastest lap went to the delighted winner Ridd.

Honda Clubman Standard.

The last race of the day was for the popular Standard class with the 25 kart entry being split into three groups, with each contesting two heats, from which the starting positions for the Final would be determined. The grid for the final had Rylan Echberg and Gustavs Usakovs on the front row, Kaiser Reimann and Kent champion Harry Chamberlain on the 2nd, Henry Ng-zeederberg and Lewis Stannard on the third and Timo Jungling and Reg Heywood on the 4th.

The 11 lap final began under slightly drier conditions, or less wet whichever way you look at it! By the time the colourful train of karts reached the infield hairpins – it was clear to see that Echberg was on a mission, as he had started to pull a gap already. Behind were Usakovs, Reimann and Chamberlain jostling over 2nd place, Chamberlain eventually asserting his C.H.D.D Evolution kart into the position at the end of lap2 only for Usakovs Project One kart to take it back! From then on the top three positions remained the same, with  Echberg ever stretching his advantage and making it look relatively easy as he did so, eventually winning by a huge (for this class) 6.7s advantage.

Usakovs on his own in 2nd was a similar distance ahead of Chamberlain when he crossed the finish line. Zain Khan had provided some excitement behind the static threesome ahead, by moving his Revolution kart up to 4th from 9th on the grid, a commendable effort for the affable and polite young man. Another to do well was Reimann in 5th, having had his KR machine running near the front all day. Stannard was next up in 6th, Ng-zeederberg 7th, Jungling (T )8th, Matthew Copsey fought his way up a staggering 11 places, from 20th to 9th and Sonny Mortensen completed the top 10 positions. There was no real doubting that Echberg would take the fastest lap in his DG kart and indeed he did so – on lap 6.

The full race positions can be found here – https://results.alphatiming.co.uk/bmkr/2018/9/

 

The Championship positions after 9 rounds here – https://results.alphatiming.co.uk/bmkr/2018/

And the next and final round of the BMKR Championship is on November 25th.

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