Bayford Meadows goes down a storm
Bayford Meadows goes down a storm

Just 24 hours after storm Brian visited Kent, competitors for this month’s round of the BMKR championship hit the track, some of whom had weathered the storm the previous day when testing various kart set ups.

Bambinos.

A healthy 13 drivers had entered the Bambino class for their three timed runs during the day. Oscar O’Sullivan managed to top the timing charts through all three of the runs, with a consistent turn of speed, claiming the top spot in the merged results. Laith Khan was second in the first run with a time just 0.093 behind the speedy O’Sullivan but was then surpassed by Antony Parfett in the following two runs, Parfett taking second in the merged results.

Jayden Sherwood had two 3rds and a 5th to take third overall in the merge. The following merged positions were as follows – Mikey Walker 4th, Laith Khan 5th, Reg Heywood 6th, Harry Piogeon-Moffat 7th, Sonny Mortensen 8th, jack Pullen 9th, Charlie Warren 10th, Kit Beldosky 11th, Kristain Stefanov 12th and Sebastian Minns in 13th.

Honda Clubman.

Leon Frost won the first Pre Final in the Clubman class quite comfortably and looked to be the favourite for the class win, that was until class returnee Jamie Perilly took the 2nd Pre final narrowly from Frosty, setting up a good tussle between the two for the Grand Final. From the start Perilly led from Frost, with nothing between them, their pace was such that they dropped Joseph Knight and Reece Lomax who were having fun swapping places themselves.

Ian Marginean held 5th for a few laps before dropping off the leader board, promoting Josh Rudd into the position, Chris Doble was another who suffered along with Marginean after running so competitively slipping down the order. As they approached the closing stages of the 12 lap final, Frost tried everything he knew to pass Perilly, drawing up alongside as they crossed the start finish line, the Project One kart of Perilly was being driven well though and he held on to take a massive confidence boosting win, after a difficult season in the Cadet class. Frost in his Clarke kart continued his excellent recent form by finishing right on the celebrating Jamie’s rear bumper. Virtus mounted Knight emerged ahead in his race with the RHP kart of Lomax, which had been equally as close as the leaders ahead. Ambition’s Josh Rudd took 5th, Nathan Marques salvaged 6th after a troubled start to the day when he ended the 1st Pre final in the tyre barriers. Top novice Finley Watson was 7th, Luke Hayward 8th, Marco Horsley 9th and Jack Theobald 10th. Leon Frost took the fastest lap during his efforts to pass the #40 kart of Perilly.

Junior Max and JX30.

The two Pre Finals in the Junior Max class fell to Project One’s Jack Steadman and the GMS kart of Thomas Lawson. Declan Lee was keen to join in on the wins and circuit class newcomer Riley Stephenson was keen to make his debut count. As the Union flag fell for the 14 lap final it was Lawson’s sinister black kart that led into turn 1, Declan Lee managed to head his teammate Steadman early on which helped Lawson to escape. By lap 4 Steadman jumped past Lee and set off after the leader, Lee then settled into third with Stephenson showing well and closing in on him. Will Egby was 5th in class just unable to hang on the quartet ahead. Owen Tolley was having his debut run in the JX30 class driving his immaculate blue and white Ambition kart.

It was hard to judge his performance as he was the only class entry, that aside he tore up through the Rotax engined karts and looked impressive on his rise up from the Cadet category. Back at the front Steadman closed the gap down to 0.184 seconds, setting fastest lap as he did so, but Lawson had this one in the bag and took a well-deserved victory having driven flawlessly all race. Lee had the Clarke kart of Stephenson in his tow over finish line in 3rd.

Egby was comfortable in 5th with Kamil Garifullin 6th in class. Tolley finished not far behind the Lee/Stephenson battle as he gained valuable experience in his new kart & class.

Honda Cadet.

Only eight karts appeared for the Cadet class this month, somewhat down on the healthy twenty that rolled out for the Clubman series. This didn’t have any detriment on the race though as the top four fought tooth and nail for the overall honours. The two Pre Finals had seen victories with the first going to James Higgins, who won from pole position and the unstoppable Zach Ripley taking the second. Ripley led away Louis Horsley in the final, the two of them working together to pull a gap on the battling Higgins and Declan Russell. Lap after lap Horsley sat studying the back of Ripley’s Evolution kart until he decided to make a move on the penultimate lap into turn 1, this proved successful only as far as the right handed first hairpin, when Ripley returned the favour and took the lead back.

Higgins had broken away from Russell in his Arora backed kart and had closed in on the two leaders, waiting to pounce should anything happen. His chance came on the last lap as Horsley and Ripley tangled on the infield, sending the #58 kart of Horsley onto the grass on the exit of the tight left hander which led onto the infield straight. As they approached the horseshoe Higgins went inside of Horsley but couldn’t make the move stick, an opportunist Russell grabbed his chance and jumped Higgins moving onto the tail of Horsley as they approached the finish. Ripley celebrated in style with both arms raised as he ended his Cadet career on a high; the three behind in the order of Horsley, Russell and the dejected Higgins were just over a second back. 5th went to Ronnie Mansfield who was a little way off the leaders pace, Matthew Hyde was struggling with his tyres in 6th and Oscar Teuten a little subdued in 7th. Jason Gjelaj retired after 3 laps. Declan Russell also took the race’s fastest lap along with his trophy for third.

Senior Max.

GMS teammates Troy Beswick and Jack Wall pulled clear of a race long scrap over 3rd place in the Senior Max Grand Final. This dice included Alex Holgate heading Drew Holmes, Mike Ashby and Stephen Bouffe, with lone 177 driver Paul Williams a little way in arrears. As Beswick consolidated his lead over Wall to the finish, the battle for third waged on, for lap after lap Holmes would make an attempt to pass the stubborn GMS kart of Holgate, at one point it looked as though Ashby would be the beneficiary as the two came perilously close to making contact.

Eventually Holgate succumbed to Holmes’s pressure running wide at the second left – handed hairpin; Ashby followed Holmes through as Holgate recovered in front of Bouffe. Beswick completed a perfect race with the fastest lap as he crossed the line to win by 2.1 seconds from Wall; it was a good race for both after some inconsistent luck recently. Holmes may have threatened the two in front if he could have found a way past Holgate earlier; he had to settle for third. Ashby was thrilled with 4th, Holgate 5th and Bouffe 6th. Williams completed his race in 7th, collecting a trophy as the 177 class winner.

Junior Subaru UK.

The 31 Junior Subaru UK entries had to be split into three groups A,B & C to determine the grid positions for the Grand Final at the end of the day. Callum Gunning was on top form taking two wins, James Tomsett taking the third. New champion Riley Stephenson was starting third on the grid behind these two, next up was Ross Hastings continuing to show his newly found pace, Harvey Roffe impressed with 5th. A ‘B’ final decided the last four positions on the 24 kart Grand final grid, this was won comfortably by Kieran Ives, after a mix up on the first lap delayed those behind him. Going through with him were Louis Barker, Joseph Gethin and Poppi Stephenson.

The start of the Grandfinal emphasised the inherent pace that Callum Gunning’s DNL kart had, as he sped away from his eager pursuers. The #13 Sait kart of Tomsett couldn’t match this pace, so set about keeping champ Stephenson at bay, the latter unable to mount a positive challenge although he did set the fastest lap on the very last lap. The race had been very static at the front with Gunning taking the win just under a second in front of Tomsett and Stephenson. The fight for fourth behind was intense; Ross Hastings couldn’t live with Tomsett or Stephenson and was busy trying to hold off Harvey Roffe and Zac Spence, who soon worked his Ambition kart past the both of them, settling himself into a lonely 4th place which he held comfortably to the flag.

Hastings and Roffe had a feisty tussle, that went in favour of the LICA kart of Hastings securing 5th at the finish. Charlie Hand managed to squeeze past Roffe for 6th, leaving Roffe a frustrated 7th. James Popple, Owen Hizzy and Lewie Weaver completed the top 10 from what had been a huge train of battling karts, showing just how close Junior Subaru racing can be, many of us watching didn’t want the race to end !

Charlie Hand took the prize as the top Inter runner, Kieran Ives the top novice after working his way up to 13th from the B final, Lewis Deacon won the Plus class and Poppi Stephenson was the highest mover in 15th after also coming through from the B final.

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