Championship finals at Bayford Meadows
Championship finals at Bayford Meadows

Winter arrived at Bayford Meadows over the weekend for round 10 of the club’s championship at the Swale circuit. A cold wind and low track temperatures gave the competitors some interesting decisions to make over kart set ups and tyre pressures.

Bambinos –  Parfett takes debut win as Heywood wraps up the title.

Antony Parfett proved the fleetest of the eight young Bambino drivers, taking his first win on his last appearance in the class; his RHP kart topped all three of the timed runs. Mikey Walker backed him up in the first two runs but suffered a DQ in the third of the runs. This helped Reg Heywood to finish second in the overall merged positions, after two 3rds and a 5th in the runs. Third in the merge was Clarke Kart’s Jack Pullen, from Charlie Warren (4th), Laith Khan (5th), and Sonny Mortensen (6th), Walker (7th) and Kristian Stefanov (8th), who also suffered a DQ in the final of the runs, his Williams livered kart having finished 4th in the first and second runs. Reg Heywood took the BMKR championship win for 2017.

Honda Clubman – Lomax clinches the title in style with late win.

Leon Frost set off like a scalded cat in the Honda Clubman final, his Clarke Kart streaking off the line leaving his pursuers in his wake. This didn’t last long however as the pack headed by Jamie Perilly had caught ‘Frosty’ around the back of the circuit on the opening tour. Unfortunately contact between the leading two forced Frost out wide and by the time he had recovered he had dropped down to 6th position.

This left the Project One kart of Perilly and the RHP machine of Reece Lomax out in front, where they managed to pull clear of the rest. Lomax shadowed Perilly for 11 laps and then pulled off a stunning overtake on the last lap, which left Perilly unable to recover. It was a great move and win for Lomax who also sealed the 2017 Championship, Perilly took a comfortable second from Frost who had pulled himself back up into 3rd, a good recovery drive which cemented second place overall in the Championship.

Nathan Marques and Callum Folan fought over 4th until the last lap when Folan went off and out. 5th behind Marques fell to Blake Ticehurst, who ended the season on a high by collecting his first trophy. George Oxford took 6th from a distraught Joseph Knight in 7th, who had been hoping for better in his challenge for the Championship, although he was still a very creditable 3rd after a competitive year. Ian Marginean was 8th, Ethan Barford 9th and Josh Rudd 10th from an impressive entry of 25 Karts. Callum Folan took the fastest lap before his unfortunate demise which brought out a very late red flag.

Junior Max and X30 – Comfortable class wins for Steadman and Brookes.

The nine Junior entries consisted of six Rotax and three X30 class karts. Jack Steadman took his Project One kart to victories in the 2 Pre Finals and the Grand Final, with the latter being a very comfortable 5.4 second win. 2017 Junior Subaru UK champion – Riley Stephenson had the pace to run with his old Cadet racing rival, as he showed in the first of the Pre Finals by finishing on the winners bumper. The second Pre Final didn’t go to plan though as he became embroiled in the fight for second, finishing 4th  with Thomas Lawson and Ben Boras ahead.

In the final he avoided a mix up on the first lap which eliminated Boras and then tracked Lawson until the last lap before pouncing to snatch 2nd place. Lawson who had a few trips to the turn one grass during the day finished third, having already comfortably annexed the 2017 title after a stellar year. Kamil Garifullin took 4th in class from Jayden Walker 5th. Kristian Brookes was the class of the pack in the three kart JX30 field, energetically throwing his Evolution kart around the twisty Bayford infield. Masatora Wada and Scott Sumpton remained locked together all day finishing 2nd and 3rd in that order behind Brookes.

Honda Cadet – Horsley dominates with lights to flag victory.

With 2017 circuit Cadet Champion Zach Ripley absent, Louis Horsley dominated the eight Kart cadet entries. Having been practising his starts at home on his games machine, he lit his Ambition kart up when the Union flag dropped and pulled away to a comfortable 4.9 second win in the 12 lap Grand final, just pipping James Higgins to second in the championship as he did so.

The battle for second went the way of Project One’s Oscar Teuten, after a tense three way battle with Ronnie Mansfield and Higgins, the latter moving ahead of Mansfield with a well thought out move at the end of the race. Behind 4th placed Mansfield was Declan Russell, he had a good duel with Joshua Hoy who finished 6th. Jai Lawrence and Jason Gjelaj completed the finishers and victor Horsley capped his successful day off with the fastest race lap.

Senior Rotax/177 – Kent champ Hodson-Brown returns to take win, Williams wraps up the 177s.

The GMS team had Lewis Hodson-Brown returning for the final event of the year at the circuit and he showed a clean pair of heels to his teammates Troy Beswick and Jack Wall, by winning the Grand Final by 4 seconds. Beswick finished second and took the 2017 circuit championship title home with him, after finding his way past Jack Wall on lap 5.

Wall finished 3rd and took the runner up spot in the title chase. Mike Ashby beat his nearest championship rival Stephen Bouffe to finish 4th in the race, but lost out on points in their battle to third in the championship, after a friendly season long rivalry. Class debutant Tom Richards stepped up from the Junior Subaru UK class, to put in an impressive display – blotted only in the final by a spin when lying 4th, he recovered to 5th at the finish and looks to be one to watch in 2018 in his Sait motorsport kart. Dan Blackman finished 6th, with Bouffe 7th, novice and another debutant Will Barnes finished 8th, after running higher up the order earlier in the race. Other novice Robert Walters smoothed his driving out as the day progressed to finish 9th in front of the sole 177 driver and 2017 class champion Paul Williams. The fastest lap fell the way of Hodson-Brown.

Junior Subaru UK – Clark takes a surprise win in an action packed final.

The large Junior Subaru UK entry was once again split into groups for their Pre Finals, Callum Gunning took two wins with the other going to part time circuit marshal Leon Clark. The new for 2017 champion Riley Stephenson, was absent on Junior Max duties for the day. A ‘B’ final was needed to whittle down the 29 kart entry, with four going through. They were Louis Barker, Katherine White, James Black (running in the plus class for this event) and Joseph Gethin.

The last race of the day began with the low winter sun shining into the 24 drivers’ eyes, as they left the grid to start their 12 lap final race of the year. Callum Gunning led away hoping to finish his last race in the class with a win, behind Leon Clark held 2nd with James Tomsett eager to pass behind him, he managed this on lap 4 and set off after the DNL kart a second or so out in front. Ross Hastings was alone in 4th, Lewie Weaver a safe 5th, behind Owen Hizzey and Red Beswick ran together after dropping James Popple back into the chasing pack. An incident going into the 5th lap at turn 1 involving novice Tom Ovenden brought out the red flags, halting the race immediately. Thankfully Ovenden was fine and the race restarted in a single line over the remainder of the laps.

Gunning’s initial restart pace pulled him clear of the Sait kart of Tomsett, however the #13 driver got his head down and managed to reel in the championship runner up ahead, the two pulling clear of Clark, who himself had opened a gap over Hastings and Weaver, Beswick having dropped back with Hizzey and Zac Spence. Over the closing laps Tomsett pressured Gunning, even moving ahead on a couple of occasions only to have Callum grab the lead back. Going into the final lap the two leaders ran side by side out of turn one, only now Clark was on them and when the two ahead slowed each other at the hairpin, Clark pounced taking the lead on the exit.

The run into the next left hand hairpin had Clark now in front, Gunning and Tomsett will still rubbing side by side slowing each other up, Hastings following them had closed in and launched his kart down the inside of both, somehow bringing his LICA machine out of the tight left hander in front ! It had been one of the moves of the year and he was greatly rewarded with second as they crossed the finish line, Clark took the win to end his year on a massive high, no doubt the hours spent marshalling at the circuit having helped his race craft?

Gunning finished 3rd on the tail of the opportunist Hastings, Weaver had also taken advantage of the commotion at the infield hairpin passing Tomsett, but had picked up a nose fairing penalty along the way which dropped him back to 20th. Tomsett was 4th a disappointment after having led, although he proved that he is a major one to watch for the future . Beswick, Hizzey and Spence were 5th, 6th and 7th, Harvey Roffe in a patched up kart 8th, Joshua Pullen 9th and Tom Emson top ‘inter’ in 10th. Katherine White finished as the highest novice in 14th, having climbed up from the B final, James Black won the Plus class finishing in 16th overall. Tomsett’s chase of Gunning earned him the fastest lap on the 10th tour.

Full results from the day can be found here on Speedhive –