Glorious conditions at Lydd for Kent Kart Championship
Glorious conditions at Lydd for Kent Kart Championship

With the summer of 2018 continuing to bring gorgeous sunshine to Kent, conditions were ideal for the latest round of the Kent Kart Championship at Lydd, located in the southeastern corner of the county, near Dungeness.

The circuit was also hosting a round of their own IKR series and also new for 2018, the DART FQ250 four stroke machines.

Bambinos.

The seven young Bambino class drivers were given three 10 minute timed runs after a practice session in the morning, which gave them plenty of time to test their diminutive machines on the fast layout that Lydd offers. Harry Freeman set the fastest times in the first and third of the runs with his time of 52.497 seconds in the first runs, topping the times for the day.

Rio Licata had proven to be quick in practice and took the fastest time in the second of the runs and the overall points, behind Harry. Third in the overall points was Jack Pullen after taking a 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the runs. Fletcher Jamieson took 4th overall, from Charlie Warren, Archie Beard and Leon Knight.

Honda Clubman Standard.

Ethan Bentley had a great day in his Clarke Karts machine, taking wins in the heat, Pre final and Grand final of the Clubman Standard class. His teammate Harrison Crowther ran with him until he slipped back behind Harry Chamberlin on lap 10th of the 15 Lap duration. Beau Sullivan ran 4th ahead of a frenetic scrap which Mikey Porter came out on top of to take 5th, featuring in the scrap was Sonny Mortensen, who just nipped ahead of Jack Minter-Young on the last lap to take 6th.

Behind 7th placed Mortensen was class debutant Jayden Sherwood, who has just moved up from the Bambino class. Crowther set the fastest lap while he was chasing leader Bentley early on in the race.

 Junior Subaru.

DNL driver Ben Harper always flies around Lydd and so this proved on Sunday, he was however up against an on form Louis Barker, who was keen to keep, his winning momentum up, after winning at Bayford Meadows two weeks previously. Harper took both the heat and Pre final wins and therefore started the Grand final from the pole position. Barker had finished right on Harper’s tail in the Pre final so started alongside on the front row. It was Harper that led the final away as Barker lost time at the first chicane slipping behind a fast starting Marlo Cordell until lap 3 – when he set about closing the gap that Harper had built up ahead.

Cordell looked safe in 3rd, ahead of some exciting dicing over 4th initially led by Joseph Knight, until Kieran Janali found a way past, Ollie Martynski was joining in the fun, as these three slipstreamed their away around the long flowing bends and long straights that make up this exciting circuit. Poppi Stephenson and Harvey Roffe were exchanging positions behind this group and trying to home in on those ahead. The last two laps were enthralling as Harper and Barker fiercely disputed the lead, it was like a game of fast moving chess as they tried to determine who would have the tow along the long back straight for the final time. Eventually the Sonic Motorsport kart of Barker claimed ‘cheque mate’ as he crossed the line victorious from a visually disappointed Harper, after what had been a fascinating battle.

Cordell was under 3 seconds behind in 3rd, Janali took a well-deserved and confidence boosting 4th  in his SAIT motorsport kart.  Martynski took 5th from Roffe who made his way up ahead of an unlucky Knight, who picked up a 4 second nose fairing penalty, dropping him to 12th. Daniel Hughes finished 7th behind Roffe, Stephenson brought her Clarke kart home in 8th, Max Lee and Jayden Neal-Holder were 9th and 10th and Chloe Clarke recovered from a first chicane off in the Pre final to finish 11th. Louis Barker also collected the fastest lap on his way to victory.

Pro Karts 175 & 200.

Only four karts made it out for the Pro kart final and that was soon down to three when Ross Tidwell retired on the opening lap. 10 seconds separated the winner Jack Denne and runner up malcolm Freeman at the finish, Marcus Beeching was a further 7 seconds back in third.

Junior Club Max.

Eight drivers made up the Junior Club Max final and with the Heat and Pre final wins going to circuit expert Riley Stephenson, his Clarke kart looked favourite to take the final too. Fresh from a recent SuperOne top 10 finish, Project One’s Declan Lee lined up alongside Stephenson, Josh Pullen and Zac Spence completed the top four. From the start Stephenson pushed hard to break the tow to his pursuers, riding the chicane kerbs to his advantage for good effect. This worked as he edged clear of Lee, Pullen and Spence. Behind these four James Black was out, having been hit by Oliver Bullion at the first corner, when his kart suddenly slowed, leaving Bullion nowhere to go. Jack Richards was holding 5th, Brendan Sathees 6th in front of the recovering Bullion.

As the race wore on Stephenson pulled clear, setting the fastest lap and eventually winning by 5.3 seconds, another impressive performance by the amiable young man. Lee couldn’t hold onto 2nd place and succumbed to the challenges of Pullen and then Spence, eventually finishing 4th. Spence’s race came alive over the closing laps as moved into 2nd, his Project One kart usurping the Clarke kart of Pullen two laps from the finish. 5th eventually went the way of the recovering Bullion who passed both Sathees and Richards. The latter Richards took 6th and Sathees 7th.

DART FQ250.

A new addition to the racing scene for 2018 is DART racing class, this is an IKR race series based around the south of England which run the DART FQ250 engine. This is a 250cc 4 stroke kart race engine which gives those interested in Rotax or X30 – another viable option to race something different, with some fantastic benefits which include; long hours between rebuilds, a flat torque curve,( which means weight isn’t a disadvantage), power is identically matched from each and every engine, claimed to put a smile on your face as a guarantee!  The series coordinator Tommi Caldwell told me ‘’Be sure to get in touch with DART Motorsport, to arrange a test drive to find out what the uproar is all about !’’

The eight drivers ran three mixed grid heats before their final, the finishing positions from these deciding the grid for the final, which ran over 15 laps of the 1 km circuit. With heat wins going to Nick Williams (2) and Tommi Caldwell, these two started from the front row of the grid. Williams led away and managed to fend off Caldwell throughout the duration of the race, with only 0.21 seconds covering them after nearly 10 minutes of flat out racing, proving that the recipe for close racing is there. Archie Sherwood was not far behind Caldwell as they crossed the finish line in 3rd.

Aaron Caldwell was some 7 seconds back in 4th, Dave Anker had an off at the start which dropped him some way behind in 5th, Steve Pallett had some issues which put him a lap down in 6th, Darren Reeve did not finish after running well and George Anker was disqualified after 12 laps.

Honda Clubman Elite.

The Elite Clubman class lacked a little in quantity with just 9 entries but packed lots of quality with some nail-biting racing throughout the day. The Pre final witnessed the top four karts covered by 1 second at the finish, with Declan Russell heading Jamie Perilly, Leon Frost and Freddie Lloyd. The Grand final began with a tight squeeze at the first chicane which left pole man Russell work to do as he slipped back into the pack. Perilly lead initially from Frost and Lloyd until the latter also slipped back away from the leaders. Damien Baruss-Haggett also joined in with the battle at the head of the field and by mid race four drivers had taken turns in leading the race, as Russell had fought his way back up with the bunch to also take a turn in the lead.

Over the closing laps Perilly drove beautifully to hold off persistent attacks from those behind and took the win by just 0.033 seconds from an attacking Russell, Frost took 3rd, driving a clever race to secure the last podium place from Baruss-Haggett and the flying Lloyd who had taken the fastest lap during his charge back up the field. Just over half a second covered the five as they took the chequered flag as one, with Nathan Marques closing in behind them. Barrus-Haggett suffered a post-race exclusion from the event, so the final positions featured, Perilly, Russell, Frost, Lloyd, Marques in 5th, Ethan Barford shadowing Marques in 6th, Chris Doble 7th and Jack Theobald in 8th. The fastest lap was recorded by the #17 kart of Freddie Lloyd.

Senior Club Max and 177s.

The last race of the day was for the Senior Club Max class with an excellent 18 entry. The SSR Motorsport kart of Mason Ruff took the Heat and Pre final wins and led at the end of the first lap after a tardy getaway from the rolling start. Drew Holmes had led into the first corner before Ruff moved ahead, the championship leader then settling into 2nd place. Josh Young and Oliver Appleby were never far apart in 3rd and 4th and sat in Holmes’s slipstream.After Jack Wall had dropped to the back of the field, Josh Bacon and Mike Ashby were next up, battling away over 5th. Back at the front Ruff initially pulled clear but as the race progressed the chasing group of Holmes, Young and Applebly closed in, falling just short of mounting a challenge as Ruff crossed the line to take a 0.16 second win.

Holmes added to his championship lead with 2nd place in his Coles kart. Josh Young’s welcome return to Lydd was unfortunately penalised with a 4 second dropped fairing penalty, which dropped him to 4th behind fellow returnee Appleby in 3rd, there really was nothing between these two all day. Bobby Grove had a busy day – after being excluded from the first heat he fought his way up to 11th in the Pre final and then up to 5th in the Grand final, he too was unfortunately hit with a 4 second dropped fairing penalty, which left him 6th behind Bacon in the results. Ashby finished 7th on Bacon’s bumper as he crossed the finish line. Lee McCrumlish took 8th, Mark Figes 9th and top in the 177 category, 10th went to Adam Clark. Ruff set the fastest lap on the third tour as he pushed to gap the pursuing pack.

 


 
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