Tough conditions produce thrilling racing
Tough conditions produce thrilling racing

The BMKR and Kent championships continued on Sunday, over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Dry morning weather for qualifying and the 1st round of heats, soon gave way to predicted persistent rain throughout the afternoon for the finals.

Bambinos.

The 13 Bambino drivers had four timed runs due to their second run being declared void. The last two runs were held in very wet weather, which gave the youngsters the chance to slide their karts through the corners. Oscar O’Sullivan took the best advantage of this by securing the fastest times in the second and third runs. Harry Freeman had been quickest in the dry first run and finished runner up in the remaining wet runs. 3rd place in the first run went to Charlie Warren, in the 2nd run it was to Jesse Phillips and the 3rd was Jack Pullen. Maayan Patel, Rio Licata and Fletcher Jamieson also featured in the top 6 over the three runs.

Honda Clubman Elite.

12 Drivers made up the Clubman Elite final with the #40 Project One kart of Jamie Perilly starting from pole position. Declan Russell sat alongside, Jack Williamson 3rd, Vinnie Lloyd 4th, Leon Frost 5th and Jack Theobald 6th. Perilly drove away from Russell initially and looked very assured in the wet conditions. Russell slipped back behind a charging Williamson who also looked very suited to the conditions. Frost had moved ahead of Lloyd but could do little about those up at the front, his kart not as suited to the wet track as it had been earlier in the dry.

At mid race Perilly looked settled and comfortable out in front, Russell then started to pick up his pace and found a way past Williamson into 2nd, he then set off after Perilly catching and passing him with two laps left to run. An exciting climax to the race saw Perilly fight back and take the win just 0.26 seconds in front of Russell. Williamson was not far behind taking a fine third place, Frost lost 4th to Lloyd on the last lap finishing 5th, Nathan Marques took 6th, Joshua Rudd was 7th, Theobald 8th, George Oxford 9th and Rylee Brown 10th. Privateer Russell took the fastest lap on lap 6 of the 11 lap final.

Junior Subaru UK.

Louis Barker continued his fine recent form with pole position in his Sonic Motorsport kart, a confident James Tomsett sat alongside Barker in his SAIT run CompKart. Last month’s winner Lewie Weaver lined his GMS kart in third; he had the Clark Motorsport kart of Leon Clark alongside. Clark had qualified 21st and last after his chain snapped before he could complete a timed lap, so had driven brilliantly in the Heat and Pre Final to recover to line up 4th.

Joseph Gethin & Katherine White completed the top 6 of a 20 kart final grid, soon to be down to 19 when the luckless Kieran Ives hit trouble on the dummy grid and Oliver Sutton didn’t start. With the rain continuing to fall the final began with a cloud of spray following the drivers around the opening lap. In amongst the gloom – Tomsett had shuffled his kart down the inside of the pole man Barker at the first infield hairpin, he then set about pulling out a gap in the tricky conditions.

Barker didn’t look too comfortable initially and slipped behind Weaver and Clark. Gethin was next up in 5th driving well, as White battled with Red Beswick. Tomsett looked in control by midrace and could afford to relax while trying to avoid one or two of the puddles which were emerging around the sodden circuit. Clark continued his remarkable comeback drive by usurping Weaver by lap 4, the latter looked under no threat in 3rd as Barker was now under threat from Gethin. White had Harvey Roffe closing in on her in the battle for 6th place. After 11 very wet laps, Tomsett celebrated a crushing win by displaying a one fingered salute with his bright yellow glove, emphasising who was first as he crossed the finish line.

Clark too celebrated his fighting runner up position, showing that his championship push is alive and well. Weaver scored good points with 3rd, Barker held off the threatening Gethin for 4th. White managed to keep Roffe behind her as they finished 6th and 7th. Charlie Hand took 8th from Beswick in 9th and Kieran Janali’s luck finally held out as he took 10th place. Tomsett capped his dominant display by taking the fastest lap on the 4th tour.

Junior Club Max.

James Black and Joshua Pullen took the wins in the earlier heat and Pre Final of the Junior Club Max class, as both lined up on the front of the final grid and led the 10 kart field away in a ball of spray from the rolling start. As they sped down towards the bottom hairpin, Jack Richards went around the outside of Black with Jack Davis shadowing them both. Pullen came out of the hairpin with a clear lead, Richards was 2nd, Davis 3rd, Will Egby 4th, Black meanwhile was down in 5th after contact with Ross Hastings LICA kart.

Pullen pulled comfortably clear over the opening laps and looked in control of the race, behind Davis was driving very well having moved ahead of Richards, Black was now on a charge and soon moved onto the bumper of Egby’s Project One kart. Disaster struck on the 4th lap for the leader Pullen as he inexplicably lost control of his Clarke kart on the short chute approaching the chicane, leaving him stranded on the side of the circuit, while the others sped past.

Davis now found himself in a comfortable lead from Black who had moved up into 2nd following a very determined drive in his Bristol Street Motors backed CompKart, displacing Egby and Richards. Egby followed Black past Richard’s SAIT kart for 3rd by lap 8, Richards then having a flying Riley Stephenson all over him and soon demoting him further.Stephenson was having another nightmare Bayford Meadows visit, following on from last month, as his Clarke kart refused to run cleanly, by the end of the race though he was absolutely flying. As the race reached its climax, Davis controlled the pace over Black through the puddles and standing water to take a good win, eventually 2.24 seconds in front.

Black who lost a little pace towards the end of the race, had Egby and a charging Stephenson breathing down his neck as they crossed the finish line. Richards took 5th from the recovering and desperately unlucky Pullen in 6th. Hastings took a nose drop penalty finishing 8th behind Oliver Bullion in 7th. Jack Aldis was the last runner in 9th as Brendan Sathees hit throttle problems which forced him to retire, although he did fair slightly better than Harvey Collyerwallis who did not even make the start due to engine problems. Stephenson’s latent pace was proven with the fastest lap recorded.

Senior Club Max &177s.

Joe Hunt’s Project One kart sat on the pole for the Senior final after a convincing 7 second Pre Final victory, showing that the wet weather hadn’t affected his recent rapid pace at all! Hunt then took off from the rolling start with fellow front row man – Jonathan Harrison following in his wheel tracks. Josh Bacon starting third, soon found a way past Harrison and tried to match Hunt’s early pace over the opening laps. 177 class leader Mark Figes was 4th overall and running very competitively with the lighter drivers around him. Sam Grumbell was 5th and Mike Ashby 6th.

Lewis Deacon was initially next up until he dropped into a competitive midfield featuring Harvey Hollick, Alfie Cockerell, Drew Holmes and Tom Richards. Hunt soon established unassailable advantage up at the front and stroked home to a 6.46 second win, looking delighted as he splashed across the finish line.

The DG Racing kart of Bacon took a good 2nd place managing to hold off Harrison who finished 3rd. Figes was 4th on the road but took a 10 second nose drop penalty, leaving him 6th overall, however still first in the 177 category. 4th then went to Gumbrell, with Ashby 5th.  Hollick was 7th, Cockerell 8th, Richards 9th and Deacon 10th. Fastest lap went to 177 victor Figes on lap 5.

Honda Clubman Standard

The last race of the day was for the hugely competitive Clubman Standard class. Rylan Echberg’s DG Racing kart has been consistently one of the ones to watch at each round and he continued to show good pace with pole position for the final. Reg Heywood loves racing in the wet and his CHDD Evolution kart lined up alongside Echberg. Heywood’s teammate Sonny Mortenson was next up on the second row; he had Jessica White’s Clarke kart alongside him. Harry Chamberlain and Henry Ng-zeederberg completed the first three rows of the grid.

Echberg led away and looked in control ahead of Heywood early on, Mortenson and White slotted into 3rd and 4th as the race settled down in still very difficult conditions. With this in mind I should point out that the circuit staff were working very hard indeed to keep the conditions safe for all of the competitors and it is highly commendable that none of the finals were stopped or delayed due to the inclement weather.

Back to the final race of the day and Heywood was looking increasingly menacing behind Echberg and on the 3rd lap made a successful bid for the lead. Echberg couldn’t hold onto to the #11 karts pace and found that he eventually dropped behind Mortenson into 3rd. He immediately made an unsuccessful attempt to return to 2nd but caught the back of Mortenson’s kart at the second infield hairpin causing him to spin and even worse suffer a dropped nose penalty. Zain Khan had been quietly moving up from his 8th grid slot and moved into 3rd at Echbergs demise.

After 9 laps and just over 10 minutes of total concentration Heywood took the chequered flag first, delighting everyone who has watched him move up from the Bambino class and with fellow ex Bambino driver Mortensen 3.8 seconds behind in an excellent 2nd, it proved to be a great day for the CHDD Evolution team. Khan’s efforts were rewarded with 3rd and the fastest lap a fine achievement, Chamberlain took 4th, Emily Jackson a superb 5th  from 12th on the grid in her CER kart, another highly commendable performance. Ralf Jungling and Jacob Gillman finished ahead of the penalised Echberg in 6th and 7th. The top 10 was rounded off by Timo Jungling and John Ward. Jessica White had her hopes disappear with a brake problem which caused her retirement just 3 laps from the end.

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