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Busy meeting at Bayford Meadows
Busy meeting at Bayford Meadows

Sittingbourne’s Bayford Meadows kart club held one of their busiest events of the year last Sunday, as the Kent Kart championship ran alongside round 4 of the circuit’s annual championship.

With the threat of early morning rain thankfully disappearing, the 100+ competitors worked their way through qualifying, Heat and Pre Final before the afternoon’s main Finals began.

As this was the fourth event of the championship year, new tyres were being used by all, with nobody therefore gaining a tyre advantage for this meeting.


Nine diminutive drivers lined up for the first Final of the afternoon and although they were all on an equal tyre footing for this month, one driver – Henry Algar, had shown that he had a clear advantage over the others during the qualifying races, by taking comfortable wins in both. He then set off from the pole position to totally dominate the Final, taking a gigantic 33 second win and fastest lap too!

The other eight drivers must have felt they had Fernando Alonso’s infamous Honda ‘GP2 engine’, as they raced and entertained in the battle for second place. Ralph Rider-Birch eventually came out on top of a four way fight with Ellis Honey (3rd), Regan Mew (4th) & Joseph Cox (5th) all involved. Franklin Street was just a little way off in 6th from a close running Ted Deeprose 7th, Freddie Williams 8th and Beau Blundell in 9th.

Senior Club Max 177s.

The Senior 177 class continues to gain momentum with 18 drivers filling the grid for the Final this month. The man to beat in the class this year has been Thomas Lawson and he once again lined up on the pole for the Final. Billy Watts sat alongside the GMS kart of Lawson, having led a few laps in the morning’s Heat driving his Roalf racing machine. Richard Friend and Daniel Wright completed the second row, from Dennis Trzeciak and Luke Bailey on row 3. Mike Ashby and novice Kai Rogers were next up on the 4th row.

At the green light rolling start Lawson led the field away from Watts & Friend with a fast starting Ashby making up places to run 4th after 2 laps, ahead of Wright, Trzeciak, Bailey and Andy Locke, with Rogers having an awful first lap dropping to the back. Initially Watts held onto Lawson until Friend moved ahead by the end of the 3rd lap, thereafter giving chase to the leader who had now opened a gap over the rest.

The positions stagnated after this with Bailey’s forceful move on Trzeciak for 7th place being the only change in the top 10. Friend did show some great pace in the second part of the race, taking the fastest lap and closing on to the tail of winner Lawson, but he just didn’t have enough to pass over the closing stages. Watts was comfortable in 3rd from Ashby in 4th, Wright in 5th, Bailey 6th, Trzeciak 7th, Locke 8th, Rogers recovering to 9th after drop down penalties affected Alex Joyner and James Adam Pell.

Honda Cadets.

The Honda Cadet class grid totalled nine drivers, which were covered by less than a second after qualifying. Teddie Cooper took the Heat win and the Pre Final was won by Harry Taylor after a close fight with Cooper. These two continued their closely matched battle in the main Final too, swapping the lead over the opening laps, with great aplomb.

Things came to a head however on lap 4 , as Taylor slipped up the inside of Cooper into turn 1 to snatch the away the lead, Cooper though ran wide onto the outer concrete run off area, keeping his foot planted as he did so. As he tried to re-join the circuit – he clashed with Taylor and Johannes Friis heavily, causing Taylor to spin and forcing Friis out of the race. Cooper continued to lead unabated as Taylor was left facing the wrong way on the circuit now in last position.

Daniel Butcher and Harry Russell now formed an Ambition train that sat close to Cooper’s rear bumper as the threesome finished within one second of each other. Ayda Sexton had a solid run to 4th with Taylor driving out of his skin to recover to 5th.

Leon Knight and Alfie Fox had a race long duel finishing 6th and 7th, withLewis Riley taking 8th. A post-race 1 lap penalty was handed to Cooper for the earlier turn 1 incident, which elevated Butcher to 1st and all those down to Riley up one place in the results. Taylor’s recovery drive netted him the fastest lap of the race on lap 11.

Honda Rookies.

The Honda Rookies had a larger grid of 14 karts for their Final with Maria Ruberto taking pole position after a 0.67s win over Laurie McVeigh in the Pre Final. Behind these two on the second row were the Project One pairing of Noah Curtis and Ronnie Smart. Row 3 had Ralphie Branscombe and Freddie Wall lining up together, Alfie Clark and Harrison Page shared the 4th row.

Ruberto had looked super-fast all day long, as her Ambition kart clicked on the new tyres. From the start the grid slipped into single file and Ruberto continued to lead over the opening lap. McVeigh once again set about trying to stay with Maria as the race unfolded. Curtis held 3rd place for 5 laps before Branscombe charged up from 5th on the grid. Wall was next up, running ahead of a group of drivers consisting of Smart, Clark, Max Osbourne and Sebastian Bearman , who were fighting tooth and nail over 6th place.

As the laps ticked down Ruberto stayed in control to take a great debut overall win, from McVeigh, she even managed to control her celebration with a tempered down fist pump as she crossed the finishing line. Behind McVeigh in 2nd, Branscombe kept Curtis at bay as the pair finished 3rd & 4th. Wall wasn’t far behind in 5th but the battle for 6th went to the last lap, with unfortunately an unhappy ending for Ronnie Smart, as he speared off into the inside tyre barrier on the run down to the bottom hairpin.

Thankfully this young lad is seemingly made of steel, as he told the circuit worker that he was fine straight after the accident! It was Bearman who took 6th, from Osbourne 7th, Clark 8th, Abdurrehmaan Shaikh in 9th and Matthew Lilley in 10th. The fastest lap also went to the winner Ruberto.

Junior Club Max.

The Junior Club Max class was once again proven to be highly competitive, with several drivers in with a chance of topping current man of the moment Lloyd Hare, who has been driving beautifully this year. Joshua Pattrick started his day off well by beating Hare in the morning’s Heat, after the latter had topped qualifying.

Things didn’t go so well for Pattrick in the Pre Final though, as he was sent to the back of the grid due to not controlling the pace of the rolling start correctly several times and then he was docked a further lap post-race for a driving infringement. Hare won the Pre Final and therefore started the main Final from pole position.

Oliver Hutchings lined up alongside him, showing some good controlled pace. Freddie Ingram and Liam Thomas completed the 2nd row of the grid, both keen to score good results. A welcome returnee to the circuit Jack Badger was next up, he had Stefan Kaczmarcyk alongside him on the 3rd row. The 4th row featured Simon Parfett and Bentley Lovegrove-Fowler. Jack Theobald & Joshua Whiting filled the 5th row of 22 starters.

From the start Hare led the large grid away, with Ingram slotting into 2nd ahead of Hutchings, Badger, Thomas, Kaczmarcyk, Parfett and Theobald. Back at the front Hutchings was starting to look menacing as he moved ahead of the fast starting Ingram and closed in on Hare. Badger slipped back a couple of places, letting Thomas and briefly Kaczmarcyk into 4th and 5th, before Badger regained a place on the following lap.

The top 10 at this stage was completed by Parfett, Theoblad, Whiting and Pattrick who were charging up from 17th on the grid. As we approached the last quarter of the race Hutchings was putting pressure on the leader Hare, last month he waited until the last lap to try and pass, this time he succeeded on lap 11, as Hare was starting to struggle with his tyres. Hutchings then held on to take a much deserved maiden win in his FMR kart, run with the full support of his family.

Hare wasn’t far off at the finish, just 0.36s in fact and will no doubt be back at the front next time out. Ingram finished 3rd on the road but picked up a nose fairing penalty at some point during the race, dropping back behind Thomas in the results.

This had been Thomas’s best result in the class, he is now finding his feet and will be one to watch in the future. Pattrick saved something from the day late in the race, as he took 5th place climbing 12 places in total. Kaczmarcyk took a solid 6th, a good result after ending last month’s Final in the tyre barriers. Badger & Parfett finished 7th & 8th place ahead of Luca Osman-Price in 9th, who had had a topsy turvy sort of a day overall. Theobald rounded out the top 10 and winner Hutchings took the fastest lap on a day that he will surely never forget.

Senior Club Max.

18 karts lined up for the Senior Club Max Final, the pole taken by ASM driver Kieran Ives, who had topped the qualifying times and then won both the Heat and Pre Finals. Josh Pullen had had a clean day for once and sat next to Ives on the front of the grid. Sam Chappell and Joseph Gethen were next on row 2, row 3 comprised of Declan Russell and Arjun Mehta, next up on row 4 were Ciaron Edgson & Adam Clark, completing the top 10 starters on row 5 were two Jonathans, Wilkes and Dalton.

Ives nailed his start perfectly to lead away, whereas Pullen had to use the run off on the exit of turn 1, which immediately put him on the back foot in 4th, behind Chappell & Russell. Wilkes had made a great start to jump up 4 places to 5th running ahead of Gethen, Mehta and Edgson. As the race settled down, Ives looked in control with only Russell dropping behind the recovering Pullen, Gethen and eventually Wilkes too.

Chappell kept on Ives’s rear bumper patiently waiting for the chance to make a move, Pullen too was keen to pounce when the chance arose. With the race entering its final phase Gethen stepped up his attack and slipped ahead of Pullen into 3rd place and looked threatening on the back of Chappell’s kart.

Going into the last lap Ives still looked in control but you couldn’t help but think that somebody would make a move…..that move came at the 2nd of the infield hairpins from Gethen , who squeezed past Chappell for second with Pullen following him through too.

With that move done the pressure was off Ives as he crossed the line first to take the win, Gethen’s aggressive last lap move sealed 2nd place for him, over GMS teammates Pullen and Chappell in 3rd & 4th. Wilkes salvaged 5th from 9th on the grid, Russell was 6th and Mehta 7th, until he received a post-race penalty for a start line infringement dropping him to 11th.  7th then went to Edgson after a solid drive, in 8th was Tom Richards, 9th fell to Lewis Deacon and 10th to Clark. Gethen proved his pace was real with the fastest lap of the race.

Mini Club Max.

The Mini Club Max class is another that is continuing the upward trend of race entries with 15 appearing on Sunday. Antony Parfett headed the timesheets after qualifying but was then beaten in the Heat and Pre Final by Tighe Wratten, who was running out of the Clark Motorsport awning. Fletcher Jamieson finished runner up to Wratten in the Pre Final so lined up alongside him on the front row for the Final.

Parfett had Thomas Ingram-Hill next to him on the 2nd row of the grid, the third row featured Jack Pullen and Ollie Orteu, Jack Baker and Ben Yiangou completed the 4th row ahead of Ryan Welsh and Felix Stolkin on the 5th row.

The TWR kart of Wratten headed Jamieson away from the start, Parfett ran 3rd from Pullen ahead of Ingram-Hill in 4th and 5th. Orteu, Baker, Yiangou, Stolkin and Welsh completed the top 10 early on. At mid distance Pullen moved ahead of Parfett into 3rd place, just as Orteu passed Ingram-Hill too. A train of four karts led the field as we approached the final few laps, with Jamieson stalking Wratten, who hadn’t been able to pull clear, Pullen and Parfett made up the quartet as they started the penultimate lap.

Jamieson in the #99 kart made his move on the infield left hander and briefly looked as though he had pulled it off, Wratten however was stubborn in his defence and held onto the lead as they went into the next left hander. Jamieson was now caught offline and lost two places to Pullen and Parfett, although the latter managed to pass Pullen for 2nd place before the finish. Wratten then took a good win after driving at a consistent and error free pace.

Parfett was just under half a second behind at the finish, with Pullen not happy with losing the runner up spot at the end in 3rd. Jamieson had tried his best to win but in the end had to settle for fourth, Orteu, Ingram-Hill and Baker finished 5th – 7th, Yiangou 8th, Welsh 9th and Stolkin 10th after picking up a nose fairing penalty. Parfett collected the fastest lap on the 11th tour.

Junior Subaru.

Just five karts made it out for the Junior Subaru class and after running with the Mini Club Max karts for the Heat and Pre Final, they had their own race for the main Final. Dextor Gregory had been unbeaten all day and things were made easier for him at the first turn when the majority of the field tripped over each other, leaving him with a clear lead. Kane Rixson had come through the mix up in 2nd place initially but soon fell prey to Jenson Taylor and then William Fallon right in the closing stages. Ryan Dell couldn’t quite pass Rixson at the finish line, so the final order was Gregory 1st, Taylor 2nd, Fallon 3rd, Rixson 4th and Dell in 5th. Gregory set the fastest lap on the 4th tour.

Full results from the day can be found here – Alpha Timing – Results

The next round of the BMKR championship will be on July 15th.