20th Anniversary celebrations at Bayford Meadows
20th Anniversary celebrations at Bayford Meadows

Round 6 of the BMKR championship took place last Sunday at Sittingbourne’s Bayford Meadows kart circuit.

Warm weather greeted the competitors taking part in the club’s 20th Anniversary celebrations, sponsored by Senator Integrated Systems.

Bambinos – Harry Freeman tops the times.

Harry Freeman topped all three of the timed Bambino runs, starring in his new crash helmet, by setting the fastest class lap of the day in the final run, his 61.42 second lap proving out of reach to the other 8 runners. Maayan Patel was the closest to Harry’s blistering lap, setting a 61.63second time in the final run. Rio Licata and Charlie Warren set the second fastest laps to Harry in the 1st and 2nd runs and were right behind Maayan in the final run. Jack Pullen, Henry Carter, Ayda Sexton, Alfie Howland and Leon Knight were not far behind, as just 2 seconds covered the 9 diminutive drivers around the full 1km circuit.

Clubman Elite – Jamie Perilly’s long look back.

14 Karts made up the Elite Honda class with the Grand Final pole position going to an on form Jamie Perilly. With a heat and comfortable Pre final win he was going to be tough to beat. Finley Watson had been the only driver to head Perilly in the first heat as he managed to stay on the winners pace, but he had a retirement in the Pre final dropping him out of overall contention. The chasing pack in the final as Jamie shot away with a stonking first lap, was headed by Nathan Marques, he led a close group consisting of Tighe Wratten, Leon Frost, Ethan Barford and Ian Marginean. Wratten in his lovely retro ‘Hesketh Grand Prix’ livered kart fought his way past the CHDD kart of Marques early on until contact at the bottom hairpin saw Marques recapture 2nd spot.

Perilly continued to pull away in front setting a blistering pace, his Project One kart set up suited to the hot July temperatures. Trouble behind at midrace distance unfortunately led to Marques dropping to the rear of the field, this after hefty contact with Wratten at turn 1 had spun him around, leaving left to fight for the lower points that were on offer. Through the confusion caused during the ensuing melee, ‘Frosty’ Frost found himself promoted to 2nd place, his usual rapid pace having deserted him after a troubled test the day before. Wratten was keen to find his way back into 2nd,though, swarming all over the back of the Clarke kart of Frost. After13 laps Perilly had a long look over his shoulder as he crossed the finish line as the comfortable victor. It was long look back down the straight too, as the runner up Frost was over 9 seconds behind, holding off Wratten to the line.

The Teambase kart of Barford had a good dice with Marginean and the recovering Watson over the closing laps, as he finished 4th. Marginean took 5th, George Oxford’s Ambition kart 6th, from a side by side Chris Doble and Watson in 7th and 8th. Marques recovered back up to 9th from Freddie Lloyd in 10th. Jamie Perilly also secured the fastest lap on his way to the crushing win.

Junior Club Max – Jack Steadman wins exciting final.

The grid for Junior Club Max Grand Final had a different look about it for this month, as the JB Motorsport kart of James Black was starting from pole position, having won both the heat and Pre final. Project One’s Declan Lee had finished ahead on the road in the morning’s heat, but was deemed to have gained an unfair advantage when passing Black and was given a 10 second penalty. Jack Steadman had moved his way from 4th on the grid up past Ross Hastings and Riley Stephenson, to sit alongside the well driven Compkart of Black on the front row. Stephenson and Hastings sat on the second row; the third was made up of Oliver Bullion and Lee.

Disaster struck at turn one at the first attempt to run the final when a mid-pack mix sent Jack Richards and class debutant Louis Woodward into the tyre barrier. The latter Woodward, appeared motionless as he lay entangled in his kart, so the red flags flew to stop the race. Thankfully Louis managed to walk to the ambulance soon after, whilst holding his wrist, we hope that he makes a full recovery and can return to racing soon.

The second attempt at starting the final was a much cleaner affair and the Bristol Street Motors backed kart of Black held the initial lead. Steadman’s Project One kart was right with Black and looked menacing, last month’s comfortable winner – Stephenson found his kart bogged down and misfiring as he dropped to the back limping around the first lap before his motor cleared. Lee took full advantage of this and jumped from 6th to 3rd to sit on the tail of his teammate Steadman. Hastings held a good 4th, his best run in the class so far. Back at the front Steadman had a couple of stabs down the inside of Black at the first infield hairpin, on lap 4 he made it stick to take the lead. Black didn’t drop back though and looked fast into turn 1 putting pressure on Steadman until he eventually made it back in front.

He then began to look comfortable and in control of the race, Lee was pushing Steadman along in third and this may have helped his teammate to pull off a repeat move down the inside of the same infield hairpin, Black instantly tried to retaliate but a knock from Lee sent him careering along the grass on the infield straight, effectively losing touch with the leader on the penultimate lap. Steadman took the victory in what had been a thoroughly entertaining race; Black was no doubt left feeling a bit battered, although he must have been encouraged by his 2nd place and outright pace. Lee was right there in 3rd and the LiCA kart of Hastings a delighted 4th. Zac Spence had a fraught day recovering to finish 5th from Josh Pullen in 6th.Will Egby, Oliver Bullion, Brendan Sathees and a recovering Stephenson completed the top 10. Black proved that his pace was no fluke with the race’s fastest lap.

Senior Club Max – Triple joy for Project One as Joe Hunt is victorious.

With Project One karts now having taken two final wins, Joe Hunt was on pole for the Senior Club Max final and looked to be the favourite to make it a P1 triple. Oliver Appleby made a welcome return to Bayford Meadows after having over a year away racing elsewhere; he started alongside Hunt on the front row. Lewis Deacon kept up his recent good form by starting third alongside previous Club Max winner Alex Holgate. Stephen Bouffe and Mike Ashby were next up on row 3.

The final began with the leading places running in grid order, bunching at the first turn had cost several drivers dearly, worse of those affected was Will Barnes who had a half spin in avoidance. By half distance Hunt had an impregnable lead, as Appleby’s KPi livered kart couldn’t live with him, finding himself coming under attack from Deacon’s well driven Alonso kart. Holgate’s steed was now coming on song and he managed to squeeze past Deacon to take 3rd on the 8th lap, his next target was Appleby and two laps later 2nd place was his. Deacon finally found a way past Appleby with 2 laps to go but couldn’t do anything about Holgate.

Hunt took the flag delighted to be just over 5 seconds clear of a competitive Rotax grid, Holgate was rewarded with 2nd after a determined drive, Deacon backed up his last month’s performance with a fine 3rd place, ahead of Appleby who was struggling with the change to Maxxis tyres. Stephen Bouffe comfortably held 5th throughout the race, Sam Holgate took 6th having gained two places, as did Ian Sage in 7th. Mike Ashby finished 8th, feeling that his LiCA kart felt inconsistent, after being rapid in the morning’s heat, when he had finished 3rd. Alfie Cockerell topped the 177s by finishing 9th ahead Mark Figes (177s) in 10th. Fastest lap went to Joe Hunt wrapping up a dominant performance and the triple for the Project One team.

Honda Clubman Standard –  Henry Ng-zeederberg matches his hero Lewis, with a win.

The 21 Clubman Standard entrants were split into three groups and given two heats each to decide the grid for the Grand Final. Each of the three heats featured some fantastic close racing, which left us all anticipating an equally close final. On pole position after a win and a second sat Clarke kart’s – Jessica White, alongside her was CHDD/Revolution Racing’s Henry Ng-zeederberg, Henry’s teammate Zain Khan lined up next to DG racing’s Rylan Echberg on the second row, Harry Chamberlin and Reg Heywood completed the third row.

Jess White led away from the standing start, Ng-zeederberg followed her over the opening lap until he took a turn up front. Khan ran third from Echberg and Chamberlin over the early laps, by lap 4 Chamberlin had overtaken Echberg and soon after found away past Khan too, to run third. Back at the front Ng-zeederberg and White had pulled clear working well together, swapping places on lap 8 of 12, this only lasted for one lap though as Henry – the Lewis Hamilton fan driving the #44 kart – snatched the lead back  from Jess and held on to take the win by a mere 0.11 seconds. Not too far behind White in 3rd, was Chamberlin’s Project One kart. Echberg displaced Khan for 4th near the finish and in 6th behind Khan sat  Reg Heywood supporting CHDD colours for this weekend. Sonny Mortensen and Mikey Porter crossed the line almost together in 7th and 8th. Next up in 9th was Matthew Cospey who had run as high as 6th early on, 10th place fell to Beau Sullivan. 3rd place finisher Harry Chamberlin secured the fastest lap as he closed down on the leading pair.

Junior Subaru UK – Lewie Weaver takes thrilling win for GMS.

The last race of the day was for the ultra-close and competitive Junior Subaru UK class, with just 1.4 seconds covering the fastest qualifiers’ – James Tomsett  and Lewie Weaver,( both having recorded the same lap time !) down to the the 23rd placed driver Kipp Chorley. Drivers were split into three groups; each had two races to count points towards the Grand Final grid. GMS driver Weaver collected the most points from his heats to take pole position, alongside him was the Clark Motorsport kart of Leon Clark, the second row had recent double winner Louis Barker in his Sonic Motorsport kart and the Clarke kart of Katherine White. Oliver Martynski and Joseph Gethin sat on row 3. Tomsett was back on the 4th row alongside Jonathan Dalton.

It was fitting that one of the success stories of the club’s 20 year history – Junior Subaru, rounded off a great days racing and with the field being so closely matched, we were set for a treat over the 13 lap Grand Final. As the start line marshal dropped the Union flag, both Weaver and Clark looked across at each other, guessing each other’s next move, as their Subaru 4stroke engines gained revs away from the standing start. At the completion of the first lap, Weaver led from Clark and Barker, over the remaining 12 laps the positions swapped repeatedly between the trio. Katherine White couldn’t live with their pace and began to drop away, with her Clarke kart teammate Oliver Martynski on her tail. Tomsett was picking up the pace behind and soon joined on to the duo’s bumpers. Charlie Hand and Harvey Roffe had overtaken Jono Dalton but they then had an unfortunate coming together on the infield, which left both drivers angry and Roffe facing the wrong way.

The frantic dicing was continuing at the front, Clark held the lead at midrace from Barker, with Weaver closely following them in 3rd. Barker then re-took the lead and managed to hold it, looking assured out in front albeit with the other two breathing down his neck. As the day’s final laps counted down, Weaver made his move and demoted Clark to third, he then pulled off a decisive move on Barker who couldn’t find a way to retaliate over the last lap, losing out by a scant 0.07 seconds as they crossed the finishing line, Clark was in their slipstream over the line in third, collecting good championship points.  The battle of the Clarke karts went the way of Martynski as he finished a stellar 4th, while White dropped into a fight with her nemesis Tomsett in his SAIT run kart, unfortunately the fight ended in near tears as Katherine spun on the first part of the horseshoe section after contact with James, who finished 5th, Joe Gethin finished a seasons best 6th which will be a big boost for him.

Enjoying an all-girl race to 7th were Poppi Stephenson and Caitlin May, May had held the position for most of the race but just couldn’t hold off the determined ‘Pops’ over the last lap. Dalton took 9th from the understandably dejected White in 10th. It was great to see yet another new winner in the class and for Lewie Weaver this was very much deserved, after being on the pace all year long. Tomsett’s speed was never in doubt and he took the fastest lap, with just him and the winner managing to break into the 50 second barrier. The next round sees the class visiting the Clay Pigeon circuit next month, just who will come out on top there is proving very difficult to predict.