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Bayford Meadows Winter series round 1
Bayford Meadows Winter series round 1

The 2023 owner driver racing season kicked off at a chilly Bayford Meadows on Sunday 29th January.

A decent sized entry gave the BMKR club some work to do in arranging the new for 2023 classes into manageable groups for their respective qualifying, heat, pre final and main finals.

The cold temperatures added an element of difficulty for the drivers, as they tried to build heat into their tyres over the early laps, on the slick surface.

Senior Club Max.

The twelve kart Senior Club Max drivers opened the day’s main finals. The heat and pre final wins went to an on form Declan Russell and with his Evolution team mate Chris Thomas backing him up in the runner the up positions, the pair were on the front row for the main final.

ASM’s Kieran Ives took 3rd in the pre final to line up 3rd on the grid, from circuit returnee Tom Rotherham in 4th.

Josh Pullen recovered from qualifying issues to start 5th on the 3rd row, with Ciaron Edgson alongside. The fourth row had Jake Riches and Stefan Kaczmarczyk side by side; the fifth featured Oliver Hutchings and Sonni Scott.

From the start of the final, Russell laid down a marker by streaking clear of his teammate Thomas as they crossed the start line and over the initial tour, Ives held 3rd from Rotherham who then managed to throw it all away with a spin into the first infield hairpin on the 2nd lap.

This left Kaczmarczyk up to 4th after a stellar start and Pullen in 5th, Edgson was next up from a charging Hutchings who had been rapid in the morning’s heat in 7th.

Riches, Poppi Stephenson and Scott completed the top 10 after the first two laps. Russell was in complete control at the head of the field and went onto take a comfortable victory over his teammate Thomas by the finish.

Ives was struggling in 3rd and after initially fighting back against Kaczmarczyk’s attack, had to concede the place to the latter Roalf racing driver. This was Kaczmarczyk’s debut in the Senior class, so a great result for the busy young driver.

Ives also slipped behind Pullen mid race as the pair finished 4th & 5th both somewhat disappointed after expecting more from their day. Edgson and Hutchings took 6th& 7th, Riches unfortunately retired from an entertaining battle for 8th which eventually fell to a recovering Rotherham, leaving Stephenson 9th, Frederic Lecomte 10th and an aggrieved Scott in 11th, who was pushed wide by the former on the last lap to lose a position.

Post-race dropped nose penalties hit both Rotherham and Edgson, dropping them to 7th & 11th respectively and moving those around them up a spot.

Russell topped a perfect day by taking the fastest lap of the race with a time of 46.96s.


Freddie Williams topped qualifying for the Bambino class and then led away the morning’s heat, before Louis Williams-Mabbs came through to take the win.

Beau Blundell finished in 3rd place behind Williams in the heat, but shone in the pre final to take the win from Williams-Mabbs, Mason Muncer and Freddie Williams.

In the main final Blundell led away in his SANA backed kart and went on to take a resounding victory over Williams-Mabbs and Freddie Williams. Sadly Mason Muncer had to retire before completing a lap with engine problems, which left him parked up in tears while being consoled by his Dad; we hope he can bounce back stronger on his next visit to the circuit.

Winner Beau recorded the fastest lap in the final with a time of 1:03.37s.

Honda Cadet 160/200.

The Honda cadet classesare split into two groups this year with the established 160cc powered karts running with the new for 2023–200cc machines, with the latter proving quicker over a lap.

The grids for the day were combined although looking to the future this may change.

Ronnie Smart took the heat win in the 200s and Dylan Glasgow the 160s. The pre final wins went to Ralphie Branscombe, with Glasgow once again heading the 160s.

In the main final Branscombe was bang on form as he took a lights to flag win over an inter team Project One battle for 2nd featuring Smart and Lucas Knibbs, which was interrupted by Freddie Wall who had worked his way up to an eventual 3rd behind Smart.

Fourth place fell to a delighted Riley Taylor who revelling in the extra power that the 200 engine delivers. He came out on top of a fierce battle featuring Knibbs and Jack Cope who finished 5th and 6th.

In the 160s Glasgow took his #13 kart to victory on his debut at the circuit, heading Harrison Page and Alfie Clark in 2nd & 3rd. Ayda Sexton took 4th in the 160s from Ricky Mackintosh in 5th. The fastest 200 lap fell to winner Branscombe with a 53.11s, the fastest 160 lap went to class winner Glasgow who set a 53.80s.

Senior Club Max 177.

The usual bustling 177 grid was down to just 6 runners for the season opener, as several of the regulars are waiting for the weather to warm up first! Adam Clark had a perfect start to the year by taking a clean sweep of wins, with his winning margin in the final a cool 4 seconds.

Behind Adam the battle for 2nd had been hard fought throughout the day, eventually falling to ASM’s Matthew Hickson, who had started 5th after a dropped nose penalty in the pre final had affected his grid slot for the final.

Daniel Wright and Alex Joyner had a good tussle over third with the two eventually finishing in this order. Dennis Trzeciak and Andy Locke tangled at the first corner, which delayed the former who finished 5th and led to Locke’s early retirement from the race.

Clark also took the fastest lap of the race on the final tour with a 47.89s lap.

Rotax Inter.

New to the circuit for 2023 is the Rotax Inter class, with the Micromaxkarts offering another Cadet option for the younger drivers. Five drivers rolled out for the final and after a couple of early passes was a quiet affair on track.

Harry Freeman proved to be the fastest of the quintet as he headed to a 2.14s victory of Albie Lapper in 2nd. Laurie McVeigh finished 3rd, Max Wheatley 4th and Warwick Mylum in 5th.

Freeman scorched to a fastest lap of 49.64s proving the pace of the Micromax karts compared to the other cadet classes.

Junior Club Max.

The biggest grid of the day was for the highly competitive Junior Club Max class. With 24 karts filling the circuit incidents were inevitable throughout the day. The battle for overall honours was hard fought between Finlay Underwood, now fully recovered from his injury last year and GMS driver Liam Thomas, who was the man to beat at the end of 2022.

Underwood proved fastest in qualifying and took the heat win, whereas his rival Thomas-topped the all-important pre final, giving him the inside grid slot for the slingshot into turn one for the main final.

Behind these two there were several 2022 Mini Club Max drivers pushing the top two along. Fletcher Jamieson, Oscar O’Sullivan, Jack Baker and Ryan Welsh keeping the class regulars honest. Keeping the large grid of race hungry youngsters in order at the start required two attempts for the race to be underway.

On both of the starts Thomas tried to hold Underwood out wide at turn 1 and although he succeeded, the latter found a way past over the opening lap, with the Lydd based driver leading over the line.

Jamieson was bang on the pace in 3rd and sat waiting to pounce on any mistake from the two ahead. Baker had jumped O’Sullivan on the first lap only to fall behind a little later. Mitchell Mulvey was on a charge in his Roalf racing kart, as he moved up from 9th into 5th after 2 laps.

An opening lap crash had delayed several drivers including Welsh, as they bunched up into the in field first hairpin and further incidents were to affect to race duration. Underwood looked to have the edge over Thomas throughout and although the closing laps were affected by yellow flags (shortening the race to 9 laps), had looked comfortable in taking the win, laying down a strong marker for the rest of the year.

Thomas felt he could have challenged the winner had there been a clean race finishing 2nd. Jamieson was on his tail all race and would have learnt a great deal from following the two more experienced drivers ahead of him.

O’Sullivan was 4th on the road before a nose drop penalty dropped him to 6th, still a good effort on his class debut. Mulvey inherited the 4th place from O’Sullivan as Baker took a solid 5th, looking very comfortable now in the Junior class.

Luca Osman-Price finished 7th on the road before dropping to 12th after he also took a 5s penalty. Callum Sims then moved up to 7th and Jacob Hobbs took 8th. “Flat out Fletch” Jamieson recorded the fastest lap of the race with a 47.12s tour.

Rotax Cadet.

The rookie Micromax class was on the circuit next for their final. The 6 drivers were headed by Sebastian Bearman over the three races, as his previous track experience in the Honda Rookie class held him in good stead.

His margin of victory was only 0.28s in the final though as Akille Nane Giannone shadowed the blue Ambition racing kart over the 10 lap race distance. Lewis Herbertson finished 3rd before a nose drop penalty dropped him to 5th.

Henry King recovered from a first lap delay to just beat Ellis Honey to 3rd place, although Honey will be happy with 4th, his first race in the class after moving up from Bambinos.

Dimitar Uzunov was next up a little way behind in 6th place. Fastest lap of the race went to Giannone, set in his chase of the winner Bearman with a 53.30s lap.

Junior Rookie/ Junior Libre (MM22).

The last race of the day was for the Rookie Junior drivers, which also featured several Mini Max karts running amongst them. Presley Walker was on top form throughout as he scored a clean sheet in all of the races, taking a 3.03s win after 11 laps in the final.

Kajus Zygmanta found some good paceduring the day, as he steadily moved up to be Walker’s closest challenger to take 2nd in the final. Joel Bullen was the final podium finisher in 3rd, another to have found pace during the day moving up from 5th on the grid.

Jack Robinson was 4th across the line after holding 3rd for much of the final,until he was thenpenalised5s post-race for a nose drop, leaving him 6th overall. Ollie Oretu inherited the 4th place having proven much quicker earlier in the day when he took 2nd in the heat and pre final.

Dejaun Bennett finished 5th, Dextor Gregory 7th behind Robinson and Ethan Page a 5s penalised 8th. Winner Roalf racing’s Walker also took the fastest lap of the race. Harry Russell proved to be the fastest of the three Mini Club Max drivers finishing first in class in each of the races.

Fastest laps went to Walker with a 47.81s and Russell recording a 50.24s lap.

Round 2 of the winter series will be held on February 19th.

Full results from this event can be found here-https://results.alphatiming.co.uk/bmkr/e/109107