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BMKR thrills at Bayford Meadows
BMKR thrills at Bayford Meadows

The BMKR August meeting was held at the Sittingbourne circuit last weekend, with a packed paddock that spilled out onto the back straight lining the circuit with colour, and an audible ambiance once the racing was under way.

The usual Heat, Pre Final and Final programme was used for the regular competing classes, which was boosted this month by the raucous FP4 four stroke class, which deviated from the norm by running 3 Heats and a Final.

Bambinos – Beau blasts to first win.

Only six drivers raced on Sunday in the Bambino class, but you wouldn’t have guessed that by the vocal response from the watching families, as they gave some of the loudest cheers of the day, for their young drivers! Louis Williams-Mabbs won the morning Heat before finishing 2nd to Beau Blundell in the Pre-Final, these two were the  favourites for the afternoon’s main Final. Predicting winners though can be difficult in this class, as the engines often prove temperamental, leaving it hard to judge just who the quickest driver on the day.

Beau Blundell’s engine suffered no hiccups though, as he led the six away from the start of the Final with Louis W-M in hot pursuit, Joseph Cox started 3rd but was soon passed by Franklin Street who appeared to have recovered from engine problems earlier on in the day. 5th and 6th were Ellis Honey and Freddie Williams, who both seemed to be struggling for pace from the start. Beau  was driving beautifully out in the lead as Louis started to fall back into the clutches of Franklin and was soon passed by the Roalf racing livered kart. Behind 4th placed Joseph, Freddie had overtaken Ellis for 5th, last week’s Lydd winner struggling for pace.

As the laps ticked down to the finish, Franklin closed in on Beau for the lead finishing just 1.5s behind the delighted Beau, who  had taken  his first outright win in his Sana backed kart. Franklin was no doubt grateful to be back on the pace in 2nd   with the fastest lap too. Louis in 3rd had proven a point during the day with his earlier Heat win. Joseph had a quiet run to 4th, but well clear of Freddie and Ellis at the finish.

Senior Club Max 177 – Lawson back on top.

At last month’s meeting Thomas Lawson languished down in 7th place, which was very unfamiliar for the driver that normally sets the pace in the 177 class. On Sunday he was right back to form with a dominant display, taking Heat, Pre-Final and main Final wins, not forgetting the inevitable fastest lap too! The battle for 2nd place was a lot closer, although the lap chart shows that Dennis Trzeciak held the runner up position all over every one of the 14 laps. Had Matthew Hickson and Olly Moss not tangled on the first lap, Trzeciak may not have had such an easy time of it. The race for third was intense as Mike Ashby shadowed Jason Mills for the whole race, just not able to mount a decent challenge for the last place on the podium, the pair finishing 3rd and 4th.

Daniel Wright kept the two ahead within touching distance as he finished in 5th. Luke Bailey was having a quiet day compared to his dramas at Lydd last week running 6th, that was until a failed attempt by novice Jason Cole to pass, ended both of their days in spectacular fashion in the tyre barrier at the rise! James ‘Adam’ Pell gratefully accepted the promotion from 8th to 6th at the finish after their mishap.

Billy Clarke and Jason Bear were on Pell’s bumper at the finish in 7th and 8th , both keeping those positions once dropped nose penalties were added to their times. A solid drive by Daniel Wyatt saw him finish 9th from Stuart Hatcher in 10th.

Honda Cadet – Seven way fight thrills all.

The seven drivers in the Cadet class put on a great display of close racing, with the lead changing hands repeatedly and only one driver penalised for a dropped nose fairing. Unfortunately for the winner on the road, Alfie Mew, it was he that was the incumbent driver who was docked 5s post-race!

Teddie Cooper started from pole position and led initially from fellow front row starter Mew. Lewis Riley made a lightning start from 4th by jumping up to 2nd after 4 laps, but had a nightmare 9th lap as he was bundled down to 5th, by Mew, Johannes Friis and Leon Knight. Ayda Sexton and Harry Russell were in close attendance in 6th & 7th waiting to pick up any places lost.

Mew stole the lead away from Cooper on the last lap and then on the approach to the finish the top three ran side by side, with Mew crossing the timing beam 1st, Cooper 2nd and Friis 3rd. Riley was 4th over the line from Knight 5th, Sexton 6th and Russell 7th. Mew’s post-race penalty meant positions 2-7 all moved up one spot, leaving him 7th and giving Cooper the win, just 1.36s covered the top seven as they had crossed the finish line. The fastest lap went to Friis on the 8th of 13 laps.

Honda Rookie – Nail biting finish to Rookie Final.

As if the tense Cadet Final wasn’t enough for those watching on, the Rookies provided plenty of drama too, as the race went down to the wire. The Heat win went to George Clarke and the Pre-Final to Maria Ruberto, both of which were closely fought races. Freddie Wall lined up next to Ruberto on the front row, after showing well in the Pre-Final, Clarke had Sebastian Bearman next to him on the 2nd row. Alfie Clark and Noah Curtis completed the 3rd row ahead of Ralphie Branscombe and Jack Cope on the 4th.

Ruberto continued her Pre-Final form by leading over the opening laps, until Clarke moved ahead to lead the next three laps before Ruberto responded by leading again, this time however her lead only lasted a lap, as the drivers behind were beginning to push to the end of the race, giving each other signals to work together as they did so. With around four laps to go Clarke stuck his Project One kart back at the front, but still couldn’t break free.

Over those last few laps Bearman took a turn at pushing for the lead, before Branscombe attacked moving up to 2nd, before managing to lead over the start of the last lap. Going into the left hand infield corner onto the back infield straight, Clarke made his move and Branscombe sensed his presence by giving him enough room to pass, without making any contact. This didn’t help Branscombe however as Bearman nipped past with Clarke in tow too.

On the run to the finish line, Clarke had the win in the bag, Bearman was just 0.12s behind in 2nd, Branscombe next in 3rd from Ruberto and Wall in 4th & 5th. In 6th finished Alfie Clark, 7th Curtis, 8th was Matthew Lilley just ahead slipping ahead of Cope in 9th , the top 10 was completed by the ever improving Riley Taylor .  Sebastian Bearman took the fastest lap in a very close race where no penalties were awarded.

Junior Club Max – Drama on the final lap hands the win to a grateful Underwood.

The fiercely competitive Junior Club Max class had a new name at the top of the result sheets on Sunday, as things boiled over on the last lap between two of the championship protagonists. Oliver Hutchings took both the heat and Pre-Final wins and looked the one to beat in the main Final. Mitchell Mulvey had had his best race to date in the morning’s Heat with a fine 2nd, while Freddie Ingram recovered from a relatively poor qualifying to finish runner up in the Pre-Final.

With Hutchings and Ingram on the front row we knew we were in for a cracking race. Mulvey and Finlay Underwood filled the 2nd row, Liam Thomas and Lloyd Hare the 3rd. The 4th row was completed by Joseph McVeigh and Luca Osman-Price.

As the 21 karts crossed the line for the start of the race circuit boss Ian Ward signalled a clean start and we were underway with Hutchings and Ingram side by side into turn 1. Ingram’s natural aggression made the first turn his, as he swooped across in front of his rival Hutchings to lead over the first lap. Underwood, Hare and Thomas filed into formation behind the leading pair as the race settled down. Mulvey didn’t fare to well on the opening lap slipping back to 7th behind Osman-Price, although he soon reversed that position. And so for 13 laps the order at the front remained static, Hutchings sat contently behind Ingram’s Roalf racing kart, as did Underwood, Hare & Thomas, 3rd – 5th eventually running as a train as they approached the end of the race.

As the last lap board was shown the tension on track was palpable, the top 5 were as one , each trying to make a move on the kart ahead of them. Half way around the lap on the left hand bend that leads onto the back straight, Hutchings sensed his opportunity. The corner has been the scene of many last lap moves, some work the majority don’t  This attempt fell into the latter as Hutchings cut the corner, hoping that Ingram would leave him room on the exit, this was never going to happen as the leader wasn’t leaving any room at this stage of the race. Hutchings kart then rode up over Ingram’s, seriously delaying both, and allowing Underwood and Hare through. Underwood who has recently been on the receiving end of some heavy handed driving, took a well-deserved win.

Hare kept his championship momentum going with a solid 2nd, Hutchings crossed the line in 3rd but was penalised post-race dropping him out of the top points scoring positions. The remaining podium position went to Thomas; Mulvey scored good points in 4th, from the recovering Ingram, who was frustrated at seeing yet another win slip from his grasp. Osman-Price finished 6th, McVeigh 7th, Simon Parfett was next up but slipped to 10th once a 5s penalty was applied, so Jacob Hobbs took 8th and Jack Theobald 9th.The fastest lap went to Hare.

Senior Club Max – Teammates clash, takes the shine off of Senior Final.

While the three race tyre rule has proven an undoubted success at the circuit over recent years, there are times when the rule penalises some and helps others. James Tomsett’s welcome return to the circuit gave him the advantage of fresh tyres over those that were on the current tyre cycle. He used the new rubber to good effect by topping qualifying and winning both the heat and Pre-Final. His teammate Riley Stephenson lined up next to him on the front row for the Final, some achievement after having had a catastrophic engine failure in the morning’s Heat and then going from last to 2nd in the Pre-Final, in what was an epic drive through the 18 kart field. Jonathan Wilkes & Harry Chamberlain were on row 2, Max Goodwin and Ciaron Edgson row 3. On row 4 sat Arjun Mehta and Benjamin Boras.

Stephenson knew that he had at least a 3/10ths disadvantage to Tomsett and this showed on the opening lap as he managed to pass Tomsett, who had made the perfect start. Wilkes and Chamberlain were next up, behind them an incident on the 3rd lap saw brought the demise of Goodwin, after he was hit damaging his kart. At the front Stephenson was driving very defensively already, Tomsett had one  attempt rebuked and he lost time dropping back to 3rd behind Wilkes.

Within a few laps however his prestigious pace had him back on Stephenson’s bumper and he had a good run down to the bottom hairpin, grabbing the inside line into the tight corner, it appeared that he had the move done until, Stephenson held his own which led to the inevitable contact, as both karts tangled on the exit of the corner. In an instant Wilkes, Chamberlain, Poppi Stephenson  Edgson and Luke Winter were through! It had been good hard racing but afterwards it turned a bit ugly as the two GMS teammates clashed again before they retired to the pits.

Wilkes was left in control of the race now, although Chamberlain could sense a win was in his grasp, he had a brief lunge at the left hand corner that leads onto the back straight, it didn’t pay off, as he caught the back of the Project One kart of Wilkes , dropping his nose fairing down. Wilkes crossed the finish line in P1, his own kart suffering a damaged radiator, Chamberlain was 2nd before a costly nose penalty was applied, leaving him 4th.

Poppi Stephenson crossed the line in 3rd but had been running with her rear bumper hanging loose, which left her disqualified, giving a surprised Edgson 2nd place overall. Luke Winter had his best result to date in his Clark Motorsport  kart in 3rd. Joe Wood took 5th behind the penalised Chamberlain, Oliver Johnson finished 6th, Adam Clark 7th, Mehta 8th, Charles Smith 9th and Chris Budd 10th.Tomsett’s day had ended not as planned after showing such outstanding pace all day, so taking the fastest lap was little reward for his efforts.

Junior Subaru/Mini Club Max – Gregory survives to win in Subaru as Jamieson drives flat out to Min Max victory.

Just 3 karts appeared in the Junior Subaru class. Dextor Gregory 4 stroked his way to a comfortable win after Jenson Taylor retired and Ryan Dell was disqualified.

In the Mini Club Max class, Fletcher Jamieson proved to be on great form taking wins in the Heat & Pre-Final after topping the morning qualifying. He was unchallenged in the main Final to win by 4.3s over Antony Parfett in 2nd. Tighe Wratten came out on top of a battle with Callum Sims to take 3rd, with Sims 4th. Jack Baker was next up in 5th, Ben Yiangou finished 6th, Emily Cotty 7th and Ryan Welsh 8th.Fastest lap went o winner Jamieson on lap 11.


19 Karts were entered in the visiting FP4 class and the heat wins went to – Sam Mee (2) and Mark Davies. Mee romped away in the Final to take a 2.46s win over Gavin McGill in 2nd. Michael Marrison took the final podium position in 3rd, Davies 4th, Adam Malins, 5th, Alex Whiteley 6th, Chris Kelly 7th, Joshua Francis 8th, Tom White 9th and Keith Robertson 10th.Mee capped a very productive day at the office by also taking the fastest lap of the race.

Full results from the event can be found here – https://results.alphatiming.co.uk/bmkr/2022/6/

The September BMKR championship race will be held on September 18th.