Bumper entry wows at Bayford Meadows
Bumper entry wows at Bayford Meadows

Round six of the Bayford Meadows kart championship was held last weekend at the Sittingbourne circuit located on the outskirts of the Eurolink industrial estate.

The forecast of heavy rain showers thankfully held off throughout the day, leaving perfect conditions for racing. Another bumper entry of over 100 competitors was up and running early, with practice and qualifying in the morning, before the Heats, Pre-finals and Grand finals in the afternoon.

Bambinos.

The day began with the 10 Bambino drivers venturing out for qualifying and theirs was the first final of the afternoon.

Austin Newstead proved to be the third fastest qualifier in the morning behind Maria Ruberto and Sebastian Bearman, however when it came to the racing he wasn’t headed all day, taking wins in the Heat and Pre-Final before going onto take an impressive 9.9s win the Grand final, along with the fastest lap. The racing was close behind with lots of battling between the young stars, Sebastian Bearman took a clear 2nd place in the final, ahead of Maria Ruberto, who had fought her way up from 8th on the grid.

She passed Mason Brooks on the 5th of 9 laps to take the last podium slot, Mason ended up 6th after losing out to Ella Dixon (4th) and Matthew Lilley (5th) on a fraught last lap. Riley Taylor finished 7th, Regan Mew 8th, Jack Cope 9th and James Roots 10th.

Senior Club Max 177.

The second final of the day was for the Senior Club Max 177 class. Thomas Lawson was looking to return to winning his ways after finishing 2nd last month, he started the day well by qualifying on pole for the morning’s Heat.

He then showed his qualifying speed was no fluke with a very comfortable 6s win over GMS teammate Michael Gibbons. Lawson then cruised to the Pre-final once again finishing ahead of Gibbons with Billy Watts in 3rd. After one lap of the Final it was clear that Lawson had the pace to win, Gibbons initially ran 2nd until Watts managed to usurp him on the 2nd lap. James Pagden ran 4th from Daniel Wright in 5th.

Gibbons was keen to move back ahead of Watts as soon as he could but overcooked things under braking for the rise, locking his axle and spinning wide, dropping him back into the pack to 8th place. Back at the front Lawson was having a faultless drive to victory, eventually winning by just under 12s.

Watts was delighted to finish 2nd in his DG/KRM run kart, Pagden was a couple of seconds behind in 3rd with Wright finishing on his tail in 4th. Gibbons recovered to 5th, James “Adam” Pell was involved in a close fight for 6th, just managing to hold off Josh Constable and Andy Locke in 7th & 8th. Lawson set the fastest lap on the 10th tour.

Mini Club Max.

With Tighe Wratten not starting the morning’s Heat after qualifying fastest, nine karts appeared for the Mini Club Max class Final. Last month’s victor Oscar O’Sullivan started from the pole with Project One teammate Josh Selvadorai alongside him.

Lloyd Hare and Callum Sims shared the second row, Jack Pullen & Mitchell Mulvey the third, Luca Osman-Price & Thomas Ingram-Hill the 4th and Ryan Welsh sat alone on the 5th row. O’Sullivan nailed his start from grid 1 as Selvadorai was hung out to dry on the outside of turn 1, as both Hare & Pullen snuck through leaving him 4th , Sims starting 4th suffered worse as he ended up facing the wrong way on the exit of turn 1 after contact with Ingram-Hill, dropping him down to last.

The #46 kart of O’Sullivan then pulled a gap over the battle for 2nd place, as Selvadorai set about making up for his tardy getaway, passing the GMS kart of Pullen on the 7th lap and then repeating the move on Hare on lap 10. Over the remaining 4 laps Selvadorai closed on O’Sullivan but was never able to put in a challenge, although he did set the fastest lap in his efforts to do so. The two Project One drivers had the edge on the day and there was very little to choose between them.

Hare in 3rd, soon came under attack from Pullen who had a good run around the outside along the infield straight on the last lap, Hare’s LGH kart held its line though and the two made wheel to wheel contact after Hare had been squeezed onto the grass, his blue kart rode up over Pullen’s, painfully catching young Jack as it did so.

Hare recovered to finish 6th and thankfully Pullen just suffered a nasty bruise on his shoulder. After the events happening ahead of him, Luca Osman-Price came through to take the final podium spot in 3rd, Mulvey was right with him at the finish in 4th, Ingram-Hill took 5th, Welsh took 7th behind Hare and a recovering Sims finished 8th in his Jaxx run kart.

Junior Subarus.

As ever the Junior Subarus provided some tremendous action, although thankfully without too much drama for this month! Liam Thomas has recently found the secret for success in the class and appeared to be keeping it to himself as he powered his way to the Heat and Pre-final wins, to leave on the pole for the afternoon’s Final.

Ciaron Edgson came out on top in a clash with Bentley Lovergrove-Fowler in the Pre-final to line up alongside Thomas on the front row. William Fallon and Jace Goslett completed the 2nd row, from Jack Baker and Ryan Dell on the 3rd. Lovegrove-Fowler and Dexter Gregory completed the grid.

Thomas led away the opening laps from Edgson and Fallon, Lovegrove-Fowler meanwhile had started his charge and was soon past Dell, Baker and then Goslett up into 4th.

The leaders meanwhile were swapping places and holding themselves up, this played into Fallon & Lovegrove-Fowlers hands as they soon joined in the fun, the latter moving up to 3rd on the 5th lap. Over the next couple of laps we were treated to some karting at its best as Edgson led from Thomas who soon came under attack from Lovegrove-Fowler, dropping to 3rd.

As the three leaders then scorched their way down to the bottom hairpin – Lovegrove-Fowler seized the chance to go for the lead, sending his colourful kart down the inside of leader Edgson’s Alonso kart, what nobody was expecting happened next….. as somehow Thomas launched his GMS kart down the inside of both of them, pulling off a move that astounded everyone!

They exited the hairpin with Thomas leading, Lovegrove-Fowler in 2nd and Edgson now in 3rd. From that moment onwards the race settled down over the remaining laps, as Thomas went onto to take another class victory, Lovegrove-Fowler successful kept his nemesis Edgson behind to the finish to take 2nd place, Edgson was 3rd from the KRM kart of Goslett who had nipped ahead of Fallon just before the finish to take 4th.

Fallon was 5th some 10s ahead of Baker in 6th, Dell in 7th and Gregory 8th. Lovegrove-Fowler did beat Thomas to the fastest lap of the race, which proves that the pace is there to beat the impervious “Stig” Thomas.

Junior Club Max .

Next up was the Junior Club Max drivers, with 20 karts filling the grid . Max Lee had been rapid in qualifying by topping the times, from Holly Miall, Kieran Janali and James Reilly.

Lee went on to take very comfortable wins in the Heat and Pre-final, over Finley Watson and Daniel Hughes in the former and Sebastian Morgan and Watson in the latter, to line up from grid 1 in the Final. At the green starting lights, Lee was quickly away and immediately into the groove driving his Roalf racing kart beautifully setting an electric pace.

Behind Project One driver Morgan lost out to the inside starting grid of Watson, who was in a virgin white Kosmic kart for this weekend. Holly Miall was up to 4th, her Jaxx run kart showing an excellent turn of speed on new tyres, KRM’s Ryan Micallef had been quick out of the blocks to run at the front initially, before dropping behind Miall and Ben Cooke, who amazingly was up from 16th on the grid!

Oliver Hutchings, Alexander Adams-Acton and Hughes ran close together in the top 10 over the opening laps, with Blake Noble recovering from a hefty knock with the turn 1 barrier earlier in the day joining in. As the race entered its second half, the leader Lee was gone over 7s up the road, Morgan had recovered his grid slot by passing Watson just before mid-distance, Miall too moved ahead of the white kart of Watson into 3rd, and there the top 3 remained the same to the end of the race.

Cooke continued his charge by passing Watson on the last lap for 4th and then was further rewarded post-race after Miall was given a 5s dropped nose penalty, dropping her to 5th behind Watson in 4th. Hughes recovered from lost early race positions by taking 6th, ahead of Hutchings in 7th, Brentley Sims in 8th, Noble in 9th and Janali in 10th.  Lee consolidated his position as the top by taking the fastest lap, even though he wasn’t threatened for the lead all race, an impressive performance.

Senior Club Max.

A total of 29 drivers qualified for the Senior Club Max class, which meant that 5 drivers would not make it into the “A” final, the 4 that qualified from the “B” Final were the winner Toby Wright, Oliver Sutton, Pippa Haines and Michael Thompson.

Benjamin Boras shook up the class by topping the times in qualifying, driving for the BB Motorsport team, this whilst making his debut in the class. The three Heat wins though went to regulars – last month’s winner Jamie Rogers, James Tomsett and Kieran Ives, which left the top half of the grid for the Final looking like this – Ives & Tomsett on the front row, Caitlin May & Jonathan Wilkes on row 2, Joshua Pullen & Benjamin Boras on row 3, Joseph Gethen & Zak Dear on row 4 and Elliot Rice & Jonathan Dalton on row 5, Rogers was left back in 19th after retiring in his second Heat with a lot of work to do.

From the start the front row held their positions with Ives leading Tomsett over the first lap, May and Wilkes also held their starting positions in 3rd and 4th, Boras and Pullen ran 5th and 6th, from Gethen & Rice. Dalton was a casualty of the traffic jam at the first hairpin as he was forced wide into the exit tyre barriers, his race over with a retirement.

Midway through the 2nd lap Gethen misjudged his braking into the 2nd hairpin and wiped out Boras, who was out on the spot, Gethen later receiving a driving standards penalty.

As the race progressed Ives led the train with Tomsett on his bumper, May, Wilkes, Pullen and Rice, Rogers had made it up as far as 7th by mid distance. Going into the 9th lap Tomsett took his turn at the front, moving his GMS kart ahead of Ives’s GTech machine, for a lap or two it looked as though he might then pull a gap, but his three meetings old tyres were long past their best and Ives took the lead back on the penultimate lap, his tyres too were crying enough, which gave him a tense last lap.

This time though after disappointments in the past, Ives managed to deliver the goods and crossed the line just in front of Tomsett, who had given his best. Both May & Wilkes shadowed the leaders over the line to finish 3rd & 4th, Pullen was right there in 5th, Rice too was in with a shout in 6th, but later dropping a place due to a dropped FMR nose fairing.

Rogers gratefully picked up the 6th spot after climbing 13 places from the start. Zak Dear, Adam Cark & Stephen Bouffe completed a very competitive top 10. Rice was surprised to take the fastest lap after feeling slightly down on power throughout the race.

Honda Cadet/Rookie.

The final race of the day was for the merged Honda Cadet and Rookie classes and as with the Senior group a “B” Final was needed to add the remaining 4 karts to the 20 qualifiers, the four that made it through were Ashley Haase, Johannes Fries, Kiean Sullivan and Ollie Oretu.

Fletcher Jamieson topped the qualifying session and took wins in his two Heats, Rio Licata taking the other Heat win. “Flat out Fletch” led away from the standing start and immediately set about trying to break the tow from the chasing pack, Antony Parfett was into 2nd ahead of Licata in 3rd, Jonas Klimas was 4th from Alfie Mew in 5th, Levi Machardie had dropped to 6th after starting 3rd, Albert Lapper was next up in 7th from Harry’s Taylor & Freeman in 8th & 9th.

As the race settled down Jamieson was able to build his lead and eventually went onto win by a very comfortable 3.7s, things behind were not so settled though as Parfett couldn’t hold onto 2nd as Mew was flying in the Rookie class, his CHDD Evolution kart hitting the sweet spot as he moved into the runner up spot, then going onto win the class.

Freeman too was flying as he lived up to his “Head down Harry” slogan by finishing 3rd on the road and 2nd overall in the Rookie class. Parfett finished 4th overall and 2nd Cadet behind Jamieson, Klimas took 3rd in the Cadet class and 5th overall, next up in 6th was Lapper, taking 3rd in the Rookie class.

Licata finished 7th and 4th in Cadets, Taylor was 8th (4th in Rookies), Archie Beard was 5th in the Rookies 9th on the road and Joel Bullen completed the top 10, finishing 6th in Rookie class. Albie Lapper set the overall fastest lap on the 10th tour.

The full results from the event can be  found on the Alpha Timing website here – https://results.alphatiming.co.uk/bmkr/2021/6/

Round 7 of the championship will be held on the 17th October.

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