Crowds enjoying Kart Racing
Crowds enjoying Kart Racing

The latest BMKR club meeting, round 5 of the 2021 championship, was held on Sunday 15th August under mainly warm sunny skies and with last month’s further relaxing of covid restrictions, the Sittingbourne circuit’s spectator banks were once again populated with families and friends enjoying a packed schedule of Kart racing.

The bumper entry also included the visiting DART Racing 4 stroke karts, with their thunderous engines enjoying 3 heats and a Final during the day. With the circuit perimeter almost full of caravans and motorhomes it really did feel as though things were returning back to normal.

Bambinos.

Austin Newstead made a welcome return to the ten kart Bambino class this month after missing the last two rounds and he showed a prestigious turn of speed throughout the day.

He qualified first and then took both Heat and Pre final wins, before going on to prove victorious in the 11 lap Grand final. The battle for second place throughout the day had been very closely fought though, as Maria Ruberto finished runner up in the Heat from Jack Cope and Ella Dixon. For the Pre final Jack finished 2nd  to winner Austin, with Jack Blackman storming through to take 3rd from Maria in an exciting finish.

As Austin drove away to a dominant 12s win in the Grand final, Jack Cope hit engine problems while dicing with Maria over 2nd place, which left him dropping back down the field until he somehow managed to coax the engine back into life. Jack Blackman meanwhile took up the chase of Maria and managed to slip ahead on lap 8 to end up on the second step of the podium. Maria finished third on the tail of Jack B, in 4th was Sebastian Bearman, who overtook Ella Dixon right at the end.

With Ella finishing 5th next up was Jack C who put in two quick laps at the end of the race to pass Mason Brooks for the 6th placed spot. Behind Mason was Matthew Lilley in 8th, Riley Taylor in 9th and James Roots in 10th. Austin Newstead took the fastest lap with a time that was almost a second quicker than his rivals, very impressive.

Senior Club Max 177.

The 177 Senior Rotax group was up to double figures on entries this month, with 10 drivers turning out. Thomas Lawson has been the recent man to beat in the class and he continued his winning streak with wins in the Heat and Pre final, James Ockenden who was also driving for the GMS team alongside Lawson, managed the fastest laps in both races however and looked a threat for the Grand final.

Darryl Maxwell and Dennis Trzeciak filled the second row of the grid, behind Lawson and Ockenden for the final, James ‘Adam’ Pell & Andy Locke were next up on the third row, Josh Constable & Edward Gregory completed the fourth and finally two drivers who both suffered misfortune in the Pre final lined up on the fifth row – Billy Watts and Michael Gibbons.

As expected Lawson led away the field for their 14 lap final, Ockenden slotted in behind his teammate, meanwhile Watts and Gibbons were climbing up through the field and by lap two the race’s complexion had changed, as at the front Ockenden had found a chink in Lawson’s armour snatching away the lead, Watts had scorched his way up to 3rd ahead of Maxwell and Trzeciak and was pulling clear of the duo. Gibbons wasn’t far behind and soon made it into 4th by lap 5.

Back at the front Lawson was looking left and right to try and find a way through Ockenden’s now tough defence, only for his attack to dwindle as the laps counted down, leaving Ockenden delighted with his victory. Lawson was never under threat by Watts as he finished 2nd some 5s ahead, Gibbons did put a mighty effort in to close on Watts for third but failed ending up just off of the podium in 4th.

Trzeciak found his past Maxwell for 5th as the latter took 6th. Gregory took 7th, ‘Karting forums’ Pell 8th, Locke 9th and Constable, who picked up a nose drop penalty finished 10th. The winner Ockenden set the fastest lap on the 13th tour.

Mini Club Max.

The Mini Club Max and Junior Subaru classes were once again sharing grids in the Heat and Pre final races and both produced dominant winners. The first Grand final was for the 8 kart Mini Club Max drivers. Oscar O’Sullivan had decided to step up from the Honda Cadet class into the Mini Club Max karts after a recent successful test with Project One team, little did he know that he would make such an impression in his debut outing.

Although the times were close after qualifying, he managed to outperform class regulars Josh Selvadorai and Lloyd Hare by taking pole position for the morning’s Heat, which he then went onto win from Hare and Selvadorai. O’sullivan then narrowly beat Selvadorai in the Pre final as Hare tangled early on with James Sherrington, leaving Luca Osman-Price to drive to third. In the 14 lap Grand final, O’Sullivan led Selvadorai away from the start, while behind from third on the grid Osman-Price was spun around going into turn 1, leaving him some distant seconds behind after he smote the tyre barrier before continuing.

Hare had shot up from 6th on the grid to 3rd as he set off after Selvadorai in 2nd. Sherrington too had started well up from 8th to 4th, Tom Ingram-Hill was 5th, Ryan Gwenzi 6th, Mitchell Mulvey 7th and the delayed Osman-Price 8th.

As the race settled down the positions remained static until the electronic scoreboard displayed the chequered flag, except for Mulvey managing to displace Gwenzi for the 6th spot. O’Sullivan’s margin of victory was less than a second at the finish, but it had been an impressive class debut as he took the fastest lap too. Selvadorai was pleased with 2nd place, especially as he finished ahead of rival Hare, who was very unfortunate enough to pick up two post-race time penalties, which totalled 15s!

Dropping him down the order to 6th. Sherrington inherited the final podium spot in 3rd, somewhat welcomed after a recent run of bad luck. Ingram-Hill finished 4th, another class rookie Mulvey 5th, 7th behind the demoted Hare was Gwenzi, in his first outing for some time. Osman-Price gallantly pounded around in 8th with little chance of catching up after his first corner incident.

Junior Subaru.

Compared to the last few Junior Subaru’s finals, this month’s was a very timid affair, which I’m sure for the driver’s families was a blessing! Last month we had Liam Thomas “spin and win” in a race full of drama, for this month we had the same winner but in a less dramatic fashion.

Thomas started from the pole for the Grand final, as he had been quick and super smooth on his way to winning the Heat and Pre final. Bentley Lovegrove-Fowler lined up alongside him in his newly livered kart, gone was the Tonykart green & white to be replaced by an original design, which consisted of individual stickers which were painstakingly applied between last month and this.

KRM’s Jace Goslett continued his recent impressive form by starting third, he had William Fallon sharing the second row in fourth. Fifth & sixth were Ciaron Edgson & Dextor Gregory and on the 4th row was Jenson Taylor and Ryan Dell.

At the green light Thomas led away, Goslett jumped up to 2nd as Lovegrove-Fowler slipped back to 5th. Edgson climbed up to 3rd and Fallon ran 4th. As the race progressed Thomas held a good lead, taking Goslett with him out front, Edgson couldn’t quite match their pace, although he was clear in 3rd. Fallon and Lovegrove-Fowler had a bit of a coming together, scrapping over 4th until the latter cemented the position.

Gregory ran 6th until he retired two thirds of the way into the race, promoting Taylor and Dell. Goslett did come close to attempting a pass on the leader Thomas, but found that he was using a bit too much of the circuit in doing so, as he picked up a 5s penalty post-race for track limits abuse. Thomas therefore won by a comfortable 3s over Edgson who had finally had a clean race to finish runner up.

Goslett’s penalty dropped him to third, Lovegrove-Fowler took 4th unable to improve due to having to use his down on power spare engine for the day. Fallon too was a little off his usual pace in 5th, Taylor finished 6th and Dell in 7th. Goslett’s attempts to pass Thomas rewarded him with the fastest lap of the race.

Junior Club Max.

22 karts appeared for the fiercely competitive Junior Club Max class and securing the pole for the final was Project One’s Jamie Perilly. Sitting next to him was Declan Russell on the front row, next up was Max Lee and Joshua Patrrick on the second row, 5th & 6th on the grid were Jai Lawrence & Brentley Sims, Blake Noble & Sebastian Morgan completed the 4th row, Ben Cooke and Matthew Copsey rounded out the top 10 on the grid.

Perilly led away the colourful grid under bright sunshine and completed the first lap in P1, behind there was chaos at the first turn, although thankfully all the drivers involved continued somewhat delayed. As the leader settled into his now regular dominant position (that is after having taken comfortable Heat and Pre final wins), the battle for 2nd place was hotting up.  Lee and Russell were having a ding dong of a battle, swapping positions between them, Patrrick was also getting in on the action and eventually managed to pass Russell to take third behind Lee.

Lawrence held 5th from initially Sims, until Cooke took over the spot, although this was only a brief tenure as Morgan was on a charge and soon secured the 6th spot behind his Project One teammate Lawrence. As the race reached its climax Perilly continued to lead comfortably and eventually crossed the finish line an impressive 4.7s ahead of Roalf racing’s Lee.

Russell and Patrrick ended up 3rd & 4th but were subsequently penalised dropping them back to 6th& 9th respectively, in Russell’s case it was due to a nose drop and Patrrick had to endure a 10s penalty for abusing track limits . So in an eventual 3rd & 4th were the P1 twins of Lawrence and Morgan. Cooke’s GMS kart took a good competitive 5th as did Copsey driving for SAIT in 7th behind the penalised Privateer Russell.

Another SAIT driver Noble finished 8th ahead of Patrrick’s GMS machine in 9th, the top 10 was completed by John Ward in his Caveman Motorsport kart. Perilly cruised to the fastest lap on the11th tour and now misses the next couple of Bayford Meadows events as he concentrates on the British championships, so we will have a different winner in September.

Senior Club Max.

With an entry of 28 karts a ‘B’ final was required for the Senior Club Max drivers. The 4 drivers that progressed into the Grand final were Joseph Knight, Michael Thompson, Luke Winter and Pippa Haines.

The grid for the grand final had a slightly different look about it for this month, as several of the usual front runners were absent adding to the fact that there also some new faces entered for this event. The pole position fell to Kieran Ives who was on scintillating form in his GTech run kart, having taken both Heat wins earlier in the day.

James Tomsett took a win and a 2nd to line up alongside Ives, showing really well for GMS. The 2nd row drivers were Arjun Mehta and Jamie Rogers driving for Project One and SAIT Motorsport respectively. Jonathan Wilkes was looking to put last month’s disappointment behind him on the third row, alongside a surprise in Adam Clark.

Stephen Bouffe and Zac Dear were next up on the 4th row, the 5th was filled by GMS drivers Caitlin May and Jonathan Dalton.

Ives used his pole slot to slingshot away from the grid to lead over the opening lap, from Rogers and Tomsett, Mehta dropped back into the pack early on as Wilkes ran 4th from Dalton who had a cracking start up to 5th. Clark held his grid slot running 6th, initially ahead of Dear until May moved ahead midrace.

Ives was controlling the pace well in the lead, Rogers and Tomsett were keeping the pressure on consistently enough to be in a great position should the leader make a mistake. The positions behind remained static until we lost Clark from the leaderboard, May was very quick at this point as was Joe Gethin who was putting pressure on Dear in 8th, having started 11th.

As the leading trio went into their 9th lap Ives left a tiny gap on the inside going into the bottom hairpin and Rogers pounced, lunging his kart inside Ives, in an instant Ives was out on the grass and both Rogers and Tomsett were through. From then on the three ran as a train with nothing between them to the finish line, Rogers taking the win from Tomsett and the dejected Ives.

Wilkes was 2s behind the trio in 4th, Dalton and May finished 5th & 6th, with the latter taking the fastest lap. Gethin managed to squeeze past GTech’s Dear as the pair finished 7th & 8th. Bouffe secured a good 9th from Martin Walker in 10th.

Honda Cadet/Rookies.

The Honda Cadets and Rookies provided one of the best races of the day, as cadet drivers Jonas Klimas and Fletcher Jamieson battled wheel to wheel bumper to bumper all race long. Klimas led from pole position initially until Jamieson led for 7 mid race laps. Klimas then grabbed the lead back and just about held Jamieson off, but boy it was close at the finish line, just 0.08s separating the two.

Top Rookie driver Harry Freeman shadowed the battling pair in 3rd place taking the class win as he did so. Last month’s overall winner Antony Parfett was next up taking 3rd in the Cadet class, Alfie Mew was 5th overall and 2nd in the Rookie class. Rio Licata crossed the line in 6th, 3rd in the Cadet class just ahead of two more Rookies – Albert Lapper & Rylan Blake, taking 3rd & 4th in the Rookie class.

Andrew Dixon was 9th overall and 4th in the Cadets, next up was Leon Knight, the Rookie finishing 5th in class. The respective class fastest laps went to Klimas and Freeman.

DART Racing.

The visiting DART Racing karts Final, was comfortably won by the immaculately turned out kart of Archie Sherwood, who was no doubt pleased to be racing in much better conditions than the last time the series visited the circuit, which due to heavy rain was held over a shortened course layout.

Sherwood’s margin of victory was a huge 15.49s , although some of this could be attributed to the frenetic race long dice over second place, which was eventually won by Aran Caldwell, from Tommi Caldwell and Haijtham Qourajouli in 4th place. In 5th was Jack Reeve ahead of James Reeve in 6th. Chris Day completed the 7 finishers.

Round 6 of the 2021 championship will be held on September 18th.

Full results and championship positions can be found here – https://results.alphatiming.co.uk/bmkr/2021/

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