Great action at Bayford Meadows
Great action at Bayford Meadows

In what was probably the last weekend of action at Bayford Meadows for some time, there was some great action.

The Bayford Meadows Kart Championships 2020, round 1 – Sunday 15th March.

Over one hundred entrants gathered amidst growing World uncertainty, as the Coronavirus pandemic dominates the news. With sporting events being postponed or cancelled across the country, everyone was extra keen to enjoy a great days racing . February was originally the month pencilled in for round 1 of the championship, until Storm Dennis gripped the nation, leaving the organisers no option than to postpone the opener until the March date. Thankfully early morning drizzle cleared to give us a dry but blustery day’s weather.


Nine keen young drivers enjoyed the 3 timed runs throughout the day in the Bambino class. Topping all three sessions was Kalian Russell, who set the fastest class time of the day in the 2nd run a 1:02.95 eclipsing Alfie Mew’s 1:03.28 also set in the faster second timed run, Mew had topped the early morning damp session but could not match Russell in the drier conditions.

Henry Clarke took two 3rds and a 4th, as his times ranked close with Luca Holmes-Balac, who took third in the 2nd run. Teddy Porter ranked 5th in all three runs, Connor Winfield scored two 6ths and a non-finish, the only girl amongst the boys – Maria Ruberto took a 6th and two 7ths in her dazzling purple kart. Jacks’ Cope and Blackman completed the runners, with the latter tentatively finding his way around the circuit.

Junior Subaru.

13 karts kicked off the afternoon’s finals in the Junior Subaru class. The grid numbers may have dropped a little for the season’s opener, the standard of preparation hadn’t though, as the colourful gird looked resplendent with several new sticker kits gracing the two by two standing start. George Donald and Blake Noble shared the front row in their SAIT Motorsport run karts, ahead of the Alonso kart of Ciaron Edgson and the GMS kart of Ben Cooke. The Pre final was a cracking race with the top three swapping positions until the final lap when Donald hit the front and we were all set for a repeat when the grid set off for their 13 lap grand final.

The early laps had Donald and his teammate Noble holding off a feisty Edgson, who was keen to lead as he had in the Pre final. Ryan Micallef had made good progress up from his grid 7 and into 4th place, he wasn’t about to settle for that though has he broke the trio ahead briefly making it up to 2nd place on lap 5. From here the race fragmented, Noble took the lead, behind Edgson, Micallef and Donald delayed themselves while fighting over 2nd place, letting Noble pull clear. Donald eventually got the better of Edgson to hold 2nd, behind Edgson – Micallef slipped back into the pack, leaving Joshua Patrick 4th. At the end of the race things had settled down, Noble’s #24 kart taking victory by 1.89s from fellow novice Donald, Edgson was a bit further back in 3rd and Patrick 4th. 5th went the way of Finlay Underwood, his Clarke kart having got the better of Cooke in 6th. Alexander Adams-Acton finished 7th, Liam Thomas 8th, Bently Lovegrove-Fowler 9th, Charlie Homewood-Burrows 10th and Hugo Willett 11th. Things didn’t end well for Micallef and William Fallon, as they tangled heavily on the exit of turn 1, leaving Fallon out and Micallef excluded from the post-race results. Noble completed a very successful day at his SAIT kart’s office by taking the fastest lap.

Honda Rookie .

The Honda Rookie class was well supported for round 1 with 22 karts making it out for the 12 lap final. Starting from pole position was Josh Salvadorai in his Team JTS Privateer kart, now going into his second season in the class, he looked assured as he took wins in both the morning heat and then the Pre final. The plain blue kart of Oliver Majewski started from the outside of the front row, Charlie Warren and Callum Sims filled the second row, Jonas Klimas and Ryan Gwenzi row 3. Row 4 had Fletcher Jamieson & Henry Carter lining up alongside each other.

The immaculate looking kart of Salvadorai led away the Honda powered rookies and immediately showed he meant business by pulling a gap over the rest of the field. The orange #82 kart of Charlie Warren took up the chase after passing Majewski on the opening lap. Klimas ran next from Gwenzi as Sims slipped back, on a charge at this point was the all black kart of Jamieson, who pressured and passed Gwenzi for 5th midrace. Sims ran 7th and Carter 8th. As the race approached it’s climax it was clear that Warren was catching the leader, closing onto his tail but then never quite able to make a move for the lead, leaving Salvadorai to take a well-deserved 0.12s debut victory at the circuit. Warren was delighted with 2nd, a fine drive for him, Klimas was some 5s back in 3rd as Majewski slipped to 5th behind the charging Jamieson who grabbed 4th right near right end of the race. Gwenzi, Sims and Carter were 6th, 7th & 8th. 9th place went to Tom Ingram-Hill and Archie Beard completed the top 10 finishers. Anthony Parfett took the fastest lap although he languished down in 15th place after starting from the back of the grid.

Mini Club Max.

The Mini Max class featured four drivers pulling clear of the 10 kart grid, Jai Lawrence-Project One, Mikey Porter-CHDD Evolution, Finlay Watson SAIT-Motorsport and Sebastian Morgan-Project One. The four put on a great race long battle which progressed into two separate pairings as the laps counted down. Behind the four Mathew Copsey ran ahead of initially circuit returnee Zain Khan, although his pace tailed off letting Luca Osman-Price surge ahead.

Harry Kidd, Simon Pafett and Holly Miall ran in the next positions, unfortunately for Holly she had an early spin and lost contact with those ahead. Porter lost out to Lawrence in the Pre final, this time though he wanted his elusive first win and his SAS Energy backed kart took the lead into turn 1 on lap 5, he then managed to hold off the Project One kart of Lawrence to the chequered finish, just 0.76s covering the two. Morgan managed to win the battle for third and he was delighted to do so, Watson had fought hard but eventually had to concede the position. Copsey took a lonely 5th from Osman-Price, Khan, Kidd, Parfett and Miall. Porter snatched the fastest tour on the very last lap of the race.

Junior Club Max.

A very competitive entry of 23 karts made up the Junior Club Max class grid. Declan Russell had taken the fight to the crack project One and GMS teams in qualifying and the first heat, by topping both. Ryan Willis then headed teammate Jamie Perilly in the Pre final as Russell finished a close third after Caitlin May had led a portion of the race. Will Egby and Callum Romaine moved ahead of May to finish 4th and 5th, with May in 6th, these 6 made up the front three rows of the Grand final grid.

Willis led away from the pole for the final with his teammate Perilly hot on his bumper, Romaine held third briefly before Russell demoted him to 4th, Oliver Bullion up from grid 7 also passed Romaine to put him 5th. Perilly slipped past Willis on lap 4 and controlled the pace although Willis shadowed his every move, Russell and Bullion kept in touch as did the Mayedo backed driver Romaine making up the quintet. Egby was running 6th with May and Leon Clark holding station behind. A first lap crash involving the second half of the field broke up the positions after Clark, heading this section was Max Lee in a fierce fight with Daniel Hughes, Zak Dear and Jayden Neal-Holder.

As the leaders went into the final lap we waited for Willis to try a move on the well driven kart of Perilly, the anticipated move came disastrously down at the bottom hairpin, as the #42 kart of Willis rode up over Perilly’s, delaying the latter briefly and Willis for a few seconds longer . As a compromised Perilly headed into the twisty infield hairpins, those behind set to pounce, Russell though was jumped by Bullion and then Romaine as he lost momentum behind the leader. Over the remainder of the lap Perilly recomposed himself to take the win, celebrating with a raised foot and fist! Bullion took an opportunist 2nd and Romaine a delighted 3rd, his best result in the class to date. Russell 4th proved his pace though ultimately losing out when the Project One karts collided ahead of him. Egby was 5th from the recovering Willis in 6th. May and Clark were next in 7th & 8th. The battle behind them ended in tears with Hughes and Lee clashing, letting Dear take 9th and Neal-Holder 10th. Runner up Bullion secured the fastest lap on the 7th tour.

Honda Cadet.

Just 7 karts made it out for the Honda Cadet final which was led comfortably from lights to flag by Gustav Usakovs. The opening lap featured a mix up behind with Lewis Stannard suffering the worse dropping to the back of the field. Owen Neave initially held down 2nd until he was overtaken by William Murphy who held the position the finish.

Joshua Graham battled with Neave over 3rd eventually coming out on top. Behind Neave in 5th was James Sherrington, Kaiser Reimann lost out to the recovering Stannard right on the finish line in 6th and 7th. The winning Project One driver Usakovs sealed the fastest lap on his way to victory.

Senior Club Max.

A bumper 29 karts competed for honours in the Senior Club Max class, which necessitated a ‘B’ final to determine the Grand Final grid. This was won by impressive class newcomer Vincent Osbourne, fresh up from the Junior Subaru class. Charlie Hand 2nd had almost snatched the win on the finish line as they finished side by side, Lewis Deacon and Martin Walker completed the 4 drivers who graduated to the main final.

Elliot Rice enjoys winning and he is a very tough driver to beat, as he proved over the latter half of 2019, so it wasn’t a surprise to see him sitting on the pole for the final. Riley Stephenson’s GMS kart sat alongside him displaying the pace that he showed in his drive up through the field in January at the circuit. Sean Berry was on good form to line up alongside another driver who was flying – Kieran Ives. The third row had last year’s champion Jack Bartholomew and Roalf racing’s Alfie Brookes – having made the jump up from the junior ranks. Max Goodwin and Declan Lee were next up on row 4 from Tom Richards and Charlie Blackman on the 5th row.

Rice led Stephenson away from the rolling start, behind there were two separate incidents which accounted for several drivers, thankfully the circuit was kept clear during both of the clashes. Behind the flying pair of Rice and Stephenson, Ives looked comfortable in 3rd, Lee up to 4th ahead of Berry, Bartholomew, Goodwin and Brookes over the initial laps. Stephenson set the fastest lap in his chase of Rice, ultimately though the consistent pace and experience of the Privateer – Rice proved insurmountable with his Kosmic kart winning by 0.86s after 13 laps over Stephenson. The battle for third provided plenty of entertainment throughout, Ives having won a good dice with Lee to hold down 3rd, then lost out to the cunning of Bartholomew, who is a master of the overtake around Bayford Meadows ! Ives was compromised by Barty’s pass and then had Berry making a move into the infield hairpins, this didn’t go well though as Ives and Berry fought over the same piece of tarmac sending both hard into the tyre barrier which lines the circuit, both drivers out on the spot and ending two great drives. Bartholomew had picked up a nose drop penalty, so his hard earned 3rd place became 4th, with Lee moving up to the 3rd slot. In 5th Goodwin too had a nose drop penalty, promoting Jonathan Dalton up to 5th from 11th on the grid. Charlie Hand did a good job to go from the Pre final to 6th! Jack Aldis settled into the class well with 7th ahead of the penalised Goodwin in 8th. Top Masters drive was Stephen Bouffe in 9th and Martin Walker completed the top 10.

The full results from the event can be found here –

With Motorsport UK curtailing motorsport events until April 30th due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we will wait for the next round of the championship to be confirmed.