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Karting championship springs into life
Karting championship springs into life

Round 1 of the BMKR 2022 championship was held on Sunday 20th March at a very sunny Bayford Meadows kart circuit, located in Eurolink Industrial Estate, Sittingbourne.

It was nice for all to see the sun on the first day of spring, after last month’s Winter Warm Up event was affected by the storms that had blighted the UK at the time. A healthy turn out across the majority of classes, promised us some exciting racing throughout the day and it was the Bambino class that kicked off the afternoon’s finals.


The Bambino class provided some very entertaining racing all day long and for the much of the Final the excitement continued. Regan Mew set off from pole position and held the lead over Henry Algar and Ellis Honey over the opening laps. The racing was very close between the three with Honey taking the lead over lap 3. Algar and Mew were still very close behind and eventually the former Algar had a better exit on the infield straight on lap 5 to snatch the lead back from Honey.

Algar then pulled away to a comfortable 12s win at the end, Honey held off Mew for 2nd on the road, but was penalised post-race and dropped behind Mew in the results. The KRM duo of Franklin Street & Freddie Williams finished 4th and 5th, Beau Blundell was close behind in 6th place. The fastest lap fell to Algar on the very last lap of the race.

Junior Subaru/Mini Club Max.

The Junior Subarus and Mini Club Max were on next, sadly there was only two entries in the once popular Junior Subaru class – Dexter Gregory and Ryan Dell. Gregory’s KRM kart held the upper hand all day over his fellow 4 stroke class mate and took a comfortable win in the final, although Dell did briefly lead early on.

In the Mini Max class Josh Selvadorai was on fine form annexing the Heat and Pre-final wins ahead of Jack Pullen and Tighe Wratten. The main Final continued the trend as Selvadorai put to use his recent UKC & Buckmore Park experience, to take a 5.13s win and fastest lap. Pullen showed great maturity in holding off Wratten over the 14 laps to take 2nd place in his GMS kart, Wratten in 3rd was happy to start the season with a good haul of points for the long season ahead. Antony Parfett headed Jonas Klimas as the pair finished 4th & 5th, 6th went to Ben Yiangou. Jack Baker took 7th, Ollie Orteu 8th, Fletcher Jamieson 9th and Ryan Gwenzi 10th.

Honda Cadet.

Rio Licata looked the one to beat in the Honda Cadet class, taking strong wins in the Heat and Pre-final, as he was up against drivers from the CHDD & Ambition teams. He then led away the Final with Oliver Warner, Alfie Mew, Harry Taylor, Daniel Butcher and Lewis Riley shadowing him closely. At the half distance point Warner’s Ambition kart moved ahead of Licata to take up the initiative, Mew in 3rd was also keen to pass Licata and did so on the 8th lap. We had lost Taylor from the race by now and Butcher was a little behind the leading trio with Riley’s Clarke kart in close pursuit.

As the race reached its climax Warner appeared in control and eventually took a debut win by 0.71s, from Licata who fought hard to grab back 2nd place from the CHDD kart of Mew in 3rd. Butcher and Riley crossed the line in 4th & 5th, Leon Knight recovered well from a crash in the morning’s Heat to take 6th, Teddie Cooper finished 7th, Ayda Sexton 8th, Harry Russell 9th and Johannes Friis 10th. Licata pace was proven as he took the race’s fastest tour on lap 11 of 13.

Honda Rookies.

The ten kart Honda Rookies were on next and this time it was a CHDD kart which stole the limelight. Nate Gange has come along in leaps and bounds since last season and dominated the class on Sunday, eventually winning the Heat, Pre-final and the main Final by 12.41s. He was left confused at the end of the Final however, when he was met by a blank light board instead of the chequered flag being displayed! So he drove an extra lap at race pace just in case there was an error on his part. Behind the victor Gange there was an exciting battle for runner up, which was headed initially by the KRM kart of Max Osbourne, from Sebastian Bearman, Alfie Fox, Freddie Wall and Maria Ruberto. Osbourne’s fortunes took a dive at the rise on lap 2 as Bearman’s Ambition kart spun him around, as the two tried to run side by side through the tight bend, leaving Osbourne to start a recovery drive from the back.

Fox now 3rd in his Clarke kart couldn’t hold onto the position for long as the Project One kart of Wall surged ahead on lap 3. Ruberto was the next to try and pass Fox, which proved to be a difficult task for the young Ambition driver, as the two drivers swapped places over consecutive laps until Ruberto made the move stick. So at the finish we had Gange 1st, Bearman 2nd, Wall 3rd, Ruberto just off the podium in 4th, Osbourne managed to pass Fox for 5th at the end of the race. Jack Cope finished 7th behind Fox in 6th, Alfie Clark, Ronnie Smart and Riley Taylor completed the top 10, with Gange taking the fastest lap.

Junior Club Max.

The hugely competitive Junior Club Max heat and Pre-final provided plenty of drama, which led to several front runners starting the main Final from further back on the grid than they would usually be, these included Lloyd Hare, Ryan Micallef and Finlay Underwood. The grid for the Final featured two drivers who have this year improved with each race – Freddie Ingram on the pole and Oliver Hutchings lining up alongside in 2nd. Liam Thomas was another who hit a personal class best with 3rd on the grid, Underwood was 4th and looking to grab a good start behind the pole man Ingram. Two new faces to the Bayford Meadows junior grid shared the third row – Ryan Ward & Stefan Kaczmarczyk . It was nice to see Bentley Lovegrove-Folwer back racing, he was on the 4th row alongside Micallef.

Ingram led the colourful field away under bright sunshine and held onto the lead in his Roalf racing kart over the opening lap. Underwood did indeed make the most of his inside grid slot to run 2nd from Hutchings FMR kart in 3rd. Thomas was shuffled down to an eventual 6th after a hectic opening couple of laps, in 4th now was the hard charging KRM kart of Micallef, Ward ran 5th. The next 10 minutes must have felt and age for Ingram, as he held of the advances of Underwood, who tagged the Roalf racing kart several times through the slower hairpins. Hutchings and Micallef ran nose to tail for the whole race as they kept the pressure on the two in front. As the race came to a close Ingram managed to hold onto his maiden victory, which proved very popular around the paddock, Underwood tried all he could to pass eventually settling for 2nd, which became a disappointing 5th after he received a 5 second nose drop penalty post-race. This left a delighted Hutchings in 2nd his best result so far. Micallef made up for an earlier penalty by taking the final podium spot in 3rd, Ward did well to take 4th from the penalised Underwood in 5th. 6th, 7th & 8th fell to Thomas, Simon Parfett and Lovegrove-Fowler. Underwood managed to record the fastest lap on the 9th tour.

Senior Club Max.

19 karts filled the grid for the Senior Club Max class, with the Heat win going to Project One’s Jonathan Wilkes and the Pre-final to the GMS Motorsport kart of Riley Stephenson, this left Stephenson on the pole with Wilkes alongside him. Alex Holgate (GMS) and Zak Dear (ASM) completed the second row, ahead of Poppi Stephenson (GMS) and Benjamin Boras (BB Motorsport) on the third. Luke Winter (Clark Motorsport) & Sam Rowling (BB Motorsport) filled the next two slots.

As with the Junior race the 3rd grid slot propelled the driver into 2nd on the run down to the bottom hairpin, this gave Stephenson who had made a perfect start a cushion over his main threat, as the fast starting Holgate was in front of Wilkes. Dear lost out as both Stephenson P and Boras had jumped him over the first lap. Josh Pullen had a lightening start from 10th to head Dear over the opening lap in 6th place, with Kieran Ives making fast progress too in 7th. Stephenson opened a good gap over the battle for 2nd, which helped him when Wilkes eventually found a way past Holgate, although you always felt that he had enough in hand anyway, which he proved by setting the fastest lap on lap 9. Wilkes crossed the line in 2nd eventually 3.3s behind the winning Stephenson sibling and headed Holgate in 3rd by just over 2s. In the fight for 4th Boras moved ahead of Stephenson P, before Pullen came charging through to take the place in his GMS kart. Ives (ASM) also managed to recover from a disastrous retirement in the opening Heat to pass Boras for 5th place, scoring some welcome points for the championship. With Boras 6th, Stephenson P took 7th, Dear in what may be his last race finished 8th, Adam Clark and Joe Wood completed the top 10 finishers.

Senior Club Max 177.

The story of the Senior Club Max was who would finish 2nd behind the blisteringly fast Thomas Lawson, as he cruised his way to Heat and Pre-final wins and then totally dominated the main Final to win by 7.5s. The 18 kart grid wasn’t full of slouches either as defending champ Michael Gibbons, Mike Ashby, Oliver Moss, Billy Watts amongst others are all more than capable of winning in the class. It was Gibbons who ran 2nd behind the impervious Lawson from the start of the Final, Ashby (ASM) was next up in 3rd and looking quick ahead of Gary Cooper and Moss who had slipped down to 5th after starting 2nd on the grid. Watts (KRM) and James Adam Pell ran 6th & 7th after the first lap with Tyler Cox and Lewis Brown next up in 8th & 9th. After 3 laps Lawson had pulled clear leaving Gibbons and Ashby to duel over 2nd place, this came to a head at the start of the 4th lap when Ashby’s black kart and the plain white kart of Gibbons went into turn 1 as one, leaving the latter spun on the outside of the corner.

After reviewing the circuit’s video it was decided that no penalty was needed for Ashby, who was relieved as he was sure there was no contact between the two drivers. Cooper who was now 3rd lost the spot during the 4th lap to Moss although he appeared secure in 4th, he was to lose that position when he retired on the ninth lap. This promoted Watts and Daniel Wright although Wright’s tenure of 5th place lasted only until the last lap when Tyler Cox overtook him. So after 14 laps Lawson took the win and fastest lap, Ashby was over the moon with 2nd, Moss was a comfortable 3rd, Watts 4th, Cox 5th, Wright 6th. Richard Friend climbed nine places to finish next up in 7th, Pell was 8th struggling with his brakes, Dennis Trzeciak 9th and Luke Bailey 10th.

Full results from the event can be found here – Alpha Timing – Results

And the April meeting will be held over the weekend of the 16-17th.