Karting thrills in Sittingbourne sun
Karting thrills in Sittingbourne sun

Round 5 of the BMKR summer championship took place on 24th June at the Sittingbourne circuit. Strong entries in each class provided some excellent racing throughout the day, held in some glorious summer weather.

Freeman on top form in Bambinos.

The 13 Bambino drivers enjoyed their usual three timed runs during the day after a morning timed practice session. Harry Freeman took the fastest time in the 1st and 2nd runs, Charlie Warren and Frazer Anderson finishing 2nd and 3rd Oscar O’Sullivan, Rio Licata and Laith Khan were close behind in each run.

For the third session Anderson took the fastest time of the day to top the run, Freeman competed an excellent day with 2nd, last month’s man to beat – Warren was 3rd, O’Sullivan 4th, Khan 5th and Licata 6th. Completing the running positions in the last run were Fletcher Jamieson, Alfie Howland, Henry Carter, Jack Pullen, Kristian Stefanov, Romy Jungling and novice Leon Knight.

Stephenson shows his class in Junior Club Max.

One of the most competitive entries since the Junior Club Max class began, provided some close and at times no holds barred racing. The 15 kart entry was topped in qualifying by Project One’s Declan Lee, from Clarke Kart’s Riley Stephenson, Jack Steadman, Zac Spence and James Black. Stephenson took the first heat after fighting his way past Steadman and Lee, with the two P1 karts tripping over themselves at the end of the heat to leave Stephenson comfortable in front. The Pre Final also went the way of the Clarke Kart of Stephenson, although Lee was right on his bumper at the finish with Steadman close behind.

For the final Stephenson looked a lot more comfortable out in front, driving consistently to hold off the rival teammates behind to take the win. This time Steadman took 2nd early on from Lee, finishing 1.16 seconds behind the winner after 14 laps, Lee shadowed him over the line in 3rd. Zac Spence was 6 seconds back in 4th having got past a fast starting Josh Pullen on lap 8, Black was involved in this battle and eventually moved his JB Motorsport kart past Pullen to finish 5th. Behind Pullen in 6th was Will Egby 7th, Oliver Bullion took 8th, Ross Hastings 9th and Jack Davis 10th. Stephenson grabbed the race’s fastest lap on lap 4.

‘Frosty’ stays cool to take Elite Clubman win.

There was a pair of new faces at the head of qualifying in the Clubman Elite class – Damien Baruss-Haggett on pole and Tighe Wratten alongside, unfortunately for these two, different circumstances robbed each a chance of victory. Leon Frost and Nathan Marques restored normal order with 3rd and 4th, Ian Marginean and Jack Theobald were 5th and 6th. Leon Frost took the first heat win with Wratten following his every move in 2nd place, finishing right on the Clarke kart of Frost’s bumper. Jamie Perilly suffering from a dose of Chickenpox moved from a lowly 10th up to 3rd. Marques tangled with Baruss- Haggett down at the first hairpin, delaying the pole man heavily; this unfortunately led to both drivers missing the rest of the day due to raised voices between their two argumentative fathers.

In the Pre final Frost again led the impressive Wratten with Perilly eager to move forward. In his eagerness Perilly made a forceful move on Wratten , mirroring the earlier incident between Marques and Baruss-Haggett – Wratten was spun around dropping him to the back and Perilly later penalised with a driving standards penalty, which dropped him to the back of the grid for the final. Ian Marginean therefore took 2nd in the Pre final from Chris Doble.

Frost led away the final from Marginean and Doble and managed to  pull a gap that he was to hold for the full 13 laps duration. Marginean held off Doble for half of the race until he succumbed to pressure from the DNL kart on the 7th lap. Joshua Rudd had initially held 3rd place until he was sucked into a good battle with Vinnie Lloyd and Perilly. At the finish a cool Frosty was beginning to feel the heat, but held on for another win at Bayford Meadows. Doble was delighted with a great 2nd place after two good overtakes at turn 1. Marginean wasn’t far behind in in 3rd. Perilly came to the front of the next group in 4th, Lloyd 5th, Rudd 6th. Wratten salvaged 7th from the day, Theobald finished 8th, Jack Williamson 9th, Rylee Brown 10th and George Oxford 11th. Perilly took the fastest lap during his drive up through the field.


Joy for Barker in Junior Subaru UK.

Yet another bumper grid of 24 karts rolled out for the latest round of the popular four stroke junior class and a few surprises were in store during the day. Qualifying highlighted the closeness amongst the eager youngsters with just 1 second covering the top 21 on the grid! Charlie Blackman set the 1100 metre circuit on fire with a 50.78 lap time, good enough for his first pole position in the class and letting the championship favourites know that they were not in for an easy day in the sun. Just 0.020 seconds behind and next to him on the front row was Oliver Martynski, another fine qualifying effort. Joseph Knight proved that he is settling into the class well with 3rd on the grid, championship contenders – Katherine White and Leon Clark were 4th and 5th, Louis Barker and Poppi Stephenson were ahead of last month’s convincing class winner James Tomsett in 8th, Lewie Weaver was 9th and Red Beswick 10th.

Louis Barker took his Sonic Motorsport kart from 6th to 1st in heat 1, in impressive style and laid down a definitive marker to the rest. Joseph Knight overcame the front row drivers to claim 2nd, Leon Clark also moving up to 3rd. Lewie Weaver and Poppi Stephenson also managed to finish in front of Martynski and Blackman who had slipped to 6th and 7th. The In serve/On site safety/AMG financial accounts backed kart of Barker also took the Pre Final, only just from the Clark Motorsport kart of Clark, GMS driver Beswick 3rd, who had stormed his way to the front, teammate Weaver 4th, Martynski’s Clarke kart 5th and Knight in 6th.

Barker led away the 13 lap final and continued to drive confidently and assuredly out in front, so many times in the past he has been caught up in incidents / suffering from bad luck and it was good to see it all finally coming together for him. Clark ran 2nd until he was usurped by a determined Beswick who took the position on lap 10. Weaver had run 3rd over the early laps until he was passed by Beswick, on lap 4 and then Knight on lap 9, James Tomsett was also on the move in the final as he climbed up to 5th on lap 10. As his Dad watched eagerly on Barker took the chequered flag, celebrating in style, from Beswick in 2nd, Clark 3rd, Knight in 4th (his best result so far), 5th was the SAIT kart of Tomsett, further gathering points as was Clark towards their championship efforts. Martynski brought his Clarke kart home for a good 6th, Weaver took 7th, Charlie Hand 8th, Max Lee 9th and Catlin May a good 10th. The fastest lap was recorded by Joseph Knight, setting him out as now one to watch for the future.


Beswick outwits Hunt in Senior Club Max.

After qualifying in the Senior Club Max class, Lewis Deacon sat on an outstanding pole, his first in the competitive class. Unfortunately for the personable young driver, his kart was underweight on the circuit’s new scales, which put him at the back of the grid for the first heat. Yet another stroke of bad luck that has followed him for most of his first year since  moving up from the Junior Subaru class, undeterred he told his watching Grandmother that he would go out and just have some fun! Qualifying was tight with the inform Project One driver Joe Hunt taking the pole, GMS driver Troy Beswick was alongside for the first heat, row two consisted of Mike Ashby debuting a new kart for this event and Jonathan Harrison. Hunt and Beswick pulled clear and finished 1st and 2nd in heat 1, from Ian Sage and Ashby, Deacon had made his way up to 8th from the back.  The Pre final saw a repeat of the heat with Hunt once again being shadowed by Beswick all the way. Sage had run third until Deacon overtook on lap 9 after storming up from 8th, the question now was would his luck hold for the all important final?

Hunt once again led Beswick away from the start, Deacon slipped a spot to Sage, as did Ashby to James Popple. It took Deacon until lap 6 to compose himself and pass the well driven kart of Sage for 3rd, he then set off after the two leaders ahead a couple of seconds up the road. Beswick had looked quite content to follow Hunt until he made a move at turn 1 just after midrace, Hunt didn’t defend and looked to be saving himself for an attack at the end of the race. Behind Sage slipped behind a persistent Popple who was having his best outing in the senior class thus far. Ashby was discombobulated as his kart was losing power leaving him powerless to the attentions of Stephen Bouffe and also on the last lap Ryan Haines; he later traced it to a fuel leak, which had been starving his engine of fuel. Back at the front Deacon had now caught the duo in front and made a move on the infield on the penultimate lap which Hunt defended The following lap however the Alonso kart of Deacon tried the same move and this time it paid off and he held on to take an excellent 2nd place behind the winner Beswick, who himself has had a fair share of bad luck this year. Hunt collected some good points in 3rd,  Popple took a well-deserved 4th, Sage was 5th, Bouffe and Haines 6th and 7th. Ashby managed to finish in 8th from Harrison in 9th, Mark Figes took 10th and the 177 class. Fastest lap and my driver of the day went to Lewis Deacon.


Ng-Zeederberg saves his best for the final in Clubman Standard.

The Clubman Standard was once again closely contested, with the drivers split into 3 groups A, B and C. Each group would race twice to determine the grid for the Grand finale. Rylan Echberg, Lewis Stannard and Henry Ng-Zeederberg took the top 3 in groups A vs B, Chole Chong, Jessica White and Ethan Bentley the first three in groups B vs C and Echberg, Chong and White in groups A vs C. The four drivers to progress from the B final of this popular class were – Joshua Graham, Kaiser Reimann, Jack Minter-Young and Thomas Bearman.

The 13 lap Grand final was led away by the green DG kart of Echberg, with the yellow and red kart of Chong in 2nd.White was in 3rd but didn’t appear happy with her pace as she was passed by a charging Ng-Zeederberg and later Zain Khan, Stannard and Bentley. Back at the front Echberg now had Ng-Zeederberg on his tail, as he had moved his Revolution kart up past Chong and was charging hard. The number 44 in Lewis Hamilton colours, made it through by lap 11 but Echberg wasn’t giving up the win easily and fought back, pulling up alongside as they crossed the finish line, just 0.09 seconds separating the pair, Chong stayed with the pair in a close 3rd. Khan took 4th, Stannard 5th and Bentley 6th. Ralf Jungling, Harry Chamberlain, Sonny Mortensen and Beau Sullivan rounded out the top 10. White’s miserable day was completed when she picked up a 10 second nose fairing penalty. Henry Ng-Zeederberg also took the fastest lap along with the win, on a day when his idol won the French Grand Prix !


Waddell dominate in FP4.

Appearing on the program for this month was the friendly FP4 kart series, returning after a popular visit last year. Some well turned out machines swapped places on the track as their 3 heat mixed grid format, ensured that there was plenty of action before they appeared on the grid for the closing final of the day. Angus Waddell took a comfortable  5.6 second win and fastest lap, Chris Kelly and Keith Robertson were 2nd and 3rd, Alex Whiteley and Jamie Traylor finished 4th and 5th, with Tom Swadling in 6th.