Kent finals take place at packed Bayford Meadows
Kent finals take place at packed Bayford Meadows

A bustling paddock at the Sittingbourne circuit was met with a chilly northerly breeze on Sunday morning, a stark contrast to the Saturday practice sessions which were held in warmer sunny conditions.

The cooler temperatures caught out a few drivers as they struggled to create heat in their tyres during the morning’s races.

Large grids for the final round of the Kent Kart championship were joined by the visiting Motorsport UK Bambino championship, which was wrapped up on the Saturday by Harry Freeman during time trials.

Bambinos.

The young Bambino drivers showed maturity far beyond their young age, as they raced hard and yet very cleanly throughout the day on Sunday. Jesse Phillips and Noah Baglin sent identical fastest laps as they finished first and second in the class final, separated by a mere 0.10 at the finish line, after 7 very hard fought laps.

New champion Harry Freeman couldn’t quite live with the racey pair ahead finishing 2.5s behind in 3rd place. In 4th was Henry Carter with Archie Beard in 5th. Alfie Mew took 6th, Max Mason 7th but was disqualified for a driving infringement post-race.

Promoted to 7th was Jenson Hookey, 8th place fell to Jacob Davis, Kalian Russell, Hallie Findlater and Ronnie Legg completed the runners.

Honda Cadet.

Joshua Graham and his SAIT run kart won the Cadet final by just 0.67s, but this didn’t show just how dominant he had been all day. He qualified on pole position for the morning heat and then went on to win comfortably, before repeating the feat in the Pre Final.

His black and yellow kart led every lap of the final from Ian Marginean, who was a couple of seconds ahead of Tighe written in 3rd. Emily Jackson took 4th from Owen Neave in 5th, William Murphy in 6th, Jack Theobald in 7th and Jack Owen-Drawbridge in 8th.

Marginean didn’t let victor – Graham take all the spoils however, as he took the fastest lap in the final.

 Senior Club Max B Final inc 177s.

The B final for the Senior Club Max class began in dramatic fashion as pole man Lewis Deacon underestimated his cold tyres by sliding off the track, gently brushing the tyre barrier.

By the time he had resumed he was a long way from a top 4 position, which would have allowed him to race in the main final. Andys’ Locke and Parish also spun at the first corner, delaying both.

Joe Wood took the win, Dean Horlock 2nd, Lee McCrumlish followed home in 3rd, the final qualifying position went amazingly to Deacon after Denis Trzeciak and Oliver Sutton tangled on the last lap! Trzeciak took the 177 Kent Kart class championship.

Junior Subaru UK.

The last few Junior Subaru finals at Bayford Meadows have been very close affairs, due to the competitive 4 stroke karts being so evenly matched. Charlie Hand and new Lydd champion Kieran Janali, were set to rekindle their often robust rivalry in this the last round of the Kent championship.

Hand had a buffer consisting of Rory Burke and the impressive Vincent Osbourne, in-between himself and Janali on the grid for the final and used this to his advantage as he set off at a blistering pace when the lights turned to green. 

The SAIT Kart of Janali didn’t take long to move into 2nd and set about reeling Hand back in. Burke held 3rd early on and as Osbourne slipped back, Benjamin Witham came up from 6th to 4th.

Joseph Knight was recovering from an earlier bad finish, as he slotted into 5th place from 8th on the grid. Back at the front Janali closed in on the leader and looked set to pounce when Burke’s Clarke kart caught him off guard.

This let Hand extend his lead as the duo fought over 2nd place and he went onto take the win and the Kent championship, to cap off a great year. Janali slipped back past Burke and finished just under a second behind the winner, also collecting 2nd in the championship as he did so.

Burke picked up a nose fairing penalty which dropped him from 3rd to 5th post-race. Joe Knight continued his progress up to take 3rd and fastest lap from Witham (4th) right near the end. Behind Burke in 5th came Osbourne, capping off a fine display for the tall driver.

Will Ovenden took 7th, Aaron Deacon 8th after a competitive showing all day. Ciaron Edgson and ben Cooke completed the top 10.

Junior Club Max.

A whopping 25 drivers lined up for the Junior Club Max class final with the in house Project One team turning out in force, by bringing the UK’s number 7 – Jack Steadman to the event.

Keen to beat the UK seeded driver were championship favourites Lewie Weaver (GMS) and Alfie Brookes in his flame red Roalf racing Ralf Schumacher kart, Caitlin May (GMS) and James Black (JB Motorsport Comp Kart) were wanting a slice of the action too.

Brookes showed a good turn of speed in qualifying by taking pole, although he couldn’t match Steadman’s impressive pace in the Heat and Pre Final races.

As the lights turned green for the rolling start – the 25 karts made an impressive sight as they screamed past the timing beam side by side forming one big colourful train into the right hand turn 1.

Steadman nailed his start and had recent London Cup winner Brookes sticking to his bumper, Will Egby tried to do the same but found himself in trouble when he spun into the pack.

The midfield runners had nowhere to go and a multiple collision ensued which affected, Egby, Poppi Stephenson and Chloe Clarke, all three side-lined with damage to their karts.

The race continued initially with local yellows at turn 1 but it was eventually decided to red flag the race as Stephenson, stranded at a marshal post with Clarke, feeling uncomfortable after her heavy impact in the incident. Steadman had a clear lead when the race was halted, ahead of Brookes, Weaver, May Russell and Black.

Once the circuit was cleared and Poppi attended too, with thankfully no lasting injuries, the race was re-started in single file positions with Steadman once again pulling clear of those behind him.

Brookes managed to keep clear of his championship rival Weaver to stay 2nd but could do nothing about the #7 kart of Steadman ahead, the positions remaining the same to the finish.

Weaver was delighted with 3rd place, as it secured him the Kent championship title over Brookes. The battle for 4th went the way of Black, the Clive Emson backed driver had been on the leaders pace all day, but found himself recovering from a spin in one of the earlier races after contact with another kart – he fought his way past the well driven GMS kart of May late in the race, although this still left May third overall in the championship behind Weaver and Brookes.

Ryan Willis was next up in 6th having raced up past Declan Russell, who finished a competitive 7th. Oliver Bullion, Daniel Hughes and Leon Clark completed the top 10. Steadman cruised to the fastest lap of the race on lap 11.

Mini Max.

The Mini Max class had their own final for this month for the 5 karts that were entered. Jamie Perilly won comfortably last month but had competition this month in the form of Rito Komata who looked very impressive in taking pole position in qualifying; he then finished in the top spot in both the Heat and Pre Final.

Komata then made the final his own as he pulled clear of a squabbling Perilly and Rylee Brown. Both Hollie Miall and Mikey Porter were delayed by spins, the later the most as he briefly beached his kart on the grass. Komata controlled the race from the front, completing the 14 laps over 5s clear of Perilly and Brown who had run in 2nd place for 8 laps before losing touch with the Project One kart of Perilly.

The delayed Miall and Porter took 4th and 5th. Komata capped a fine performance with the race fastest lap.

Honda Clubman.

Sebastian Morgan was keen to put previous disappointing Bayford Meadows results behind him and after finishing 3rd behind the impressive Kristian Stefanov and Josh Selvadorai in the morning’s Heat, took the Pre Final victory.

Morgan led away the 17 kart final and immediately had William Murphy going with him, Murphy had finished 2nd in the Pre Final to Morgan as they both moved ahead of Stefanov and Selvadorai.

As the race settled down Murphy became more of a threat and led for a couple of laps towards the end. Morgan however was determined to finally take a win at the circuit and led going into the last lap, seemingly in control, that was until he left the door wide open almost insight of the finish line – Murphy wasn’t about to miss this opportunity and grabbed the chance with both hands, taking the lead and the win from the #77 kart of Morgan, it had been a nail biting finish to a tense final few laps for the two.

Stefanov kept his Ferrari replica kart within striking distance all race to take third, John Ward fought his way up from a disappointing Heat result to take 4th and seal the Kent championship from Morgan, also going along with his recent Lydd championship win. 5thplace fell to Emily Jackson, Selvadorai kept in touch in 6th, proving to be one to watch in the future, Oscar O’Sullivan finished 7th, the Parfetts Antony and Simon 8th and 9th and Jack Owen-Drawbridge in 10th. Murphy took the fastest tour on lap 7. 

Senior Club Max + 177s.

The much-anticipated Senior Club Max brought a close to the day’s racing and had a mouth-watering front row consisting of Elliot Rice and championship favourite Thomas Lawson, Riley Stephenson and Lewis Hodson-Brown filled row 2. Jack Bartholomew and Jonathon Dalton completed row 3, row 4 had James Tomsett and Joseph Gethin, behind them were Joshua Pullen and Jack Wall on row 5.

Rice made the most of his pole position to lead the 24 kart field away, Lawson slotted into 2nd and looked menacing from the start.

Hodson-Brown and Stephenson were next up from Dalton and Bartholomew. Lawson didn’t waste any time in attacking Rice and sent one down the inside into turn 1 on lap 2, we then expected him to pull clear but, Rice was having none of it, showing his racing experience to the full by diving down the inside of Lawson into the infield hairpin, this move however left both him and Lawson wide on the exit, giving the lead to Hodson-Brown.

Over the next few laps the black kart of Hodson-Brown looked comfortable out in front pulling a gap over Rice and Lawson, who were regrouping hoping for an attack on the lead later in the race. Stephenson was right on the bumper of Lawson and pressurised him while he was recovering from his dice with Rice.

Dalton, Bartholomew and Tomsett were running close together, with the later Tomsett eventually winning this particular battle, Bartholomew slipping back behind a fast-rising Joe Gethin and Josh Pullen by the end.

Back at the front Rice and Lawson had crept back onto the leader’s tail putting pressure on him which led him to crack on lap 11 with Rice snatching the lead back.

Lawson moved into 2nd a lap later and then Stephenson demoted Hodson-Brown further into 4th. The positions remained the same over the closing laps, giving Rice a much-deserved win and Lawson the Kent championship title over Rice and Stephenson. 5th in the race behind Hodson-Brown was Tomsett in his Clarke kart, Gethin’s GMS kart next up in 6th, Dalton 7th, Pullen 8th Bartholomew a disappointed 9th and Jack Wall 10th. Ben Cowley took the 177 class and finished 13th overall.

Rice capped off a fine day and a good couple of weeks after winning in the dark at Buckmore Park last week, with the fastest lap.

The full results can be found here – https://results.alphatiming.co.uk/bmkr/2019/8/

The final Kent Kart championship positions here – https://results.alphatiming.co.uk/bmkr/2019/

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