Kent’s Karting champions crowned at Bayford Meadows.
Kent’s Karting champions crowned at Bayford Meadows.

The final round of the BMKR club championship was held at the Sittingbourne circuit last weekend and with several class titles still to be decided, the action on track was tense.

Bambinos.

With the short daylight hours playing on the organisers minds, the final round of the Bambino class was held on Saturday. Maria Ruberto did everything she could to try and grasp the championship from points leader Jack Cope, by taking wins in the Heat, Pre Final and Grand Final, however with the championship elect – Jack finishing right behind her in 2nd place,in all three races,her efforts were in vain.

Ella Dixon took 3rd in the Final and the championship too, behind Jack and Maria. Jack Blackman, Matthew Lilley and Riley Taylor completed the top 6, with Lilley taking 4th in the championship, Blackman 5th and an absent Sebastian Bearman 6th. Maria also took the fastest lap in the Final.

Mini Club Max.

Tom Ingram-Hill looked in fine form through the cold misty and murky conditions that greeted the competitors once again on Sunday,in his Project One kart taking wins in the Heat and Pre Final. He had championship leader Josh Selvadorai starting alongside him with Tighe Wratten and Owen Neave behind on the 2nd row as they lined up for the Final.

As the leading pair headed into turn 1 on the very greasy surface, Ingram-Hill ran wide letting Selvadorai and Wratten through to lead.Wratten was on a real charge and soon usurped Selvadorai from the lead, Neave also followed Tighe through to run 2nd.

As Wratten then tore away in the lead Ingram-Hill fought his way back up from 4th, to eventually run 2nd after 5 laps. Selvadorai, knowing that the championship was in his pocket, had a great race with Lloyd Hare over the closing laps, eventually finishing in a very content 5th, behind Hare.

The finishing order after 12 laps, was Wratten 1st comfortably ahead of Ingram-Hill in 2nd,  Neave’s C.H.D.D kart was 3rd from Hare and Selvadorai in 4th & 5th. Hayden Butcher was next up in 6th, Jonas Klimas 7th, Ryan Welsh 8th, Mitchell Mulvey 9th and Callum Sims in 10th. Having stamped his authority on the race Wratten also took the fastest lap.

Selvadorai ended the very competitive championship in top spot, ahead of Hare, Ingram-Hill, an absent Luca Osman-Price, Wratten and Ryan Welsh.

Junior Subaru.

We sadly only had 5 karts out for the final round of the Junior Subaru class. Ciaron Edgson dominated the day’s events in the 4 stroke karts taking wins in the Heat, Pre Final and the afternoon’s Final. He was briefly threatened by William Fallon in the Final, before the latter made a mistake and dropped back to 5s behind at the finish.

The KRM duo of Jace Goslett and Jack Baker finished 3rd and 4th, Ryan Dell had run 4th ahead of Baker midrace after Baker had had a spin, but ended up 5th. Fallon took the fastest lap in his chase of Edgson. The championship was won by an absent Liam Thomas, who was racing in the Junior Club Max class,Fallon finished vice champion from Edgson in 3rd. Goslett ended the year in 4th from another absentee Bentley Lovegrove-Fowler in 5th and Dell in 6th.

Senior Club Max.

24 karts were entered in the Senior Club Max class, which included a few drivers that we hadn’t seen out for quite a while. The championship battle was close with Kieran Ives and James Tomsett separated by just 2 points going into the day. Unfortunately for the Gtech kart of the former Ives, the day didn’t go too well after entering turn 1 backwards during the morning’s Heat, after he and others ended up pirouetting in sequence! Tomsett meanwhile was on top form, heading his teammate Joe Gethen to a GMS 1 – 2.

In the Pre Final Tomsett was once again away like a scalded cat taking the win from the Roalf racing kart of Alfie Brooks, Gethen once again on the pace in 3rd, Ives meanwhile was mired down in 8th after initially charging up over the early laps. This gave Tomsett a healthy advantage in the championship going into the Final.

Brooks was keen to make the most of a rare Bayford Meadows outing by squeezing the champion elect into turn 1 of the Final from the outside of the grid, Tomsett decided that he didn’t want to throw the title away and settled in behind Brooks, Chris Thomas, Jamie Rogers, Riley Stephenson and Zach Ripley down in 6th, which was safe with Ives ending the first lap behind in 9th.

Back at the front the race capitulated for Thomas and Rogers, with the former dropping to the back after a moment and Rogers retiring. This left Stephenson in 2nd behind Brooks who was setting the pace out in front. Ripley, who hadn’t sat in a kart for 18 months, was now 3rd from Gethen in 4th. Tomsett sat content in 5th as Ives was a safe distance behind but now up to 6th.

As the laps ticked down, Brooks, who had been contemplating his time in karting by quitting, was in dominating form, eventually going onto win by a commanding 4.3s . Ripley enjoyed his day by bringing his Evolution kart home in 2nd, the former Cadet driver showing that he hadn’t lost any of his speed during his karting sojourn.

In the fight for third Gethen had moved onto his teammate’s Stephenson’s bumper on the last lap and had a good run to the left of him along the infield straight, eventually being squeezed onto the grass but managing to pass, it ended in tears though, as Stephenson instantly fought back which led to inevitable contact around the boot, all very Lewis & Max esque!

This gifted 3rd & 4th to the two championship rivals, with Tomsett sealing the title in 3rd and Ives giving it his all in 4th, a great fight back after his earlier contretemps, but ultimately not enough to prise the title away from a cool Tomsett.

Lewie Weaver, another making a return to racing at Bayford Meadows, took 5th from Oliver Bullion in 6th. Ives proved his intent with the fastest lap of the Final.

The final top 6 in the championship were – Tomsett, Ives, Gethen,absentees Elliot Rice/Zac Dear & Oliver Bullion in 6th.

Senior Club Max 177.

The 177 class title was to be decided on Sunday with Michael Gibbons and Billy Wright fighting it out during the day. Watts took the Heat win, Gibbons responded by taking the Pre Final top spot, so it was all down to the final race of the year.

Gibbons led away and immediately looked to be going defensive in his driving. Watts could see his chance and tried to move ahead at the bottom hairpin, luck wasn’t on his side though as his attempt failed and his kart bogged down on the corner’s exit, letting his nemesis Gibbons escape.

Watts then made a mistake at the next corner running wide, which left him work to do behind Mike “Smasby” Ashby and Daniel Wright. At the front Gibbons was away and not being threatened by the consistent Ashby, Watts took 6 laps to find a way past Wright’s well driven kart, but could then do nothing about Ashby and leader Gibbons who was delighted to go on to take the win and championship in his GMS Motorsport kart.

Ashby is finding a new lease of life in the 177 class and finished 2nd driving his Gtech livered (Zac Dear) machine. Watts in 3rd and runner up in the championship could reflect on a great year in his DG/KRM run kart, who like champion Gibbons has spent a long period away from racing.

Wright proved that he can mix it with the front runners in 4th, Tyler Cox took 5th and Dennis Trzeciak 6th. Luke Bailey had been running in 4th before dropping back and also picking up a nose drop penalty.The fastest lap fell to Watts on lap 7.

Junior Club Max.

With the Junior Club Max class championship having already been decided in favour of Roalf racing’s Max Lee (who was competing in the Senior class), the numbers were down to 11 on the day. KRM/Roalf racing’s Ryan Micallef was on sparkling form as he dominated the morning’s Heat, taking a massive 9s win over Joshua Pattrick.

Things didn’t go to plan in the Pre Final however as he was spun around at the first corner, which left him a lot of work to do, eventually managing to recover to 3rd on the road, which post race changed to 4th after a nose fairing drop down penalty.

Finley Watson took the win on the road until he too suffered a similar penalty dropping him to 2nd behind Clarke kart’s Finlay Watson. 3rd went to Oliver Hutchings, which was his best showing to date.

Underwood and Watson led the Final away from the front row, with Micallef keen to move up behind them. We sadly lost Underwood on the 1st lap which left Watson’s white kart out ahead of the colourful kart of Micallef which was hunting him down rapidly.

The inevitable change for the lead was a clean move into one of the infield hairpins as Micallef slipped inside Watson before he set off into the distance to take a well deserved debut victory. Watson was out on lap 4 and into 2nd came Ben Cooke, another driver who ended his season on a high in his GMS kart.

Hutchings came out on top of some great racing with Pattrick to take the final podium spot in 3rd. Behind Pattrick in 4th was Simon Parfett in 5th, Freddie Ingram finished 6th. Micallef took the fastest lap as he cruised to a 7.2s win.

The top 6 in the championship were Lee, Sebastian Morgan (absent on the day), Micallef, Daniel Hughes, Watson and Jamie Perilly who only competed in a part season.

Honda Cadet/Rookies.

The final race of the day and the 2021 season was for the Honda Cadet & Rookie class. With a bumper 28 kart entry a B final was needed to decide the Final 24 kart grid, the four that qualified through were Teddie Cooper, Brett Sanderson, Nate Gange and Lucas Knibbs.

The front row of Harry Taylor and Fletcher Jamieson led the full grid away for the last race of the BMKR year. Jamieson in the Cadet class was keen to end his season in style as he took just a lap to move ahead of Taylor’s Rookie C.H.D.D machine.

Taylor was keeping clear of his class rivals, Alfie Mew, Albie Lapper, Harry Freeman and Riley Till, as cadet driver Antony Parfett moved up to 2nd behind Jamieson. Such was Taylor’s excellent speed in the Final however, he soon moved back into 2nd place overall, eventually finishing there behind “Flat out Fletch” Jamieson, who crossed the finish line performing one of his trademark victory flying salutes!

Taylor too was ecstatic to take his first Rookie win ahead of his class rivals. Parfett was 2nd in the Cadet class, Lapper 2nd in the Rookies, a great end of year result for both. Rio Licata was 3rd in Cadets, Isaac Doble 3rd in Rookies, ahead of Archie Beard and Alfie Mew.

The Cadet championship was won by Jamieson from Parfett, Jonas Klimas, Licata, Andrew Dixon and Ashley Hasse.

The Rookie championship was won by Harry Freeman from Mew, Beard, Lapper, Leon Knight and Taylor.

Full results from the day can be found here – https://results.alphatiming.co.uk/bmkr/2021/129/

The final championship positions can be seen here – https://results.alphatiming.co.uk/bmkr/2021/

I’d like to thank all at Bayford Meadows for putting on a great championship throughout the year and also to Kent Sports News, for allowing us to share our sport on their news feed. Let us hope that we can all race safely again in 2022.

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