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Lee Wood Memorial meeting
Lee Wood Memorial meeting

The unpredictable early English summer weather left the bustling Bayford Meadows paddock guessing on Sunday, after Saturday’s glorious sunshine was replaced with overcast and threatening skies, for the annual Lee Wood memorial event.

This was the third meeting for the competitors on their regulation tyres, which left many trying to eke out that last little bit of performance, before they switched to fresh rubber for next month. A further curveball for the regulars, was that there several guesting drivers starting the event on fresh rubber, which gave them an advantage over their already worn tyres.


The Bambino class has proven to be very competitive this year and Sunday’s racing continued the trend, with Regan Mew fastest in qualifying, Ralph Rider-Birch taking the Heat win and then Ellis Honey coming out on top in the Pre Final. Honey led away the Final from pole position with Rider-Birch, Mew and Franklin Street hot on his heels. Ted Deeprose, Freddie Williams and Joseph Cox held the next three positions, from Beau Blundell and Nala Turner-Cook.

After a few laps the leader Honey started to make a few little mistakes, with his fast corner entry speed catching him out on the exits. This proved to be his downfall as Rider-Birch capitalised on one of his mistakes to take the lead on lap 4, then pulling away to take the win by just over 6s. Honey held 2nd for a few laps before Mew found his way past to take 2nd at the finish.

Honey dropped back from Mew but did manage to take 3rd from Street in 4th. Deeprose retired on the 7th lap from 5th place, briefly promoting Williams into the position before Cox moved ahead on the next lap to finish 5th. Not far behind 6th placed Williams was Blundell in 7th, with newcomer Turner – Cook completing the runners in 8th. The winner Rider-Birch recorded the fastest lap of the race.

Mini Club Max.

A healthy grid of fourteen karts lined up for the Mini Club Max Final. Making an appearance for this month was Oscar O’Sullivan, who has been a popular winner over the past few years at Bayford Meadows. He took full advantage of fresh tyres to take the Heat and Pre Final wins and then wrapped up his stellar day with a comfortable win in the Final.

The battle for 2nd place and more importantly championship points, was as keen as ever. Looking good for the Final was Fletcher Jamieson supporting a new sticker kit and sponsor for the event, he had finished 2nd to O’Sullivan in the Pre Final ahead of GMS driver Jack Pullen and last week’s Buckmore Park winner Tighe Wratten.

From the moment that they headed out from the dummy grid, Jamieson was in trouble as his throttle had jammed open, forcing him to retire after a scary trip into the tyres on the warming up lap.  O’Sullivan then led away from Pullen and Wratten with Ollie Oretu putting in his best performance so far to run 4th. As the race developed O’Sullivan and Pullen were comfortable in 1st & 2nd, the battle for third became quite intense as Wratten came under attack from Oretu, Joshua Whithcombe and Antony Parfett. On lap 10 Wratten was bumped down to 6th as the three behind him jumped ahead.

As O’Sullivan crossed the finish line ahead of Pullen, Whithcombe managed to cross the line in 3rd, but was later demoted to 5th for gaining an unfair advantage, Oretu who crossed the line 4th also picked up a 5s nose drop penalty which left him 6th. So it was Parfett who emerged in 3rd from Wratten in 4th. 7th behind the penalised Withcombe & Oretu was Felix Stolkin, 8th Ben Yiangou, 9th Rylan Welsh and in 10th was Jack Baker. Fastest lap went to winner O’Sullivan.

Junior Subaru.

There were only four karts in the Junior Subaru class this month, who were able to  enjoy their own Final, which left them not having to worry about being the way of the faster Mini Club Max karts. KRMs Dextor Gregory was keen to make up for last month’s disappointment of crashing out along with his teammate Jace Gosling and he achieved that by taking the Heat and Pre Final wins over last month’s winner Jenson Taylor.

Presley Walker showed continued improvement by lining up 3rd on the grid for the Final from Ryan Dell in 4th. The Final followed the pattern of the Pre Final as Gregory fought off an early charge from Taylor to take an unchallenged victory of just over 2s. Walker was a similar distance behind Taylor in 3rd with Dell not quite being able to keep up with Walker finishing 4th.  Gregory capped off the perfect day by taking the fastest lap.

Honda Cadets.

CHDD’s Alfie Mew was on the pole for the Honda Cadet class, with Clarke karts Lewis Riley alongside him, the second row consisted of Teddie Cooper and Daniel Butcher, Isaac Doble & Leon Knight were next up on the 3rd row. The fourth and final row had Harry Russell and Ayda Sexton lining up next to each other. Mew got away well at the start and it was expected that Riley would follow him to maybe make a challenge for the lead later in the race, however Cooper had other ideas as he managed to pass Riley over the opening lap.         

This gave Mew the chance to open a gap and he jumped at the chance, as he steadily pulled away from the heated battle behind, which had everyone else involved! ‘Lightning Lewis’ Riley eventually found a way past the stubborn Cooper on the third lap and he set off after the leader Mew, setting the fastest lap as he did so. Cooper now had Butcher and Russell’s Ambition karts threatening him for 3rd and eventually something had to give. 

On the 7th lap the unfortunate Russell dropped to the back as Knight briefly made it up into 4th before Doble won the battle over the Knightorque run kart of Knight to take the position. After 13 laps Mew celebrating as he won by 1.77s from the charging Riley in 2nd. Cooper took 3rd in a close fight with Doble in 4th, Knight in 5th, Butcher and Russell in 6th & 7th and Sexton a couple of seconds back in 8th.

Honda Rookies.

In the Rookie Cadet class, Freddie Wall took a damp Heat win and then Alfie Fox managed to usurp Wall to win the Pre Final, the two sharing the front row of the grid for the Final. On the 2nd row were Noah Curtis and Max Osbourne, Maria Ruberto and Jack Cope filled the 3rd row. The 4th was shared by Harrison Page & Matthew Lilley.

The newly Roalf racing livered kart of Fox led Wall’s Project One machine away at start. Curtis and Osbourne initially ran 3rd and 4th before Ruberto began to charge through to the front positions in her Ambition run kart. The lead looked comfortable in Fox’s hands as he stretched ahead of the Project One twins of Wall and Curtis, until Ruberto joined the party moving to 3rd on the 7th lap. 

She then found the confidence to slip ahead of Wall on the 9th lap, her kart performing much better than it had been in the morning’s Heat. The positions at the front remained stable over the closing laps as Fox went on to take his maiden victory mentored by former Cadet champ Alfie Brooks, taking the fastest lap too . Ruberto had recovered well to take 2nd after her team found her chassis to be bent after the morning’s Heat. The Project One duo of Wall and Curtis finished 3rd & 4th, KRM’s Osbourne took 5th from Cope going very well in 6th. Sebastian Bearman finished 7th, Ronnie Smart 8th, Ralphie Branscombe 9th and Harrison Page in 10th.

Junior Club Max.

After last month’s abandonment of the Junior Club Max class, the Clerk of the Course was hoping for an easier time from the young drivers, with their on track manners under his watchful eye. Lloyd Hare has been in great form recently and he carried that over to Sunday with wins in the damp Heat and Pre Final driving his Evolution kart, although he was hard pressed by Oliver Hutchings and Freddie Ingram, who lined up 2nd and 3rd on the grid for the Final. 4th on the grid was Bentley Lovegrove-Fowler, putting in his best performance in the class so far.

On the 3rd row was last month’s top point’s scorer Mitchell Mulvey, the Roalf racing driver sitting alongside Liam Thomas, another putting in a good shift in his GMS Motorsport kart. Simon Parfett and Joshua Whiting filled the 4th row and the 5th had Stefan Kaczmarcyk and Jack Theobald. 

Hare led the 15 kart grid away and was determined to keep the Roalf racing kart of Ingram behind over the opening lap, this he succeeded in doing as Ingram was overtaken by the on form Hutchings for 2nd spot. Lovegrove-Fowler had Thomas for company as they ran 4th and 5th, in what turned out to be a race long duel.  Mulvey was next up in 6th from Parfett in 7th, which was until Kaczmarcyk moved ahead on the 7th lap. Back to the front and Hutchings wasn’t letting Hare pull a gap, as he in turn opened a gap over Ingram in 3rd

Over the remaining laps Hutchings looked for an opening and waited until the last lap to pounce through the left that leads onto the infield straight, Hare had things covered though and managed to hold off the FMR kart of Hutchings over the remainder of the lap to take the win. Hutchings was happy with 2nd and fastest lap having put in an impressive performance all day. Ingram couldn’t quite match their pace in 3rd as he finished 2s behind the leading pair.

The battle for 4th didn’t end well as Lovegrove-Fowler’s race long defence ended in the tyres at the end of the infield straight, leaving Thomas to take the 4th place position. Kaczmarcyk also ended up in the tyres with Lovegrove-Fowler letting Mulvey through to take another good haul of points in 5th. Luca Osman-Price made up a cool 7 places to finish 6th in his Project One kart, 7th was Parfett, 8th Theobald and 9th and 10th were Jacob Hobbs and Whiting.

Senior Club Max.

The Senior Club Max grid was joined by Oliver Bullion this month, a well-known and popular figure around the Bayford Meadows paddock, having been away from competing for some time. Declan Russell also made a rare appearance driving for the Folland team.

These two starred all day with Bullion qualifying fastest in the morning and then going on to take the Heat win over Russell. He then took a more comfortable 6s win over Russell in the Pre Final, which left the pair together on the front row of the grid for the Final. Poppi Stephenson had a great run in the Pre Final to line up on the 2nd row next to Sam Chappell, both in GMS karts. On the 3rd row were Ciaron Edgson and Tom Patterson, the 4th row after both suffering earlier dramas – Jonathan Wilkes and Josh Pullen. On the 5th row were Adam Clark and Benjamin Boras.

From the start Russell had a great launch from the outside of the grid and led over the first lap while Bullion composed himself behind. Stephenson held third over her teammate for several laps before Chappell forged ahead on lap 3, they ran ahead of Edgson and Boras in 5th and 6th.

A first corner crash involving the luckless Wilkes and Patterson also caught out Joe Wood who had a heavy collision with them both, Matthew Hickson also caught the front of Wilkes’s kart too delaying him. After a few laps Bullion started to threaten Russell for the lead and then going into to turn 1 on the 6th lap he dived up the inside, nailing the move and taking a lead that he held comfortably to the finish, winning by a margin of 2.4s  and taking the fastest lap too, a great result for the Dad & lad team.

Russell was similarly comfortable in 2nd place from Pullen who capped off a great recovery drive by overtaking his teammate Chappell on the penultimate lap. Behind the 4th placed finisher Chappell was Adam Clark, who had put in a strong drive in the Final. Boras took 6th, another good recovery after crashing out of the morning’s Heat with Pullen.

Edgson finished 7th ahead of Wilkes who somehow managed to coax his battered kart to the finish, although rather predictably the first corner crash had taken its toll by leaving him with a dropped nose penalty, demoting him to 10th. Alex Holgate was another to recover from misfortune in the Pre final to finish 8th, ahead of Stephenson in 9th who threw away a top four finish with a spin over the rise just after half distance.

Senior Club Max 177s.

Two drivers shone in the 177 class , both managing to pull away from the rest to finish 1st and 2nd in the Final, with the victory going (in spectacular finishing style with feet up off the pedals), to GMS Motorsport’s Thomas Lawson, who had dominated the class all day. Mike Ashby took a great 2nd place, continuing his good form after winning at Lydd last week and also topping the morning’s qualifying times.

The ASM driver was well clear of a fantastic and frenetic fight over third place which eventually fell to Dennis Trzeciak, who held off Richard Friend in 4th, Lewis Holt-Brown in 5th, Daniel Wright in 6th, James ‘Adam’ Pell 7th, 8th was Ricahrd Lazenby, 9th Daniel Wyatt and 10th Gerry Poore.

Luke Bailey was unlucky not to be in the top 6 after contact with Pell caused him to spin and drop out of contention. There was no doubt who was going to record the fastest lap as Lawson sealed that with his commanding drive.

Full results from the event can be found here – https://results.alphatiming.co.uk/bmkr/2022/3/

The June meeting also features round 2 of the Kent kart Championship on June 19th.