Lydd hosts some thrilling racing
Lydd hosts some thrilling racing

The first round of the 2020 Kent Kart Championship was held at Lydd International kart circuit in conjunction with round five of the club’s summer series, on Sunday.

Following on from a successful British championship event the previous weekend, the paddock was once again full as Kent’s leading drivers aimed to score well in this year’s covid limited three round series.

With visits to Bayford Meadows and Buckmore Park following on over the next two months. With the pandemic producing such a truncated racing season, the Kent title has wetted the driver’s appetites and it is great to see the three south eastern circuits becoming involved in making it an exciting series to be associated with.


Kalian Russell proved to be the fastest of the Bambino drivers over the first two of the three timed runs, but then suffered an engine drama on the opening lap of the final run. This put Maria Ruberto at the top of the overall aggregate results, ahead of Stanley Kearley who was fastest in the third run, Jack Cope, Jack Blackman, Ella Dixon and the unfortunate Kalian.

Honda Cadet.

The ten kart Honda Cadet proved very competitive during the heats with William Murphy taking the first and Owen Neave the second victories. Neave’s CHDD Evolution kart led Oscar O’Sullivan’s Project One kart away from the standing start, Murphy’s Ambition motorsport tucked in behind to form a 12 wheel train over the opening laps.

Charlie Warren was next up, from Fletcher Jamieson after Jack Pullen had slipped back from his 5th place starting slot. The pace at the front was fierce as the trio pulled clear of the rest, O’Sullivan taking a turn at leading before Murphy did the same.

His lead didn’t last long however as O’Sullivan soon found his way back to head the field. Over the closing laps the three were never more than half a second apart and the race ended with the #46 kart of O’Sullivan taking the win, barely 0.1s ahead of Neave, with Murphy right on his bumper in 3rd. Warren was secure in 4th, Jamieson equally secure in 5th. 6th went to Rio Licata on the road until a post-race penalty for a dropped nose, put him back to 8th.

Ben Simpson came out 6th and he had Jack Price for close company in 7th. Pullen and Archie Beard crossed the line together as they finished 9th and 10th. The fastest lap went to winner O’Sullivan on the 9th of 12 laps.

Honda Novice.

Antony Parfett looked in excellent form around the fast Lydd circuit layout after taking both heat wins before the afternoon’s 12 lap final. Leading away from pole the RHP kart of Parfett soon gapped Josh Selvadorai in 2nd place, who in turn had pulled clear of Oliver Majewski and Callum Sims in 3rd and 4th. Ryan Gwenzi and Riley Till were next up, soon to be hounded by an impressive Jonas Klimas who had driven up from grid 15.

As the race entered its final third Selvadorai had brought his JSR kart up onto the leader’s bumper and was soon looking for a way through. He eventually nipped ahead on lap 9 after setting the race’s fastest lap and then went onto win by 0.79s, celebrating in style as he did so.

Parfett was still comfortably clear of the Majewski/Sims battle over 3rd & 4th places. Klimas eventually finished an impressive 5th, ahead of Till and Gwenzi in 6th & 7th after a last lap switch around over positions. Leon Knight took 8th on the final tour from Andrew Dixon in 9th. The top 10 was completed by Snake racing’s Logan McAlister. 

Junior Rotax.

17 karts were entered in the Junior Rotax class and after the morning’s qualifying session Callum Romaine took pole position for the first heat in his Meyado backed kart. Things didn’t go so well after that as he tangled with Jayden Neal-Holder dropping both to the back of the field. It was Oliver Bullion who took heat 1 from Max Lee and Rory Burke. Heat 2 went to Lee this time from Bullion and Daniel Hughes.

The final looked to be a battle between the two Roalf supported karts of Bullion and Lee after their performances during the two heats. Over the first few laps of the short 12 lap final Lee led Bullion and Hughes in 3rd. Burke was 4th from Poppi Stephenson in 5th and Brentley Sims in 6th.

After 3 laps Bullion took control of the race as he moved ahead of Lee, who held onto 2nd until a charging Burke usurped him in his Clarke kart demoting Lee to 3rd. Stephenson managed to pass Hughes to take 4th, driving well in her GMS run kart.

As the laps ticked down Bullion stayed in control of the race, crossing the finish line 1.09s ahead of Burke in 2nd, up 3 places from his starting grid positon. Lee took a good 3rd from Stephenson who managed to keep ahead of Hughes for 4th and 5th places.

Neal-Holder recovered from his first heat problems to take 6th, Kieran Janali took 7th from pole qualifier Romaine, who had made up 9 places from the back of the grid to finish 8th. 9th and 10th went to Kipp Chorley and John Ward. The fastest lap went on the 11th tour to Max Lee.

Mini Max.

Jack Badger was on fine form in the Mini Max class, as he won both of the heats from the fastest qualifier Mikey Porter, both races were very close though and a great final looked in prospect. Seb Morgan and Simon Parfett were not far away from the pace as they finished 3rd and 4th in both of the heats.

A crash involving several karts curtailed the first start of the final before they had even crossed the start line, with Morgan and Jack Minter-Young coming off the worse.

Eventually after a delay between races, while drivers and karts were seen too, we were back and ready to go. Once again it took the starter a few laps before he was satisfied the grid were in order before the final began. Badger and Porter continued their fight for overall honours from the start and it proved very entertaining to watch.

Morgan in 3rd was suffering from awry handling with his kart and soon fell into the clutches of Parfett who set of after the leading pair once ahead.

After leading the initial 4 laps Badger was passed by Porter who then led for the mid race period, after that things got serious as the two swapped places over the remaining laps.

Eventually Badger came out on top of the duel with just 0.13s separating them as the chequered flag fell. Parfett had closed in on the two, hoping to pick up any pieces should the pair tangle, in 4th behind him was Damian Baruss-Haggett, who got the better of the crippled Morgan in 5th.

Josh Camp finished 6th, Oliver Kerr 7th, Holly Miall took 8th from the last remaining runner Harry Kidd. Jack Minter-Young didn’t make the restart after his earlier start line crash and Tighe Wratten suffered a similar fate after the 2nd heat. The JAXX run kart of Porter took the fastest lap of the race.

Senior Rotax.

After an ultimately disappointing British championship appearance last weekend, where he had to fight his way up from the back of the grid, Riley Stephenson bounced back in style by taking pole position and wins in the two heats prior to the Senior Rotax final.

Another who had suffered disappointment last week was Josh Pullen, he too redeemed himself by finishing runner up to his GMS teammate in both of the heats. Haworths racing’s James Tomsett was also bang on form with a 3rd and 5th in the heats.

Jack Bartholomew took a 4th and a 3rd and was keen to break the GMS dominance ahead of him. Stephenson led Pullen away from the rolling start and had the experienced second row of Bartholomew and Elliot Rice chasing them.

Tomsett settled into an early 5th as back in the midfield a mix up at the second chicane left Will Barnes and Jack Richards stranded in the bark, causing the Battenberg flag to be introduced.  Once the caution was withdrawn – Stephenson put the hammer down again to lead away.

Bartholomew found a chink in the GMS armour now though as he slipped ahead of Pullen into 2nd, Rice did the same 3 laps later to move into 3rd. Louis Barker making a return to Lydd was running an impressive 6th until he hit a cone on the apex of the first chicane, causing himself to half spin and lose a chunk of time, also promoting Jonathan Dalton up from 7th.

Back at the front ‘Barty’ closed in on Stephenson and looked to have a good run on the last lap, the leader however wasn’t having any of it and used his circuit knowledge to force Bartholomew go around the outside of the final corner, which was never really on.

They crossed the line just 0.1s apart, Rice had found some speed during the day to take 3rd from Tomsett in 4th. Pullen was 5th and with the fastest lap, ahead of Dalton in 6th. Alfie Brooks took 7th from Sean Berry, Kieran Ives and Max Goodwin in 8th, 9th & 10th.

Rotax 177.

Karl Mepham has always been the man to beat around Lydd in a 177 kart and on Sunday things were not any different, although Sam Gumbrell pushed ‘King Karl’ hard in the final, to finish just 0.43s behind.

Andy Locke took a good third just over 2s behind the leading pair, Joseph Perry finished 4th, Mark Waters 5th, Andy Parish 6th, Nick Floyd 7th and Ben Algar 8th. Mepham also took the fastest lap by just one tenth from Gumbrell.

Senior Libre.

Guesting on the Kent championship bill was the 4 stroke FP4 Senior Libre series. The raucous sounding karts having 3 mixed grid heats and a final during the day. Alex Whiteley secured the first heat win before Stephen Ayres annexed the latter two.

Ayres was totally dominant in the final as he stretched out a lead that he was never to surrender as he took a 2.5s win in the final. Whiteley took the runner up spot from Jamie Taylor in 3rd. Keith Robertson and Chris Kelly were 4th and 5th, Alan Jacques took 6th, Ian Fisher and Elliot Colls completed the 8 kart field. Fastest lap went on lap 5 to victor Ayres.

Junior Subaru.

The final race of the day also belonged to 4 stroke karts, that of the Junior Subaru class. Ben Cooke has been in great form recently and he continued that with wins in both heats.

Finlay Underwood ran closest to Cooke in qualifying and continued that in the heats by finishing just a couple of tenths down in both races. Liam Thomas featured well in the heats by taking 3rd in both.

The final was another battle between Cooke and Underwood, as behind several drivers disappeared by the wayside. Thomas ended up embedded in the tyres at the first chicane and Ryan Micallef had to pull out after just two laps.

Underwood raced Cooke hard even with a piece of bodywork that had become dislodged early in the race dangling precariously on his kart. As they started the penultimate lap the two made contact at the end of the back straight but continued undeterred.

Eventually Cooke grabbed the advantage and took a delighted win over Underwood after 12 thrilling laps. William Fallon won the fight for 3rd from Hugo Willett in 4th, Ciaron Edgson in 5th, novice Jenson Taylor 6th, Charlie Homewood-Burrows finished 7th and Alexander Adams-Acton was classified 8th after spinning into the bark at the last corner of the last lap.  Underwood took some consolation by securing the fastest lap.

The full results from the day featuring all classes can be found here –

The next round of the Kent Kart Championships will be at Bayford Meadows on the 20th September.

Round 6 of the Lydd International Kart Club Championship is on the 27th September.