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Penultimate championship racing at Bayford Meadows
Penultimate championship racing at Bayford Meadows

Autumn weather arrived last weekend, for the seventh round of the BMKR championships held at Sittingbourne’s Bayford Meadows circuit, with a keen north westerly breeze ensuring that everyone wrapped up warm for Sunday’s race day.

Track conditions initially caught a few out early on, as the drivers struggled to put temperature into their tyres. Over 100 driver entries filled the circuit’s paddock, which promised some great racing during the day as the penultimate championship round began.

Senior Club Max.

Kicking off the afternoon’s Finals for this month was the Senior Club Max karts. The fiercely competitive Rotax class had proven controversial during the earlier qualifying races, as the winner in both the Heat and Pre Final – Declan Russell, was sent to the back of the grid for the main Final, after he was seen to be infringing the rules during the warm up lap in both races, as he had closed up on the Pace Kart.

Although the decision was disputed, Russell faced a tough job driving through the 16 kart field. Josh Pullen had matched Russell for pace during the morning’s Heat finishing 2nd, but it was Oliver Hutchings who was having a very competitive day by finishing runner up to Russell in the Pre Final.

Pullen was 3rd on the road but received a penalty for gaining an unfair advantage, which he felt was unfair, dropping him down to 9th in the Pre Final results. Ciaron Edgson benefited from both penalties to line up on the front row next to pole man Hutchings and was keen to continue his recent winning form. Joe Gethen and Joshua Pattrick completed the 2nd row from James Tomsett and Ella Haines on the 3rd row. Lewis Deacon and Luke Winter lined up on row 4 ahead of Pullen and Oliver Johnson on row 5.

As the startline lights went out Hutchings nailed his start leading into turn 1 and over the early laps, Edgson on the other hand was forced out wide at turn 1 losing several spots, to Gethen, Tomsett, a fast starting Pullen and Lewis Deacon, giving himself some work to do now from 6th. Winter, Johnson and Pattrick  were 7th to 9th with Mollie Griffiths in 10th at the end of the first lap, with Russell having already climbed from 16th to 11th. Hutchings tenure in the lead lasted until lap 3 when Gethen found a way through, Pullen followed the move on the next lap, setting up a fight for the lead at the head of the pack. Edgson had found his way up ahead of Tomsett into 4th by the 4th lap, with Deacon holding his own in 6th in front of Johnson in 7th.

Pullen was keen to win this month after coming so close previously and moved ahead of his rival and nemesis Gethen on lap 6, tellingly though he couldn’t pull a gap and indeed Gethen set the fastest lap on the next lap as he glued himself to Pullen’s bumper, before pouncing on lap 8 to retake the lead. Hutchings and Edgson who had dropped away from these two – suddenly found they had managed to close the gap, as it seemed Gethen was backing the pack back up.

After a very tense nose to tail final 3 laps Gethen crossed the line 0.34s ahead of Pullen to take an important win in his quest for the championship. Pullen kept his leading points advantage with 2nd and Hutchings capped his best result in Seniors with 3rd.

Tomsett who had had a huge off on Saturday beat Edgson to 4th and Russell commendably recovered to 6th from the back of the grid, Deacon took a well-deserved 7th ahead of Johnson who had run 6th towards the end. Winter finished 9th with Pattrick rounding outthe top 10.


It was great to see the Bambinos back racing at the circuit this month and they put on a great show. Benjamin Slijivar and Albi-Jay Stubbs fought for overall honours in the Final after Darcie Dunford had led over the first lap. Ben & Albi took turns at leading until the former managed to hold on in front over the closing laps, the diminutive racer taking his first ever win by a mere 0.13s, over Albi who hadraced side by side with him to the finish line. Darcie took 3rd from Freddie Williams in 4th, George Lilly 5th and Albert Pharoah in 6th. Ben Slivijar also took the fastest lap of the race on lap 3.

Honda Cadet 200/160.

In the Honda Cadet classes Freddie Wall had a near perfect day by winning the Heat, Pre Final and main Final, only headed during qualifying in the morning by Ronnie Smart. The latter put everything into the Final finishing just 0.6s behind the persistant Wall, who has seen Smart take numerous victories at the circuit this year.

We will certainly now be looking forward to next month’s battle between the two. Margiris Koveckis wasn’t too behind in 3rd having survived a brush with Jack Cope on the opening lap.

Riley Taylor made a great start from 6th on the grid to run 4th but couldn’t quite hold off the advances of Ethan Okoro  & Conor J Winfeld in the end to finish 6th, with Okoro and Winfield taking 4th and 5th.

After coming off worse in the clash with Koveckis, Cope worked his way back up on to the tail of his friend Taylor’s tail to finish 7th and William Spencer finished 8th.

In the 160 class Ricky Junior Mackintosh pushed Daniel Butcher all the way to the finish,but couldn’t quite mount a challenge, leaving Butcher to secure another win in the class. Jack Wykes, Alfie Clark and Fletcher Growns held their positions throughout in 3rd, 4th & 5th. Fastest laps went to Koveckis in the 200s and Wykes in the 160s.

Senior Club Max 177s.

17 drivers were entered for the 177 Rotax class this month, however only 15 made it out for the main Final due to engine problems for Michael Gibbons and Gerry Poore.

ASM team boss Ben Avery had been on fire during the morning Heat and would start from pole position after also taking a victory in the Pre Final too. Tyler Cox’s all white kart lined up alongside Avery’s black version on the front row, on the second row was Adam Clark & Daniel Wright. Next up on row 3 was Jason Page and Billy Clarke, they headed Mike Ashby and Dennis Trzeciak on row 4.

Avery was clean away at the start using his inside grid slot to his advantage; Cox lost two places over the opening lap to Clark and Wright to run 4th. Clarke B ran 5th with Trzeciak Geoff Cox and Ashby 6th, 7th & 8th.

After several laps it was clear that Avery’s fine form wasn’t deserting him as he controlled the pace at the head of the field, in fact the top 4 positions remained the same throughout, with only Billy Clarke dropping back towards the latter third of the race, with Ashby fighting his way up to 5th at the finish.

Wright set the fastest lap on the 7th tour, but was suffering towards the end with an arm strain which affected his performance. The top 3 were not separated by much at the finish, but you had the feeling that Avery was in control throughout, he won by 0.3s from Clark, with Wright less than a second behind in 3rd. Tyler Cox wasn’t far behind in 4th, Ashby 5th, Trzeciak 6th, Geoff Cox 7th, Ben Pawsey 8th, Page 9th and Billy Clarke 10th.

Rotax & Honda 200 Inter.

The grid of Rotax Inter class was mixed with two Honda R200s for the next Final. Ayda Sexton started from pole, but was hit with a mechanical problems which brought about her retirement after just 3 laps, this left Lucas Knibbs out in front and he went onto take the win from Henry King, who had closed up towards the end of the race finishing just 0.23s behind. Sophia Caldwell recovered from an early spin to take 3rd. In the Honda R200 class, Zak Jennings held the upper hand over earlier Pre Final winner Freddie Wall, with less than a second covering them both at the end. King took the fastest lap in the Rotax Inter class and Jennings in the R200s.

Junior Club and Libre Max.

The twelve Junior Club Max drivers were joined by three from the Mini Max class for this month. Liam Thomas was back racing at his home circuit and put his GMS kart on pole position, he had P1’s Felix Stolkin alongside after he finished ahead of Fletcher Jamieson, (who had won the earlier Heat) in the Pre Final.

Jacob Hobbs sat next to Jamieson on the 2nd row after he had a good showing in the Pre Final. On the 3rd row sat Callum Sims and Ryan Welsh, Alfy Hemmingway and Jack Robinson completed the 4th row. Dexter Collins proved to be fastest of the Mini Club Max trio lining up on the class pole.

The Junior grid starts had been problematic all day, even with the circuit’s Pace Kart guiding them to the lights, this was no different for the Final. Eventually though we had a clean start although Thomas appeared well clear of Stolkin as they crossed the line, Stolkin then moved to the inside behind Thomas, but in so doing squeezed Jamieson onto the grass, who then in recovering tapped the P1 kart into a spin at turn 1.

Stolkin was now facing the pack who all tried to avoid him, in the ensuing chaos – Ryan Welsh was forced wide onto the grass and then inevitably the tyre barrier, hitting it hard. The red flag soon appeared while a bruised and battered Welsh received attention.

 The restart was a much cleaner affair with Thomas leading Stolkin over the opening lap. Jamieson running 3rd was in trouble after 3 laps, losing places with a slow puncture, this let Sims & Jack Theobald through into 3rd & 4th with Jamieson now down to 5th.

Thomas was in control out in front, controlling the pace; Stolkin too appeared safe in 2nd running clear of Sims in 3rd. Hobbs had had a tardy getaway dropping to 7th but by lap 9 was up onto Theobald’s bumper pushing for 4th – he managed to pass him on the infield on the next lap, until it all ended in disaster with Theobald driving over up the top of Hobbs, delaying both and putting them out of the running.

This promoted Hemmingway and Jack Pullen up to 4th & 5th as both had earlier found a way past the troubled Jamieson. After 14 laps Thomas finished 0.94s ahead of Stolkin in 2nd, Sims was 3rd on the road before a dropped nose penalty put him back to 6th, so Hemmingway inherited the final podium slot in 3rd.

Pullen and Jamieson were 4th & 5th ahead of Sims, Luke Broadbent held off Jack Robinson for 7th and 8th and Hobbs recovered to 9th ahead of Max Freeman in 10th. Dexter Collins came out on top in the Mini Club Max class, clear of Louie Millington and Tabitha Mellor. Fastest laps fell to Hobbs in the Juniors and Collins in the Minis.

Rotax Cadets.

Harrison Page proved to be the class of the field all day in the Rotax Cadets, taking wins in all 3 races in his CHDD kart. His teammate Honda Cadet 160 winner – Daniel Butcher made a fast start to run 2nd for 7 laps before Maria Ruberto worked her way ahead, she was making  a welcome return to the circuit after spending her season gaining experience elsewhere, at both home and away in Europe.

Matthew Lilley didn’t capitalise on his front row grid slot, as he slipped to 4th at the start, he did however end up giving Butcher a run for his money over the battle for third place, finishing just a tenth behind at the finish. Behind winner Page, Ruberto,

Butcher and Lilley in 5th was Rory Pizzey, Dimitar Uzinov took 6th, Ted Deeprose 7th, Darin Dimitov 8th and Ellis Honey 9th. Maria Ruberto took the fastest lap of the race on lap 9 of 11.

Junior Club Max Rookies.

The biggest grid of the day was for the Junior Rookie drivers, with 23 karts lining up on the grid. Joel Bullen has a had a successful year in the class taking many wins and he sat head and shoulders above the rest again on Sunday in his JAXX kart, winning by 6.74s and taking the fastest lap too. The race for 2nd was much closer however as Kajus Zygmanta held 2nd for 6 laps before Clark Motorsport’s Connor Tubby slipped his all black kart up into the runner up slot.

Zygmanta held 3rd for another couple of laps until he tangled with Byron Scott- Simmons on the infield dropping both back into the pack. Ollie Orteu climbed his way up to 3rd from 11th on the grid at the finish, but was hit with a 1 lap penalty post-race for gaining an unfair advantage. This gave JJ Hind 3rd behind Bullen & Tubby, in 4th was Aston Munday from Freddie Leppenwell in 5th, the delayed Zygmanta in 6th. Dexter Gregory was next up in 7th, Max Osbourne 8th, Scott-Simmons 9th and Harry Russell in 10th.

Full results from the day can be found here – https://results.alphatiming.co.uk/bmkr/e/152498

The final round of the 2023 championship will be held on November 19th.