Post lockdown karting resumes
Post lockdown karting resumes

Post lockdown kart racing resumed at the fast Lydd international circuit located in the south eastern corner of Kent, not far from the ominous Dungerness power station.

Nestled in-between sporting lakes the friendly family owned track an ideal location for karting, with an onsite holiday park providing the perfect backdrop for the weekend’s racing.

The circuit has seen a lot of development over recent years and that was rewarded this year with a round of the British Karting Championships which are due to take place over the August weekend of the 22nd and 23rd.

Round 4 of the summer championship therefore proved to be one of the last chances for the British championship teams and drivers to race at the circuit, which guaranteed a bumper 140 kart entry.

The circuit locals were keen to race against the country’s elite drivers and going into the weekend their expectations had been high. With social distancing and masks in place, the packed paddock sprung into action early on Sunday morning with practice, qualifying and two heats to progress through before the afternoon’s finals.

Honda Novice – Parfett beats Birthday boy Sherwood to take novice win.

The first of the finals belonged to the Honda Novice class, which had 14 of the young rookies putting on a great show throughout the day. Jayden Sherwood celebrated his Birthday by taking the pole position in morning’s qualifying session from Antony Parfett and Archie Beard. The two heats were close affairs won by Parfett, just from Sherwood and regular class front runner Josh Selvadorai taking two third places.

The final was held over 10 laps under sunny skies, with a fierce breeze blowing across the circuit. Parfett’s RHP kart led away from the standing start with Sherwood’s Hydratem8 blue and yellow kart tracking him closely over the opening laps.

Selvadorai found that he couldn’t live with the pace of the pair ahead, much to his frustration as he ran in a lonely third position. Charlie Warren’s orange machine started fourth but was soon passed by the new GMS #11 kart of Jack Pullen.

As the race settled down, it looked as though ‘JJ’ Sherwood was going to make a move on the impressively consistent Parfett towards the end of the race, the #47 kart of the leader however, didn’t give him the opportunity, as it powered out of the final corner to take the win by 0.13s. Selvadorai was only 1.78s behind winner Parfett and runner up Sherwood in third.

Pullen was delighted to take 4th, showing his elation by punching the air over the finish line. Jonas Klimas had nipped ahead of Warren midrace to take 5th, both were close behind Pullen at the finish. Positions 7 – 10th were taken by Rio Licata, Archie Beard, Ryan Gwenzi and Riley Till. Fastest lap fell to runner up Sherwood.

Mini Max – Linden dominates for DHR.

Making the most of the final Lydd ‘clubbie’ before the British championship event next month was the Dan Holland Racing team, an outfit with a wealth of experiences and championship wins over the years. Driving for the team in the Mini Max class was Harry Linden and he went to take a clean sweep in Qualifying, heats 1 &2, before going on to take a 2.71s win in the 10 lap final.

Finn Smith came the closest to Linden finishing runner up in both heats and final. The battle for third between Pierson Bullock-Carter and Andrew Douglass, eventually going to the latter in the final. Jack Badger came out top of the circuit local’s, finishing a stellar 5th, from Mikey Porter in 6th, who had driven up 6 places from his original 12th place grid slot.

Chole Chong finished 7th, Josh Camp 8th, Finley Watson 9th and a delayed Sebastian Morgan 10th. Linden also took the fastest lap, being the only driver to go sub 39s with a 38.75s lap.

Junior Subaru – Clarke kart’s Davey wins after finishing second on the road.

The eight drivers in the Junior Subaru class put on some great racing all day, with the drivers evenly matched as they swapped places throughout the qualifying heats. Ben Cooke took a comfortable win in heat 1, Hugo Willett’s victory in heat 2 proved to be much closer with less than a second covering the top 3.

Willett led away the final but had Fallon and Cooke pressurising him from the off. Out of my sight Cooke first dropped back into the pack and then Willett & Fallon tangled, which led to the former dropping to the back of the field and Fallon later picking up a 5s penalty. Through all of this Kian Davey moved up from grid 7 to run 2nd!

Jenson Taylor was initially 3rd until Ciaron Edgson usurped him. As the laps counted down Fallon held the lead on the road 2s in front of Davey, Willett was charging up through the field and caught Edgson by the end. Blake Noble was running 5th but under pressure from the recovering Cooke.

After 10 laps Fallon crossed the line first from Davey in 2nd, although his 5s penalty dropped Fallon behind Davey post-race, handing Davey the win. Edgson just pipped the charging Willett to 3rd, until he too suffered a 5s penalty for a dropped nose fairing, moving him back to 5th behind Cooke in 4th. Confused yet? Post-race the top five were classified as Davey, Fallon, Willett, Cooke and Edgson.

Noble finished 6th collecting a 5s nose penalty, Finlay Underwood 7th, also with a nose penalty and Taylor took 8th without any penalty! Also penalty less, Willett took the fastest lap of the race.

Rotax 177Appleby hits top form to take win.

The Rotax 177 was another class to have an 8 kart entry, with good racing throughout. Oliver Appleby driving for the GMS team headed the DHR kart of Ben Davis in the heats and apart from being briefly headed in the final from the rolling start, swept clear to take victory by 2.39s.

As in the heats Davis had given it his all to beat Appleby as the two left the remaining entrants in their wake, but ultimately fell short of the flying Oliver. Circuit regular and class champion Karl Mepham finished 12s behind the two ahead taking a solid 3rd.

Andy Parish took 4th, Mark Waters 5th, Nick Floyd 6th, Ben Algar and Andy Locke 7th & 8th.  The fastest lap went to the winner Appleby on the 8th lap.

Honda Cadet – Drummond squeezes out Jungling to take Cadet win.

The 30 kart Honda Cadet entry required the drivers to split into two different groups A & B for their two heats. Wins went the way of Zac Drummond, Timo Jungling, Jenson Graham and Oscar Tumilty, proving that the final would be very competitive.

Drummond led Tumilty away from the standing start as the 30 drivers expertly managed to make it through the first chicane. Positions soon swapped around as Tumilty led although just for just one lap, before Drummond took back control.

Behind these two Gustavs Usakovs held 3rd for a few laps, until he was passed by Blake Ticehurst on lap 4. Ralph Jungling soon made his presence felt as he moved up past Usakovs and then Ticehurst before chasing off after the leaders, who hadn’t managed to gap the pack at all. By lap 7 Tumilty was back in front, with Drummond glued to his bumper, Ralph Jungling 3rd now had his brother Timo trying to latch onto the battle at the front in 4th place.

On the last lap Drummond made his move on Tumilty grabbing the lead back , however out of the final corner he raised his arms to celebrate, only to have Ralph Jungling charge up on his inside, with Tumilty on his outside! The win went to Drummond by just 0.02s, from Jungling, with Tumilty just 0.04s next up, a hare’s breath separating the 3 of them over the finish line.

Timo Jungling was 1.27s back in 4th, Usakovs 5th, Jacob Gilman 6th, Ticehurst slipped back to 7th, Lewis Islin 8th, Henry Joslyn 9th and Jenson Graham round out the top ten and took the fastest lap.

Junior Rotax- Higgins takes British championship warm up win.

As with the Honda Cadet class, the 30 kart Junior Rotax entry was split into two groups A & B. Wins in the four heats went to Matthew Higgins (2), Harrison Collings and Will Egby.

The start of the final took a few attempts to nail and when it finally succeeded – Higgins grabbed the initiative from the inside pole position run into the first chicane, from DHR team mate Collings. Egby and Callum Voisin followed him through next in line.

Jez Williams ran 5th for a lap before a charging Declan Russell came through from grid 7, already demoting Daniel Armstrong as he did so. A crash on the 3rd lap which involved a fast starting Rylee Brown and Tristian Rennie, brought out the red flags, the first of the day as Brown was in a lot of pain after suffering an arm injury, which was later diagnosed as a broken wrist.

The single file restart thankfully didn’t bring any further dramas and we were back underway once again. Higgins looked in control as Collings came under attack first from Egby, who had his Project One kart up into 2nd place briefly on lap 5, before slipping back behind Collings. As the race progressed it was clear that Russell had the pace to threaten the 2nd placed man and even the leader if he could find a way past.

In the end he ran out of time as Higgins took a controlled win, marking himself as a favourite for next month’s British Championship visit, Collings 2nd held off Russell who impressed with his Dad ‘n lad run kart against the big teams. Voisin was 4th ahead of fastest lap holder Sam Gornall in 5th. 6th fell to Armstrong from Williams in 7th. The top 10 was completed by Harri Reynolds 8th, Egby 9th and Ryan Willis in 10th.

Senior Rotax – DHR pair fight for top honours.

A 32 kart entry made up the Senior Rotax competitors, winners in the four split heats were Kai Hunter (2), Rhys Hunter and Teddy Clinton, the DHR drivers taking all four races. A ‘B’ final was required to lose two drivers as the circuit is limited to 30 kart races.

Jamie Locke failed to make the start due to starter motor failure, which left only one driver not making through. Lewis Halliday took the win.

 From the 30 kart rolling start Kai Hunter led Clinton, Nelson King ran 3rd from Tom Adams in 4th, Ben Burgess was 5th up from 7th on the grid. Circuit champion Riley Stephenson had his GMS kart in 6th, running 7th early on was George Holbrook, from Rhys Hunter in 8th, up from 12th, on a mission after crashing out of his second heat with James Lowther.

As the race settled down K Hunter still led, Clinton was biding his time before he attempted to make a move. King looked settled in 3rd until Burgess closed in towards the closing laps. Going into the penultimate lap, Clinton made his move on Hunter stick, he now had to try and defend over the final lap.

The long back straight leading into the last corner at Lydd is always the place for last lap dramas and so it was to prove this time, as Hunter eased Clinton wide to snatch the lead and take the win. The battle for third went the way of Burgess who demoted King to 4th also on the last lap.

R Hunter managed to find a way past Stephenson on the last lap to snatch 5th, the latter unhappy with the power delivery from his engine, which was losing him crucial time when he needed it. Adams finished 7th, Holbrook 8th, Lowther 9th and Alexander Baker 10th. Rhys Hunter managed to record the fastest lap as he worked his way forwards through the field.

Driver of the day went to a deserved Declan Russell after his excellent drive in the Junior Rotax final.

Full results from the meeting can be found here –

The British championship meeting will be held over the weekend of August 22nd – 23rd, hopefully with spectators allowed access by then.

The next summer championship round 5 will be held over the following weekend August 29th – 30th.