Record bumper entry beats the chill at Bayford Meadows
Record bumper entry beats the chill at Bayford Meadows

 The BMKR club recorded an impressive 126 kart entry for round 9 of their summer championship on Sunday.

The chilly weather conditions delivered a very tricky circuit which caught out a number of drivers during the day while they adapted to the conditions.

After two early race stoppages the racing ran to the circuits usual prompt and slickly run schedule.


Last month’s event allowed the youngest competitors of the day to race competitively against each other as the circuit hosted the final round of the national championship, for this month it was back to the usual format of three timed runs for the eight drivers that took to the circuit.

Carrying the prestigious number 1 on his kart was Harry Freeman, after an outstanding year in the national championship; he topped the morning’s practice and 1st timed run, with a best lap of 1:02.68s. Noah Baglin and Alfie Mew worked together during the 2nd run which paid off for Baglin, as he set a time of 1:02.03s to top the eight drivers, with Mew 2nd and Freeman 3rd. For the third and final run Alfie Mew scorched around in a 1:01.78s to take not only the fastest time of the run but also of the day.

Freeman was only 0.03s behind in 2nd with Baglin just 0.110s next up in third, incredibly close times between the top three. Sergio Wirz was 4th, Kalian Russell 5th, Ronnie Legg 6th, Felix Hill 7th and Jack Blackman learning the circuit in 8th.

Honda Cadet.

A healthy 23 karts were entered in the Honda Cadet class for this month, with drivers from other circuits visiting for the first time. Kacee Lynch proved fast early on by taking pole in qualifying and then taking the morning’s heat win from SAIT’s Joshua Graham and Gustavs Usakovs, both past winners at the circuit this year.

In the Pre Final Usakovs emerged as the winner by a scant 0.15s passing the impressive Lynch towards the end of the race, Graham was again right on the money by finishing 3rd. Usakovs led away the final from Lynch and Graham and the trio circulated that way for large period of the race, behind these three Oscar O’Sullivan led Ian Marginean, Sonny Mortensen and Thomas Bearman.

As the race built towards its climax – Lynch made his move on Usakovs, leading a lap before Usakovs tried to retake the lead going into the first infield hairpin. His moved proved disastrous for both as he collected the back of Lynch sending into a spin and ending his chances of winning. Usakovs held off Graham to the finish but was penalised 1 lap post-race for the mistimed lunge, handing the delighted Graham the win.

O’Sullivan was equally as happy to have taken 2nd place, Marginean took 3rd from Mortensen in 4th. 5th place went to a charging Reg Heywood who moved his C.H.D.D Evolution kart up 9 slots during the race. Bearman finished 6th, Alfie Thompson 7th, Emily Jackson 8th, Riley Wright 9th and the recovering Lynch in 10th. Heywood stormed to the fastest lap on lap 6.

Junior Subaru

Charlie Hand led the 15 kart Junior Subaru UK class after qualifying and ran away during the 8 lap Hat to win by 3.73s. He was run close in the Pre Final by Joseph Knight, only 0.25s separating the two. Kieran Janali and Rory Burke couldn’t live with the leading pair finishing in 3rd and 4th, with Ciaron Edgson in 5th.

Hand continued his dominance within the class by leading away the 10 lap Grand Final, Knight immediately sat in behind him, fending off Janali and Burke. Edgson ran 5th ahead of Vincent Osbourne and Benjamin Witham in 6th and 7th. Aaron Deacon should have been in amongst this fight but was an early casualty after losing drive when his chain came off. As the race progressed it was clear that Knight’s kart was coming alive as he was putting pressure on Hand.

The leader however has matured over the year, especially after making the jump into Junior car racing and held of the spirited challenge of Knight to the finish, although the gap was only 0.09s as they crossed the line together. Janali and Burke had an exciting tussle over the closing laps with the SAIT kart of Janali coming out ahead of the Clarke kart of Burke.

Edgson finished a solid 5th with the similar Alonso kart of Witham on his bumper.7th was Osbourne ahead of Ben Cooke in 8th, Kipp Chorley 9th and Alexander Adams-Acton in 10th. Knight grabbed the fastest lap during his valiant pursuit of winner Hand.

Junior Club Max.

An excellent grid of 24 karts lined up for the Junior Club Max final, further proof that the cost effective measures brought in by the BMKR club have proven successful.

Lining up on pole after being fastest in qualifying and then comfortably taking Heat and Pre Final wins – was James Black, his JB Motorsport CompKart working beautifully around the twist and turns of the Sittingbourne circuit.

Project One’s Will Egby shared the front row with Black, having gotten within 0.73s of him during the Pre Final. Privateer Declan Russell was driving well to take the inside of the 2nd row, Project One’s Ryan Willis also

going well alongside him. Oliver Bullion and circuit visitor Ben Baloo occupied row 3, Row 4 consisted of Caitlin May and Daniel Hughes, Zac Dear and Callum Romaine on his class debut sharing row 5

After two warm up laps to gain sufficient heat in the Maxxis tyres, the lights went to green and with the starter happy with the starting formation, the 11 lap final was underway.

Black led over the opening lap, his Bristol Street Motors backed kart pulling an initial gap as Russell managed to wrestle 2nd place from Egby behind. Willis did initially pass Egby too, before his teammate found a way back past. Bullion settled into 5th, as Beswick slipped to 8th  May motored her way up to 6th, Hughes also briefly passing Beswick.

Back at the front Black looked to be controlling the pace, Russell hadn’t given up but couldn’t tow up to the back of the Clive Emson supported leader. Egby and Willis held 3rd and 4th until a charging May moved her GMS kart in front of Willis,. There was some place changing behind as Bullion slipped out of contention, Beswick having jumped back up to 6th, from Baloo, Hughes and Romaine. 

Black completed the perfect 100% race day by taking victory; Russell in second made it a good day for Dad ‘n lad teams, well deserved after a busy year travelling the country racing.

Egby wasn’t far behind in 3rd, May’s recovery drive from an early Heat spin rewarded her with a fighting 4th, Willis headed home Beswick in 5th and 6th, visiting Baloo took 7th, Hughes 8th, Romaine a creditable 9th and Dear also driving well in 10th. Today was a good day for Black as he also grabbed the final’s fastest lap.

Mini Club Max.

The seven drivers in this steadily growing class were all struggling with the cold temperatures throughout the day, causing a few gyrations and driver mistakes, during the races.

Jai Lawrence had acquitted himself well to the move up from Cadets, with wins in the Heat and Pre Final, he didn’t waste much time in the final either, his Project One kart scorching away from the Clarke Kart driven by Chloe Chong and going on to cruise to victory.

Jamie Perilly was having a troublesome day as he worked his way up from 5th into 2nd by lap 3 – he had however suffered a nose fairing drop, which penalised him 5s and demoted him back into 3rd at the finish behind Chong.

C.H.D.D Evolution driver Mikey Porter and Privateer Rylee Brown tussled over 4th place, the former securing the position at the finish. Last month’s winner Rito Komata was 6th from Holly Miall in 7th. Perilly recorded the fastest lap of the race.

Honda Clubman Standard.

The always exciting Clubman Standard final was up next with 20 drivers entered for this month’s race. The Ferrari replica sticker kit kart of Kristian Stefanov always features at the front of this class and on Sunday continued the trend as he topped qualifying, the morning Heat and Pre Final.

He then led Grand Final and never looked back, his Knight Torque prepared engine working faultlessly enabling him to gap his nearest rival, Sebastian Morgan, another who has often been a bridesmaid in the class over the year.

They both pulled clear of the rest of the field and were never threatened, which must have come as some relief to their watching parents. John Ward normally mixes with the two in front and held 3rd place early on but then dropped to 5th and couldn’t work his way back up, ending the race in that position. 3rd went to last month’s winner William Murphy, as he came out on top with a battle with Emily Jackson, who eventually finished 4th.In 6th behind Ward was Simon Parfett, Luca Osman-Price took 7th, Jack Owen-Drawbridge 8th, just from Joshua Selvadorai in 9th.

The top 10 were completed by Tom Ingram-Hill. Fastest lap went to Stefanov who else?……after such a convincing display.

Senior Club Max and 177s.

With over 30 drivers entered into the Senior Club Max class, a ‘B’ final was required to decide the last four qualifying drivers on the Grand Final 24 kart grid.

This was won comfortably by Jack Bartholomew, just over 5s ahead of Jonathan Harrison, Dean Horlock and Joe Wood. Previous circuit overall winner ‘Barty’ would certainly be one to watch in the main final starting from back in 21st.

Elliot Rice has been on fire over the second half of 2019 and he started the Final from pole position after winning both of his qualifying races. Alongside him was last month’s Junior Club Max winner Jack Steadman, making his debut in the class – he finished 2nd to Rice in his first Heat and then took his first Senior win in the second.

Lewis Hodson-Brown and Declan Lee were next up on row 2, on row 3 were Riley Stephenson and Kit Brough, who had  intended to test over the weekend but then decided that the best form of testing was to race ! James Tomsett and Frederick Lubin filled row 4 and Jonathan Dalton and Max Goodwin row 5.

Rice and Steadman led the colourful 24 kart field into turn 1 and down to the tricky turn 2. Behind leader Rice, Steadman was forced wide by Hodson-Brown and Lee having then to defend heavily into the first infield hairpin, as Brough, Stephenson and Tomsett were all over him.

At the end of lap 1 Rice and Hodson-Brown had a slight gap over Lee, Steadman had held off Brough, who had Lubin and Stephenson pushing him along, Tomsett was next up with the GMS trio of Jack Wall, Joseph Gethin and Thomas Lawson chasing him. As the race settled down it was clear that Rice had the edge over Hodson-Brown and Lee, he controlled his pace beautifully going onto take a 0.62 win over Hodson-Brown.

Lee slipped back behind Project One teammate Steadman to finish 4th, the latter making up for his poor 1st lap as he closed in on the leaders. Lubin took a good 5th another who had recently just progressed from the Junior ranks. Stephenson found a way past Brough to finish 6th, behind Brough (7th) in 8th pace was Tomsett’s Clark Kart.

Bartholomew was next up in 9th after having made up an amazing 12 places!  2019 Kent champion Tom Lawson was a disappointing 10th after suffering a bad Heat result earlier on. Steadman proved his pace by setting the fastest lap, on the 9th tour. 

Andy Parish topped the 177s finishing 9th in the B Final. Having chosen racing at Bayford Meadows over attending the Brazilian Grand Prix, McLaren CEO Zak Brown had to unfortunately withdraw after hefty contact with the turn 2 tyre barrier on the 1st lap of Heat 1. Let’s hope that hasn’t put him off of making a similar choice in the future as it was great to see him and his son Max at the circuit.