Last weekend, 14 – 16 August 2020, saw the long-awaited return of the Motorsport UK British Kart Championships at the Cumbrian-based track, Rowrah.
With over 142 drivers competing across six classes, the first round of the championship saw some close racing, with familiar names battling for the top-step of the podium throughout the two-days of competition.
Despite the event having to reduce the number of team members at the circuit due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it was still enjoyed by thousands through the live steam provided by Alpha Live on the championship social media channels. The organising team also introduced new safety measures, including digital sign-on, scrutineering and briefings to ensure a smooth and successful meeting for all competitors and officials.
Friday’s test day provided some insight into what was in store for the first weekend of the championship with less than half a second separating the top 10 drivers in almost every class. However, it was Saturday and Sunday that provided the true wheel-to-wheel action with drivers taking to the grid to fight for the all-important points.
It was Blair Smith that led the pack during the first heat for the Bambino class. However, a consistent performance across all heats from Finlay Hinds secured the young-driver pole position for the final on Sunday. Unfortunately, he couldn’t sustain the lead and a stunning drive from Luca Holmes-Balac saw him climb an incredible eight places to cross the line as the winner, followed by Edward Haynes in second place and Finlay slipping to third, with less than half a second separating the top three.
All eyes were on the IAME Cadet competition this weekend with Macauley Bishop and Nathan Tye neck and neck for the lead during the fourth heat, with Saturday’s first final winner, Macauley, beating Nathan to pole by just 0.04 seconds after swapping positions during the last lap of the race. It was Tye that was victorious in the final, followed by Connor Duncan and Zachary Knight.
The weekend’s Mini X30 top three steps were dominated by Vinnie Phillips, Leo Robinson and Gabriel Stilp, with Vinnie victorious in both finals. The action proved popular on the live stream as the three drivers battled and switched positions until the chequered flag.
Junior X30 was no different, with less than a quarter of a second separating winner of the first final, Joshua Rowledge and second place, Bart Harrison. Joshua and Bart returned to the podium after the final on Sunday, but it was Oliver Greenall that claimed the top step during the second final after carving his way through the field.
Senior X30 driver and 2019 Champion Danny Kierle finished third to Callum Bradshaw and Oliver Hodgson during Saturday’s final but took his revenge during Sunday’s final, gracing the top step and taking the win once again ahead of Bradshaw and Connor Jupp, with Hodgson just missing out on a podium in fourth place.
Joe Charlton was king in the KZ2 class, winning the pre-final and the final. However, Tom Longfield challenged Joe to the win but fell short by only 0.1 second. Ryan Cannon joined Joe and Tom to make up the podium.
All results can be found by vising the britishkartchampionships.org website and all the action can be re-watched on the British Kart Championships Facebook page.
The championship is back this weekend, 21st – 23rd August, with more live-streamed competition from Lydd with Honda and Rotax classes in action.