The Motorsport UK Wera Tools British Kart Championships enjoyed yet another sensational weekend of racing as the newly refurbished Larkhall Circuit near Glasgow in Scotland hosted an action-packed double-header (17-18 July).
Contenders in the IAME, Honda and Bambino classes made the trip across the border to the most Northerly circuit on the BKC tour and almost 200 competitors were greeted with blistering heat across the two days of on-track racing.
The undulating, technical yet rapid 1140 metre circuit provided scintillating race craft across all the classes with nose-to-tail racing being traded for intense overtaking moves and in many cases; last-lap lunges. A new circuit to many on the BKC calendar, its layout provided a wealth of new names at the top of the results sheets, with many series leaders left licking their wounds at the potentially unfamiliar track.
For the IAME classes, the Scottish encounter became the first of the season’s double-headers with both Saturday and Sunday hosting Finals and valuable points-scoring opportunities.
Honda Cadets were on track at Mansell Raceway in Devon just a few weeks previously so headed to Larkhall as arguably the most match-fit out of the weekend’s categories. The Bambino classes had been out of action since early May but were eager to hit the ground running during the weekend.
CLASS ROUND-UP – IAME
Home advantage aside, Scotsman Zac Drummond returned a blistering performance all weekend to dominate the top step of the podium during both points-scoring rounds for Fusion Motorsport. Drummond headed both of Saturday’s heats and scooped the opening day final win, whilst a strong showing on Sunday ensured he made it a double-top. His dominant performance saw him extend his lead in the series to 17 points over the chasing Lewis Wherrell (Oliver Rowland Motorsport). Wherrell was never far behind, securing third on both counters, battling with Fusion Motorsport’s Noah Wolfe for second all weekend long.
Macauley Bishop (PMR Driver Programme) would be the first man to upset Leo Robinson’s (Fusion Motorsport) impressive dominance of the Mini X30 classes this season to take a well-earned heats and Finals win on Saturday. A storming drive saw Bishop finish over two seconds ahead on the opening day’s head-to-head to ensure his gap to points leader Robinson would still be manageable. But Robinson fought back on Sunday’s Final to show his hand on every circuit so far in 2021. The pairing is some 40 points ahead of third-placed Wesley Swain (Fusion Motorsport) who couldn’t quite improve on his positions outside of the top five during the weekend. Cameron Pratt-Thompson (PMR Driver Programme) was the best of the rest in third on both days, rising to sixth in the standings after a slow start to the season.
Scottish driver Oliver Stewart shone on his `home` circuit as the Jade Racing Team ace bagged victory in both Finals thanks to a sensational performance that saw him take his maiden victory of 2021. Archie Walker (KR-Sport) would begin to close in on series leader Daniel Guinchard (Argentini Motorsport) with a second and third in the Finals. He now just sits two points from the top of the standings as Guinchard could only manage 15th and sixth during the weekend.
Harry Burgoyne Jnr (Strawberry Racing) was another Scot on Saturday’s podium with third in the Final but couldn’t quite take that through to Sunday. Irishman Fionn Mclaughlin (Fusion Motorsport) shone on the bumpy Larkhall circuit to take an impressive second spot on Sunday and his best performance of the season so far.
Strawberry Racing’s Kanato Le was second in the standings heading into the weekend but now sits in equal seventh with Premium Karting’s Sam Shaw after a tough weekend. The weekend’s racing on-track was as close as the points standings, with just 85 points separating the top 10 heading into round five.
Number one seed Thomas Fleming continued his progress in the BKC this season with an almost clean sweep as the DHR racer scooped both Saturday and Sunday final wins. Winning all but one of the heats in the process, Fleming flew to a convincing top score and vault up the points standings to second, just 17 away from leader Clayton Ravenscroft (KR-Sport).
Ravenscroft managed second spot on Saturday but had to work hard to climb 12 places to eighth in Sunday’s final. Harry Platten (BMR) took a confidence-boosting third on Saturday, going one better the following day to take a season-best result. Lewis Gilbert (Strawberry Racing) introduced himself to the series in fine style, taking third on Sunday’s points counter during his debut weekend in 2021.
Noah Wolfe (Synergy Race Team), who was also in action in IAME Cadets during the weekend, took full advantage of his time on track to take the Pre-Final and Final wins in Scotland. Ultra-close racing provided an entertaining battle for podium honours as the Honda Cadet train was rarely broken.
William Murphy (Ambition Motorsport) took runner up spot and fastest lap to secure his best result of 2021 in the final, gaining 3 places from his grid position, whilst teammate Joshua Graham rounded out the podium, finishing just two-tenths behind. Graham’s result means he nips away at Timo Jungling’s hold on the series after a seven place drop in the final for the SFR Motorsport driver. Graham is now just four points behind with three rounds to go.
In polar opposite conditions to their opening round at Clay Pigeon in May, the Bambino class could get stuck into the Scottish track with vigour for their second encounter of the season. After the opening two heats, it was Max Gilman who took the early initiative from Austin Newstead.
But the all-important final brought a thrilling battle for top-spot, going Newstead’s way by just nine-hundredths across the line from second-placed Grayson Wortley. Joshua Griffin took the final podium place on his home track. Newstead remains in the lead of the category with a healthy 22 point advantage over Wortley and Jack Baker who are tied for second as Gilman’s performance brings him ever closer to the podium places.
IAME contenders will now head to Cumbria’s Rowrah circuit in August (7-8) and will be joined by the KZ2 and Bambino classes.