The Motorsport UK Wera Tools British Kart Championships roared back into life at Rowrah last weekend (7/8 August) as packed grids offered an exhilarating weekend of action at the Cumbrian circuit. The track, based in a disused quarry near the north west coast offered up a classic British summer, with heavy rain showers mixing with sunny spells to throw tyre choice into the mix for the eager karters.
Contenders in the IAME and Bambino classes would be fresh from a busy weekend at Larkhall in Scotland and would head back across the border just a fortnight later for their penultimate encounter of the season. With the championship battles heading towards a breathtaking climax across the categories, the race would be on to head into the final round of the season at PF International in October in the box seat. They would be joined by the impressive KZ2 gearbox class who were eager to resume their season at the technical but flowing circuit.
Saturday offered up an unpredictable weather front that saw qualifying take place in rain-soaked conditions before the a drying track allowed the move to the slick for the heats that concluded the day.
Sunday started with a similar vein as racing was forced to be paused for a short time due to excessive standing water and extreme rain showers. Once resumed, the pre-finals and finals would close out the day with the now traditional closely-contested racing present across all classes in Britain’s premier karting series.
Class Round Up
The Bambino class is famed for its closeness and with the top 5 all crossing the line within one second of each other, Rowrah provided yet another thrilling battle for the youngest karters of the series. It would be Austin Newstead who took the win closely followed by Colbe Pattison but with positions changing corner by corner, it was Newstead’s impressive racecraft that made sure he was in the prime position when it came to the chequered flag. Otis Cleary finished in third place with some impressive final lap lunges for position. The sportsmanship in Parc Ferme after the race from the young protagonists was equally as notable as the racing.
Austin Newstead goes into the final round leading the championship by 27 points from Colbe Pattison. With Max Gilman only 5 points behind the table can certainly change at PFi in October.
It was a Fusion Motorsport one, two and three as Kit Belofsky took the win in IAME cadet. After a tight battle with Zac Drummond on the road, a nosecone penalty for Drummond handed the win to Belofsky.
Ben Smith took the final place on the podium after what was a difficult final for the entire grid thanks to a rain soaked track. However, that didn’t phase Lewis Wherrell (Oliver Rowland Motorsport). After a mechanical failure on the rolling lap of the prefinal he made up a staggering 21 positions to keep himself in the championship fight.
With a double header remaining for the IAME classes, Zac Drummond holds a 55 point lead over Lewis Wherrell who may have saved his championship hopes with that stunning drive. Noah Wolfe sits a further 31 points behind in third place.
We’ve seen many gripping battles in the British Kart Championships before but the head-to-head between Leo Robinson and Macauley Bishop was lights to flag affair. When the chequered flag fell, it was Robinson (Fusion Motorsport) who took the win from Bishop (PMR Driver Program) in a race that saw a scintillating duel throughout the duration.
With these two drivers battling out front it was MLC Motorsport’s Jack Hobson that came through to claim the final podium spot in an excellent drive. Only 20 points separate the top two (Robinson and Bishop) in a championship which has seen an unprecedented level of closely fought racing this season. One meeting remains and the title fight is likely to go down to the wire.
Harry Jnr Burgoyne (Strawberry Racing) took the Junior X30 spoils after a brilliant drive with Oliver Stewart (Jade Racing Team) hot on his heels finishing just under a second away. The two Scotsmen had a hard fought battle throughout the final but it was Burgoyne who came out on top to add to Strawberry Racing’s record of wins this season.
Daniel Guinchard, the current championship leader, was always at the front end of the grid from practice through to the final at Rowrah and came home in third place with an impressive haul of points. With a 50 point lead over Stewart and Bart Harrison in third place a further 10 points back he’s becoming the man to beat.
When it rains at Rowrah it pours. And the Senior X30 class found this out three laps into their final after all starting on slicks. By the end of the 15 minute session with skillful driving from the entire field to stay on track, it was Thomas Turner who took the win for Strawberry Racing from Gus Lawrence (PF International Karting) who reveled in the conditions.
Harry Platten (BMR) took the final step of the podium in a hard fought race where positions were far from guaranteed throughout the final.
Turner puts himself up into third in the championship after a great drive with all podium finishers now finding themselves at the sharp end of the championship moving into the next round.
But its Clayton Ravenscroft (KR Sport) who remains championship leader heading to PFi, with a slender 13 point lead over Thomas Fleming (DHR) and Turner a further 10 points back. A championship battle that is definitely not over with a double header at PFi to round off the title challenge.
In a welcome return to the British Kart Championships after several weeks away, KZ2 became a two-man battle for the lead as the final developed. Bradley Barrett (Sodi Vitesse) eventually taking the win in his debut season in the class. Excelling to the conditions and looking more comfortable in the kart as each weekend goes by, he found a way past second place driver Ryan Cannon (Andy Fairless Racing) with a handful laps to go.
Charlie Turner (Rush Performance), another driver who has moved over from the Rotax class, took a well-deserved third after finding his feet in a class new to him this year as well.
Second place for Cannon keeps him at the top of the championship standings heading towards their final round in the championship with a 22 point lead over Tom Longfield (Privateer). Allan Kenyon (Privateer) is just a further three points shy. After a stellar weekend Barrett moves himself up to fourth in the championship and all within touching distance of the title which will be played out in Sunderland.
KZ2 will be back in action at Warden Law on 18/19 September while IAME and Bambino must now wait until October for their season finale’ at PFi in October.
The Rotax and TKM classes are next up in the BKC battle, heading to at Whilton Mill on the 28/29 August.