Clay Pigeon Raceway hosted the ninth meeting of the Motorsport UK Wera Tools British Kart Championships last weekend as Britain’s premier karting series made its furthest trip south of the 2022 season [26-28 August].
The short, sharp and technical Dorset track would host the Rotax and Honda classes for the fourth round of their respective campaigns, and the south west circuit was a pivotal role in the honing of F1 driver Jensen Button’s skills as a young karter.
Another high-quality entry list in the Mini Max, Junior Rotax and Senior Rotax classes was bolstered by a gaggle of Honda Cadet protagonists, offering a scintillating weekend of top-class action.
The meeting would also host a special Micro Max event where the winner would qualify for a place at the prestigious Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals at the Kartodromo Internacional do Algarve in November.
You can re-live all the action from the finals on Motorsport UK’s YouTube channel [HERE].
The tide could well be turning in the closely fought Mini Max class as it was Noah Wolfe [Synergy Racing Developments] who claimed a back-to-back Mini Max Finals victory, adding to his Warden win.
And that victory means he leaps over Scott Marsh [DHR] into the lead of the championship after Marsh finished outside of the podium positions for the second time in 2022. Marsh had the rub in the Pre-Final and led the chasing pack in the Finals until lap 11 when Wolfe made his move for the lead. Marsh’s top score in the Pre-final ensures the fight for the top spot remains at a slender two points.
Harrison Whitticombe [Argenti Motorsport] was another to capitalise on a strong Warden performance by taking his best result of the season with second place whilst William Murphy [Synergy Racing Developments] rounded out the podium, making up an impressive five places on his starting slot.
Rookie Finn Leslie deserves a special mention for his Finals performance too, making up 11 places from his grid position to take seventh place for Kato Motorsport.
Brandon Carr [KR-Sport] extended his lead in the Junior Rotax class after a confidence-boosting Pre-Final and Finals victory built up a buffer of 37 points over the chasing Vinnie Phillips [Strawberry Racing].
It was an impressive Final for Carr – leading from lights to flag with the top three positions remaining largely unchanged all race long. The short nature of Clay meant it would need to be a tactical move to challenge the leaders, but Ethan Jeff Hall [Strawberry Racing] made his move early to claim second, as did Phillips who would take third.
Harry Linden [DHR] scooped the top spot in the Heats classification but the Welshman couldn’t quite get hooked up in the Final, taking ninth.
It was all-change in the Senior Rotax standings after Clay, a new championship leader emerged from the Dorset track on Sunday night; Callum Bradshaw [Strawberry Racing].
There were only eight points between him and DHR’s Kai Hunter coming into the weekend, but Bradshaw’s third in the Heats, second in the Pre-Final and then Finals victory, grained him the place to head the standings.
Bradshaw would line up second on the grid to Matthew Higgins [DHR] but the left-hand side can be a positive place to be on the grid, and he would lead by the time the first lap was completed. Higgins held firm in second after an encouraging weekend with the Heat and Pre-Finals win.
As for Hunter, a nose cone penalty dropped him down the order two places but had been close enough to the top all weekend long not to affect his championship chances too much at this stage.
Archie Walker [KR Sport] rounded out the podium places and continues to build experience and momentum in a toughly fought category.
A star performance, worthy of a Wera Tools Driver of the Day nomination from the panel, saw Kenzo Craigie [Zip Factory Team] storm to two Heats victories and the Finals win with second in the Pre-Final to boot.
The first non-Synergy Racing Developments driver to scoop a Final this season means he now closes in on the lead of the championship, just 12 points behind Jarrett Clark [Synergy Racing Developments] who couldn’t quite match his Heats and Pre-Final performance, dropping from pole to ninth.
Max Endacott [Synergy Racing Developments] had a consistent weekend, rounding out in style and second place, whilst Privateer Rocca-Leon Shenton equalled his best BKC result in third.
With a ticket to the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals in Portugal up for grabs, the competition was fierce in the all-important Final.
A troublesome weekend saw Laughlin Johnstone [SFR Motorsport] start from the back of the grid but the Scot was sensational, working his way into the lead by the third lap. From there he was never headed to take the win.
Thanks to Johnstone already scooping a place earlier in the season, it was down to the next racer and that battle was predictably impressive. Daniel Minto [Hunter Motorsport] and Jenson Chalk [MLC Motorsport] went head to head once Johnstone was away in the distance and it was a final lap thriller which saw Minto scoop the place after a position swapping 24 laps.
The next event of the British Kart Championships takes place on 9-11 September at Kimbolton, where the Rotax, Honda Cadet and KZ2 classes will resume their championship battles.