The revamped Larkhall Circuit – home to the West of Scotland Kart Club – played host to the fifth round of the 2019 Motorsport UK British Kart Championship with mixed conditions dogging the drivers throughout a hectic day of racing action, which has resulted in a real shake-up of each of the IAME classes after 4 very dramatic finals.
Aiden Neate finally washed away his bad luck with a phenomenal weekend which saw him take victory across both of his heats despite the constant threat from team-mate and championship leader Kean Nakamura-Berta. The latter had bagged pole position, but a 4th and 2nd place finish kept him in the hunt. Harry Jnr Burgoyne and Maximus Hall had been very tough opposition in the first heat just behind Neate, whilst in the second heat Harley Keeble would chase home the two Fusion karts at the front end of the field.
Aiden was able to bounce back from a dip through the order in a spectacular final, as Neate clinched the victory in a magnificent last lap dash in front of local hero Harry Jnr Burgoyne and the ever impressive Maximus Hall, finally bagging his first podium finish in the British Championships. Harley Keeble would emerge fourth after leading earlier on whilst Ethan Jeff-Hall ended an exceptional day of strong progress with fifth place ahead of Lewis Wherell.
Luke Watts emerged from timed qualifying in pole position and found a strong opposition from Alfie Rigby from the very start. The first went to Rigby holding off Jessica Edgar and Edward Pearson who would sadly be docked post race after a penalty which handed third place to Gabriel Stilp. The second heat saw Rigby win once more ahead of Watts whilst Pearson would be allowed to keep his third place finish this time.
Oliver Greenall would step back up to the plate in the final and after a race long battle with Alfie Rigby would emerge victorious ahead of Olivier Algieri in second, with Rigby and Watts in behind. Dramatically the rough and tumble nature of the race meant that post-race the first four drivers past the finish line would then be penalised, and so incredibly it would be Theo Micouris that would inherit a crucial victory to reignite his championship assault. Jessica Edgar and Edward Pearson would be confirmed in the top 3 with him, with Bart Harrison promoted to P4 ahead of Algieri and Rigby.
The day began with a Strawberry Racing 1-2 in qualifying with Josh Rowledge and Joseph Taylor ahead of the returning Daniel Guinchard now competing for Persistence Motorsport on the Redspeed. Taylor would get ahead of his team-mate Rowledge for the first heat victory ahead of Tyler Read and Oliver Gray. For the second race, Rowledge would grab a win ahead of Reggie Duhy with Tyler Read still in hot pursuit and Aaron Walker in the mix in P4. The third and final heat saw Taylor triumph once more with Gray and Cian Shields exceptionally close behind, although the latter would suffer a front fairing penalty that dropped him to sixth, elevating Guinchard and championship leader Caden McQueen ahead of Aaron Walker.
The final would be as dramatic as it was close. A nine kart fight for the victory ensued throughout the closing stages whilst Caden McQueen would hold off an amazing fleet of competitors to triumph valiantly ahead of the Strawberry twins of Rowledge and Taylor. Cian Shields would gain 17 places to finish an incredible fourth place mostly though his own determination but he would be promoted from 8th to 4th through the misfortune of Oliver Gray, Aaron Walker and Freddie Spindlow who were all demoted through to front fairing penalties.
Rory Hudson hit a perfect lap in qualifying just 0.09 seconds ahead of Thomas Turner, but struggled to hold off Louie Westover as he grabbed the first heat win ahead of Turner and Matthew Hudson, just a place ahead of Rory Hudson. Oliver Hodgson grabbed a crucial win ahead of Danny Keirle and Clayton Ravenscroft in the second heat ahead of Rory Hudson and Sean Butcher, whilst in the third race Jack Gordon drove beautifully at his home track to beat Butcher and Gus Lawrence to the checkered flag.
After an initial early battle, Thomas Turner managed to grab an early lead and stretched an advantage whilst Danny Keirle edged his way through the pack to get into second position. Try as he might he just couldn’t quite get past the Compkart and so settled in behind him to the flag. Championship leader Clayton Ravenscroft would suffer a dramatic exit from the race with brake failure whilst running in third. It handed the final step on the podium to Butcher with Lawrence, Hodgson and Gordon rounding out the top six.
Racing continues tomorrow at Larkhall starting from 0950 with timed qualifying.