Mansell Raceway in Devon hosted event four of the Motorsport UK Wera Tools British Kart Championships last weekend (26/27 June), as the series headed rapidly towards the halfway point of the season.
Changeable weather conditions greeted contenders in the Rotax, Honda and KZ2 classes throughout the two-day meeting as each category would head to the South West track for their second points scoring opportunity of the year.
Saturday hosted the now traditional practice sessions, followed by Qualifying and the opening Heats of the weekend and drivers in Britain’s premier karting series were greeting with blistering sunshine during the action-packed day.
However, Sunday kicked off with high winds and rain but would eventually dry out towards the end of the day, meaning the day’s on-track Heats and Finals sessions were a tricky affair for the series contenders.
The all-new Total Kart Zero series would make a guest appearance during the weekend with the Bambino and Cadet classes taking to the track in their innovative zero-emission electric karts. With Formula One ace Rob Smedley at the helm, the championship enjoyed almost 20 contenders going head-to-head on the fast and flowing circuit.
Class Round Up
It was a stand out performance by Timo Jungling (SFR Motorsport) in the Final who came from 6th place on the grid to take the win of the Honda Cadet class by just under 4 seconds from Joshua Graham (Ambition Motorsport) and Max Cuthbert (Synergy Race Team).
Jungling started the weekend on the back foot qualifying in 14th place. But calm and efficient driving throughout the heats and pre-final meant he worked his way up the field to grab a healthy start position. By taking the win, Jungling also takes the lead of the championship by only two points from second-place finisher Joshua Graham and like many classes in the BKC, means the title is still wide open going into the next round at Larkhall in July.
The Minimax class enjoyed close battles all weekend with Ethan Jeff-Hall (Strawberry Racing) eventually taking the win to dominate the category so far this season thanks to an opening-round victory at Clay Pigeon. His double win gives Jeff-Hall a handy 17 point lead in the championship. McKenzie Douglass (Coles Racing) and Chase Fernandez (Vision Motorsport) made up the remaining podium spots.
The extremely strong field of Junior Rotax continued to put on a blistering show with Archie Walker (KR-Sport) taking the top spot after a close battle with both Jez Williams (Vision Motorsport) and Neo Clarke (Sam Pollitt Racing), each of which taking their turn at being out front during the weekend.
Championship leader coming into the round, Daniel Guinchard (Argenti Motorsport), was unable to take the start due to a mechanical issue on the grid which now means Olly Stevens (DHR) leads the points tables after finishing fourth and just two-tenths off the podium.
After multiple lead changes throughout the final, the top five crossed the line where they started on the grid as Lewis Gilbert (Potenza Racing Engines) claimed his first win of the season in addition to never being outside of the top two slots all weekend. His strong performance vaults him to fourth in the championship after a slower start to the season at Clay.
Rhys Hunter (DHR) claimed second place in a tightly contested final from Tom Edmunds (KR-Sport) in third. Second place also gives Rhys Hunter the top spot in the championship, followed by his younger brother Kai (DHR) making the pairing a formidable family force going into the summer break.
Strawberry Racing continued their strong weekend with Daniel Tate making it another two wins in two events for the racing outfit. However, the top three were covered by only three-tenths of a second in a race where the whole grid all had their chances to run at the front.
Privateer Ian Branfield was forced to skip the season opener but stamped his mark on the leaderboard at Mansell to take second place, less than a tenth of a second behind Tate with KR-Sport’s Matthew Easton securing third.
After dominating qualifying and winning the prefixal, Philip Haworth (Privateer), looked strong going into the final but an unfortunate on-track incident saw him retire with seven laps remaining. With two wins in a row, Tate builds his championship lead to 17 points heading to round three at Whilton Mill in August.
Scotland’s Ryan Cannon (Andy Fairless Racing) left it late to take the lead, grabbing a last-lap victory from the hands of Tom Longfield (Privateer) in the KZ2 class. In a weekend that saw Cannon qualify in sixth, he continued to push forward to take the chequered flag in top spot.
Longfield enjoyed a consistent run throughout the weekend and was never outside the top four throughout. Charlie Turner (Rush Motorsport) not only came home in 3rd place but also earned himself a nomination for the Wera Tools Driver of the Day Award after an impressive drive in only his second British Championship race weekend in the KZ2 class after switching from the Rotax marque.
James Glenister holds the lead in the championship after two rounds by six points from Rush Performance teammate, Dan Gould.
The British Kart Championships now head north to Larkhall in Scotland with the Honda Cadets, Bambino and IAME categories resuming their season in July (17-18).
Full Results can be found HERE
Championship tables can be found HERE
Watch again: Re-live the action from Mansell Raceway HERE