The fast flowing nature of the Fulbeck Kart Club circuit in Lincolnshire provided an exceptional quartet of qualifying sessions for the Honda Cadet, Junior TKM, TKM Extreme and KZ2 categories as the Motorsport UK British Kart Championships enjoys the British sunshine at one of the country’s most iconic karting venues.
Nobody could have predicted that all of the championship leaders would fail even to place in the top three positions in their class as the intense speed and abrasive surface at the legendary Fulbeck circuit – entering its 7th decade this season – plays host to over 140 drivers across four classes, and given that so many of the big names at the front of the standings have struggled up to this point in proceedings, this could be the weekend that changes the face of the championship.
In the first timed qualifying group, Jack Hobson struck gold with a brilliant time of 52.70 as Oscar Teuten was only 0.08 away from his lap. Jaydan Gregg continued his steady progress through the season to bag 3rd in the group ahead of Rylan Echberg, with Macie Hitter and Connor Duncan rounding out the top six. Championship leader Kean Nakamura-Berta struggled throughout the session and could only gather up a lap time good enough for 10th in group, eventually seeing the Japanese ace dropping down to 19th overall.
Sonny Smith was desperately in need of some good fortune after a tough start to the year, and he bagged a 52.62 lap time, identical to that of Ewan Charman as they tied for top spot in the second group. Smith was awarded pole position overall due to his second fastest lap being faster than Charman’s. Haydn Eldridge managed a time just 0.03 seconds off the pole, whilst Steven Duncan set the same time as Hobson in the previous session. Gustavs Usakovs and Henry Joslyn were close behind with Mitchell Gibbons – second in the championship – only 7th in group and 8th overall, setting up an incredible show for tomorrow’s finals.
Zak Oates also found it hard to make an impression on timed qualifying as he could place 7th from the first timed group, and therefore 14th overall once both sessions were done. It gave Ben Watson the chance to shine, and his lap time of 46.16 in the first session would remain fastest overall across both timed groups. Harvey Roffe and Oliver Richardson were exceptionally close, with Jack Saunders displacing Harry Yardley-Rose whose third place in the standings could be about to improve. Fynley Saunders ran a great qualifying session to grab fifth and genuinely looked likely to grab a faster time.
Neither Oliver Stewart or Louis Harvey were able to fare much better after frustrating laps would see them both in the outskirts of the top six. Ben Higgins picked up the gauntlet and ran with it for Klaassen Motorsport but try as he might he couldn’t find the additional 0.03 of a second he needed to eclipse Watson, and therefore would end up second overall and first in group. Spencer Lane and Harvey Cole were strong and came next ahead of Scott Smith.
After the dominance at PF International and a temporary glitch at Rissington, the script for Chris Whitton was a simple one – back to your best. Sadly he was unable to perform to that level, and could only salvage 8th in group which resulted in 13th overall. Michael Cornell and Theo Hesketh duelled for pole position in the first timed group separated by just 0.08 in the first session, whilst James Pashley was barely able to hang on to third in group ahead of Jade Racing team-mates with identical lap-times Sam Fowler and Max Goldsmith.
Adam Sparrow was on the ball straight away, and emerged from the second group with a fast time good enough for third overall and the best lap from the second group. Dan McKeown and Alexander Page maximised their pace throughout the second session whilst Kyle Sproat and Mathew Taylor look to be fiercely competitive for the weekend too. James Ogden completed the top six of the second group, but now there’s a big fight on the cards for TKM Extreme as the championship leader could change dramatically tomorrow.
With no return visit for championship leader Fabian Federer, the mantle is now taken up by Adam Glear who essentially takes command of the points for the time being. But it would be Scott Allen who would bag pole position just a whisker ahead of Dan Kelly whilst karting returnee Matteo Zanetti has lost none of his flair by storming to the top 3 with Glear having to settle for P4.
James Glenister and Shane Daly put up quite a fight for the front end of the field as they both bagged fastest sectors at varying stages of qualifying whilst Scottish star Ryan Cannon has definitely found the potential pace to grab a podium or two in 7th as Lee Ward places ahead of TKM Extreme convert Anderson Chilcott and Miles Murphy for Moore Racing.
Live coverage of the finals begins at 1330 UK time on Downforce Radio with Tunafish Media once again in town to provide highlights of the last final of the weekend for each class, posted to our social media channels post-weekend.