Mixed conditions greeted the drivers from the IAME classes as the championship fights in IAME Cadet, Mini, Junior and Senior X30 reached a crescendo at Whilton Mill near Silverstone.
The battles on track demonstrated the incredible guile and determination of the premier IAME drivers in Great Britain, and the race craft showed off the excelsior skill of the drivers in every category, dealing as they did with changing weather conditions throughout the weekend.
Vinnie Phillips emerged from a close qualifying phase as the pole position sitter with top 22 drivers covered by less than a second. The first heat saw Scotland’s Harry Jnr Burgoyne take a clean advantage over the rest of the field defeating Kean Nakamura-Berta and Ethan Jeff-Hall. Brandon Carr would finish fourth ahead of Ella Stevens after she received a post-race penalty, and the top six would be completed by Lewis Wherrell after further demotions for Vinnie Phillips and Sonny Smith, top 3 finishers on the road.
Phillips would however bounce back from this setback majestically in the second heat with a strong win in front of the ever-impressive privateer Macauley Bishop and – for the first time in the top 3 – Cathal Clark. Ella Stevens and Nathan Tye renewed an old rivalry to battle for fourth and fifth and after a penalty dropped Archie Clark from sixth it would be Zach Knight who would inherit the result. Brandon Carr than pulled off a terrific drive to win in style in the third heat ahead of Nakamura-Berta and Burgoyne as Harley Keeble set himself up for a title winning moment in fourth pursued by Bishop and Jeff-Hall.
After a tricky final that saw many fierce battles, the title would ultimately be decided in this epic encounter of a final. Harley Keeble would beat Vinnie Phillips on the road but as both men picked up a penalty it would be Harry Jnr Burgoyne who emerged victorious. Nakamura-Berta would have been second had it not been for a post-race exclusion and so with Keeble dropping to third behind Carr it would be enough to be declared IAME Cadet champion of 2019. Lewis Wherrell was awarded fourth in front of Cathal Clark and Maximus Hall.
Sunday started in wet and greasy conditions and for Sonny Smith he would pole position despite an accident during the qualifying session. He carried that momentum into the first heat where he would grab the first win of the day ahead of Oliver Rowland Motorsport team-mates Keeble and Phillips, with Jeff-Hall fighting brilliantly to fourth ahead of Burgoyne and Wherrell.
Smith then completed the double with another win from Nakamura-Berta and Keeble, whilst Cathal Clark continued his amazing season by crossing the line before Bishop and Carr.
Oliver Rowland Motorsport swept the board in a torrential downpour as Harry Jnr Burgoyne sealed the victory and second in the championship ahead of the newly crowned IAME Cadet champion Harley Keeble, with their stablemate Sonny Smith driving beautifully to end the year with a podium. Ethan Jeff-Hall drove valiantly to catch them having to settle eventually for a solid fourth in front of Vinnie Phillips and Brandon Carr.
Oliver Greenall came into the title decider fired up and motivated, and with pole position he clearly meant business from the outset. He picked up a win in the first heat after on-the-road winner Theo Micouris picked up a penalty, with Luke Watts and Bart Harrison able to finish in the top three. Sadly Gabriel Stilp’s brilliant drive to fourth would be wiped post race after a transgression so Aidan Lyne inherited the position and Olivier Algieri and Edward Pearson would finish next.
Jessica Edgar then romped to a brilliant win in the second heat ahead of Greenall and Micouris. Pearson would once more be demoted from fourth and so Lyne again picked up a position, whilst Harrison and rookie driver Alfie Baxter-Davies found themselves in the top six once the dust had settled. Sadly Edgar couldn’t repeat her incredible form in the final after retiring at Oblivion while in the midst of an epic duel. So Greenall was able to grab victory and with it clinch the Mini X30 British title after a strong year at the front. Luke Watts would come home second in front of Micouris, Lyne and Harrison whilst Edward Pearson would be declared sixth.
Come Sunday morning and Theo Micouris grabbed bragging rights for the last pole position of the season, and the battle raged between him and Luke Watts in the early stages of the opening heat. Rain cost a few drivers some time as there were some difficult moments in the wet on slick tyres, but Watts emerged triumphant ahead of Micouris and Lyne, as the top six would be rounded out by Pearson, Stilp and Baxter-Davies.
The roles would be reversed in time for the second heat however as Micouris turned the tables on Watts with a brilliant drive to a heroic win. Edward Pearson drove to a solid third position with Lyne, Harrison and Algieri close in behind.
Theo Micouris ensured his status as the vice champion in 2019 in the final with a dominant display in the wet conditions as he increased his gap steadily through the race to hold off Luke Watts and Edward Pearson who drove masterfully under the circumstances. The final top six of the year would be rounded out by Harrison, Edgar and Lyne.
Tyler Read set the initial pace from timed qualifying in a topsy-turvy session, but he wasn’t quite able to hold off the hard-charging Joseph Taylor who ran well from 6th on the grid to the victory. Read would hold second ahead of Alessandro Ceronetti with Caden McQueen in fourth in front of Will Murdoch and Ivan Lomliev.
Aaron Walker then pulled off a fairytale win for Strawberry Racing to give him momentum into the final ahead of Lomliev and Josh Rowledge as the top six would be completed by Tom Lebbon, Will Murdoch and Tyler Read. Taylor put himself back into winning mode for the third and final heat, with Dimitrov and Walker joining him in the top three, whilst another mighty effort from Daniel Guinchard saw him charge through to fourth with Rowledge and Lebbon following in his wake.
The final would be an epic duel and with an amazing race Oliver Gray would emerge victorious in both the race and the Junior X30 title race after an epic comeback, not his first of the season. Tom Lebbon and Alex Ley would join him on the podium with Zac Meakin grabbing fourth ahead of Blake Angliss and in only his second junior meeting Aiden Neate.
In the drying conditions Alessandro Ceronetti scored pole position, and would keep that form into the first heat as he ran ahead of Aaron Walker, Alex Ley and Daryl Taylor to the flag in treacherous conditions. Freddie Spindlow returned to the front end of the field after a miserable Saturday and Lebbon secured sixth fractionally ahead of Kris Haanen.
Joseph Taylor then scored his third win of the weekend ahead of Walker and Ceronetti, with Spindlow in fourth in front of Lebbon and Haanen. But in the pouring rain of the final heat it would be a crushing display by Caden McQueen who dominated out front on a circuit he has made his own over the season. Joseph and Daryl Taylor joined him in the top three, whilst Joshua McLean bounced back to fourth with Georgi Dimitrov and Marcus Littlewood in hot pursuit.
In the final, nobody was going to take a win away from Joseph Taylor as held on heroically throughout the race despite constant and unyielding pressure from Alessandro Ceronetti. But they were almost entirely upstaged by the resurgent Caden McQueen who stormed his way back from 18th on the grid to third which cemented the vice champion status behind Oliver Gray. Daryl Taylor drove a tremendous race to claim fourth whilst Tyler Read also made up 15 places to come home fifth ahead of Tom Lebbon.
Pole position went to Gus Lawrence after a strong run in qualifying, and he delivered on track with a strong win. Sadly he would be handed a penalty dropping him to sixth, as Thomas Turner claimed the spoils ahead of Danny Keirle with the two men battling for the title. Oliver Hodgson inherited third ahead of Thomas Fleming and Derek Morgan.
Lawrence made up for the transgression in the second heat with a commanding display in which Turner just couldn’t catch him. Matt Armstrong pipped Hodgson to third position, whilst the top six was rounded out by Archie Tillett and Matthew Hudson. The third heat saw Morgan Porter emerge at the head of the pack with some amazing race craft, as Keirle and Hudson came home behind. Jenson Brown battled valiantly to fourth with Tillett and Armstrong rounding out the first half dozen.
It was a masterclass drive from Gus Lawrence in the final as he left his permanent mark on Whilton Mill with a gutsy drive over two seconds clear of Turner and Keirle, who would take the title fight down to the wire on Sunday. Oliver Hodgson, Matt Armstrong and Archie Tillett completed the top six which set up a sensational showdown for the last race of the season.
With a championship on the line, Danny Keirle grabbed a crucial pole position over chief rival Thomas Turner by just 0.09 seconds. But as rain started to fall in the early stages, Turner outwitted Keirle mid-race to claim victory with Porter separating the two men by finishing in second after Lawrence had been demoted from the runner-up spot to sixth behind Tillett and Armstrong.
Keirle then picked up momentum and a win in the second heat as he duelled rigorously with Porter, Hodgson and Fleming to lead them home in that order. For fifth, Armstrong was left in a comfortable position ahead of Cole Kilner and Alex Pendlebury. The final heat of the year in appalling conditions saw Turner bounce back to claim a pair of wins at the most crucial moment of the season, with Lawrence and Hodgson close behind. In fourth, Singapore’s Alexander Huang produced his best drive of the year for a richly deserved result and managed to fend off the challenges from Derek Morgan and Cole Kilner.
Thomas Turner picked up the lead and disappeared into the distance only to dramatically spin the kart into Oblivion heading into lap 15 and Oliver Hodgson and Thomas Fleming sailed past to duel for the win. Four corners later into Ashby and the BMR driver claimed the lead and Fleming romped away to take his first ever win in the British Kart Championships, whilst in fourth position behind Hodgson and Turner the British title went to former FIA world champion Danny Keirle ahead of Lawrence and Kilner.
The last weekend of the year for the British Kart Championships sees the action return to Whilton Mill as the TKM and Honda classes end their season in the middle of October.