Motorsport: Sheffield's Brandon Carr enjoys British Kart Championship victory
Sheffield’s Brandon Carr had the best possible start to his second year in Motorsport UK’s British Kart Championship’s IAME-engined races when he won the opening round at the Paul Fletcher international circuit.
Returning to the series, the 11 year-old did not have a straight-forward IAME Cadet race to begin the season.
Lining up 5th, Carr made a great getaway, and at the first corner he went wide to move around the outside of everybody, which got him up to 3rd into the bridge, taking another place gaining 2nd exiting the bridge.
“For 2 or 3 laps I pushed the leader and felt I was being held up. So I overtook him going down the inside into the first hairpin, and my teammate followed me through”.
Luckily the pair worked together for 11 laps to pull away from the others in the pack, until the last lap when Carr had to defend from his teammate, going under the bridge.
“But I didn’t do it fast-enough and found that I had a kart on my inside, so I moved to ‘cover’ it, only for then to have another kart on the outside too”, Carr conceded.
Losing two places dropped him down to 3rd, but at the 90 degree right corner into the complex, Carr’s teammate challenged the leader, and they ‘tangled’.
Seeing an opportunity, Carr went down inside of the pair and passed them to snatch the lead and by a margin of only 0.06 seconds took the flag to grab not only his maiden Motorsport UK British Kart Championship race win of 2019, but his first ever major race win.
“It felt really great to win the opening race of season”, Carr said with a grin.
However, round 2 did not end as he wanted, having qualified in 8th-place, Carr set race fastest lap on the third tour, while grabbing 5th-place. But he was unable to make any further progress, as he was locked in a race-long battle with another kart and this slowed the pair up, and they kept losing-out to a faster kart from behind.
Powerless to repeat the previous day’s form, Carr could not avoid steadily falling back through the field, crossing the finishing line in 10th-place.
Handsworth-based Strawberry Racing karter, Fionn McLaughlin’s round 1 was enough to give him a nightmare, having been running solidly in 10th-place, he retired on the penultimate lap, plummeting 21 places down the finishing order. There was better luck in round 2, when from qualifying in 11th he did well to keep making progress throughout the race, to take the flag in 6th-place.
Mexborough-based, Mark Baines Motorsport (MBM) had racing brothers William and Zachary Knight both made progress in the two races: dicing close-together, the pair made small gains, Zachary took the flag in 16th in round 1 and 17th in round 2, while William finished in 21st and 20th.
Rotherham’s Thomas Turner had a hard weekend he would probably rather forget in the Senior X30 category. Hampered by his allotted ‘race tyres’ not being as good as those he had used in testing, Turner, a PFi expert, struggled to a 4th-place finish in round 1, and could only qualify in 9th for round 2.
Early on he was shoved off the track and picking up grass on his tyres meaning he fell back to 12th on lap 4, but as his tyres cleaned-up he began to gain places and got back up to 7th.
Then on lap 14, another karter’s rather optimistic and clumsy overtake move clouted Turner on to the grass again and unfortunately he re-joined the track in a lowly 16th-place. Post-race, he was promoted to 11th after the stewards had demoted other competitors due to bumper drops and poor driving standards penalties.
A disheartened Turner muttered, “Just not fast-enough to win…”.
While, Barnsley’s Cole Kilner was pleased with his performance in round 1 taking the flag in 5th-place, he too suffered in round 2, where he unfortunately qualified down in 18th spot.
Kilner had a better race that saw him improve, taking the flag in 15th, only then to be demoted down to a 22nd-place finish due to him suffering a bumper drop when the field was slowed while an accident was cleared.
“Today was a bad race”, Kilner said with a grimace. “Yesterday was OK, qualifying in 2nd and finishing 5th. My start was OK today, I made positions. I tried to overtake around the outside and ended up on the grass. It took two laps to clean my tyres. When I got back up to 8th I was pushed on to the grass again. I finished 15th on the track but a bumper drop, which happened in the queue for the caution flag, took me back down to 22nd. It was a tough race”.
Fellow Barnsley resident Matthew Hudson made a one place advance to round 1 in 20th. Having qualified for round 2 in 25th position he did well to climb up to 14th by mid-race. But fell back though the field to take the flag in 24th, then Hudson was promoted up to 14th after the stewards had demoted other competitors due to bumper drops and poor driving standards.
Strawberry Racing’s Mark Kimber had a 3rd-place podium in the round 1 race after a four place advance when Turner following him through. Round 2 he started the Senior X30 race from grid slot 3, initially dropping to 6th on lap 1, he recovered back through the field and was soon disputing the lead.
Heading the field on lap 9, a small mistake saw him fall to 6th again on a pivotal 10th lap, when by the time the field got to the Fullerton Esses, he found himself embroiled in a snarling pack of nearly a dozen other contenders for 3rd-place.
With a never-say-die attitude avoiding being engulfed by the challengers, eventually Kimber managed a 4th-place finish to complement his 3rd-place in the previous day’s round 1.
Strawberry teammate Josh Rowledge had quite a useful first weekend in the BKC’s Junior X30 championship. In round 1 he took the flag in 8th-place.
Qualifying in 7th-place in round 2, by lap 4 he set the race fastest lap as he took 3rd-place, Rowledge held the position until mid-race. Then, when he was demoted back to 4th, Rowledge hung on to the back of the 3rd-placed kart and his tenacity paid off, as within 4 laps, he had recovered his 3rd-place, which he held to the flag.
“I had difficult races, but it was a good weekend”. Rowledge announced, “I gained a few positions. I am confident for the next round. The Strawberry team did a good job”.
His teammate, Aaron Walker, had a more fraught time, when in round 1 he took the flag down in 19th. Happier at the start of round 2 where he qualified 6th, Walker had a small battle over 4th-place with Rowledge, only to then steadily go backwards through the field and take the flag in 18th.
Once the stewards had demoted other competitors due to bumper drops and poor driving standards, Walker was promoted to 15th.
Chesterfield’s Aiden Lyne, a rookie in the Mini X30 class, finished where he started, 12th, in round 1, while qualifying in 14th for round 2, but was soon up to 13th, which he held to the flag.
MBM’s Ashton Parsons qualified in 18th that he held to the flag in both rounds 1 and 2.