DESPITE coinciding with the Easter weekend, Llandow Kart Club enjoyed its biggest turnout of the 2014 season so far at its April meeting, boosted by the arrival of no fewer than 28 drivers for round two of the Bambino Kart Club’s national tour.
Sadly the weather did not follow the trend set across the first two rounds of the season, but the mix of rain and cloudy conditions could not dampen the enthusiasm on track.
The massed Bambinos - from all parts of England and Wales - were split into three groups, with all drivers ‘competing’ against the clock to better their respective lap times in three eight-minute 'heats' followed by a final. Awards were presented to the first 10 places, with medallions for the rest. Llandow regulars Ella Stevens, Nathan Browning and Max Hall faced strong competition, but finished well in the standings, while Cwmbran resident Caleb McDuff was followed throughout the day by Sarah Lawrence and a cameraman from slFirst Magazine. Caleb is deaf and hopes to progress to F1 through karting.
Outnumbered for once, the combined Cadet classes still managed a 21-strong entry, with Honda, Comer and IAME all represented. As he had in March, IAME runner Shay Keough led the field home in the final, having shared heat honours with Ethan Rees, who took second in class in the main event, with Zach Arthur completing the podium.
A hard-fought Honda class eventually went the way of Joshua Martin, who led double heat winner Harry King across the line in the final. Both drivers finished in the overall top three, sandwiched between Keough and Rees, while third-placed Honda runner Oscar Ferguson completed the top five. It was another strong weekend for the Ferguson family, with brother Stuart claiming the opening heat before finishing fifth in class behind Jack Fordham in the final.
Comer silverware was claimed by Max Fenlon, who shared heat wins with Conner Kearney and Jakob Chamberlain earlier in the day. Kearney and Chamberlain duly finished second and third in class, with Shayne Clarke fourth overall.
Five familiar faces made up the Honda Junior class, but proceedings were dominated by Kristian Prosser, who continued his strong start to 2014 with an unblemished record. Patrick Hill provided the closest thing to opposition, with four second places, while third spot was fought over by novices Jack Bligh, Alex Wilkins and Sofia Nardone. Sadly, a DNF denied Bligh a shot at the podium in the final allowing Wilkins to join Prosser and Hill in the top three.
With a packed schedule limiting track time, the Junior TKM, Rotax and Minimax runners were combined for the weekend, producing a 15-kart spectacle. TKM honours eventually went the way of Alex Rees, but not before Jack Barber and Yousuf Ashraf (two) had shared the head victories. Barber claimed second in class in the final, with Ashraf completing the podium.
Junior Rotax was a little more one-sided, with Rob Ellis claiming three victories from four races, with only an exclusion blotting his copybook. That misdemeanour allowed David Spiller to edge heat two victory over Ceran Sokhi, but Ellis would not be denied in the main event, leaving Sokhi to beat Spiller to the line for second spot.
Former Cadet frontrunner Ethan Ling came out on top in Minimax, having earlier shared heat honours with Riley Phillips, who duly took second spot ahead of Jem Hempworth in the Final.
Senior Honda’s resurgence nearly made it into double figures, but one name – Nathan Read – dominated the results sheets through the three heats. When it mattered most, however, Read found opposition from Danny Griffiths, with the LKC regular claiming his second final in as many months by just 0.79secs. Cristiano Nardone completed the podium ahead of Monty Gorringe and Chris Lipscomb.
There were 10 runners on track in Senior Rotax, where Josh Gray appeared the man to beat after claiming victory in each of the three heats. Unfortunately, when it came to the race that mattered most, the frontrunner found himself demoted to third spot as Kasey Watson and Zach Jones fought over victory, eventually being separated by just 0.25secs. Tom Stride and Dilip Singh completed the top five.
Round four of the 2014 championship takes place at South Wales Karting Centre on Saturday and Sunday , May 17-18, in parallel with the annual Welsh Kart Championships.
Bambino: 1, Harley Keeble (Birel); 2, Luke Hilton (Tonykart); 3, Tristan Thorpe (Tonykart); 4, Oakley Keightly (Zip); 5, Aiden Neate (Zip); 6, Curtis-Rohun Stewart (RK/Birel); 7, Jacob Burgess (Zip); 8, Maximus Hall (Tonykart); 9, Freddie Spindlow; 10, Jack Page (Tonykart).
Cadet Honda: 1, Joshua Martin (BRK); 2, Harry King (Project One); 3, Oscar Ferguson (Project One).
Cadet Comer: 1, Max Fenlon (RK Birel); 2, Connor Kearney (Zip); 3, Jakob Chamberlain (Zip).
Cadet Iame: 1, Shay Keough; 2, Ethan Rees; 3, Zach Arthur (all Zip).
Junior Honda: 1, Kristian Prosser (7Kart); 2, Patrick Hill (Wright); 3, Alex Wilkins (7Kart).
Junior TKM: 1, Alex Rees; 2, Jack Barber; 3, Yousuf Ashraf (all Jade).
Junior Rotax: 1, Rob Ellis (Kosmic); 2, Ceran Sokhi (Kosmic); 3, David Spiller (Alonso).
Mini Max: 1, Ethan Ling (CRG); 2, Riley Phillips (Kosmic); 3, Jem Hempworth (CRG).
Senior Honda: 1, Danny Griffiths (MS); 2, Nathan Read (7Kart); 3, Cristiano Nardone (7Kart).
Senior Rotax: 1, Kasey Watson (CRG); 2, Zach Jones; 3, Josh Gray (Tonykart).
Best novice: Maxwell Melia (Honda Cadet).
Driver of the day: Ethan Ling (Minimax).