BUKC BRITISH UNIVERSITIES KARTING CHAMPIONSHIP

Oh Rye God | BUKC 2017 Rounds 3 & 4

Published March 01, 2017 22:16

Rounds 3 and 4 of BUKC 2017 took place a fortnight ago at Hertfordshire’s Rye House circuit. As ever, there was plenty of racing across the two day meeting, and it’s all reviewed below, in text format for your reading pleasure, by Jacob Harris…

Round 3

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Hands up who loves Rye House!

The Wednesday morning at Rye treated us to some dry, clear weather, with the hashtag #dryehouse trending almost worldwide (probably). However, Race 1 drivers still had to contend with a cold, unused track. 

Quick to adapt, James Lambton (Oxford) led pole sitter Oliver Basey-Fisher (Reading) and Darryl Evans (Loughborough) early on. Lambton and Evans soon raced off into the distance and battled hard for the lead, leaving Basey-Fisher to hold off the likes of Ollie Milner (Huddersfield), Jamie Dyzra and Joe Bleackley (Brookes A and B). As he did at Buckmore, Darryl Evans emerged as Race 1 winner, edging out Lambton who finished 2nd, 0.205s behind. Oliver Basey-Fisher (Reading) recovered 3rd place from Ollie Milner (Huddersfield) at the death.

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Much like your pets at home, BUKC drivers are also partial to a nice neck scratch

In Race 2 we had an equally close battle for the lead. Sam Spinnael, "The Leaning Tower of Belgium", lead for Hertfordshire for the lion’s share of the track time. Taylor Adams of UWTSD A consistently pressured him, putting Spinnael's 100% race record on the line. Two penalties, for ABC and track limits, left Spinnael needing to win by a hefty time margin to claim victory, but Adams crossed the line mere metres behind him, taking the Race 2 win. Josef Jaques continued Huddersfield’s fine morning with a 2nd place, and Loughborough captain Oliver Wheddon came home 3rd for the championship contenders.

Ben Topliss (Sheffield) and Gareth Haynes (Brookes A) lined up on the front row of Race 3, and fought each other for the lead early on. However, their loss of time through squabbling came back to haunt them. Two drivers named Sam, Moffat for UWS and Cassidy for Exeter, scythed through the pack from 20th and 33rd on the grid respectively, to challenge the two leaders. Cassidy mostly followed Moffat through the pack, before pouncing an opportunity to seize 3rd mid-way through the race. Both then set upon Topliss, but Gareth Haynes proved one overtake too many, and went on to win Race 3 for Brookes A. Sam Cassidy (Exeter) was a kart length behind in 2nd and Sam Moffat (UWS) ended the race 3rd.

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Guaranteed to make you go 6s a lap quicker for sure

Race 4 saw Richard Morris (Cambridge) and Dan White (Brunel C) on the front row of the grid. Morris forged a lead early on, with Southampton B's Rory Gills giving chase. Henry Jackson (Nottingham Trent) was behind in 3rd, but Sean Dorling (Brunel A) sought to fight him. This quartet spent the majority of the race duelling in pairs, with Gills never more than a few seconds behind Morris, and Jackson and Dorling regularly trading places. Richard Morris (Cambridge) emerged the winner, with 2nd going to Rory Gills (Southampton B), and 3rd to Sean Dorling (Brunel A).

In Race 5, we had our first abandoned start of the day, as several drivers required pushing at the end of lap 1, in addition to Jess Alexander losing a wheel from the Strathclyde kart. Once Jess got herself a four-wheeled kart, race 5 was restarted and she soon claimed the lead. Dan Barber (Nottingham) and Will Whitelock (Birmingham) were her early contenders in 2nd and 3rd, but Sam Cobb (Warwick) recovered after a bad start to prove the real contender. In the closing laps, Cobb tried everything to get past Alexander, earning a contact warning in the process. He passed into Pylon on the final lap, but Alexander was straight back in front to take the win for Strathclyde. Sam Cobb tried but 2nd was all he got, 3rd went to Will Whitelock of Birmingham.

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"Track limits? U wot m8 I neva dun nuthin m8 I wuz on tha track lyk"

Onto the last sprint of the day: Elis Jackson of Imperial A converted pole position to an early lead, but tussled with Josh Watts (Nottingham B) for the trouble. Watts took a contact warning during the battle, but the warning proved to be the least of his problems. With only five minutes left, Rob Newman of Sheffield climbed from his grid slot of 26th all the way up to 3rd, before passing both Watts and Jackson on what will go down as one of the best single laps of the season. Having lead the race up until the last three laps, Jackson and Watts had to settle for 3rd and 4th, Newman deservedly winning Race 6, with Stephen Letts (Huddersfield) sneaking into 2nd amongst all the commotion. 

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Congratulations to Leeds A, Nottingham Trent, and Strathclyde A on making the Intermediate Podium!

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Winners of Round 3: Oxford Brookes A! Huddersfield A come 2nd, Sheffield A 3rd

Round 4

For Round 4, we were not so fortunate with the weather. A dry beginning to Endurance Race 1 saw Reading and Cambridge share the lead, before the rain started falling. Rain eroded the Cambridge lead, and Brookes A (Kyle Morby and Jamie Dyzra) assumed the lead. Southampton A (Diego Martinez and Titas Bucelis) followed them in 2nd, with Oxford A also in the reckoning (Heinrich Watson-Miller and James Lambton). Oxford manoeuvred their way into the lead, but with five minutes to go, Morby and Dyzra reeled them in. Southampton also caught them, but Bucelis was judged to have used excessive force in the overtake, so was given a penalty. Brookes A therefore won Enduro 1. Piers Pakenham-Walsh and Matthew Lewis made is a Brookes 1-2 finishing 2nd for their B team, and Oxford A edged ahead of Southampton for 3rd following the penalty. 

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Some universities with two teams like to use the "holding hands" technique once both karts have secured good positions in their shared races

Next on track, Sean Dorling (Brunel A) took an early lead in Endurance Race 2. Rob Newman followed for Sheffield, until Callum Hughes of Oxford split them. Sam Moffat and Mark Cuthbert of UWS challenged after the first round of pit stops, as did Nottingham Trent (Henry Jackson and Andrew Marshall), but Louis Nicholson, in the Oxford kart in place of Hughes, eventually regained the lead. Half way through the race, as the track began to dry out, lap times tumbled to below 60 seconds, but only Oxford truly mastered the conditions. A storming middle stint left them 25 seconds ahead of Sheffield with 10 minutes to go. UWS caught Sheffield before the finish, but Callum Hughes and Louis Nicholson took a deserved victory for Oxford. Sam Moffat and Mark Cuthbert the drivers in 2nd (UWS), Rob Newman and Aidan Charity 3rd (Sheffield).

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Piers Pakenham-Walsh stakes a claim for BUKC's Best Cheekbones. I'll show you at GYG sunshine...

Following the brief period of drying in Enduro 2, our last race of the day was wet again. Birmingham, Hertfordshire and Huddersfield A teams all found themselves in front in the opening stages, and at the half way point, Loughborough were on top. However, none of them seized the opportunity and stayed there. Callum McKechnie and Dan Barber (Nottingham A) also lead, but their lead was overshadowed by the unfathomable restart of the Warwick B kart by Luke Baker-Smith. Facing the wrong way and on the grass, some throttle application and seat shuffling got the kart moving again when all seemed lost. On the penultimate lap, Laurie Evans and Alistair Senior (Cambridge) took the hot potato of 1st place, and lasted long enough to pick up the win. McKechnie and Barber (Nottingham) came home 2nd, with Strathclyde 3rd. And lastly, big shout out to Liverpool A who completed a 360 after the flag! 

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Congratulations to our Intermediate class top three, Birmingham B, Warwick B and King's College A!

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And a fantastic afternoon for Oxford sees them to the top step of the podium. Nottingham A and UWS are either side of them

Rookies Round 2

In the second round of our Rookies championship, many drivers experienced their first dry BUKC race. Birmingham D took pole for Race 1, with Surrey A in 2nd, and Manchester A in 3rd. In the race, Birmingham D fought Surrey A for 1st, whilst in Race Control, JV and Will enjoyed a black flags and chill session with some nice cake from the Warwick boys. Birmingham D retook the lead from Surrey A with 2 laps to go, and proceeded to win race 1. Surrey A had to settle for 2nd, and Manchester A kept hold of 3rd.

Durham's Bradley Appleton claimed pole in Race 2, with 2nd going to Huddersfield C, and another 3rd Manchester A. The change in conditions between practice and the race had more of an effect here though, and the front two lost out to the Manchester kart, as well as Tom Jones of Cardiff A. Due to 15 seconds’ worth of penalties, Cardiff inherited victory, and Manchester A dropped to 3rd. Surrey B picked up 2nd.

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Some of our more popular drivers like to acknowledge fans who come from far and wide to watch them

In qualifying session 3, a dry line appeared on track, and Surrey A, Bath D and Cambridge B lined up 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Surrey A held the lead from pole but are chased down but Oxford's C and B teams in the early stages, but they held on to go lights to flag. Oxford B and Leeds B came 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Session 4 saw conditions and subsequently lap times close to what we had seen in Wednesday’s sprints. UWTSD B took pole, with Leeds B and Edinburgh A 2nd and 3rd. In the Race 4, Edinburgh A took the lead, although a cone abuse penalty meant UWTSD were effectively in front. UWTSD did claim the lead at one point, before losing it again, meaning the penalty had the final say in the standings. Edinburgh A won Race 4 on track, but after applying the penalty UWTSD B edged it. Surrey A were in 3rd. 

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When you're half way through a race and you realise you forgot to use protection the other night

UWTSD C were quickest in session 5, but ineligible for points. Surrey B and Cranfield A (both eligible) were 2nd and 3rd. In terms of eligible drivers, Cranfield A stuck it out to claim the full 60 points, with, Huddersfield C 2nd and Plymouth A rounding off the top 3. Drivers were also weighed after this race, and the Warwick cake sessions proved powerless to stop their driver coming in below the limit.

In our last qualifying, pole went to King's College B. Surrey A and Plymouth A made 2nd and 3rd their own. Two of the three fared well in our final race, with King's College B taking an early lead. Plymouth A and Surrey A pushed hard however, and the King's B kart had an off, leaving Plymouth to take the win. Surrey A inherited 2nd, whilst UWE B made up the top three.

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Congratulations to Surrey A, our winners of Round 2! Manchester A and Plymouth A finish on the podium in 2nd and 3rd!

That's it for the race report, look out for all new "Championship Chit Chat" on the weekend, where I talk hopes and aspirations for 2017 now we've separated some of the men and women from the girls and the boys. And of course, see you all next week in Wales for Glan-y-Gors!

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