The annual Grass Kart British Championship’s took place at Wisbech Kart Club on Sunday 3rd July.
For this brief review, I would like to focus on a few of the Bourne Kart Club regulars who took part in this event.
Kieran Hoppe #98 90cc
Kieran had a tough day, in a class of 14 karts he was always going to be up against it. Kieran was certainly quick but at times struggled to adapt to a surface that he is not used to. His best race of the day was heat 3, where he managed a 6th place, but for a while it looked like he would finish a lot higher. Kieran qualified p10 for the final, and finished it in 12th place. In Kieran, we have a very good, young, and talented driver who is learning very fast. I for one, believe that he will emulate his father in becoming a British Champion in years to come.
Steve Willson #11 125cc 2 stroke
Steve usually races in the 175cc class back at Bourne, for which is normally the top man. At this meeting, he arrived with a fresh 125cc Suzuki powered Anderson kart. The grid for this, and the other adult classes would be rotated throughout the day, so they would get a mixture of good and less favourable grid positions. Steve drove very well throughout the day, on a bumpy track and in kart that he was not used to. Over 4 heats, he recorded three 8th places and a 7th. This placed him on p10 (?) for the final, in he finished a creditable 8th. Not a bad for him really, considering that he was in a kart that he had not raced before.
Steve ‘Bellars’ Bellamy #18 125cc 2 stroke
Our ‘Bellars’ is the regiening points champion at BKC. As has occaisionally happened so far this season, reliability would dog his day. He drives a bit like Lewis Hamilton, in that he is very quick, and has a ‘balls-out’ sort of aggressive style. In the heats, he recorded a 5th, 6th, 7th & a DNF. For the final, qualified p7, and finished 6th. Get the reliability sorted, we have another future champion on our hands.
Gary and Dan Bristow 250cc 4 stroke
This father and son combination have been racers for some years now, with Dan being a former East of England champion. This is their first year in 250cc/4, and they are finding their feet there. Knowing them like I do, I think they were happy to finish races and not have the reliability problems which have dogged them over recent seasons. Gary faired slightly better than Dan in the heats, although he did get a puncture in heat 2, but still managed to finish. Dan was not far behind, and did have a few good battles with his father, but did lose a wheel in heat 3, which went across the track to the other side of the circuit for an on coming kart to hit. No harm done. For the final, Gary was on p8, Dan on p9. Heartbreak for Gary, as he had to retire with a puncture, Dan went on to finish 7th. They loved it, and will be back for more next year !
Ian Laws #00 250cc 2 stroke
Former banger racing driver Ian ‘Dangerous Dill’ Laws had won the East of England title two weeks before, leading the Wisbech club points, and doing well domesticlly at BKC too. He was going to take some beating ! Ian obliged, winning heats 1 & 2, then 5th in 3 & 4. Qualified p2 for the final, it didn’t quite go his way this time and had to settle for 4th place.
Steve Hoppe #98 250cc 2 stroke
This was another man who was determined to win this one. He won it in 2009, nearly retained it but for some terrible luck last year, and was back again for some more ! Heat 1, finished 4th, heat 2 ,DNF with a puncture, then heats 3 & 4 he got 2nd places. Qualified p4, so he was going to have his work cut out. On the green, it was flat out in to turn 1, and Steve made up a place to 3rd. He then chased down the 2nd placed man (?) and got by. Marcus Hudson #48, the regeining champion, was by now disappearing off in to the distance. Steve fought and fought and reeled him in. With 3 laps to go, he was briefly within touching distance, but it wasn’t to be. 2nd place for our Steve, but he’ll be back for more next year.
Several of the BKC ‘support crew’ went out in borrowed karts for the mechanics race. Ryan Bellamy took his father Steve’s kart out, went quick but spun off early on. Cliff Hoppe drove son Steve’s kart out for the first time. Unfortunatly, the gear linkage broke and he got stuck in 2nd gear, but never the less he had quite an experience driving the Honda/Anderson combination. Cliff was, lets say quite shocked at just how quick they are too drive.
And………yes, our very own Phil, proved that he can actually drive a go kart after all. He surprised himself and others by taking Steve Willson’s 125 out, and drove quite well. 3rd or 4th place finish, (not sure) for him, which he was quite pleased with.
All in, a very good day out, nice weather and all that. Wisbech kart club is often a difficult place for the BKC drivers to go and compete. Some of the boys down there are ‘technologically’ more advanced, they spend a bit more time and money on the job and they get their rewards. We’ll all back again next year, with hopefully more of us racing.
by Phil Gout – Media Reporter