Superkart chat by Gary James, Freelance Superkart Reporter & Commentator.
Location: Cadwell Park, Date: 1st and 2nd May 2022.
The 2022 season for the Motorsport UK British Superkart Championships begins this weekend as part of the Time Attack and Modified Live meeting at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire. All four Superkart classes will be catered for with Division 1, F250 National, F450 National and 125 Open due to compete in a mixed grid.
The races will be of 12 minutes duration and points will be awarded in each class to every driver that starts a race. A class winner will receive 25 points then 20 for 2nd, 16 for 3rd and then on a sliding scale. There will be three races spread across the weekend with grid positions for the opening race determined by timed qualifying. The grid for races two and three will be decided by a drivers fastest lap from the preceding race. So even if a driver fails to finish, his/her lap time may be good enough to start high up on the mixed grid.
Topping the entry list in the Division 1 category is reigning champion Ross Allen with the distinctive Jade chassis that has two IAME 125cc engines bolted on either side. Ross picked up three wins in last year’s championship on the way to securing the title. He has already featured strongly in early season meetings in 2022, with a pair of second places at Cadwell last weekend. Can he go one better and get an advantage over his rivals.
Lee Harpham, the Superkart Grand Prix winner, finished second behind Allen in the British Championship last year with one win to his credit. That came at Cadwell Park, his local circuit, last August. Lee was in action last weekend at Cadwell where he was comfortably leading the opening race before tangling with backmarkers on the final lap and dropping to third. He made amends in the second race by taking a lights to flag victory. He will be looking to repeat that on a circuit he clearly likes.
Third in last year’s British Championship was Carl Kinsey. He also had an outing at Cadwell last weekend where he netted a fifth place. However, an off in race two when he touched a rumble strip at Coppice ended his day. A trouble-free weekend this time should see him on the podium.
The biggest threat to the three drivers above will come from multi-champion Liam Morley. He picked up three wins in the British Championship at Anglesey last year in the only round that he contested and consequently only finished fifth overall at the end of the season. He was victorious at Silverstone in March but missed Cadwell last weekend as he was getting married. Expect to see Liam, the ‘0’ plate holder on the podium this weekend.
In the F250 National class Lee Plain, the reigning British champion, tops the list of entries. He collected four wins last year and never finished lower than second place in the other rounds. He has already picked up a win a Silverstone this year but finished a lowly fourth, by his standards, last weekend. The long trip from Exeter to Lincolnshire should see Lee back to winning ways as he gets the defence of his title underway.
Backing him up will be younger brother Luke whose best finish in the 2021 championship was second at Cadwell last August. He missed the chance to get re-acclimatised to the Lincolnshire circuit last weekend when transportation issues intervened.
Challenging the Plain duo at Cadwell will be Tom Hatfield and Shaun Lombardo. They didn’t contest the championship last year, but Tom finished third in the British Superkart Championship back in 2018. Another driver to look out for will be Samantha Hempshall, the Bennetts Superkart Scholarship winner last year. She finished second at Silverstone in March and sixth last weekend so should be in the leading group this time.
Unfortunately, the top three in the F450 National class last year are not appearing at Cadwell this weekend. That leaves Ronan McClintock, winner at Mallory Park in 2021 to head the entry list. He will face stiff opposition from Ami Jerger, winner at Cadwell last week, and Kosta Kyritsis who was very quick at Silverstone at the start of the season.
Tom Riley begins the defence of his 125 Open title with his first meeting of the year. The six-time winner from 2021 will be up against Jack Tritton who has already picked up three wins this year, one of those coming last weekend at Cadwell. It could be an interesting contest. The name of Stoney appears on a Superkart entry list for the first time in many years with Shane, son of multi champion Chris, making his debut.