There was some great Superkart action at Cadwell Park last weekend in front of a bumper crowd with Lee Harpham (Division 1), Lee Plain (F250 National), Kosta Kyritsis (F450 National) and Jack Tritton (F125 Open) all obtaining a maximum score.

Gary James, Freelance Superkart Reporter and Commentator reports on the opening weekend:

After a free practice session on Sunday morning, during which Ross Allen went off at Park Corner, the Superkart qualifying was over 12 minutes in the afternoon with 24 drivers looking to set a decent time.

Lee Harpham went round quicker than he had the previous weekend and put in a blistering final lap of 1m 21.717s to claim pole position. Liam Morley had been fastest before a quick visit to the pits, and on his final flying lap couldn’t improve on his previous best of 1m 22.091s, so had to settle for second spot and the final place on the front row of the grid. Third fastest and showing good speed was Andy Gulliford who set his best time on his final lap with 1m 22.610s. Ross Allen bounced back from his earlier off and the reigning Division 1 champion wound up fourth on a 1m 23.371s. Quickest in the F250 National class and sixth overall was Tom Hatfield. His time of 1m 25.993s just eased out Lee Plain for a slot on row 3 by 0.818s. The Exeter driver was pleased with his time, after making changes to the rear wing and nosecone which greatly improved the handling from the week before. Topping the times in the F450 National category was Kosta Kyritsis. He expressed delight with the handling of the Silverstone chassis and his time of 1m 29.403s put him eleventh overall. That was three places higher that Ami Jerger whose 1m 30.885s lap was good enough for second in class despite a slipping clutch. She would start alongside the quickest of the F125 Open’s, Tom Riley who posted a 1m 30.693s. Jack Tritton, was hoping to claim the F125 Open top spot but a broken seat stay forced him into the pits after one flying lap. Despite not being at ease in the cockpit he went back out and posted a 1m31.884s lap at the end of the session.

The first race on Sunday at 6pm was held in cloudy dry conditions. When the lights went out the front row bogged down slightly, and it was Allen from row two that led up through Coppice for the first time chased by Harpham and Morley. The order was the same at the end of the opening lap with Harpham glued to the bumper of the Jade kart while Morley was fending off Gulliford. Harpham jinked out of Allen’s slipstream on the approach to Coppice for the second time, took the lead and then proceeded to gap the rest as they fought over second place. By lap 4 it was up to 3.617s over Morley who’d passed Allen on the previous lap. Morley started to reduce the deficit and got the gap down to 2.015s at the end pf lap 7, but Harpham responded with the fastest lap of the race. With traffic being encountered in the closing stages, Harpham managed to extend his lead and at the flag he was 5.110s to the good over Morley. Allen and Gulliford fought over third place from lap 3 and they were only separated by 0.281s at the flag.

Tom Hatfield led the F250 National class for the first couple of laps, before Lee Plain took over. A fastest lap on lap 4 moved him 1.895s clear and although Hatfield maintained the chase it was Plain sailing for the reigning class champion. A couple of wheels on the grass on the final lap when grip levels dropped didn’t deter Lee and his advantage over Tom at the flag was 5.899s. Samantha Hempshall had been up alongside Hatfield on the opening lap, but the exhaust manifold came off and she retired after 2 laps. Mike Parr was running well in third spot until a broken earth wire put him out on the following lap. That elevated Luke Plain into third spot but he slowed on the final lap when a front upright broke and toured in to collect fourth place in class. Shaun Lombardo spun at Mansfield on lap 3 but was able to pick up the final class podium spot at the demise of others.
Kosta Kyritsis was never headed in the 450 National class and ran out the winner by 12.626s over Ami Jerger who was still suffering with a slipping clutch.

Reigning champion in the F125 Open class, Tom Riley, had a chain split link come off on the opening lap which spelt retirement for him. That allowed Jack Tritton a comfortable win. He’d been ahead of a couple of Division 1 drivers for the majority of the race before their superior power told. Shane Stoney was holding second in class until lap 6 when his engine seized at the end of Park Straight. That elevated Gary Potkins into the runner-up spot albeit two laps in arrears.

Race 1 Results
1st Matt Robinson MS Kart Harvey VM
2nd Liam Morley Anderson VM
3rd Ross Allen Jade IAME
4th Andy Gulliford Anderson VM
5th Carl Kinsey Anderson VM
6th Lee Plain Anderson DEA (F250 National class winner)
8th Kosta Kyritsis Silverstone KTM (F450 National class winner)
13th Jack Tritton Anderson TM (F125 Open class winner)

With a massive crowd pouring into Cadwell Park for the Modified Live event, Race 2 was eagerly anticipated as a way to showcase Superkarts in front of a new audience. Allen got another good start from row 2 and was up alongside Harpham, but this time the GP kart held him off as they went through Coppice and Charlie’s with Morley tucked into third spot. Harpham still led at Hall Bends as they closed out the lap, but Allen got a better exit from the Hairpin and dived inside the MS Kart at Barn Corner to take the lead. They flashed across the line separated by 0.208s but Harpham wasn’t quite close enough to retake the lead. However, at Mansfield there was an outbraking opportunity and GP was ahead of 1 again. At the end of the lap there was nothing between the first three with only 0.449s separating them. Harpham was then able to escape and increase his lead as Allen tried to fend off Morley for second spot. Morley was ahead at the Hairpin on lap 3 before Allen pitted two laps later when a carburettor came off one of the IAME engines. The chase was on at the front and gradually Morley reduced the gap. Starting the last lap, it was 1.322s, and Harpham looked to be safe. However, at the Hairpin for the final time he was baulked on the exit by F125 Open driver Gary Potkins. The acceleration of the twin got him past with Morley also squeezing through at Barn Corner. At the flag the gap was 0.624s with Morley setting the fastest lap of the race but having to settle for another runner-up spot. “We have made big changes to the kart this weekend and they have paid off,” said a delighted Harpham afterwards.

In the F250 National class Lee Plain got a good start from row 3 and was chased by the Parker Motorsport duo of Tom Hatfield and Shaun Lombardo. However, they couldn’t live with the pace of the reigning champion and when Plain set his fastest lap at half distance he had an advantage of 4.816s. He eased off only slightly, not wanting to lose concentration, and took his second class win of the weekend by a comfortable 8.814s. Samantha Hempshall had reduced the deficit to Lombardo when he was mixed up with the F450’s but pitted with two laps to go when the exhaust manifold came off again.

It was Kosta Kyritsis that was dicing with Lombardo as he led the F450 National class by about five and a half seconds. But on lap 6 his steering wheel came loose. Ami Jerger closed in and took the class lead on the penultimate lap, but Kyritsis fought back. At Park Corner he re-took the lead and held on to win by 0.553s.

The F125 Open class was a much closer battle this time around. Jack Tritton led the way but was tucked up behind F250 National driver Richard Connick. This allowed Tom Riley and Shane Stoney to home in, and the four drivers circulated in close company. Riley took the class lead on the penultimate lap, but Tritton fought back at Mansfield for the final time and took the lead. He defended the position through the Mountain and Hall Bends to collect his second win of the weekend by 0.557s with Stoney only 0.166s adrift in third spot.

Race 2 Results
1st Lee Harpham MS Kart Harvey VM
2nd Liam Morley Anderson VM
3rd Andy Gulliford Anderson VM
4th Carl Kinsey Anderson VM
5th Lee Plain Anderson DEA (F250 National class winner)
6th Tom Hatfield Anderson DEA
8th Kosta Kyritsis Silverstone KTM (F450 National class winner)
15th Jack Tritton Anderson TM (F125 Open class winner)

With grid positions decided by a drivers fastest lap from the preceding race, Lee Harpham found himself heading row 2 despite winning earlier. Pole position for the third race went to Liam Morley who had Andy Gulliford alongside him on the front row with Ross Allen joining Harpham on row 2. When the lights went out Morley made the perfect start from pole position while Gulliford was a bit slow away and Carl Kinsey from row 3 was up alongside Harpham. Morley was determined to get a win under his belt after the VM motor wasn’t revving out in the earlier race and by the end of the opening lap had put 1.525s over Harpham who had his hands full keeping Gulliford at bay. Allen was fourth with Kinsey next. Morley stretched his lead and set fastest lap on the fourth with the gap up to 3.396s. But on the next lap the zero kart pulled off at the bottom of the mountain with a big-end failure and was out of the race. Harpham took over at the front from Gulliford who was looking impressive in second spot. But he too struck trouble on the last lap when the front exhaust of the twin cylinder VM engine broke off at the manifold. Rather than risk damage to the motor by continuing, he pulled off. Harpham took his third win of the weekend by a massive 12.133s from Allen who didn’t find the extra pace he was looking for. Kinsey had a lonely race and picked up his best result with third spot.

Lee Plain had no trouble securing his third win in the F250 National class after Tom Hatfield was ruled out with a damaged first gear before the start. Plain crossed the line after 9 laps with a winning margin of 11.186s. After two non-finishes due to the exhaust manifold coming off, Samantha Hempshall and her team were determined to get a good result in the final race. They loctited the offending bolts, put extra springs on the exhaust and lock wired the manifold. A new set of slick tyres were also fitted. After a bad start Samantha chased down Shaun Lombardo and took second spot on lap 4 and then proceeded to increase the gap to 5.25s by the flag.

Kosta Kyritsis had his steering wheel tightened up for this race and led the F450 National class from the start. He was determined to have a good scrap with some of the 250cc singles but overdid things on the exit of Park Corner on lap 4 and spun, ending up facing the wrong way on the track. He dropped to the back of the field while he got the Silverstone kart pointing in the right direction. Ami Jerger took over at the head of the class and was also having a good scrap with Mike Parr and Rob Austin in the F250 National category. After picking up her first class win the previous weekend, Ami was all set for her first in the British Championships. It very nearly didn’t happen as the chain broke at Barn Corner on the last lap, but she had enough momentum to coast across the line for victory.

In F125 Open Tom Riley took a few risks at the first corner and put a couple of karts between himself and his rivals on the opening lap. The manoeuvre paid off as he able to put six seconds over Jack Tritton by lap 2 as his rival was caught up behind Ronan McClintock in the F450. Tom ran out the class winner by 4.064s at the flag. Tritton had changed the gearing for this race to give him more top speed, but it didn’t work out for him. After getting maximum points from his first two races, he wasn’t too disappointed to lose out in this one. Shane Stoney completed his first Superkart meeting with an excellent third place and set the fastest lap in his class.

Race 3 Results
1st Lee Harpham MS Kart Harvey VM
2nd Ross Allen Jade IAME
3rd Carl Kinsey Anderson VM
4th Lee Plain Anderson DEA (F250 National class winner)
5th Samantha Hempshall Anderson THR
6th Shaun Lombardo Anderson DEA
11th Tom Riley Anderson TM (F125 Open class winner)
12th Ami Jerger Anderson KTM (F450 National class winner)

Get in Touch

To find out more about the British Superkart Championship, email us today – britishsuperkarts@motorsportuk.org