Brilliant Teesside showing sees Karting climb the table

York produced their best performance of the BUKC season to date on their ‘home’ track in Teesside, raising hopes they can finish the season in the top 25 positions

Photograph courtesy University of York Karting Club

Photograph courtesy University of York Karting Club

York’s karting teams capitalised on home advantage in the latest BUKC rounds on Teesside, putting in a strong performance to climb the table and keep hopes of a top 25 finish alive. With two racedays in a week, York struggled to fill both their teams, relying on alumni member Christian Wood to step in, although he wouldn’t be eligible for points for the B team. York also had experienced driver Jamie Garside joining the team alongside Anuarr Sultashev for his first ever BUKC raceday.

Like usual, the raceday at Teesside was split into two rounds; the first round involves 25 minute individual sprint races, with each team member taking part in one. This is followed by the second round, where each team is split into two pairings and they work together in an hour-long relay race.

Round Five

As per usual, York began by sending their experienced drivers out first, for the difficult first stint in cold karts, with Garside (A) and Andy Carpenter (B) taking high grid slots of 12th and 6th respectively. Both drivers had good stints, and Garside put in a great effort to maintain his high grid slot and take a 12th place finish. Carpenter struggled with a bad start, losing around eight places in the first lap, but did well to take a 19th place finish.

In York’s second race of the day, Gonçalo Magalhaes (A) took pole, whilst Andy Gilmore (B) began in 16th. Magalhaes started brilliantly, holding onto the lead for the first half of the race, before eventually being overtaken, but still held a top five place until he unfortunately clipped a cone on the inside of a corner, getting a black flag and a ten second stop-go penalty, which dropped him back to a frustrating, yet still impressive, 15th place. Gilmore meanwhile had a disastrous start, being punted off in the first lap, but he recovered well and moved through the field to take a good 22nd finish.

Next out for York, Mike O’Neill (A) and Sultashev (B) started in challenging grid slots, particularly for O’Neill who started at the back of the grid (31st), whilst Sultashev started in 16th. Sultashev started well, before disaster struck – firstly he was pushed off by another driver, dropping him to the back of the grid, and then secondly he got caught up in a very nasty crash. As Sultashev was being overtaken by a couple of the leaders, the leaders collided and took him out, forcing him into the tyre wall at around 40mph, and throwing him out of the kart. Despite being initially winded, he was fortunately unscathed, although his kart couldn’t be repaired, meaning he completed just three laps and finished 31st. O’Neill, however, was progressing well through the field, consistently overtaking rivals whilst avoiding incident, which resulted in him brilliantly making up 14 places overall, finishing 17th.

York saved their best performance for the fifth and sixth rounds of the British Universities Karting Championship, the A team taking a 19th place at Teesside, moving them up to 30th in the season standings. Photograph courtesy University of York Karting Club.

In York’s final race, Dan Ryan (A) started in 20th and Wood (B) started in 26th. Both unfortunately got caught up in spins in the first lap, dropping them to the back of the grid, but they both responded very well, Wood taking an outstanding 10th place, with Ryan just behind him for a great 15th place finish for the A team. The overall results for the fifth round had York A in their best finish yet in 24st place, with York B in 42nd place as they missed out on the points from Wood’s 10th place due to his ineligibility.

Round Six

Into the afternoon, and for the A team, Garside and O’Neill combined for the first team relay race and started in 17th place. Both drivers showed very good race pace, keeping a top 20 place throughout the race, and taking a 16th place finish, a brilliant start to the afternoon for York.

For the A team’s second relay race, Magalhaes and Ryan teamed up for the third time this season and started in a 16th place grid slot. Likewise with Garside and O’Neill they both drove brilliantly, showing a combination of consistency and ultimate pace resulting in a fantastic 11th place finish.

For the B team, Wood and Carpenter were first out, and although Wood had a couple of spins, his very quick pace, combined with Carpenter’s slightly slower but more consistent stint, led to a good 24th place.

Last out for York were Gilmore and Sultashev, with Gilmore showing very good pace, whilst Sultashev responded well to his unfortunate solo race, putting in a very consistent stint, and both did very well to take a good 26th place.

The overall results for the sixth round had York A improving on the morning to take an excellent 19th place, with York B down in 46th place as they again missed out on points due to their ineligible driver.

This all meant that after six rounds, York A had climbed six places to 30th with York B 44th, giving the A team a real hope of achieving their initial aim of a top 25 finish after this impressive raceday. This great performance had also seen the team overtake northern rivals Durham in the standings, a good indication to the progress made by the York team this season.

The next two BUKC rounds are at Buckmore Park on the 31st March.