Monday, May 10, 2004

BUKC 2004 Round 1 Report

BUKC 2004 Round 1 Report
Event venue: Bayford Meadows, Kent
Event Date: 18th Feb 2004
Patrick Nicholls, Hertford College
Oxford’s karting team embarked on their third season in the high speed British University Karting Championship with a solid if unspectacular run at Bayford Meadows near Sittingbourne in Kent. After a truly awful 2003 with only a few bright spots (30th/38 overall) and a narrow defeat in the Varsity race, the team hoped that this year’s new championship format would bring a change in fortunes.

The championship is the pinnacle of student motorsport in the UK, with 85mph, 0-60 in 4 second karts and with several professional racing drivers (Le Mans 24hr, Formula 3 and GT racing experience) in the field, Oxford are unlikely to be in contention for wins. 40 teams from over 25 universities around the country are competing this year so the competition is bound to be fierce.

Each round is composed of 4 individual races, with the worst result from the four drivers in each team being dropped. First up for Oxford was James Brown, who put in a solid run but threw it all away by spinning at the second-to-last corner, winding up in 26th position. He was followed by Rob Jacobs, who again drove well but spun on some oil dropped by another kart to end up 25th.

Adam Craig was up next, and started very well, getting up to 7th position, before unluckily being forced off the track after a desperate move by another competitor and was then given a penalty for jumping the start. This dropped him down to 30th position, but he then drove superbly, passing and racing away from reality TV show ‘Be A Grand Prix Driver’ winner Mark Johnston of Swansea and setting some brilliant laptimes. He eventually finished in an unrepresentative 20th – but he had shown that he can run near the front in races to come.

This writer then rounded things off with a consistent performance to finish 15th, our best result of the day. As a team, overall not a bad result, but it could’ve been so much better. However, the disappointment was sweetened slightly after a woeful day for Cambridge, who put in some dismal showings and were well beaten in three out of four races by the Oxford drivers. The championship next moves to Rye House, Hertfordshire in two weeks time for the second of six rounds.

To find out more about motorsport in Oxford, email


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