Monday, May 10, 2004

BUKC 2004 Rounds 3 & 4 report

BUKC 2004 Round 3 & 4 Report
Event Date: March 27th 2004
Event Venue: Warden Law, Sunderland
Patrick Nicholls, Hertford College

Oxford’s karting team took a step in the right direction in the third and fourth rounds of the ultra-competitive British University Karting Championship at the spectacular Warden Law circuit near Sunderland.
After the opening two rounds had promised more than they actually delivered, the team scored a number of good results and started moving nicely up the championship table.

As the 40 teams arrived the circuit was struck by a shower, making the track slippery, which can be treacherous when the karts are ultra-lightweight and are capable of 85mph and insanely quick acceleration. This meant that the first few of the day’s individual 15-minute races would be very unpredictable.

This writer started things off with a 14th place, with James Brown following that up with a 15th, which could’ve been even better – he spun twice. Local boy Adam Craig was up next, and showed his class by charging into the lead almost immediately and racing away from professionals with Formula 3, Sportscar and Le Mans 24hr experience. He stretched his lead to around 8 seconds – an eternity in kart racing – but spun off on the second to last lap, eventually finishing 5th but almost having claimed Oxford’s debut win. Marcus Haggers was rather rusty but claimed midfield results, as did the other two drivers again before Craig’s second race. Again he raced away into an early lead, but was held up while lapping a backmarker and in the end had to settle for second – the team’s first ever podium.

The team then competed in 2 one-hour endurance races in pairs for Round 4– both showings were blighted by spins but the team claimed 19th place overall, and 21st for the results of the 8 15-minute races that made up Round 3.

Oxford had now beaten Cambridge in 3 out of 4 rounds, and lost narrowly in the other, but thanks to some poor driving in round 2 had picked up a points deduction, meaning that they sat 11 points and 5 places behind their rivals going into the final two rounds of the championship. However their pace to run at the front of the pack had been shown.

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