Here we are, after a third season of NKC, once again wondering where all the time went. We had a blast this year and that’s largely thanks to you lot. We’ve been keen followers of the kart racing scene for quite a while now and from what you see on social media, you would think organising any kind of championship would be an absolute nightmare. We’ve been lucky though, our racers and their supporters all approach this in the spirit we hope for, which makes things so much easier for us. Thank you.
2019 saw the introduction of our Rotax classes, which proved to be a great decision. I (Chris) am not a great watcher of kart racing but I was gripped watching you guys go at it. We were treated to high quality, fair racing, with competition throughout the field. We also enjoyed getting to know you all and made some real friends. These weekends are about so much more than racing!
The TKM class took another leap forward in the level of competition. Your humble 2017 champion relegated to the mid-field where he belongs. Every year we seem to attract more top-class drivers and the front of the pack was fierce at times. We haven’t lost sight of the bigger picture though and it’s great to see the development of this class hasn’t detracted from the enjoyment of everyone else in the field. We have drivers who we’ve been racing with for many years now and we count amongst our dearest friends. Thank you for your commitment and for all your help on and off the track, we hope to race with you for many more years to come.
So, what happened in 2019? More drivers means more tyres, so we arrived at Whilton Mill with a van full of them. Somehow everyone got what they ordered, which was a huge relief. That blinkin last corner gave us some headaches, however we needn’t have worried in the end as there were no issues.
On to Clay Pigeon, which treated us to some sort of hurricane or something. Bigly windy it was, with tents and awnings pushed to their limits (and beyond in 1 or 2 cases). Again, karts went round and round, some people won, most didn’t. Pete and Adam threatened to take each other outside, until they realised they were already outside and then I’m pretty sure they cuddled, once they were inside.
Llandow gave the slicks some much needed relief and favourite for the Rotax Southern Cup suddenly wasn’t favourite any more. Oh wait, the sun came out and he went and won it. That was a great final to watch, knowing roughly what was happening with the points. Well done Matt, you gone done it.
The TKM final went a bit topsy turvy too, with the track drying and performance being largely dictated by who lucked into the correct pressures. Pete got over the line first but we think he wet himself, which put him under weight. Mitchell Ball was having a bad day by his standards but his overall pace and consistency over the first 3 rounds led to a comfortable Southern Cup victory.
In the heavy weight categories, the cups went to Ryan Edwards in TKM and Michael Gamble in Rotax.
Up North for the summer then, first stop Hooton Park. People were now starting to get fed up being woken at 7am by Barbie Girl blasting out from the DDR love nest. Some of us stayed up way too late on Friday and possibly drank too much too. Saturday was a struggle, an early night was needed. Local boy Ian Cooper showed the Rotax drivers the way round and they all seemed happy to just follow him. And then something happened at the start of the final.
What you don’t want to do when going to Rowrah is forget your awning. I’m not sure there have ever been 3 more depressed blokes in the front of a van, having battled through traffic for 3 hours, 5 still to go, one of them throwing his guts up, only for it to dawn on them what they’d done. Why we remembered at that point I’ll never know. Thankfully our good friend Malcolm saved our bacon and put us up in Casa del Dummy Grid. That was a right result as the weather was shocking.
For some reason the track was like an ice rink too but battle through we did. Everyone was having a lovely time, racing neatly with a bit of Dunkirk spirit, we were all in it together. Except for Simon.
We’ve been fortunate to get to know the King family over several years and were pleased to be able to celebrate Steve King’s 60th birthday. Thank you to Sue and Ian for organising the party and laying on a spread and Happy Birthday once again to Steve.
Last stop Fulbeck, tyres holding on for dear life, but they were gonna make it, just. Sad about the season coming to an end, I struggled to drive through the tears and that’s why I was slow. There was some top racing in both classes. The front 3 in the TKM final crossed the line side by side, separated by 0.14 seconds.
I have to admit I was pretty nervous watching the Rotax final. With Tom close behind Milton, who was defending a slender lead in the championship, I was resigned to the fact it was going to end in tears. What we saw though was some of the most sportsmanlike behaviour on track you’ll ever witness. It was very close throughout the final and the one time there was accidental contact, Tom slowed and allowed Milton to re-take the place. What a relief and testament to the people we have racing with us.
Mitchell ended a dominant season in TKM, adding the Northern Cup and NKC 2019 Championship to his earlier Southern Cup. Well done Mitchell, you’ve raced brilliantly and you’re a pleasure to be around too.
In Rotax, Milton ended the season with much deserved victories in the Northern Cup and NKC 2019 Championship. Again, well done, you had to come through some challenges and upsets but your class shone through in the end.
In the heavy weight categories, Gez Owen took the Northern Cup and Michael Gamble was victorious in the overall championship for Rotax. In TKM the Northern Cup and overall championship both went to Darren Smith. Well done all.
With the workload ratcheted up this year we wouldn’t have gotten through it all without the help of Phil Smith. Thank you, Phil, for agreeing to take on the scrutineer role and for being so enthusiastic about what we do.
We’ve all been treated to hundreds and hundreds of pics and for that we must thank Sue and Ian Mayman. It was great to have you with us at every round this year, not just for your pics but for your company too. Thank you.
We would also like to show our gratitude to Darren Beavers and everyone at BKC. They really look after us and put on a great and exceptionally organised race meeting. We hope to join them as much as we can in 2020.
Now I’m going to spend a few months working on my golf swing and Oli is going to race wherever he can. We hope to see you all again for NKC 2020 and hope to bring you news on our plans some time in the winter. Please keep spreading the word as we would like to grow the grids a bit more. We only want good people like yourselves though 😉