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A Team, Kart 24
  • Chris Grange (Captain)
  • Sam Brown (Vice Captain)
  • Nic Gandy
  • Graham Kirkby
  • Andy Glencross (Fluid Dynamicist)

B Team, Kart 43
  • Charles Holroyd (Social Secretary)
  • Andy Glencross
  • Howard Mitchell (Media Officer)
  • Harry Brown
  • Alex Dawson
  • Henry Chart
  • Harry Forsyth

C Team, Kart 56
  • Victor Koh (Treasurer)
  • Andrew Mather
  • Eliot Dixon
  • Harry Forsyth
  • Chris Brassett
  • Amir Farah-Abadi
  • Kamil Szul
  • Alex Dawson
  • Howard Mitchell
  • Sam Brown
  • Craig Alderman
  • Liam Emberton
  • Harry Forsyth
  • Henry Chart

D Team, Kart 82
  • Stuart Cade-Westcombe
  • Craig Alderman
  • Kamil Szul
  • Andy Glencross
  • Chris Grange
  • Charles Holroyd
  • Howard Mitchell
  • Charles Holroyd

The year began with our trip up to Middlesbrough for the Northern Qualifying round at the Teesside Autodrome. Thankfully the track was not fully submerged as last year and we were confident of getting both the A and B teams qualified for the main championship. The A team, made up by now of very experienced drivers, produced one of Birmingham’s strongest performances in years with top 10 finishes in 4 out of 6 races and top 20 finishes in the other 2. Vice Captain Sam Brown started things off with a brilliant 9th place which was then followed by Captain Chris Grange getting the best A team result of the year with 7th. Nic Gandy and Graham Kirkby also raced well to finish 13th and 18th. The endurances went even better as all drivers pulled off overtake after overtake, combining speed with control to finish in 8th for Brown and Kirkby and 9th for the pair of Grange and Gandy who made up 21 places under the floodlights of the final race of the day. This meant that the team finished the round in 9th place overall, the best result of the year.


The B team was a mix of new and returning drivers, with the fresh faces, Henry Chart a race winner in the F3 cup and Harry Brown both being quick straight from the off. However a lack of experience in Club 100 karts proved to be a setback and they suffered from bad luck, spins and a black flag to finish 25th and 27th respectively in the sprint races. Andy Glencross finished 22nd while Charles Holroyd was en route to a good finish when he was disqualified for being a few grams under the weight limit. Despite being furious with himself at the time, this would later earn him a Chris Grange Award for being the Slimmer of the Year. Fortunes picked up slightly with an 18th for Brown and Chart in Endurance 1 and a 22nd for Glencross and Holroyd in Endurance 2. Bad luck and a disqualification meant that the B team had scored a lot worse than expected, but thankfully they qualified by a single point to make it through to the main championship, much to the delight of the entire team.

The wettest raceday of the year by no small margin was rounds 1 and 2 at Buckmore Park in Kent. Andy Glencross layed down a marker for the title of UBMRC Rain Meister, starting the championship off with a brilliant wet weather display on his way to 15th place. This was followed by a great drive for Sam Brown, racing through the field with some superb overtakes on his way to 17th. Fighting back from a collision caused by another driver, a small break in the rain allowed Chris to hold the fastest lap of the race for a bit, but he couldn’t catch up to Charles Holroyd who excelled in the wet conditions to finish 2 places in front.

Endurance 1 was comfortably the wettest race of an incredibly wet day. Rivers crossed the track at multiple points, team members not in the race ran for shelter between pitstops and such was the sheer volume of water on track the drivers struggled to keep the karts under control on the straights. Andy and Charles once again showed their wet weather skills, keeping the kart on track and finishing 21st, a few places ahead of Graham and Sam. For the final endurance race, the rain had subsided, but so had the daylight, leaving a wet track and a lot of glare from the floodlights. With both teams starting at the back it was up to Howard and Chris to make up the places at the start, pushing hard that’s just what they did, handing over to Harry and Nic who both put in great middle stints, before finally bringing the karts home in 22nd and 17th for the B and A team respectively.


Buckmore Park hosted some torrential weather for the main championship in 2014. Credit: Kieran Lucas Photography.

Birmingham’s ‘home race’ took place at Whilton Mill Circuit in Northamptonshire, a firm driver’s favourite, not just because it meant the biggest lie-in of the year. With an exam forcing Howard and Sam to miss the round, Alex Dawson and Harry Forsyth were drafted in from the rookie teams. Helped by the fact that they had both tested here before, they put in strong performances, particularly Alex who exceeded all expectations to finish 14th in race 2. Throughout the day changeable conditions made things tricky for the drivers but Nic mastered them expertly, finding more grip than his rivals to come home in 9th. Elsewhere Chris had an aggressive drive to finish 19th,taking that position at the final corner of the last lap, after battling throughout the race. While Charles drove well to 18th place. Graham suffered from kart trouble at the race start but recovered to a great 21st. Andy Glencross, in his first race on the A team, kept out of trouble to finish a credible 23rd while Harry Brown on the B team impressed with 15th. For the endurances the A team had one of their best rounds of the year, Nic and Andy had a brilliant drive to finish 13th while Graham and Chris drove an attacking race, even managing to unlap themselves from the leader, to take 9th spot. This meant the A team finished the round in 13th overall, a great reward for some fantastic driving.

Rounds 5 and 6 saw the BUKC visit a new venue, the Nurburgring of North Wales – Glan-y-Gors Park. Featuring huge elevation change and some tricky technical corners, it was a welcome addition to the calendar. Mixed results for the A team with Sam and Nic having superb races to finish 12th and 9th respectively, while Graham and Chris suffered from numerous issues to finish much further back. Things went better in the endurances and despite a kart with poor top end speed Nic and Chris held on for 16th while Graham and Sam really got to grips with the track and finished a fantastic 11th. Andy got the best B team result of the year, starting on pole he held on, mixing great defensive driving with pure speed, to cross the line in a fantastic 11th place. But in the endurances it was the pair of Howard Mitchell and Harry Brown who took B team bragging rights, with their 20th place just edging Charles and Andy with 21st.

Rounds 7 and 8 took part at a sunny Clay Pigeon Kart Track in Dorset. The final race meeting for Charles and Nic, they arrived determined to score some solid points. Charles got his best ever result in his last ever sprint race with a brilliant 13th, a few seconds up the road from Chris Grange who fought his way from the back of the field to finish 17th. Nic also raced well to 17th in his Sprint race but it was Graham who got the best finish of the day with a great drive to 11th place. The endurance races also all went well, with the B team finishing 21st for Charles and Andy and 26th for Howard and Harry. On the A team Nic and Chris once again fought through from the back to finish 16th but Graham and Sam impressed the most with a great 13th.

Birmingham showed great strength in depth with all drivers impressing throughout the championship. On the A team Graham used his now significant experience and huge speed to consistently finish highly, Sam continued his good form from last year being persistently fast, Nic showed amazing consistency and dogged determination whatever the conditions and Chris managed to finally put together some really good races with a new found aggression to top off a brilliant year as Captain. For the B team Andy frequently found himself up at the front and managed to stay there, getting the best B team results of the year, impressive in the dry and even more so in the wet. Charles, equally impressive in the wet, regularly used his superb racecraft to great effect, Howard built on last season’s performances with added speed and confidence and Harry was immediately fast and only improved with further experience. This year has seen an unparalled level of consistency among the A team who put in numerous strong performances. The B team once again showed a measureable improvement on last year, moving forward and regularly getting good results.

We’re ready for next year. Are you?

Results:

Buckmore Park – Rounds 1 and 2

Race 1: Andy Glencross 15th

Race 2: Sam Brown 17th

Race 3: Chris Grange 26th, Charles Holroyd 24th

Howard Mitchell 27th

Endurance 1: Charles Holroyd and Andy Glencross: 21st

Endurance 2: Graham Kirkby and Sam Brown: 25th

Endurance 3: Chris Grange and Nic Gandy: 17th

Whilton Mill – Rounds 3 and 4

Race 1: Harry Forsyth 33rd

Race 2: Nic Gandy 9th, Alex Dawson 14th

Race 3: Chris Grange 19th

Race 4: Graham Kirkby 21st

Race 5: Harry Brown 15th, Andy Glencross 23rd

Race 6: Charles Holroyd 18th

Endurance 1: Nic and Andy 13th

Endurance 2: Chris Grange and Graham Kirkby 9th, Alex Dawson and Harry Forsyth 32nd

Endurance 3: Charles Holroyd and Harry Brown 29th

Glan-Y-Gors – Rounds 5 and 6

Race 1 Charles Holroyd 28th

Race 2 Nic Gandy 9th

Race 3 Graham Kirkby 23rd, Howard Mitchell 27th

Race 4 Sam Brown 12th, Harry Brown 17th

Race 5 Chris Grange 28th

Race 6 Andy Glencross, pole to 11th

Endurance 1 Chris Grange and Nic Gandy 16th, Harry Brown and Howard Mitchell 20th

Endurance 2 Charles Holroyd and Andy Glencross 21st

Endurance 3 Sam Brown and Graham Kirkby 11th

Clay Pigeon – Rounds 7 and 8

Race 1 Sam Brown 24th

Race 1 Harry Brown 32nd

Race 3 Nic Gandy start 2nd finish 17th

Race 3 Howard Mitchell 28th

Race 4 Charles Holroyd 13th, Chris Grange 17th

Race 6 Graham Kirkby 11th,Andy Glencross 16th

Endurance 1 Chris Grange and Nic Gandy 16th

Endurance 1 Howard Mitchell and Harry Brown 26th

Endurance 2 Graham Kirkby and Sam Brown 13th

Endurance 2 Charles Holroyd and Andy Glencross 21st



Written by 2013/2014 Team Captain, Chris Grange