2013 saw Birmingham field three teams for the first time ever in the BUKC. Birmingham A and B both qualified for the Main Championship, whilst the newly-formed Birmingham C had to settle for being a contender in the Rookie Championship, thus marking the first time Birmingham had been represented in both championships.

The 2013 BUKC season consisted of 9 Main Championship rounds and 3 Rookie Championship rounds.

    • Northern Qualifier: Teeside Autodrome – 20/11/12
    • Rounds 1 & 2: Rye House* – 13/02/13
    • Rounds 3 & 4: Llandow – 03/03/13
    • Rounds 5 & 6: Buckmore Park – 13/03/13
    • Rounds 7 & 8: Clay Pigeon – 22/03/13
    • Round 9 (+ Drivers Champ): Whilton Mill – 24/06/13
    • Rk Round 1: Llandow – 02/03/13
    • Rk Round 2: Clay Pigeon – 22/03/13
    • Rk Round 3: Whilton Mill – 25/06/13

* – The original rounds 1 & 2 at Buckmore Park had to be rescheduled due to snow, to become rounds 5 & 6. The new rounds 1 & 2 at Warden Law then had to be located to Rye House, again due to snow.

Birmingham A (kart number 23) finished in 25th position with 300 points.

Birmingham B (kart number 46) finished in 48th position with 159 points.

Birmingham C (kart number 59) finished in 14th in the Rookie Championship.

Birmingham A

    • Graham Kirkby – Captain
    • Jack Kilkenny
    • Nic Gandy – Secretary
    • Jinlei Shang
    • Sam Brown
    • Chris Grange – Vice Captain

Birmingham B

    • Tom Wantock
    • Chris Grange – Vice Captain
    • Andy Glencross
    • Andrew Davidson
    • Eliot Dixon – Treasurer
    • Victor Koh
    • Howard Mitchell
    • Charles Holroyd

Birmingham C

    • Victor Koh
    • Eliot Dixon – Treasurer
    • Howard Mitchell
    • Andy Glencross
    • Chris Grange – Vice Captain
    • Charles Holroyd
    • Jacob Guest
    • Kamil Szul
    • Jonathan Edwards

The report for this season was written by Chris Grange…

Main Championship Report

Nic Gandy drives for Birmingham A at an extremely wet Teeside Autodrome at the Northern Qualifiers

Some of the Birmingham team at the Northern Qualifiers. From left to right: Jonathan Edwards, Samuel Brown, Chris Grange, Graham Kirkby, Eliot Dixon, Jack Kilkenny

The Northern Qualifiers took place at a biblically wet Teesside Autodrome, so wet that the inside of turn one had been coned off as it had flooded. Birmingham A took to the track with Vice-Captain Chris Grange being as high as 5th in his first race in the rain, before losing control and fighting his way back from almost last to 17th place at the flag. Jack Kilkenny put in a typically strong performance to finish 4th. The bad luck in this round went to Nic Gandy who suffered a mechanical failure, putting an end to his hopes of a good finish. For the endurance races, held in deteriorating conditions and low visibility, Captain Graham Kirkby teamed up with Chris Grange to finish 22nd, while Nic and Jack finished 9th, Nic’s last race before a shoulder injury left him unable to race until the end of the season. The B team was made up of many new faces but it was Sam Brown who shone the most with a fantastic 9th place finish in only his second time in a Club 100 kart. With Charles Holroyd and Tom Wantock also putting in respectable performances in the treacherous conditions.

Sam Brown makes his BUKC race debut at Rye House for Birmingham A

Rounds 1 and 2 eventually took place at Rye House in Hertfordshire after first being rescheduled from BuckmorePark in December due to snow, then from Warden Law near Sunderland the day before, also due to snow. Rye House itself had only just been cleared of snow and had ice patches around the track margins. Sam Brown, catapulted onto the A team due to his performance at the qualifiers suffered from a mechanical issue with his kart, causing him to finish behind Andy Glencross in the first race of the day. Back from a year in industry, Andrew Davidson impressed not just with his photography, but also with his performance on the track, finishing 19th for the B team. But it was the endurance races where Birmingham finally got the results they had been waiting for when Jack Kilkenny and Jinlei Shang drove a brilliant, attacking race to finish in 2nd place. The A team backed this up with an 18th place for Graham and Sam, who managed to keep it on the track, even when the snow was falling. The B team showed great consistency with the Andys and Tom and Chris both finishing in 24th place.

All three Birmingham teams ahead of a night of sub-zero temperature camping at the Llandow circuit. Top row (left to right): Tom Wantock, Chris Grange, Eliot Dixon, Charles Holroyd, Jack Kilkenny, Andy Glencross, Jacob Guest, Howard Mitchell; Bottom row (left to right): Graham Kirkby, Victor Koh, Sam Brown, Jin Shang

Llandow was the location of rounds 3 and 4. After surviving camping at the track in sub zero temperatures Birmingham aimed to hit the ground running but unfortunately did not do as well as they hoped with a best finish of 11th for Jack Kilkenny on the A team and 20th for Tom Wantock on the B team. However, the endurances went much better for the A team who got 12th overall thanks to an 8th place courtesy of Graham and Sam. For the B team, a solid race, in a slightly slow kart saw Tom Wantock and Chris Grange come home in 25th.

Off-track snow adds an extra incentive to keep the kart on the tarmac at Buckmore Park

BuckmorePark in Kent was once again affected by snow for rounds 5 and 6 in but thankfully the track was clear enough to race on. Jack Kilkenny produced a supreme drive to make up 28 positions from the back of the field to finish in 3rd, keeping his cool in a race where many drivers were caught out by the damp track conditions. Chris Grange suffered from heartbreak while running in 13thplace as, on the penultimate lap he spun due to contact from another kart. While Graham Kirkby produced a great drive to finish 12th rounding off some strong results for the A team. On the B team Tom Wantock kept it together on track to finish in 17th while Eliot Dixon and Victor Koh drove sensible races in their first time in the main championships. In the endurance races Birmingham A got a 9th place from Jack and Graham and a 20thfrom Chris and Jin, with Andy and Tom also 20th for the B team.

Andrew Davidson starts from pole position for Birmingham B on a drying Clay Pigeon track

The changeable conditions of Clay Pigeon were host to Rounds 7 and 8. Graham and Sam both put in mighty drives to finish 8th and 9th for the A team while Andy Glencross was a strong 18th on the B team. The endurances saw the A team show strong consistency with both the team of Graham and Sam and the team of Chris and Jin finishing in 19th place. While Tom Wantock and Andrew Davidson beat them both with an 18th place finish for the B team.

Birmingham A and Birmingham B at Clay Pigeon. Left to right: Howard Mitchell, Sam Brown, Andrew Davidson, Graham Kirkby, Chris Grange, Tom Wantock, Andy Glencross, Jin Lei Shang

The final round took place at a Sunny Whilton Mill in Northamptonshire and saw the championship return of Nic Gandy, unfortunately he suffered a mechanical failure which dropped him to 31st place. Andy Glencross put in the strongest B team performance with an 18th place, while a penalty for contact sent Jack Kilkenny back to 14th place. This round was to be the last race for Tom Wantock, Jinlei Shang and Jack Kilkenny and they will be missed by a team that they have contributed so much to over the years.

Jack Kilkenny, Jin Lei Shang and Tom Wantock bring their University of Birmingham racing careers to a close at Whilton Mill

The year has seen Graham Kirkby achieve his best ever results both as an individual and as a team in the endurances, Andy Glencross and Tom Wantock have strong second years in the BUKC, Sam Brown make an immediate impression with his speed and race results, Chris Grange show a dramatic improvement on his first season, finding some speed and consistency to record a few strong results when he wasn’t being a bandit magnet, Charles Holroyd and Howard Mitchell show definite potential for the coming season, Andrew Davidson combine speed on the track with photography skills off it, Jin being consistently aggressive and excelling in the endurance events and Jack Kilkenny, as always, putting in some mighty drives against an extremely high calibre field, to show that he is, the fastest man in Birmingham.

Rookie Championship Report

Victor Koh drives round Teeside Autodrome for Brimingham C at the Northern Qualifiers

The 2013 season saw Birmingham enter a C team for the first time. While they failed to qualify for the main championships they entered the rookie champs to give new drivers a chance to compete with less pressure than they would experience on the B team.

Round 1 took place in the surprisingly nice weather at Llandow, the team navigated their way through the races featuring some over optimistic and sometimes out of control driving from members of the other teams to finish the round 29th overall. Eliot Dixon and Victor Koh produced sensible drives and Howard Mitchell impressed in his first competitive outing.

For Round 2 the competition moved to Clay Pigeon in Dorset. Conditions were abysmal with every race taking place in the very wet. Due to injuries, Chris Grange and Andy Glencross were drafted in to the C team and put in impressive drives, with Andy finishing 9th and Chris ecstatic with his 2nd place finish. This lead to an overall finish of 9th place.

Round 3 took place in blazing sunshine at Whilton Mill. A now fairly experienced team took to the track determined to continue their run of good form, Eliot Dixon once again put in a strong drive to finish 11th, Howard Mitchell briefly lead and Charles Holroyd put in a brilliant recovery drive to finish 12th.

Overall the rookie team put in some strong performances, with Victor being one of the hardest men on track to overtake and Eliot being the consummate gentleman driver, mixing speed with control.