Social Race 2 - Cannon Raceway

The second social race of the year saw us visit Cannon Raceway. Located in Bilston, a 30 minute drive away from campus, this track was new to UBMRC.

With the format once again being a two hour endurance race, drivers were kitted up and briefed with the atmosphere building and bubbling during the briefing. You could hear the karts idling in through the walls of the briefing room, you could feel the rumbling of the karts through the floor and that got everybody itching to get out on track but not before a slight miscommunication over the race format. Driver changes would be organised by the race director with pit stops occurring one kart at a time (as opposed to whenever we wanted at Whilton Mill).

Practice/qualifying was a 5 minute blast for each driver, with drivers getting comfortable with the karts, familiar with the track and ready to race with the grid being as follows:

  1. Team 1 - Rory Smith (team-mates Spencer Staley, Harjot Sahota and John Graham)

  2. Team 5 - Ethan Hurford (team-mates Samuel Gibbs, Rebecca and Vaclav Basta)

  3. Team 12 - Tim Mountford-Lister (team-mates Edward Varnes, Priyanka Patel and Oliver Morris)

  4. Team 2 - Nathan Styles (team-mates Jamie Duncan, Oscar Leahy and Zac Weitzkorn)

  5. Team 7 - Josh White (team-mates Taher Adamjee, Jack Dowding and Louis March-Smith)

  6. Team 11 - Jamie Thornton (team-mates Finn Whelan, Will Buttress and Hal Rejali)

  7. Team 4 - Harry Froude (team-mates Tunveer Mangat, Joshua Read and Fraz Khan)

  8. Team 6 - Edward Crossley (team-mates Fred Lee, Daniel Sutton and Jamie White)

  9. Team 9 - Hugo Halford-Harrison (team-mates Sarah Smith, Alex Wilson and Ryan Bianchi)

  10. Team 3 - Ben Boros (team-mates Ric Wong, Marcus Hesketh and Ed Bill)

  11. Team 8 - Ismaail Khoyrattee (team-mates Asha Pickles, Datta Vinay and Sam Harrison)

  12. Team 10 Aaron Johnson (team-mates Tegan Reynolds, Ben Horne and Kevin Chua Zhi Jie)

The rolling start saw all positions held with two things becoming very clear. Number one is that it makes sense why Rory is a professional racing driver as he quite literally drove away from 2nd place and ended up almost lapping other team captains by the end of the first stint. Number two that overtaking similarly paced drivers was incredibly difficult to achieve cleanly. There was a three kart battle for 2nd with Tim, Nathan, Ethan swapping positions for the majority of the first stint until Nathan’s kart had a throttle issue that saw him head to the pits for a kart change. The racing continued in the 2nd stints with a chance for other drivers to make up places although I can attest that not all of those moves were clean, with the hand of frustration being seeing more than once…

Drivers quickly learned about the surprising physicality of Cannon Raceway with Josh describing the best part of the day as “coming into the pits because the track is so physical.” Something Ed and Fraz can both attest to with Fraz calling the track a “bit bumpy down the ramp” with Ed saying the same and adding “everywhere else [was was bumpy] too.

We spoke to a few drivers to find out their best part of the day and here’s what they said:

Sarah “The track is fun. It’s different to outdoor tracks [today was her first indoor race from an outdoor background], harder to overtake and a lot like a street circuit. If you crash, you’re in the barrier.”

Vaclav “Racing in packs and coming ahead of the pack! It always make you feel good.”

Tim “Chatting absolute rubbish with mates and people being absolute bandits.

Oscar “Watching the experienced drivers race in the opening laps. The racing is really close, really fast and it’s useful for us to see which lines they take to help us go faster when we’re on track”.

Back to the racing, Team 6 or more specifically Aaron was making the typical racing driver excuses of the kart being bad but then the kart they had lost a wheel so maybe he was telling the truth,,,

After two hours of bumps and battles, the results were as follows:

  1. Team 4

  2. Team 6

  3. Team 3

  4. Team 12

  5. Team 11

  6. Team 7

  7. Team 2

  8. Team 5

  9. Team 8

  10. Team 1

  11. Team 10

  12. Team 9

With the benefit of hindsight, the podium made complete sense. Team 4 featuring one current BUKC driver and two who would later compete that year, Team 6 featuring one current BUKC driver and national karting champion Fred who would later drive for the A team, and Team 3 featuring BUKC veteran Ben, future BUKC drivers Ric and Marcus, with Ed also racing in the BUKC 24 hour. The luck of the draw definitely worked in their favour.

Once again our thanks go out to all those who helped make the event possible, as well as Cannon Raceway for being great hosts of a circuit that really took it out of us.