Whilton Mill - A team of talented students from Essex won the British Schools Karting Championship (BSKC) 2016 on Saturday in one of the most competitively fought finals in the competition's 10-year history.
Matthew Luff (15), Callum Brooks (15) and Iaroslav Kovalev (15), who are all students at The Brentwood School, beat Berwickshire High School and Gordons School B to take the BSKC 2016 crown.
An incredibly close competition resulted in a different winner in each race. Silverstone UTC and Gordons School fought their way to the front of the pack in each of the first four races with their A and B teams each scoring a victory. A heavy rain storm soaked the track and conditions were tricky for the next two races which saw victories for Supergreen & Debden B and Dyffryn Taf. The Brentwood School were comfortable winners of Race 7 and looked on course for victory in the final race. However, a thrilling climax to the competition saw Berwickshire High School pull off an amazing overtake at the penultimate corner to take the chequered flag.
"The event ran smoothly all throughout the day and the racing was close and competitive with good marshalling. I really enjoyed it" said a happy Callum Brooks from the winning team. Team Captain Lynn Luff commented "It is a fantastic competition with a fantastic standard of driving. A really fun day and great value for money. We were here last year and I have seen an improvement - the prizes are getting better, the organisation is getting better - so we're looking forward to next year and coming back to defend our title."
199 teams entered the championship this year, meaning The Brentwood School beat nearly 600 other students to secure the winning team's prize of a visit to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship event at Silverstone on 18th September. Here they will enjoy an action packed day as they are guided behind the scenes in both the BTCC and Support Race Paddocks.
Second placed team Berwickshire High School included Bradley Cooper (17), Jamie Thorburn (18) and Billy Farmer (17). Third place was taken by Gordons School B with drivers Zak Fulk (15), Edward Lee (15) and Pete Given (15).
The prize generously donated by Ginetta Cars for the highest placed driver holding a racing licence at the level of Karting National B or higher in either 2014, 2015 or 2016 was won by Matthew Luff of the winning team, The Brentwood School. He wins a free entry into the 2017 Ginetta Junior Scholarship which will see one budding racing driver win a fully funded season in the 2017 Simpson Race Products Ginetta Junior Championship.
In a clean sweep on the main awards, The Brentwood School set the fastest lap in the National Final in Race 7 and their driver will enjoy a day at a BTCC event with supergreenracing.com who have been great supporters of BSKC since their driver, Ben Green, was part of the winning team from Debden Park High School in 2014.
Will Tew, founder of the BSKC, said: "The skills of the drivers improve year on year and that has been demonstrated at this year's final. The BSKC was started to give young people a chance to experience the thrill and excitement of motorsports, and excitement is certainly what we got in the final."
Adrienne Watson, Championship Organiser, remarked: "The winning team members from The Brentwood School should be incredibly proud of themselves. So should all of the teams here at Whilton Mill who fought off stiff opposition to reach the final. We are most grateful to the teachers and parents who gave up their time to mentor their teams all the way through to Whilton Mill.
The BSKC is an arrive-and-drive karting championship that aims to bring competitive, cost-effective karting into UK schools. Since it began in 2007 with just 22 teams competing, the championship has flourished giving students who are not necessarily interested in traditional sports like football or hockey a chance to reveal hidden talents. Many schools have told us that taking part has built the confidence of the students and this has helped them both on the track and in the school environment."
The full results of the 2016 BSKC National Final can be found at www.bskc.co.uk/results/2016/1308.