KT – AFKC Rd 5 – Lydd – Race Report

In Karting Team by Samuel Cresswell

Last weekend the RNRM Karting Team headed to Lydd Kart Circuit in Kent to compete in Round 5 of the Armed Forces Karting Championship. The team matched their all-time best result bringing home plenty of trophies for the RNRM.  

In the Premier Class, Kart #50 driven by Sam Cresswell had an unfortunate start to his day in Heat 1 as a collision with another kart forces him to retire in the pits due to a loose exhaust. Heats 2 & 3 he was back in the game and this time clawed his way up to the top spot to finish the two remaining heats in 1st place. The final begins, Sam gets a great start and battles with rival and championship leader Callum Drew and comes out on top to win the Premier Class overall at Lydd. Great effort by Sam as this was his first race back with us due to deployments earlier this year.

Kart #45 driven by Liam Waterhouse & Martin Theodorou pulled out all the stops in race 1 qualifying to put the kart on pole position. Martin gets a decent start and maintains 1st place for his first stint in the 1 hour 50-minute race. As the race progressed and the mandatory driver change was made, it was Liam’s turn to drive the kart until the chequered flag. As the race went on the lap times were dropping by quite a considerable amount. On completing the race and inspecting the kart, an important bolt which is integral to the kart’s steering geometry was found to be missing, which explains the drop in pace.  Liam and Martin managed to keep the kart on the track and bring it in finishing the race in 1st military kart.

Race 2 qualifying began with Martin struggling to match his previous pole due to getting unlucky with traffic, this time managing 5th place. The second race played out very similar to the first, however on the mandatory driver change the kart was handling how it should and the kart was now the fastest on the track. After all pit stops were complete it was a sprint to the finish line with the kart now 1st military, but 2nd overall to a civilian team entry, Wraith Racing. With nearly 10 laps to go Liam was nearly 10 seconds down on the Wraith kart but gaining rapidly. By the last lap Liam had narrowed the gap to less than a second. The whole team was on their feet with fingers crossed but it was not to be, Kart 45 finished just 0.7s behind #81 Wraith Racing over a 110-minute race. Finishing 1st Military for 2 out of 2 races and 2nd overall to Wraith in race 2. Liam & Martin go into the final round 5th in the championship standings out of a possible 60+ teams. It’s all still to play for.

Kart #47 with drivers Andy Grant & George Garrett compete in the “Super Category” where approximately 20 teams race for drivers over 85Kgs. It was both drivers first time at the Lydd circuit proving difficult for Andy in qualifying for race one, putting the kart 22nd on the grid. Andy and George both got their heads down and battled through the pack in the first race to gain back 13 places to finish an impressive 9th overall and 2nd in category.

Race 2 saw them up their game in qualifying starting 8th. Andy and George now getting to know the track, crossed the line winning the Super Category Class and finishing 3rd overall military. Andy and George lead the Super Category Championship going into the final round at Rowrah, looking to defend the SC Championship title won last year by Andy and Liam.

Kart #46 driven by Joe Judson & Tom Shelton came in a very respectable 11th in race 1 and improving to 5th military in their 2nd race. Great results for their first season with the team.

Kart #49 Ollie Suatt & Luke Thomson started their day off coming in at 16th then improving in the second race to 10th military. Strong effort by our novice drivers.

Kart #89 Harvey Harris & Ollie Gamble in only their second race showed potential putting in a qualifying lap only 8 tenths off the fastest lap. After trouble in the first corner in race one the kart was repaired quickly by the team and the kart returned to racing to finish race 1. Once again improving and finishing 15th in race 2.

All 5 karts crossed the finish line in both of their races, a massive mechanical achievement and clean driving by all. The team matched their all-time best result leaving Lydd with 7 more trophies to add to the collection.

The team goes into the final round in joint 1st place with REME Corps in the Armed Forces Station/Unit Trophy which takes the highest scoring 2 karts from each team per round to give a total score at the end of the season, a huge final round for the team with everything still to play for.

Anyone wishing to get involved in either racing, becoming a team mechanic or just overall supporting the team at future events should contact PO Liam Waterhouse; karting@rnrmmsa.co.uk or for more details visit https://www.rnrmmsa.co.uk.