Oxford’s karting team enjoyed their most successful
season so far in the highly competitive British University
Karting Championship, beating the Tabs in five out of six rounds. The championship, which visits the best karting tracks in the
country and uses two-stroke karts capable of 85mph and 0-60 in 4
seconds, attracts competitors with a wealth of professional
motorsport experience including Le Mans 24Hr, GT racing, Formula
3 and even the winner of the Channel 5 reality TV show ‘Be A
Grand Prix Driver’. With drivers of this standard, Oxford
were expecting a tough season; however on a number of occasions
they showed the pace and talent to run near the front of the 48
four-driver teams from 25 universities competing. Bayford Meadows in Kent was the venue for the opening round,
and the team struggled for consistency, messing up three of the
four individual races with only the writer scoring a decent
result in 14th. Round 2 at Rye House, Hertfordshire brought
further ill luck, as three of the team were given black flags and
penalties after collisions with other drivers. The Championship then moved to Warden Law near Sunderland for
rounds 3 and 4, and local boy Adam Craig proved the star. He
raced away into the lead of his first race, leaving all the pros
behind – until with just two laps to go he spun, dropping to
5th – still a great result. He followed that up with
Oxford’s first ever podium in 2nd in his other race – a
superb performance. Clay Pigeon in Dorset rounded off the season by hosting the
final two rounds in Noughth week. The team still had some work to
do to ensure victory over Cambridge, and once again the 30 minute
individual races proved tricky despite the writer’s best
ever result in 9th place, with the other drivers each having
problems. That left two one-hour pair races, and Marcus Haggers
and James Brown did a brilliant job to finish 12th in theirs,
despite spinning once and having started last on the grid, they
slashed their way relentlessly through the field. The other two drivers then scored a brilliant 7th place in the
final race of the season, keeping pace with the professionals all
the way to conclude the team’s best ever day and season in
the championship. The victory over Cambridge was well-deserved
and provides great expectation for the Varsity Karting race.ARCHIVE: 2nd week TT 2004