The Ultimate Karting Championship 2023 started in UK

Columns: Races
This weekend the 2023 UKC season got underway with a thrilling weekend at the Whilton Mill Kart Club in Northamptonshire with drivers in Honda & Rotax classes all with the ambition of being crowned the Ultimate Karting Champion! (E.C.)

The Ultimate Karting Championship 2023 will be contested over 6 rounds in England & Scotland. The championship is run independently & uses a very unquie format of racing for the UK by way of a series of mixed heats a super heat and a Grand Final. The championship has been very popular amongst drivers and teams over the past few seasons & for 2023 the UKC has had 272 drivers enter the championship across 6 different classes.
The first final of the 2023 season started with Ryan White (Privateer) on pole position with Theo Bradshaw (Zip Factory Team) alongside him on the front row. 
The 18 Honda Cadet drivers all lined-up on the grid for a standing start before lights out.  White retained the lead off the line with Bradshaw in 2nd and Bella Fairclough moving into 3rd after lining-up 6th on the grid. 
In to sector 3 on the first lap Fairclough made a move on Bradshaw to move into 2nd and completed lap one 4 places up on her starting position. 
This gave White a 0.6 second lead with Fairclough, Bradshaw and Ashley Haase (Zip Factory Team) just behind.  Fairclough set about closing the gap to the race lead and on the 3rd lap Fairclough made her move to take over the lead with White now in second and Bradshaw still in third.  On lap 5 Bradshaw made his move on 2nd place White while Fairclough set the fastest lap of the race and extending the gap between first and second to 0.7 seconds.  The top three would remain in the same order for another 6 laps with Bradshaw and White starting to work together to close the gap to the race lead with both drivers wishing to retake the lead of this Honda Cadet Final. By lap 11 the they had caught Fairclough and teammate Bradshaw made his move for the lead with just 2 minutes of the race remaining.  Meanwhile White who had now set the fastest lap of the race closed up behind Fairclough and was in a position to make a move on the Zip drivers to reorganise the order on the podium again.  On the final lap the White continued to push very hard and managed to half the gap between first and second but unfortunately for him it was not quite enough.  Theo Bradshaw took the win followed by Ryan White and Bella Fairclough to complete the podium 11 seconds ahead of 4th place Ashley Haase.

Daniel Kilpatrick (DHR) lined-up on pole position for the MiniMAX Super Final with Andrew Dixon (Kart Tech Motorsport) alongside in second.  Lucas Blantford (Privateer) had been forced to sit out of a number of races over the weekend with a wrist injury but was fit enough to race the final and he lined up in 9th places on the grid.  Drama for Charlie Vairy (ST Racing) on the grid before the race had even began left him having to surrender his earned starting position of 3rd place and Vairy started the final at the back of the grid.  Dixon managed to get the jump across the line to take the lead into turn 1 with Daniel Hartley (Kato Motor Sport) moving into second.  By the end of the first sector of the race Kilpatrick re-claimed second place from Hartley but the opening lap drama was not finished yet. Kilpatrick re-took the lead of the race with Dixon back in second position and Hartley in 3rd.  But with a great run out of the final corner into turn 1 Hartley took second place away from Dixon who now had Zac McDonald and Euan House (Saltire Motorsport) very close behind.  But almost immediately Dixon re-took 2nd place from Hartley as they now set about closing in on Kilpatrick.  As the battle for 2nd place continued Vairy continued to move up the order to find himself in 3rd place by lap 3.  On lap 6 Vairy had caught second place Dixon and made his move into Christmas corner.  Meanwhile Blantford, from who also started at the back of the grid was on a charge and was now up into 4th place.  With over 7 minutes of racing still remaining and a top results still very possible he didn’t waste too much time in getting past Dixon to move up on to the podium.  Now Kilpatrick continued to lead with Vairy & Blantford behind to complete the podium positions.  The top three separated by just 2 seconds.  Vairy had one mission and that was to close the gap down to the race lead.  He set the fastest lap of the race and by lap 13 had closed to within 0.086 seconds of Kilpatrick but now also setting fastest laps close behind was Blantford who had closed up to Vairy now separating the top three by just 0.3 seconds.  On lap 14 Vairy tried to pass Kilpatrick in sector two but this left him vulnerable to Blantford and rather than gain a position he lost one now moving him into 3rd place. All this gave Blantford an opportunity to fight for the race lead but it also allowed Hartley to catch-up to the top three.  With three laps to go Blantford made his move for the race lead on Kilpatrick and he would not be challaged again.  Lucas Blantford (Privateer) took the race win & the fastest lap after missing most of the weekends racing with Daniel Kilpatrick (DHR) coming home in second and Charlie Vairy (ST Racing) also starting at the back of the grid completing the podium. 

Mini Inter
A perfect weekend so far for Jacob Ashcroft (DHR) saw him start on pole position for the Mini Inter Final with teammate Finlay Lines (DHR) alongside. 
The Synergy Race Team locked out the 2nd row with Luca Homes-Balac and Charlie Woolfitt starting 3rd & 4th.  The inside row had a great start and Ashcroft continued to lead now with Thomas Hill (Zip Factory Team) from 5th on the starting grid moving into 2nd place & Homes-Balac into 3rd.  Down into Ashby corner on lap two the Synergy karts of Homes-Balac and Woolfitt made their moves on Hill to take 2nd and 3rd places allowing Charlie Kiteley (KR-Sport) also to catch-up and move into 4th place
One lap later Woolfitt overtook his teammate allowing Kiteley to go with him. The battle for 2nd place continued with Woolfitt, Kiteley and Oliver Majewski (KR-Sport) now into 4th position starting to break away from 5th place. 
With just under 7 minutes of the race remaining Kiteley took 2nd place from Woolfitt also allowing teammate Majewski to move up into 3rd.   Just a lap later Majewski overtook his teammate to move into 2nd place again allowing the kart behind now Woolfitt though as well. All of this battling allowing Homes-Balac, Lines and Hill now in 5th, 6th & 7th to all start closing in on the podium places and with 2 minutes remaining devastation for Kiteley as he pulled over to the side of the track to retire from the race. Now Majewski in second followed by Woolfitt and Homes-Balac continued in formation but on the final lap Majewski started to defend his second position, but this allowed the two Synergy teammates to work together and find a gap allowing them both through and forcing Majewski down into fourth. Jacob Ashcroft took the win to complete his perfect weekend and he was joined by the two Synergy teammates on the podium with Charlie Woolfitt and Luca Homes-Balac taking 3rd place. 
A great job from Oliver Majewski to bring his KR-Sport kart home in 4th making 10 places from his original grid position. 

Jenson Chalk (MLC Motorsport) started from pole position with Oliver Spencer (Synergy Race Team) starting alongside.  Chalk retained the lead on lap 1 followed by Theo Bradshaw (Zip Factory Team) and Emerson MacAndrew-Uren just behind.  On lap two MacAndrew-Uren made his move on Bradshaw to take 2nd place and set-up closing the gap to the 0 Plate Jenson Chalk.  Just one lap later MacAndrew-Ure set the fastest lap and later took the lead away from pole sitter Chalk. 
The top three of MacAndrew-Ure, Chalk & Bradshaw would remain unchanged for next 5 laps until Colbe Pattison (TGM) joined the party to take the final podium position away from Bradshaw.  He dived up the inside of Bradshaw now with 2nd place in his sights.  Pattison the tried serval moves on on Chalk but a cool head from Chalk allowed him to retain 2nd place for a bit longer.  On Lap 10 Oliver Spencer made a move on Pattison at the final corner to retake 3rd place but just a few corners later Pattison made a move into sector 3 to repass Spencer also bringing Bradshaw through with him.  All of this gave the two leaders of MacAndrew-Ure and Chalk a 1.5 second lead with just under 2 and a half minutes of race time remaining.  The top three remained unchanged until the final lap.  MacAndrew-Ure continued to lead the first sector with Chalk very close behind.  MacAndrew-Ure successfully defended the lead into Christmas corner but just two corners later Chalk cut back on a defensive MacAndrew-Ure to take the lead with just half a lap remaining.  All this allowed Pattison and Spencer to close in on the top two. MacAndrew-Ure immediately tried to retake the lead from Chalk but whilst the top two were fighting for the lead they ran slightly wide, and a very opportunistic Colbe Pattison managed to sweep around the outside of both of them also allowing Oliver Spencer to follow him through.  Colbe Pattison (TGM) took the race win from Oliver Spencer (Synergy Race Team) but the action was not over yet. 
Chalk in sector three tried one final move to finish on the podium but again ran wide allowing 5th place Bradshaw to also have a go at passing MacAndrew-Ure.  All three karts ran wide out of the final corner, and it was MacAndrew-Ure who took 3rd place from Bradshaw in 4th and 5th place went to Chalk.  The three drivers separated by just 0.15 seconds as they crossed the line!

Senior MAX
Kai Hunter (DHR) took pole position with Lucas Ellingham (JDR) alongside on the front row.  Hunter retained the lead into turn 1 and was followed by Lorenzo Kordal (Kato Motor Sport) but almost immediately Ellingham set about taking back his 2nd place.  Kordal moved back into 3rd with Sean Butcher (KR-Sport) in 4th.  On lap two Butcher made his move into the podium position and set about catching the top two.  Hunter whose pace all weekend had been very strong was starting to come under pressure from Ellingham.  Hunter started to defend the lead allowing Butcher, Kordal and Stephen Letts (KR-Sport) and James Lowther (Coles Racing) to all start closing up on the lead two.  On lap three Ellingham dived down the inside of Hunter forcing them both to run wide allowing Letts into the lead from 5th place.  Ellingham now in 2nd, Kordal now in 3rd, Hunter.  But then just two corners later contact between Kordal & Ellingham changed everything again as Ellingham span out losing 26 places.  All of this gave Letts a huge lead from Kordal in 2nd, Leo Brown (Jaxx Motorsport) in 3rd place, Steven Duncan (Privateer) in 4th, Pierson Bullock-Carter (Jaxx Motorsport) in 5th, Hunter now in 6th and Butcher in 7th.  Hunters race was just about to get even worse as a collision with Bullock-Carter on lap 5 forced Hunter to retire for the race leaving the pole sitter on the side of the track with damage to his kart.  While all of this was happening the battel for 1st was heating up with Kordal closing the gap to the race leader Letts with Brown just behind in 3rd place.  With 6 minutes 40 on the race clock Kordal took the race lead but not for long as Letts dived up the inside of turn two to retake the lead and this time he was followed by Brown to move in to 2nd place. 
Just a few corners later this lap had its third race leader.  It was Browns turn to take the lead.  Kordal followed him through, and Letts moved back to third.  All of this battling was allowing Butcher now in 4th to catch the podium sitters. Butcher wasted no time in getting past teammate Letts and now was fully focused on 2nd place Kordal.  With 3 minutes remaining Butcher took 2nd place from Kordal and just a few corners later took the lead away from Brown and was followed by Kordal who retook 2nd place.  With just over 2 minutes left Butcher lead from Kordal, Brown and Letts before Letts pulled off a move around the outside of Christmas coner to take 3rd place from Brown and at the next corner Letts took 2nd place away from Kordal.  After all this action the top four would not change again.  Sean Butcher (KR-Sport) took the race win and fastest lap from teammate Stephen Letts (KR-Sport), Lorenzo Kordal (Kato Motor Sport) in 3rd and Leo Brown (Jaxx Motorsport) in 4th all covered by just 0.9 seconds across the line. 

Junior MAX
JuniorMAX took to the track for the final race of the event with Jack Hobson (Ultimate-R) on pole position.  Olly Stevens (DHR) and Finn Leslie (Kato Motor Sport) round out the top 3.  Devastating for Leslie as his kart broke down on the formation lap.  With just 3 corners to go before the start of the race Leslie pulled over to the side of the track and retired from the race.  Once the race got underway it was pole sitter Hobson who retained the lead from Deacon Russell (Jaxx Motorsport) & Freddie Ingram (KR-Sport).  By the end of the first lap Hobson was leading with Ingram close behind, then a little further back was Stevens, Adam Wooden (KR-Sport) & Russell.  The top three remained in formation until lap 6 when the order totally changed.  Ingram took the lead at Christmas corner sending Hobson back to 2nd and straight away Harrison Whitticombe (Argenti Motorsport) in 4th overtook Stevens down the inside of Ashby to move up into the podium places On lap 8 Hobson re-claimed the lead of the race while Stevens also re-claimed 3rd and Archie Clark (KR-Sport) moving up to 4th sending Whitticombe back to 5th Ingram wasted no time in getting back into the lead though as exactly one lap later he overtook Hobson again and started to defend his position.  This allowed the top 9 drivers to all catch-up and at this point the top 9 karts were separated by just 1.5 seconds. Then once again another change for the lead as Hobson passed Ingram but this time it also allowed Stevens through into 2nd.
At this point Hobson led from Stevens, Ingram now in 3rd, Whitticombe 4th and Clark in 5th.  However in sector two the top 5 would change again has Ingram overtook Stevens for 2nd but Stevens very keen to reclaim 2nd place tried a move at the next corner forcing Ingram to take a wide line.  He tried to take the lead whilst on the outside but this forced both Ingram & Hobson wide allowing Stevens to slide up the inside with Clark following him through Hobson went back into 3rd before just 1 corner later Ingram made another move on him to take 3rd which also allowed Ingrams teammate Wooden to take 4th, Jack Thompson into 5th, Russell into 6th, Hobson now in 7th and Whitticombe into 8th The top 12 karts now separated by under 2 seconds. 
 With 4 minutes remaining Stevens was trying to keep the two KR-Sport teammates behind. The two KR-Sport karts swapped positions with Ingram moving into 2nd and Clark now in 3rd before just 2 corners later the two karts swapped again.  All of this allowed Thompson to start putting them under pressure but also it allowed Stevens to start pulling away.  Just as Jack Thompsons race was starting to build, a technical failure took him out of the race which promoted Charles Green (BKC Racing) into 4th and Russell into 5th.  With just 1 minute of race time remaning the two KR-Sport karts passed Stevens to take the lead of the race with Clark now leading from Ingram and Stevens in 3rd.
Ingram then lunged down the inside of Clark to re-take the lead with Stevens & Green following through.Freddie Ingram (KR-Sport) took the chequered flag to win the JuniorMAX final followed home by Olly Stevens (DHR) and Charles Green (BKC Racing) who made up 16 places from his starting grid to complete the podium. 
Round 2 of the 2023 Ultimate Karting Championship will take place at Larkhall in Scotland on 30th April. 

Photocredit: Traction Media 

Created by: fmarangon2 - 04/04/23

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