Blue Bulls Karting Team Charge to Victory!
RAF Marham Blue Bulls Karting Team has won the 2016 RAFMSA Inter-Service Endurance Karting Championship!
The championship is contested over 7 (6 to score) rounds all over the UK alongside established MSA Club meetings, including rounds in Scotland and Wales. Each round scores points towards both individual and team standings. The karts used are a twin engined ProKart with 2 Honda GX160 race tuned engines capable of speeds up to 55mph!
53 teams from the RAF, NAVY, and ARMY made up of over 150 drivers compete to become the champions and this year, RAF Marham Blue Bulls dominated the championship from start to finish.
At each round, RAF Marham enters 4 karts with up to 4 drivers each to share the 2-3 hour races. The top two karts from all teams count towards championship points. The following table details the finishing positions of the individual karts.
Rounds 1 & 2. A great start to the season saw the Blue Bulls take home maximum points at Larkhall & Three Sisters.
Round 3. The third round was set to be the best result in the team’s history with three karts running in 1st, 2nd and 3rd at the half way point. However, it wasn’t to be as the heavens opened and flooded three of the kart’s engines along with the chances of a 1, 2, 3 finish.
What started out as a dream season had quickly become a salvage operation, putting pressure on the drivers to maximise the points haul in the remaining races.
Round 4, Victory! The team bounce back with an excellent win at Dunkeswell to boost confidence.
Round 5 saw RAF Waddington in a league of their own with lap times that Marham could not match. Fortunately, RAF Waddington’s second kart was further down the order, meaning Marham still took victory with karts 40 & 41 coming 2nd and 3rd overall respectively.
Round 6 was RAF Marham’s dropped round as the championship regulations require each team to nominate a round which will not count towards the championship. This has to be done prior to the first round of the season. Despite this, the Blue Bulls took another victory, showing the rest of the field that even when there are no trophies or points to be won, RAF Marham are in it to win it!
Round 7. This round was an entirely new format, with the RAFMSA running the whole weekends racing without any help from the local club which is usually the case. It consisted of three races over two days in which each kart would compete in two races.
The pressure was on; nobody was quite sure what we had to do to secure the championship ahead of RAF Waddington, our closest rival. A DNF for any of the karts could mean we may lose the championship due to our bad round at Fulbeck. Nerves were high and with a few scary incidents in practice, one of which resulted in having to weld repair a kart and another which nearly resulted in a bent rear axle on kart 40, things were getting tense!
Thankfully, some excellent performances from all of the team meant that after the first two races, things were looking promising to take the victory.
For the third and final race of the season, kart 40 and 41 started 1st & 2nd on the grid with 42 in 7th and 43 in 21st.
Some great racing and consistent lap times with some of the slickest pit stops of the season meant that by the end of the 2 hour race, we had only dropped one position with kart 41 dropping to third after having engine trouble.
And that’s it, it’s in the bag! Get in!
Out of 7 rounds the Blue Bulls took 6 victories, an amazing achievement made possible by all of the hard work of the RAF Marham Kart Club’s members.
Alongside the RAF endurance championship, Personnel from RAF Marham also took part in the Premier championship. The championship is run over the same weekend as the endurance, visiting the same locations. These karts are 2-stroke single engined, monsters capable of speeds up to 80mph so not for the feint hearted!
The grid consists of 22 Drivers from all 3 services and personnel associated with the services (i.e. BAE). Out of the 22 drivers Marham put forward 6. 4 of them were new to the series so were novices for the first year.
Round 1. Saw a strong performance from all drivers. Cpl Daniels collected silverware for a 2nd place and SAC (T) Scott picked up the Best novice trophy.
Round 2. Mixed results due to changing weather conditions over the course of the day. But SAC (T) Scott managed to take a 3rd and another Best novice trophy.
Round 3. Back to strong performances again at our local track and we managed to secure 4 trophies thanks to Mr Hilton’s 3rd Cpl Daniels 4th and SAC (T) Small collecting 1st Novice and SAC(T) Scott taking 2nd novice.
Round 4. Difficult race for some due to a good performance from the entire grid but still walked away with another novice trophy for SAC (T) Scott (there is a theme here).
Round 5. Good pace from all and a 1st! Great pace meant Cpl Daniels took home 1st and Mr Wood took 4th and the Best novice trophy.
Round 6. Ending on a High. A 1st for Cpl Daniels and a 2nd for SAC (T) Scott. Also CPL Daniels collected RAF Individual Champion trophy and SAC (T) Scott secured the Best Novice of the Year Trophy.
RAF Marham Kart Club would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our supporters for making the years racing possible. It’s been a season with highs and lows, with plenty of laughs along the way!
So, in no particular order we would like to thank:
RAF Marham Ped Flt
RAF Sports Lottery
Busy Bee Photography
RAF Karting Media (Cpl Thomas Singleton).
We would also like to thank all of the individuals who have given up their time to help out in the paddock; at times this area was equally as important as the performance on track.
Becks Louise Hilton
To learn more about karting in the RAF, search for RAF Karting, RAF Karting Media or RAFMSA on Facebook.
If you would like to find out more about the RAF Marham Kart Club or get involved, visit our MOSS page in the Sports & Social section of the RAF Marham MOSS site.