While Motor Racing UK is mainly known for covering Touring Car and Club Racing, for 2023 we are going the extra mile to provide some extra coverage for our closest Kart Circuit at Warden Law. Aside from online race reports (covering six of the eight rounds) that will be put in front of Touring Car fans across the country we are also producing a series of videos for the series, and also making sue that the championship receives coverage in our core product – the print magazine ‘Motor Racing UK,’ where the series will sit alongside the stars of the BTCC and TCR UK.

Mick Palmer was at the opening round, and here is how he saw the weekend.

The first round of the brand new Warden Law Kart Club Championship kicked off on March 12th with five classes on track in what can only be considered as a successful start to their 2023 karting season.

The eight round series was lucky to avoid much of the disruptive weather that hit much of the country heading into the weekend, with the majority of the small amount of snow that hit the North East having dissipated before the teams got their karts on track for Saturday free practice.

The new venture, trialling a new Clubmans Kart License for Motorsport UK, marks a return to competitive karting for a series based entirely at the circuit. At a point of the season where various championships are vying for racers to commit to the many different competitions across the country, the new WLKC project delivered on a promise of quality racing at a superb venue with a well run event, which bodes well for further growth before the second round of the year.


Bambino winner Sebastian McCarthy leads Sebastian Crawford – Photo: Palmer/MRUK

The youngest class of karters in the Bambinos had the privilege of being first on track for each stage of the new Warden Law Kart Club Championship. A bright and early start in cold and damp conditions conditions saw Sebastian Crawford head the very first official raceday session of the new series. The time wasn’t representative of the pace that would develop throughout the day, with Crawford topping out the second practice and qualifying – which saw the circuit dry out, and the fastest lap times drop by 20 seconds. The speed that he’d shown in practice did not however translate to the heats and pre-final. Another Sebastian – this time McCarthy – took all three of those events, leading to claiming pole for the final.

Although Freddie Blackshaw got the jump slightly from the standing start it was McCarthy who took the lead into turn one. The youngster would not be headed and immediately pulled away. Behind the lead pair a kerfuffle in the mid pack saw Jamie Walsh finish the first lap in third with Sebastian Crawford chasing him down. Phoebe Rogers was in fifth after being hit on the outside at Senna 1 by Abel Hutton, who recovered from the resulting spin, and was able to make a more successful move for the place on the next lap at Senna 1, but this time on the inside.

McCarthy was relentless in his lapping at the head of the field, building a solid gap over Blackshaw to take chequered flag in the 10 lap final. Blackshaw crossed the line second, with early pace setter Crawford getting past Walsh for third at the end of the day with Hutton and Rogers following.


MicroMax – Lewis Kirkaldy ahead of George Swire – Photo: MRUK/Palmer

Like all of the classes, as the day went on and the track came to the drivers, the pace in MicroMax picked up. In the early running the group was running around the 1m 13s mark, but by qualifying it was down to 1m 01.53s for the fastest time. Drew Davidson grabbed that position but a nudge on the first lap of heat one saw him drop down the order and Alex Goodson take the flag first. In the second heat Logan Rolfe claimed first, which he repeated in the pre-final, to claim pole for the last race of the Micromax schedule.

Goodson joined Rolfe on the front row with Leo Livings and Davidson lining up behind. Lewis Kirkaldy and Jack Moss featured on the third row. A tangle at the first corner shook up the order but Goodson retained his position with second row starter Livings and third row starter Moss trailing in third. For the lead pair there was not going to be much glory. Heading into the fast Back Chicane Livings made a move for the lead which ended in disaster as the karts tangled and came to a halt handing the lead momentarily to Moss. A slight moss of momentum for the would-be-leader opened the door for Kirkaldy – who had begun lap two in fourth to pounce and take the lead.

While the leader made good his escape, the pack behind got stuck into one another. Moss skilfully caught a wild slide halfway around the long left hand Horseshoe corner, but the arrested momentum meant he dropped to fourth, out of contention for a podium, before dropping further down the order. George Swire spent a couple of laps fending off Logan Rolfe, but the positions swapped on lap five and the top trio were cemented for the remainder of the race. Despite building a lead of four seconds by the halfway point Rolfe applied pressure to the leader and managed to half the gap over the last couple of laps, but the assault was too late to stop Kirkaldy from taking the win.


MiniMax Winner Daniel Minto – Photo: MRUK/Palmer

Warden Law stalwart Daniel Minto had his name dominating the timesheets and results all day. With the exception of the second free practice, where the Hunter Motorsport racer did not set a time, his name topped all of the times. That form was carried over to the heats and pre-final where a trio of victories were taken with ease. Jack Collinson followed Minto home in the three contests with Oliver White and Charlie Benson rounded out the the three in the heats with Benson with white adding a third in the pre-final.

The final for the class was a rinse and repeat of the prior proceedings. The grid rolled out of the final turn, and crossing the line to start the race Minto immediately raised a hand giving the ‘follow me’ signal before storming into the first turn with a lead that he would build up to eight seconds by the time the flag fell. It was a well rounded victory, and deserved after the showings in the previous sessions. Collinson and White went toe-to-toe at the start with Collinson defending hard as he went side-by-side with White through both Senna corners. Collinson realised that the pair could not go through the Back Chicane together and let White take the place, but he latched straight onto the rear of the second placed machine with a plan to harry and attack. It was a successful tactic that allowed Collinson to dive inside of White at The Gas Works hairpin on lap three, which set the running order for the podium finishers in the 12 lap contest. Benson came home in fourth, a mere 0.16s behind white, with Aston Browne a further 0.21s in arrears.


Junior Rotax Winner Ethan Head – Photo: MRUK/Palmer

The biggest entry for the inaugural Championship meeting was in the Junior Rotax class where 21 machines took to the circuit. It was a mixed morning with Joe Arnold and Ben Horner topping the times in practice and qualifying, but the races were all about Jay Smith and Ethan Head. The first heat went the way of Smith with Head answering back in the second. Smith took the pre-final and pole position for the final face off.

When the get go was given Head got away better and for all intents and purposes that was that for the win. Smith followed with Jack Hobson and Kacper Tomalewski in tow. After bringing the heat into the tyres over the first two laps Head was metronomic. For 11 laps he was the only racer to keep every circuit under 52 seconds, with 10 of those within 0.25s of each other. Smith tried to keep up with the pace but by the flag was 3.55s behind. Hobson led Tomalewski for the first seven laps before the pair swapped positions, Hobson fought back to retake the place two laps later and they crossed the line with a 0.08s gap between them.


Senior Rotax winner Morgan Porter dives inside Thomas Wood – Photo: MRUK/Palmer

One intriguing thread about the race weekend was that Morgan Porter had Joined forces with Hunter Motorsport. After a career as a rival to both Rhys and Kai the 2020 Senior Rotax champion said that “After I stopped racing Rotax I became friends with the people that you’re almost enemies with, and I became good friends with Rhys, and things happened quite quickly.”

Quickly was the key word for Porter over the raceday. After topping practice one and qualifying (Max Kettle topped the second session) it was all one way traffic for being first across the line. Although Porter had been the class of the field – taking both heats, the pre-final and final, Scottish racer Angus Scrivner kept close enough to take second place in each of those events, and make sure that the leader didn’t have a chance to back off, even as a light shower arrived at the beginning of the final. Thomas Wood took third in the last two races of the day with Max Kettle following home in fourth.










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