Race Report: 2023 Southern Championship


Round 5 of the Total Karting Zero Regional Championship saw drivers head to the outskirts of London for an action packed weekend at Rye House. This high speed circuit also has plenty of tight sections that kept our competitors on their toes! The weather also played its part in proceedings with changeable conditions through the day on Sunday mixing up the packs and leading to some great racing across the board!


Our youngest drivers went into their pre-final with just 7 tenths separating the top three and the promise of a spectacular battle was well lived up to by everyone involved. Xavier Ramsey started on pole and managed to successfully see off advances from William Robinson and Ahriv Jarush before opening up a gap around lap 4 and holding his composure to secure the win. Whilst William and Ahriv jostled for position, swapping between themselves on a number of occasions, the persistent battling presented Daniel Genov with the opportunity to make up some ground after an unfortunate start to the race and re-join the fight for the top three, trading position with Ahriv a number of times over the last three laps he crossed the line in 4th but was elevated to 3rd after Ahriv was deemed by the officials to have used contact to pass Daniel on the last lap. Elsewhere Jenson Quy, George Rogers, Tinaye Binikwa and Samuel Kai Sultan held their starting positions to the chequered flag.


During the final Xavier continued his dominant performance, leading from the first lap to the last to claim victory. Behind him the race was filled with action and drama - Ahriv made contact with Daniel again before going on to put in a solid drive for the remainder of the race and cross the line in provisional P2. This time on turn one Daniel was able to rejoin the action in 7th and begin his attempt to battle his way forward. William put on the defensive performance of his life to keep George behind for 8 laps before eventually conceding the position and unfortunately spinning whilst making a valiant attempt to regain it. After dropping down to last on the opening tour of the circuit, Jenson managed to claw his way back up to 4th, a great recovery! Tinaye Binikwa, making his debut outing with TKZ, gave a great account of himself throughout the weekend and after trying his best to maintain P5, he couldn't quite make it stick during the final laps and crossed the line in 7th. The top three were Xavier Ramsey in 1st, George Rogers in 2nd and Ahriv Jarush 3rd after receiving a position penalty for the incident on lap one.


Ronnie Jones had a championship debut to remember after putting his kart on pole for the pre-final, but an early incident saw him lose his advantage and drop down to 4th on lap one, but a great recovery saw him take P2 at the flag. Jake Matthews took advantage, entering P1 and holding it for the remainder of the race. A solid drive from Zac Bell starting from P5 and making the most of the lap one drama climbed up to P2 on the first tour before dropping down to P3 and making it his own by the end of the race. Cody Trace and Deno Rowlands had an eight-lap battle for P4 that culminated in the latter settling for P5. Tyler Knickelbein, Fawaz Adra and Ethan Critchley swapped positions amongst themselves throughout the race finishing in P7, P8 and P9 respectively. Track conditions had changed by the time that the cadets were out for their final and the damp track had its impact on proceedings.


Jake Matthews had Ronnie Jones hot on his heels for the duration of the final with a maximum gap of 5 tenths. As Ronnie was piling on the pressure, Jake kept his cool and held the lead crossing the line in P1 after leading every lap of the race and Ronnie settling for a well-deserved P2. Cody Trace started in P5 but made the most of his favoured conditions by climbing to P3 on lap one. After chasing down the leaders, a yellow flag in the last section on the final lap put a stop to his aspirations of last lap heroics, and he crossed the line taking the final step on the podium. Deno Rowlands took P4, Ethan Critchley P5, Zac Bell P6 and Leonidas P7 after a dramatic race that saw the four drivers swap positions between themselves on all bar two laps of the ten-lap race. The cadets certainly know how to put on a show!


Thomas Meritt’s P1 in qualifying saw him put an end to the bad luck he has previously encountered when racing at Rye House, a change in fortune that he would continue by leading the pre-final from the first lap to the last despite the change in track conditions. Myles Harrison and Jacob Brown fought for P2 until a mechanical issue put an end to Jacob’s race on lap 7. Myles crossed the line in P2 with Felix Smedley taking P3 after a consistent drive in the tricky conditions. Henry Eaton held his starting position to take P4 in class after overcoming early struggles in the race. In the final, Jacob Brown had a strong start, climbing from P5 to P2 on the opening lap and was never more than 5 tenths behind Thomas Merrit. Despite Jacob’s pressure on the leader for 12 laps, Thomas kept his cool to bring home the win on what turned out to be a dominant day for the driver in his first Junior Light Championship. Myles Harrison had an uneventful race but put in a consistent drive to bring his kart home in a well-deserved P3. Felix Smedley and Henry Eaton took P5 and P6 respectively.


Qualifying saw William Sparrow continuing with his championship charge by putting himself on pole for the pre-final, while his title contender Joao Gabriel Castro could only manage to qualify P10 in the A final, leaving himself with a lot of work to do to avoid his closest rival opening a gap in the championship table. Sienna Green secured her highest starting position to date, the Idris Elba Speed Academy driver claiming P4 in the A final after a strong outing in qualifying. As the drivers left the pit lane onto a dry track the weather once more had its say with the track turning wet before the competitors had even made it to the starting grid. The conditions played perfectly into the hands of TKZ debutant Mikey Theo who adjusted perfectly and made the most of early incidents for the drivers in front to make P1 his own and continue to open a gap until the end of the race. The front row starters of William Sparrow and Leo Bell dropped down to P7 and P8 respectively on lap one, although both drivers made a strong recovery with William crossing the line in P2 after a extremely determined drive, and Leo took P6 after some close racing. Joao Gabriel Castro put on a stunning performance after his qualifying disappointment taking P3, right behind his rival William, the battle was still on!


Ashley Eudo Mitchel took P4 and Finley Dunleavy P5, both drivers showing their experience driving on slicks in wet conditions! Sienna Greene was unable to make the most of her strong starting position due to having little experience driving on a wet track but showed signs of improvement crossing the line in P8. In the final, Joao Gabriel Castro made sure to take his chances and passed P1 and P2 on the opening tour to make the lead his own, and a flawless drive saw him maintain his lead whilst Mikey Theo and William Sparrow battled for position behind him, a battle that eventually saw William come out on top and claim P2. Ashley Eudo Mitchell also found his way past Mikey on lap 8 to take P3 and round off the podium. A strong performance was put on by both drivers who started at the back of the grid. After a frustrating Pre-Final, Paloma Jacoulot had all but secured P5 by the end of lap 2 with Sienna Greene finishing P6 to round off an impressive weekend.

See all your standings on Alpha here and we look forward to more close racing at the final Round of the Southern Championship on the 17th of September at Ellough Park.

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