New Alternate Layout

Formula Fast are excited to announce that a brand new ‘Alternate’ layout has been confirmed for BRKC 2016, following successful advance testing at Milton Keynes this week.

You’ll get a chance to drive it first-hand during BRKC Friday Practice in January, but the circuit is already an immediate hit with our team, presenting new overtaking opportunities with a technically challenging sequence of corners leading onto the main straight. The new layout will replace last year’s Alternate circuit.

The Alternate layout will be used for two out of the four qualifying heats, making it an integral part of the BRKC format. Introduced for the first time in the 2015 Championship, the Alternate track configuration is designed to give drivers a fresh challenge, as well as leveling the playing field for those who haven’t had as many miles on the standard circuit.

The Alternate circuit will not be available to drivers in any non-BRKC events, although drivers do have their first chance to see the new track this Sunday evening during the only BRKC dedicated practice before the main event. Those who can’t make it to this month’s session will be given priority for any spare slots on the Alternate layout during BRKC Friday practice.

There are still spaces available – give yourself the edge on the grid for 2016 and call the circuit on 01908 904111 now to book your space.

alternate track BRKC 2016

F.L.A.P.S Testing

Formula Fast took delivery of the first prototype of the purpose-built laser pitstop system this week – an exciting new development for BRKC 2016. Initial testing was extremely successful, and the team managed to capture some footage for a sneaky preview of how the system is coming along.

F.L.A.P.S (Foolproof Laser Activated Pitstop System) is designed to aid competitors and ensure ultimate fairness for the compulsory pitstop required of each driver during a BRKC race.

Through the use of precision laser technology, the traffic light display a red ‘stop’ light for a predetermined amount of time when a driver enters the pit box. Provided the driver is still within the box, the light will then turn to a green ‘go’ light, allowing the driver to proceed.

If the driver overshoots the box within the time, the yellow ‘false start’ light is triggered indicating the driver must complete an additional pit stop.

F.L.A.P.S removes the human element (marshal determining stop, go & false starts) from a pitstop, which – whilst successful up until now – cannot match an accurately timed system built to ensure every pitstop is identical.

The team at Formula Fast are finalising the mounting and positioning of F.L.A.P.S before final testing in a live race event later this year. More updates will follow!

Interview with Greg Laporte


In 2015 several former World champions competed in the BRKC. We spoke to 2008 Indoor Kart World Champion Greg Laporte about his experience of the championship.

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BRKC: Tell us a little bit about your role with the Kart World Championship.
GL: I am part of the KWC Committee that was founded towards the end of 2007, when the KWC started hosting it events all over the globe, after the initial 3 events on Northern American soil. In this committee, I contribute as an advisor, making rule suggestions, improvements based on event experiences, and I try to help find new locations as well that would be suitable for hosting a big event like the KWC. There are many great tracks around the world, but karts, kart levelling, facilities, are all as important than the track layout itself. So during the year I try and help out the KWC group as much as possible, whilst during the events itself, I’m a competitor where I have no influence on any kind of decisions.

 


 

BRKC: How did BRKC compare with other similar national qualifiers?
GL: I really enjoyed competing in BRKC, even making it to the finals which had some national & international greats there. It was very challenging, which is what we love the most right? Compared to other national qualifiers (I did the Belgian & Italian series), I must say the level of drivers was similar, but the event managing in BRKC was top notch. The timing schedule was excellent. However, what sets BRKC apart is the live commenting during races, driver interviews and the livestream & live timing. This is a great plus and makes the experience for all drivers extra special. I’m definitely coming back to BRKC if my job allows for it.
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BRKC: What advice would you give to a driver competing for the first time in a high level indoor competition?
GL: First of all I would advise every driver to drive as much as possible on different tracks (different karts, surface). Mainly because in the big competitions you will have to race guys who do so much racing all over Europe and the World. All the top guys adjust very fast to a new track, new surface, new karts – so it’s very important to understand quickly what makes you fast, and what doesn’t. Simply trying your best isn’t enough – it really takes dedication and even studying to make it to the top.
I would also advise drivers to watch as many races as possible when you’re not driving yourself. To see what lines drivers are taking, to see where overtaking manouvres pay off and when they don’t, to see what pit strategies work best, etc. You really can learn a lot just with your eyes. Also, most drivers are as passionate as you are, so they will never act weirdly when you simply walk up to them and ask them some questions. Me & my teammates do nothing else but talk trajectories and what works & what doesn’t. This saves us a lot of time because we don’t have to learn everything individually.
Finally, the ultimate key to success will be consistancy, which means being able to resist pressure. You must learn to do your races, regardless who is around you. If it’s a reigning champion, an ex F1-driver, or a rookie, they are just adversaries like all others, and that is something really important. You have to show respect, obviously, but never too much. Be selfish, you want to win, so you must do everything it takes and not be overwhelmed by some ‘big-name’. Fast laps, lap after lap, plus good racecraft and strategy will bring you success. Nothing else.

 


 

 

BRKC: What impressed you most about BRKC in 2015?
GL: The level of dedication by the BRKC people (organisers, staff) and the Formula Fast crew. This combination of a serious organisation team plus dedicated track owners were the key to success for BRKC 2015 in my opinion. Obviously the great level and number of drivers made it something special as well.

Interview conducted in April 2015

New Pitstop System for 2016

BRKC races feature one compulsory pitstop to add a tactical element to the racing.

Pitstop strategy is crucial, and BRKC 2016 will feature an all new technological innovation for precise measurement of each driver’s pitstop.

As the driver enters the ‘stop box’ in the pitlane, a laser activates a red traffic light instructing the driver to stop. After a pre-determined time on ‘stop’, the system activates a green light allowing the driver to continue.

A false start will trigger a separate warning light, notifying both officials and drivers that they must pit again to complete a full stop.

Check out the animation for the new system below:

 

Double Dutch For Ruben

Dutchman Ruben Boutens took an impressive victory in the
Grand Final at BRKC 2015 in Milton Keynes, after passing
the hugely impressive Ed White for the lead on lap two.

Having lead the standings for much of the weekend with a
flawless record of five poles and five wins from five races,
White took a searing pole position for the final race but
was unable to halt the charge of the reigning BRKC
champion Boutens.

After a battle with Mathias Grooten which eventually
ended in White’s favour, the two frontrunners Boutens and
White  lapped in clear air and looked set to finish in that
order. However, Stefan Verhofste’s early pit stop strategy
paid off handsomely, slotting him into second place after
starting from sixth and pushing Grooten down the order to
fourth.

Ruben Boutens walked away with the £900 cash prize and
all three podium finishers will head to the Kart World
Championship in Italy this summer free of charge.

How to make a weighted seat

So you’ve signed up for the best rental kart championship in the country. You’ve bought a cool new race suit, booked yourself some practice – and you can almost taste Formula Fast’s famous pizza. But there’s a problem: You’re 60kg and people have been talking about a standard minimum weight for drivers of 90kg.

 


 

The solution? Create a weighted seat. Now first we should point out that the Formula Fast are able to supply you with up to 20kg of lead blocks to fit in the sidepods, so in our example above, the driver would only require an additional 10kg of weight. However, it’s up to you how much of your additional weight comes in the form of a weighted seat. We’ve seen drivers with 5kg-30kg over the years. As long as the seat is deemed safe and presentable by the officials, you will be able to use it at BRKC.

 


 

Where to start?

 

The first port of call when starting this little project is getting hold of the seat itself. We recommend a Tillet kart seat, preferably Medium/Large or smaller depending on your size. If you’re lucky enough to know some ‘owner driver’ karters, pester them for one of their old damaged seats. Since you aren’t bolting it to the rental karts, it doesn’t need to be in the same condition as on an ‘owner kart’.

However, most drivers will find a seat on Ebay. Don’t pay more than around £30 for one – and never buy a brand new seat unless money really is no object.

Seat

 


 

Next

Now you’ve gotten hold of a seat, you’ll need to attach the weight. This should be in the form of lead sheet which can be purchased at any builders’ merchant. For 10kg, you should expect to pay around £30. It may be worth speaking to local roofing companies (get the yellow pages out!) to see if they have any old offcuts of lead you can have for free.

Attach the lead to the back and the sides of the seat with strong adhesive (No More Nails etc.) and allow to dry. Different drivers have different opinions about the best place to attach the weight – high, low, left, right etc. Why not start a discussion on the Facebook group to see what suits you best?

 

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Finally

The final thing you will need to do is cover the back of the seat (i.e. the lead) with carpet or soft fabric. This is to avoid scratching the rental kart seat. Carpet shops usually have plenty of off-cuts which they can give you for free. Ask other drivers how they made theirs.

Make sure the seat fits snugly into a rental kart seat by visiting your local track and trying it out! Adding some car washing sponges under the carpet on either side usually helps in this endeavour if your seat is pretty small.

 

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WELL DONE! You’re a professional rental karter. Post some pictures of your creation on the BRKC Facebook group. Now where was that pizza…?

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Ruben’s Dutch Courage

BRKC 2014 – Grand Final – Race Report by Andrew Duff

And then there were ten.

Bradley Philpot, Russell Endean, Michael Weddell, Annelien Boutens, Ruben Boutens, Ted Monfils, Anwar Beroual Smith, Lewis Manley, Ed White and Crispin Zuercher.

They will qualify in Superpole format: each driver does a single flying lap on their own, in the same kart. No pressure… it’s rare that I’d rather be spectating, but this time I’m quite happy to sip tea on the VIP gantry and watch the action unfold.

As Michael gets underway I’m fully appreciating the recording wizardry for the first time this weekend. The live feed which is streaming over the Web is shown on a screen beside James, and I’m hugely impressed at the professional quality produced by multiple cameras all around the circuit. A DVD of the event will be produced soon, and I look forward to that.

Michael is disappointed with his time, shaking his head as he passes under the timing screen on the back straight. He pits and hands the kart to Annelien, who cements her reputation as a qualifying specialist with a sublime lap – a full half-second faster than Michael. And try as they might, nobody can match it. Crispin gets closest, third (Anwar) to eighth (Russell) is covered by seven hundredths of a second. But BRKC 2014’s only female driver will start the final from pole position. Lauren and Becca – sharing the VIP gantry with James and I – are beside themselves with excitement.

To begin with, it looks as if she might run away with it as the others squabble over position behind her – Anwar losing several places early on, Ed making a couple, Brad unable to make much of an impression in what looks like a difficult kart, Weddell and Monfils bringing up the rear… but as drivers start to pit, Ruben Boutens begins to wind it up. With half of the 30 minutes gone, he’s taking a couple of tenths per lap out of his sister’s lead. She responds, but he’s relentless; we’re holding our breath as he breaks the 33 second barrier and just keeps going faster and faster. It seems inevitable that he’ll find a way past and when he does – with a millimetre-perfect move into the hairpin – it caps off a supreme display of precision from both of them.

Ruben takes the flag, Annelien makes it a Boutens one-two, and Lewis Manley holds off Ed White for the final podium position. Crispin is an excellent fifth followed by Anwar, Brad, Russell, Ted and Michael. We’re sad to see it end, but I’m not sure anyone in the building could have taken much more.

We gather on the viewing gantry as James orchestrates the presentation down on the circuit, cheer Ruben, Annelien and Lewis onto the podium – Lewis needing some coaching on how to open a bottle of bubbly – before reluctantly saying our goodbyes. I’ve never seen spirits so high at the end of a karting event, and with good reason. We’ve all had a weekend to remember, and then some.

And that’s it. Fat Lady sings.

I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that Ollie and all the staff at Formula Fast deserve a medal. And probably a few extra hours of sleep. We really appreciated the huge amount of work that went into organising and running such a complex event so efficiently. The effort that went into keeping the karts as equal as possible – testing late into the night on Friday and Saturday – was hugely impressive and (despite the odd moan) deeply appreciated. No other venue we’ve visited has ever worked so hard for us. I’ve certainly never been to a friendlier kart circuit – from front desk to pitlane, every single member of staff was a pleasure to deal with.

James Auld is a legend and I’ll not hear a word to the contrary. His commentary added a veneer of excitement and occasion – and information – that made BRKC 2014 the great spectacle it was.

Having seen the odd snippet of the footage Darren Cook and his team have produced, I can’t wait to see the finished article. We’ve immortalised every BRKC event in video and photographs, but this is a whole new league.

And once again, Brad seems to have pulled off the impossible (with Becca’s help) – he’s made the BRKC even better.

Downside? We have to wait a whole year before we can do it all again!

For final results and videos, visit www.brkc.net.

New Format for BRKC

In an exciting change to the British Rental Kart Championship format, series organiser Bradley Philpot is excited to announce that as of 2014, the BRKC will be moving to a single weekend, ‘winner takes all’ event at the brand new Formula Fast Indoor Karting facility in Milton Keynes.

The new format aims to mirror more closely the Kart World Championship format, of which BRKC is the official qualifying series. In addition, by working closely with Formula Fast – who are renowned for their kart parity, friendly team and attention to detail – the BRKC’s ambition of being the ultimate in fair, affordable and close racing can be achieved with the focus on just one circuit.