Just like that, it’s the second week of January. BRKC 2020 is almost upon us. This edition of the British Rental Kart Championship saw each wave of entries sell out in around three minutes. Almost every available practice session in the week leading up to the event has sold out, including the entirety of Thursday & Friday. The most number of overseas entrants we have ever seen (42 up from 21 in 2019) will be making their way to Milton Keynes. It’s safe to say, this is the most eagerly anticipated race weekend since the series was started in 2011.
On Saturday morning, 100 drivers will be in the hunt for the British Championship. 48 hours later, we will know which one of them has triumphed, taking home £1000 cash and a free entry for the KWC Kart World Championship. So who are the contenders? The most sensible bet would be reigning champion Ruben Boutens – the Dutchman undefeated in the last six years at BRKC. But if Boutens is to take his seventh title, he is going to have to overcome arguably the strongest field of indoor kart drivers ever assembled in one event.
- Michael Schöttler makes his BRKC debut in 2020, having decimated the competition at the most recent KWC. The reigning World Champion will have his sights firmly set on the top British accolade as he prepares to begin his title defending year.
- Ed White emerged as Boutens’ closest challenger in 2019, finishing just tenths behind at the end of the Grand Final – having started the Final seconds behind courtesy of a less than perfect super pole lap. White has been singled out by some of the World’s leading drivers as the Brit most likely to finally topple Boutens. Will 2020 be his year?
- Michał Grzyb took pole position for the Grand Final in 2019, and for much of the competition looked to be Boutens’ closest challenger. He has clearly taken the challenge of 2020 seriously too, flying in from Poland to complete practice sessions before the race week begins.
- Mathias Grooten: The former two-time World Champion returns after a two year absence from BRKC. His hopes of a top finish in 2017 were dashed by a failed pitstop in the final, but the Belgian driver will be looking to set the record straight this time around.
- Mats De Jong makes his debut at BRKC 2020, but has been a front runner in the world of rental karting for many years. In 2019 he finished 5th at the World Championship, and his qualifying pace is known to be incredibly strong. Expect Mats to make an immediate impact.
- Dennis Höller finished 2nd in the KWC in 2019. The Vice World Champion will want to go one better in the British Championship and is a strong contender for the Grand Final.
- Lewis Manley took his fifth Formula Fast local championship in 2019. The local specialist shies away from competing internationally, but is a perpetual threat at his home circuit in Milton Keynes. A former BRKC overall podium finisher, Manley’s career goal is to become BRKC champion. Will he finally claim it this year?
- Patrick Nieroda flew under the radar in 2019, but eased his way to the final with extremely little fuss. Relentlessly quick and skilled at making his way through the pack, Nieroda is a contender for the win in every race he competes in.
- Sam Spinnael is almost the opposite of Nieroda in his profile – with a flamboyant euro-lean style, providing fireworks in every race. The former podium finisher is confident of at least matching his previous best performance, and is likely to make an appearance in the Final once more.
- Yoan Medart is one of several members of the BlueStar team who are sure to be the benchmark in terms of outright pace next weekend. Medart took third place overall in 2018 and will be keen to emerge as his team’s top driver by Sunday evening.
- Régis Gosselin worked a clever strategy to take 2nd place in the 2017 Grand Final. He immediately gelled with the Formula Fast circuit, and shows no sign of slowing down in 2020.
- Sean Brierley has been lighting up the time sheets during the regular practice sessions at Formula Fast recently. The former Nations’ Cup World Champion is brimming with confidence and sees 2020 as his best chance to take the British Championship.
- Dan Healey came agonisingly close to a place in the 2019 final, ultimately missing out by a single position. Another driver who has been taking the preparation seriously over the course of 2019, Healey has been on top in the majority of sessions he’s taken part in.
To boil the drivers down to a set of the ten most likely finalists is almost impossible with such a high level of skill on display throughout the entire field. We have failed already, pointing towards eleven in this small preview alone. Drivers who are champion of their own local track will almost certainly finish in last place in some of the races, such is the difficulty of modern day BRKC. Egos will be bruised and heroes will be created.
In our opinion, BRKC 2020 will be the most difficult indoor kart event ever held – and it’s less than a week away.