BRKC 2020: What To Look Out For

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.

 

How to enter BRKC 2020:

Due to the extremely high demand for BRKC entries over the past few years, we have implemented a different entry procedure for BRKC2020.

Instead of opening all 100 spots on a single day, there will now be three main ‘waves’ of entry, where 30 people at a time can claim their place, followed by a final smaller wave after the first 90 entries have been processed.

The initial 30 places will be open to drivers who finished in the top 30 of BRKC 2019. These will open at 8.00PM on Sunday 18th of August, and remain open for one week.

The next 30 entries will be open Sunday 25th of August for any driver and again last for one week (or until all the places are filled).

The next 30 entries become available one week later.

More information about the final places will then be released once this process is complete.

The final change for BRKC 2020’s entry procedure is the cost of the deposit. Previously we have allowed a £50 non-refundable deposit option, but this has proven to cause some issues with a large number of drivers content to lose their deposits and cancel their entry close to the full payment deadline. To discourage this, BRKC 2020 deposits will be £100, with the option to pay in full still available.

We are massively looking forward to the best BRKC yet on our tenth anniversary – and hope to see you there!

 

 

 

 

Six-cess for Boutens at BRKC 2019!

Ruben Boutens fought back from a third place starting position to take victory for the sixth time in a row in today’s BRKC 2019 Grand Final.

After the heats and semi finals had been completed, Boutens topped the points table, but it was newcomer Michal Grzyb who took an emphatic pole position in the intense super-pole session before the Grand Final. Former BRKC champion Lee Hackett slotted into second place on the grid, leaving Boutens with a difficult task if he was to retain his long held crown.

The top five drivers ran nose to tail for several laps, before British Driver Ed White chose to make two early pit stops in quick succession in order to attempt a daring alternative strategy to the race leaders.

The finalists line up before taking to the track

From left to right: Logan Sougne, Yoan Medart, Ruben Boutens, Brandon Williams, Dean Hale, Lewis Manley, Ed White, Lee Hackett, Patrick Nieroda, Michal Grzyb

Shortly afterwards, Boutens dispatched Lee Hackett with a robust overtake at the main hairpin, before quickly closing down on erstwhile leader Michal Grzyb. As Boutens neared Grzyb and the Polish driver began to defend his position, Boutens seemed to sense the danger posed by the rapid Ed White who was quietly setting a series of blisteringly fast laptimes whilst circulating at the back of the field. Boutens decided to back off from Grzyb to stop the time loss from his defence, before making a decisive overtaking manouevre at the pit entry hairpin just a few laps later.

From this point onwards, it was a battle of laptimes, with Boutens and White exchanging fastest laps, albeit on opposite sides of the circuit.

However, a series of 31.6 second laps proved just enough to give Boutens the gap he needed to make his two mandatory pitstops and emerge fractionally ahead of the chasing Englishman, with Michal Grzyb coming home in a close third position.

Boutens once again wins £1000 for his efforts, along with free entry into the KWC Kart World Championship, of which is is the reigning and double World Champion.

In the team championship, it was Blue Star Racing Team who once again took victory. The Kam Ho Memorial Masters’ trophy for drivers over 40 went to Richard Jute who had starred in several races throughout the weekend. Lee Hackett, who lead the points standings before the Semi-Finals, was awarded the Genevieve Reason Memorial ‘Commentator’s Pick’ prize for a gutsy performance during the heats and a stellar second place qualifying position in the Grand Final.

The tenth edition of BRKC takes place in January 2020 at Formula Fast. Full details can be found on the BRKC Facebook group.

Full 2019 Results To Follow…

 

Ruben Boutens Snatches Fifth Straight British Title

Ruben Boutens claimed his fifth BRKC crown at Formula Fast this weekend, extending what was already an unbelievable record to half a decade of dominance. His route to victory wasn’t all plain sailing in 2018, with a run of individual race victories ending with defeat by Matt Bartsch in Round 3. Boutens navigated the most difficult field of drivers in BRKC history during the heats phase – eventually taking three victories and one second place.

A victory in his Semi-Final provided Boutens with the opportunity to run as the final qualifier in the Grand Final Super Pole session – where he was pipped to first place by BlueStar Racing team mate Yoan Medart by three thousandths of a second. But in the race itself, Boutens was able to pull off his customary – and crucial – overtake into the main hairpin, sealing victory with a flawless drive to the finish.

Thom Van Dijk executed a perfect strategy which enabled him to split the BlueStar team mates and take second place, with pole sitter Medart coming home a close third.

BlueStar took the new-for-2018 Team Championship, with Craig McCallister winning his second BRKC Masters’ title, and Jonathan Elliott awarded the Genevieve Reason Memorial Trophy for the most gutsy drive.

Full results: BRKC 2018 Overall Results v2

ANALYSIS: Who to watch at BRKC 2018

With just seven weeks until the BRKC descends on Formula Fast in Milton Keynes, we take a look at some of the key contenders for the British title in 2018.

 

                                                                                                                                 

The Defending Champion 

RUBEN BOUTENS: NETHERLANDS

There’s no getting away from it. The British Rental Kart Championship has been dominated by one man since 2014. Ruben Boutens has perfected the technique required to excel around the slippery concrete confines of Formula Fast, and he shows no signs of slowing down. With a Kart World Championship finally in the bag, Boutens is once again the odds-on favourite to win in 2018. But he will have to face some seriously tough competition if he wants to make it five out of five at BRKC.

                                                                                                                                

The Challengers: 

MATHIAS GROOTEN: BELGIUM

The only driver on the grid able to rival Boutens in terms of career stats, Mathias Grooten is a double Kart World Champion, with his most recent success coming just two years ago. Analytical and effortlessly fast, Grooten is able to read a race and deploy the correct strategy like no other. He narrowly missed out on a podium at BRKC in 2017 with a failed pitstop in the final. Expect Grooten to feature prominently all weekend in 2018.

                                                                                                                                

MATT BARTSCH: POLAND

As the most potent driver from a very strong Polish contingent, Matt Bartsch has raced his way to the final in every BRKC he has entered. With a highest finish of 4th in 2016, Bartsch is hungry for the victory and has all the ingredients necessary to make that a reality. Expect Bartsch to quietly go about his business once again, racking up more race victories as he attempts to make the BRKC his own.

                                                                                                                                

LEWIS MANLEY: UNITED KINGDOM

Manley is the only driver listed in this analysis who races solely in domestic competitions. Despite this, he has proved to be a force to be reckoned with at each BRKC season since 2014. Twice a podium finisher in the final, Manley’s form dipped in 2017 where he recorded no race wins. However, he is sure to be determined to bounce back in 2018.

                                                                                                                                

SEAN BRIERLEY: UNITED KINGDOM

Fresh from winning the Nations’ Cup at the Kart World Championship, Sean Brierley has his sights set firmly on the British Championship. Experience in overseas rental kart competitions such as the IEKC and the Sport Kart Grand Nationals has boosted Brierley’s strategic and driving armoury, and his speed at Formula Fast is without question. Quick in qualifying and consistent during the races, Brierley will surely fight his way towards the front of the final in 2018.

                                                                                                                                

SAM SPINNAEL: UNITED KINGDOM / BELGIUM

Also a Nations’ Cup World Champion in 2017, Spinnael executed a stunning race in the BRKC 2017 grand final, having only narrowly made it there in the first place. His qualifying lap put him at the sharp end of the grid, and working with team mate Regis Gosselin, he fought his way to the podium with a clever alternative strategy. Having raced all season in various kart competitions around the world, it seems that Spinnael’s BRKC bad luck has finally ended, and it would be a big surprise if he wasn’t once again a feature in 2018.

                                                                                                                                

Other Notable Drivers: 

  • Craig McAllister has been setting the timing sheets alight during the regular Formula Fast members’ sessions. The 2017 Masters’ Champion is a good bet to finish even higher in 2018.
  • Bjorn Vermeulen was a strong contender throughout BRKC 2017 and will certainly be a front runner once again.
  • Chris Daines was one of the surprises of BRKC 2017, and added another CovKartSport championship to his CV this season.
  • Thom Van Dyjk almost anonymously made his way up to 4th place in the 2017 grand final and his form is sure to carry over into this coming season.
  • Andy Gaban was twice a race winner in 2017, with impressive pace and racecraft displayed throughout the heats and finals.
  • Lee Hackett is a double BRKC champion in the previous format of the series and made the final in his last indoor BRKC appearance in 2016.

                                                                                                                                

Interesting Rookies: 

Several new drivers to the indoor format BRKC have impressive racing CVs, with Guillaume GermisGeorge LovellDave SingleeLogan SougneChristophe VerhoevenMathias Sponholz all deserving of a mention for their various strong results at National and International level.

 

Keep up to date with all of the latest BRKC news and information at the Facebook Group.

BRKC 2018 takes place from the 19th to the 21st of January at Formula Fast Indoor Karting in Milton Keynes.

BRKC 2018 Preview Video Launched

In keeping with the annual tradition, the BRKC’s preview video has now been released ahead of the 2018 competition. This year the video is presented by the host of the popular F1 podcast “Missed Apex”, Richard ‘Spanners’ Ready, who will join the BRKC commentary team in 2018 alongside James Auld as pitlane reporter.

Features include: BRKC History So Far, How BRKC Works, Meeting 2017’s Champions & Analysing the Master.

The British Rental Kart Championship takes place at Formula Fast in Milton Keynes from the 19th to the 21st of January 2018

Features include: BRKC History So Far, How BRKC Works, Meeting 2017’s Champions & Analysing the Master.

The British Rental Kart Championship takes place at Formula Fast in Milton Keynes from the 19th to the 21st of January 2018

You can check out Missed Apex Podcast at their website right here: https://missedapexpodcast.com/

BRKC 2018 Sells Out In Under 24 Hours

 

 

The BRKC has been held at Formula Fast for four consecutive years, with each event growing in popularity. With five months until drivers take to the track in anger, entries for the 2018 edition opened this week – and incredibly closed just 22 hours later with the full compliment of 100 drivers signed up! Joining the field are 39 non-British drivers, including two former World Champions – as well as the new reigning Kart World Champion (and four time British Champion) Ruben Boutens.

Looking to take the fight to the best drivers from Europe are the UK’s best rental kart competitors – with recently crowned Kart World Championship Nations Cup champions Sean Brierley & Sam Spinnael among them. Countless local and regional champions and front runners complete the field, which promises to be the most competitive rental kart competition ever hosted in the UK.

The BRKC’s format remains unchanged from 2017, but the organisers have decided to make an extreme change to the ‘Alternate Layout’ circuit which is used for half of the heat races. This is a version of the circuit that no driver is allowed to practice on ahead of the event – ensuring that local advantage is kept to a minimum.

Scruffy Bear Pictures return for 2018 to continue to provide incredibly high quality live video content for BRKC, which in 2017 was broadcast around the world to tens of thousands of spectators – as well as being shown on TV screens around the venue. The voice of BRKC, James Auld will be joined by a rotating pool of co-commentators to talk spectators through everything that happens on track.

The hype is real. BRKC is back and better than ever before.

Ruthless Ruben Takes Fourth British Title

Reigning BRKC champion Ruben Boutens won the British Rental Kart Championship for a fourth consecutive time yesterday and extended his unbeaten run of races at BRKC to thirteen.

Boutens comfortably won each of his heats, with the only danger to his perfect score coming in the form of newcomer Chris Daines who challenged him for victory in the Semi Finals.

In a thrilling climax to the superpole shootout before the grand final, Boutens managed to overhaul erstwhile poleman Lewis Manley to take his first BRKC grand final pole position before storming away at the front of the field once the race was underway.

Behind Boutens, Régis Gosselin established himself in second place after an early pitstop to leapfrog Lewis Manley. Sam Spinnael chose a similar strategy to Gosselin and the pair ran unchallenged for the final two podium places until a late charge from two time World Champion Mathias Grooten dropped Spinnael back to fourth.

However, following a pitstop from Spinnael, Grooten made a reactive stop and caused a yellow light infringement – ultimately demoting him to last place as this was after the ‘Last Chance To Pit’ board had been shown.

At the front, Boutens was unstoppable and once again took the £1000 cash prize along with a free entry into the 2017 Kart World Championship.

BRKC resumes in January 2018.

Full results available here: BRKC 2017 Overall Results

Pictures courtesy of Tim Andrew Photography

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Full Line Up for BRKC 2017

BRKC 2017 has exceeded last year’s entry levels and has sold out almost 8 weeks ahead of the event itself.


Previous years have seen a star-studded lineup, and 2017 is no exception with close to 30 international entrants and a healthy mixture of motorsport heavyweights and new challengers alike.

The full entry list for BRKC 2017 can be found here, and driver profiles here.

For those who are still keen on driving this year, there is a reserve list in place in case of cancellations – go to brkc.co.uk/enter.

We look forward to welcoming all drivers to Formula Fast MK on the 20th January 2017.


BRKC 2017 Preview with James Auld (BRKC Commentator)