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2019 RapiKart Season Review

2019 was a huge year for British Motorsport. Lewis Hamilton is now a 6 time F1 World Champion, all 3 F1 Rookies were British (Albon races under a Thai flag but was born in London), Colin Turkington won a record equalling 4 BTCC titles and even the first ever winner of the brand new W-Series was Britain's Jamie Chadwick. 2019 also saw the launch of a localised arrive and drive style karting championship, RapiKart Racing League. Although not in the same league as the achievements above, grassroots racing is as important as grassroots football, rugby or any other sport. Most of us race for fun but what was incredible was the quality of the racing!


Round 1 - Llandow


The season opened at the South Wales Karting Centre, or more commonly referred to as Llandow. A full grid paved the way for some interesting battles. It was a learning curve for everyone, nobody had raced each other so it was a baptism of fire for Rapikart, not just the drivers! The Lightweights dominated the top 3 spots with Sam Parrant winning the first ever round of the RapiKart Racing league. Anthony Davies kept Sam honest but couldn't quite mount a challenge. Jason Boldero came in 3rd ahead of the first Heavyweight Sam Taylor. Brothers Graeme Thomas and Gareth Thomas completed the Heavyweight podium.


Lightweights (LW)

  1. Sam Parrant

  2. Anthony Davies

  3. Jason Boldero

Heavyweights (HW)

  1. Sam Taylor

  2. Graeme Thomas

  3. Gareth Thomas




Round 2 - SupaKart, Newport


The season moved on to Round 2 at our only indoor venue, SupaKart in Newport. Another full grid lined up to sample this multilevel, tight and twisty track. The indoor setting mixed up the grid and equalised the Lightweights and Heavyweights, allowing some drivers the chance to shine. It was new comer Andrew Warren that showed everyone how it is done with a superb display taking the overall win, despite being a HW. Round 1 winner Sam Parrant followed home in 2nd but taking the LW win. Tom Simmonds really got to grips with the meandering turns bringing it in 3rd, which would be his seasons best placed finish. Jamie Higgins also impressed having had bad luck in Round 1, finishing Round 2 in 4th overall but 3rd in the HW class.


LW

  1. Sam Parrant

  2. Jason Boldero

  3. James Cook

HW

  1. Andrew Warren

  2. Tom Simmonds

  3. Jamie Higgins



Round 3 - Herefordshire Raceway


We travelled up for Round 3 to the Herefordshire Raceway. As you turn into this picturesque farm, you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd taken a wrong turn, but then this gem of a track is just visible as you approach. It's a challenging layout with some really fantastic corners, including a final corner that drops away from under you. On top of this, they run twin engine karts which many racers had never experienced before. It didn't take long for everyone to get up to speed but it was local master Kris Pugh, making his RapiKart debut, who took the overall win, just fending off a sustained challenge from championship front runner Sam Parrant. Gareth Thomas took advantage of a first lap collision between Mark Poyner and Jamie Higgins, to finish 3rd overall and 2nd in class, just ahead of Trevor McCullagh, who finished in his season best result. Liam Evans claimed 2nd in the LW with his season best result ahead of Jason Boldero.


LW

  1. Sam Parrant

  2. Liam Evans

  3. Jason Boldero

HW

  1. Kris Pugh

  2. Gareth Thomas

  3. Trevor McCullagh



Round 4 - Llandow


RapiKart returned to Llandow for Round 4 and with an idea of the front runners for the championship. Sam Parrant was becoming the man to beat, having won all LW races so far. The HW championship was still anyone's guess after 3 winners from 3 races. The mid summer round produced the best racing of the season. At times, karts were running 4 wide down the straights and 3 wide through the corners! Incredible lap after lap battling which came to a head in the final. Sam Parrant and a returning Sam Taylor broke away from the pack and spent their time running side by side in a captivating high speed game of chess. But it was all eyes on the pack as EVERYONE else battled for 3rd. At least 6 karts were fighting for the same piece of tarmac, 3rd to 8th with just one error. Jason Boldero and James Cook eventually broke free to gain some breathing space in 3rd and 4th. which then became 1st and 2nd, as incredibly the two Sams were sat stationary, interlocked, at the hairpin. Jason Boldero took his first win of the season, ahead of James Cook and a first podium for Bryce D'Souza in the LW class. Gareth Thomas eventually came out on top of the HW class after being firmly in the middle of that battle, with brother Graeme Thomas making it a Thomas 1-2. Jamie Higgins produced another stellar display to take 3rd in HW class.


LW

  1. Jason Boldero

  2. James Cook

  3. Bryce D'Souza

HW

  1. Gareth Thomas

  2. Graeme Thomas

  3. Jamie Higgins



Round 5 - SupaKart, Newport


With the season taking shape, RapiKart returned to SupaKart. Utilising the small outdoor extended track, allowed a bit more speed to be carried down the straight after the drop down section. With overtaking at a premium and a very good standard grid, made for a very tactile race. The two Sams, Parrant and Taylor, resumed their battle at the top but this time kept it clean, with Sam Parrant taking the overall win ahead of Sam Taylor. Sam Taylor still took the HW victory to become the first driver in the HW class to win more than once. A very strong performance by Graeme Thomas came in 3rd overall, 2nd in class, just ahead of previous SupaKart victor, Andrew Warren. James Cook took 2nd in LW class, ahead of Jason Boldero in 3rd.


LW

  1. Sam Parrant

  2. James Cook

  3. Jason Boldero

HW

  1. Sam Taylor

  2. Graeme Thomas

  3. Andrew Warren

Round 6 - Llandow - Season Finale


What was more important was that the scene was now set for the season finale. The LW championship had been dominated by Sam Parrant but Jason Boldero had kept him just within touching distance, although Jason would need Sam to finish lower than 14th to pip him to the post. James Cook was closer to Jason and looking to dislodge him for 2nd in the LW Championship. The HW championship was close, REALLY close. Graeme Thomas headed the standings just 2 points ahead of Andrew Warren in 2nd. It was really the case of whoever finishes ahead of the other. Gareth Thomas was a further 10 points behind, after a disastrous round at Newport, despite heading the championship going into Newport. Jamie Higgins just behind him in 4th.

Round 6 took place on the full national circuit, a first for rental karts, normally reserved for the UK's best Rotax, Pro Karts or TKM. This presented a new challenge for the drivers, a new circuit to learn, a new braking point into a familiar corner and add in the damp track meant practice was evidently needed! There were plenty of spins, especially heading into the first left hander. The damp conditions caught even the most seasoned of driver out, with plenty of front runners taking to the grass, even in the first few heats. The track was drying though and fast by the time we got to the finals.

The B final came first, this was important as two of our title contenders had had a weekend to forget. Andrew Warren and Jason Boldero had uncharacteristically dropped points in the heats which lead to them qualifying in the B final. There is a wild card, as the winner of the B final starts at the back of the A final. Andrew and Jason were praying for this spot. As the flag dropped, Andrew bogged down at the start, losing positions and falling into the midfield. With luck against him, he was then victim going into the final corner, sent spinning by an incident behind. The brave HW championship attempt had failed, the chance of claiming the championship trophy had gone, before the A final had even started. The whole RapiKart family really felt for him. A disappointing end but a superb season. Jason also missed out on the wild card, finishing heart achingly close. This meant Sam Parrant was champion.

With Andrew Warren out of contention for the HW championship, it was down to Graeme Thomas to finish ahead of his Brother Gareth Thomas. As the flag dropped to signal the start of the A final, the two Sam's immediately took up their now customary battle for the lead, this time chased by James Cook who completed the breakaway 3. Sam Taylor got the better of rival Sam Parrant to take the overall win, and his 3rd HW win of the season. Sam Taylor missed a few of the early rounds, meaning he was out of contention for the title. Had he managed just one of those, there is no doubt he would have been up there. Sam Parrant won the LW class, his 5th win in 6 races, to finish the season as a winner and a most worthy champion. James Cook came home in 3rd overall, 2nd in LW class and overtook a powerless Jason Boldero to claim 2nd place in the LW championship. In the HW class it got close, with Gareth Thomas chasing Graeme Thomas on track. Gareth was on Graeme's bootlid at one point but Graeme managed to open up enough of a gap to stay comfortable. Debutantes Neil Durrant and Nathan Bowen both impressed and got in the middle of the HW battle. Neil claimed 2nd place in the HW class just ahead of the newly crowned HW champion, Graeme Thomas who finished 3rd. Gareth Thomas claimed 2nd place in the championship with a 5th place finish. And more heart ache for Andrew Warren as a strong finish by Jamie Higgins meant he leapfrogged Andrew by just 2 points to claim 3rd place in the championship. Paul Butcher rounded of a stellar season by fending off Sam Taylor in the points to stay 5th.


Round 6 race results

LW

  1. Sam Parrant

  2. James Cook

  3. Bryce D'Souza

HW

  1. Sam Taylor

  2. Neil Durrant

  3. Graeme Thomas






As the curtain came down on the inaugural RapiKart Racing League, we crowned our first ever champions.


The Lightweight Champion - Sam Parrant

The Heavyweight Champion - Graeme Thomas



LW Championship

  1. Sam Parrant

  2. James Cook

  3. Jason Boldero

  4. Bryce D'Souza

  5. Liam Evans

  6. Jamie Davies


HW Championship

  1. Graeme Thomas

  2. Gareth Thomas

  3. Jamie Higgins

  4. Andrew Warren

  5. Paul Butcher

  6. Sam Taylor

Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the 2019 season, we couldn't have done it without you. We are looking forward to an even better 2020 season, featuring 8 rounds across 5 tracks, including a trip to Daytona Milton Keynes, racing 2 stroke DMax karts! A RapiKart first! The season kicks off at Llandow on 21st March 2020, hope to see you all there!





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