The encouraging rise in numbers racing in the Barbados Karting Association’s (BKA) Frutee/Chefette Championship this year is a clear indication that Easykart Barbados is attracting newcomers to the sport . . . but also means that competition is getting tougher. When Easykart UK boss Andy Cox suggested a trip north would help broaden the experience of some local drivers, they headed off in mid-July to the challenging 1.1-kilometre Glan Y Gors circuit in North Wales.

Joshua Maloney was entered in the Easykart 100 class, while Kyffin Simpson joined Calem and Zane Maloney in the Easykart 60 Cadet class – for former BKA champions Zane and Joshua a chance to assess themselves against experienced UK Easykarters, for Calem and Kyffin a chance to see what a technical high-grip track felt like. Having watched videos of races at the venue, a Friday evening track walk with Cox sent them scurrying back to re-watch them, now having seen the track up close.

After five 15-minute Saturday practice sessions, Sunday’s schedule included Qualifying, Heat 1, Pre-final and Final; each of four BKA races at Bushy Park counts for points, but in Easykart UK everything builds toward the final: Qualifying establishes grid position for the Heat, then your result dictates your grid position for the Pre-Final, and the same on to the Final . . . the most important track action of the weekend.

Tactics is important up there, the chance to improve speed (and, therefore, qualifying time) by getting a ‘tow’ by tucking close in behind another kart, which reduces wind resistance. Too much to learn in a short time, so the team decided to make it on their own: Joshua qualified ninth in 100cc, Zane sixth in 60cc, Kyffin 16th and Calem 18th.

Joshua finished 13th in the 100cc Heat, quickly learning that giving just one second thought to a manoeuvre can lose as many as two or three places, then 12th in the Pre-final. With increased confidence, he put in a determined drive in the Final, despite two potentially unsettling restarts. The weekend’s seat time and better knowledge of the track helped him to a ninth-place finish – job done, as the team had hoped for a top 10.

In the Cadets, Zane eclipsed his cousin’s performance with third place in the Heat (Calem 17th, Kyffin 19th after a spin), followed by second in the Pre-Final (Calem 17th, Kyffin 18th). While championship regulars talked strategy before the Final – many form ‘alliances’ during races to help their chances – Zane decided to go it alone.

In a demanding see-saw battle lasting the best part of 15 minutes, he started second, slipped to fifth, then led again and was third on the penultimate lap behind championship leaders Georgie Anker and Tyrone Stansfield, boys not used to company going into the last lap. There was an audible gasp when Zane passed both race-leader Georgie and Tyrone, who then retook the lead going into the last lap with Zane second, Georgie third: with six corners to go, it looked as though this would be the result, but Zane went for a pass with less than 20 seconds left . . . and made it stick.

He said: “It was very exciting to be able to drive on another track, especially in the UK where Lewis Hamilton is from. There was a lot of grip, which made it very challenging. I would like to thank all that worked on my kart and made it a fantastic weekend for Josh, Kyf, Calem and myself. Great job done by everyone.”

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To learn more about the Barbados team’s exploits, go to www.easykart.co.uk/2015/07/23/round-5-2015-glan-y-gors/