The Brighton Speedway Kart Klub kicked off the 2023 season last Thursday evening, June 1st with a full card of events on tap. A great opening night turnout saw 38 methanol breathing racing machines unloaded as drivers and crews prepped for action. 7 divisions of race karts tested the track through practice and qualified through heat races, setting up starting orders for the evenings feature events.
Box Stock 1 is made up of drivers as young as 5 years old – they were first to take to the track for the 10 lap feature event. #797 Luke Cuthbertson jumped from his front row starting position out to the early lead as 2nd row starter #29 Deegan Sudsbury rolled through and gave chase. The 7 kart starting grid kept spectators entertained as Cuthbertson and Sudsbury distanced themselves from the rest, a little game of cat and mouse saw Sudsbury at the top of the leaderboard around the halfway point but Cuthbertson challenged back and did not lift till the checkers were flying. Win goes to #797 Cuthbertson, settling for 2nd #29 Sudsbury, #11 Bentley Fulton, #68 Gunner Ellis, #03 Luke Ramsay, #39 and #37 Lucas and Ella Wannamaker rounded the running order.
Up next Rookie 1 division with 4 karts making the call – #07 Connor Vancott hard on the loud pedal off of turn 4 to take the green, followed through by #87 Weston Mitts. The Vancott crew had the track figured out on the night as the #07 was on a rail, behind him the fight for the runner up spot heated up as Mitts, feeling the pressure from behind clipped an inside tire slightly upsetting the kart and letting #48jr sail by on the outside and #15 Charlotte DeWal close in on the action. 10 laps deep – checkers out Vancott drove it straight to victory lane, Wells 2nd, Mitts 3rd and DeWal 4th.
Jr. Sportsman 1 fired up and roared out on the little oval – Front Row stealin’ the show once again on the night #01 Blake Gregory had the kart to beat from his pole position spot as 5 karts ran hard down the backstretch in train formation. A very fast race saw only 1 yellow flag stop the action when #7 Tate Black decided to break formation and spread his wings – a very good try on the Wayyyyy outside ended in disaster as he clipped the front stretch wall and he returned to the back of the pack when the race resumed. Untouched and looking for more laps #01 Blake Gregory with the W, #15 Liam Pakenham with a smooth 2nd, #19 Bentley Davidson 3rd, #23 Alby Hodkinson and #7 Tate Black ended the running order.
#92 Race Turner, #77 Max VanDyk and #29 Lily Walters revved them up and headed out for their Box Stock 2 class feature event. A great start for the VanDyk #77 over the Walters #29 as they ran down the front stretch side by side. Rolling the cushion, VanDyk pulled a 3 kart advantage over the #29 by the end of lap 1. Notes were taken as Walters started her charge back for the top spot on the podium – mid race she made it happen by just showing a nose under the #77 was all it took to take VanDyk off his game and let the #29 slide through on the bottom with a clean pass. #29, #77 and #92 showed on the scoring tower as the dust settled.
#08 Lilly Ray and #88 Reagan Grimmon lined up on the front row of the Rookie 2 feature event – Ray used the low line off corner 4 for forward drive as she pulled into sole position of the top spot over Grimmon. 2 by 2 by 2 the field strung out slightly as everyone fought hard to keep on the inside rail. Hard charging 6th place starter Liam McPeak had his climbing gear ready as he was able to make it to 2nd place and set his sights on the leader, just a little too late, as the laps clicked off Lilly Ray kept it smooth and steady and picked up the first win of the season, #2 Liam McPeak 2nd, #54 Rae-Lynn Branscombe 3rd, #14 Chase White with a competitive 4th, Grimmon 5th and #10 Hanna Merry in 6th.
With the sun setting over the speedway grandstands, the action on the track didn’t cool down. 5 Jr. Sportsman 2 karts – led by AJ Peeters and Brody Davidson ran hard down the front straight into corner 1. Peeters put himself into the clean air at the front while the pack behind him battled for every inch of grip on the track, #91 Jackson Veenstra made it through the action and tossed out a rope to the Peeters #20 neither kart making a mistake in the full feature event. One late race yellow gave Veenstra one more chance at gold but Peeters held a hard line and was able to pull off the victory. Veenstra, followed by Davidson, #629 Thomas McGale and #99 Bryce Massey in 5th.
8 Ground Pounding Stock Lite/Jr.Restricted karts thundered out for 15 laps of action. #22 Nolan Chatten and #1 Coleson Gregory paced the fast group as the green flag dropped. #14 Holden Paul down on the catfish lane, Gregory on the top as they split the #22 of Chatten down into corner 1. Karts singled out as they searched for speed on a dry track. A few laps went by and Gregory made his move, hard on the cushion, on to the front stretch trying to clear Paul – but a miscalculation of navigation saw the Gregory #1 head pit side after making friends with the outside wall. Free and clear from here #14 Paul put it on lock and picked up the first place plaque. #22 Chatten 2nd, #18 Elliot Stacey 3rd, #9 Cooper McKeown 4th, #70 Finley Mahoney 5th, #89 Kolby Ellis, #1 Gregory, #99 Jonele Burke.
Racing will resume THURSDAY, JUNE 15TH after a 1 week break. Please stay up to date at www.brightonspeedway.com or the Go Kart Racing Facebook page.