British Universities Karting Championship
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The British Universities Karting Championship (BUKC) is an annual University-based kart racing competition in the United Kingdom, organized by 3T Racing Ltd, in association with Club100 Racing Ltd.
The British Universities Karting Championship (BUKC) is a nationwide high-performance, two-stroke championship for university students across the United Kingdom. It takes place annually from February until April, with more than 200 students participating in each race per day. It is organized by 3T Racing Ltd., a small, private company owned and created by Karter Will Tew in association with Club100 Racing Ltd.
Will Tew of 3T Racing Ltd. started karting in 2000, at age 19 whilst at Imperial College, London. Back then, Imperial College owned a fleet of 2-stroke TKMs and Rotax Max karts which they would take out for fun on weekends to circuits such as Tilbury, Rye House, Clay Pigeon, Whilton Mill and Lydd Raceway. Will was obsessed by these immensely powerful karts and even though the Inter University Karting Championship (IUKC), as it was known back then, ran on lesser powered four-strokes, Will was desperate to race for his university. Alas, no one at Imperial wanted to race in the IUKC because it was all 4-stroke kart based (thunderkarts, pro-karts and indoor hire karts).
The IUKC 2002
The IUKC was to be organized in 2002 by Nottingham university once again on 4-strokes. However, Will had just found Club 100 – a company that supplies a fleet of 2-stroke TKM-engined karts – and started racing in their national sprint championships. Will immediately got in touch with John Vigor from Club100 with a view to setting up a university karting championship on Club100's 2-stroke TKM-engined karts. Will teamed up with Tom Batho, also from Imperial College's Karting Society, to successfully launch the 2-stroke, Club100, version of the IUKC for 2002. The 4-stroke based IUKC was dropped by Nottingham as everyone jumped on board the new championship run by Will, Tom and Club100 through Imperial College Union. The IUKC 2002 became the first ever uni-karting championship to be run on 2-stroke machinery and was contested by 32 teams, over 4 rounds. It was won by Loughborough A.
The BUKC 2003
For the 2003 championship, Will and Tom introduced a 5th round and a new format and renamed the championship to the British Universities Karting Championship (BUKC). Most importantly they realized that the best thing for the championship was not for it to passed on to different universities each year, but to keep consistency in the management of the championships and the relationship with Club100 strong.
The Birth of 3T Racing Ltd
For this reason Will and Tom setup 3T Racing Ltd in November 2003 to continue organizing the BUKC, and to implement other ideas such as the British Schools Karting Championship (BSKC). Since then, the BUKC has grown to over 62 teams from more than 38 universities, contesting across North and South regional qualifications, then into a 7 round championship over 4 race days. The relationship with Club100 is as strong as ever, and is indicated strongly by the fact that the price per round is no more than it was in 2003.
3T Racing Ltd in the future
In mid-2006, Will took a little leap of faith by resigning from UBS to concentrate fully on his plans for the BUKC and BSKC. It is now Will's mission to see that karting is considered a national sport within all secondary schools across the country through the BSKC, and to see that BUKC is contested by every university too.
The BUKC uses a unique format that uses teams of 4 drivers, and takes place over a number of rounds during the academic year at many top class karting venues throughout the UK. Two different formats are used in the BUKC:
The Sprint Format:
The Sprint Format is where every driver in the team gets to race in their own individual 25 minute race. No fuel stops, no driver changes. Just a 25 minute sprint to the flag. The teams finishing score for the round is determined by adding up the best 3 results from the 4 sprint races.
The Endurance Format:
The Endurance Format is where the team (of 4 drivers) is split into two teams of 2. Each mini-team of 2 drivers races in a one-hour race. 2 fuel stops must be made, and at least one driver change must be made. The teams finishing score for the round is determined by adding up the points from both the 2 one-hour races.
The BUKC are supplied with Club100 Racing Ltd karts for the championship, these are 115cc (as of 2009) 2-stroke TKM engines that are capable of speeds around 70 mph. The racing is always very competitive and the rivalry between each university makes it an exciting championship for students to become involved in.
Many up-and-coming young stars are taking part in the BUKC alongside their studies and being as it is a non MSA championship it is a great opportunity for others who have never raced karts to take part alongside them. Racing drivers to have appeared in the BUKC include Alex Brundle and British GT class champion James Gornall.
Universities Taking Part
The championship is open to teams from any UK institution of higher education. Each university may be represented by more than one team of four drivers; Loughborough University fielded three teams in 2008.
Loughborough University and Oxford Brookes University are the most successful teams in the championship's history, with 4 titles each to their name. The series is most popular among universities in the south of England; however Wales are well represented, with Cardiff and Swansea taking part, Swansea Metropolitan came 2nd overall in 2009. The North of England are also well represented. In 2009 Edinburgh became the first Scottish team to take part in the championships, Heriot-Watt with Keith Wilson as the team captain followed in 2010. It is widely accepted that the combination of Steve Hicks and Dave Robinson was the most successful BUKC endurance pairing with over a 90% win rate in 4 seasons together.
A full list of competing universities can be found on the official BUKC website.
|2001||University of Nottingham|
|2003||University of Leeds|
|2004||Oxford Brookes University|
|2005||Oxford Brookes University|
|2006||Oxford Brookes University|
|2007||University of Hertfordshire|
|2009||Oxford Brookes University|
|2011||University of Bath|
|2013||University of Hertfordshire|