Sleaford karter lands Northern Ireland race win

Sleaford driver Andy Johnson (left) and Jack Layton with their winners' trophies EMN-170413-124517002
Sleaford driver Andy Johnson (left) and Jack Layton with their winners' trophies EMN-170413-124517002

Metheringham-based Parker Motorsport Superkart brought a clutch of trophies back from the first round of the MSA British Superkart Championship in Northern Ireland.

Jack Layton secured a win and a second place in his two races, while Sleaford driver Andrew Johnson secured the same results in the Honda Cup at Bishopscourt.

The team had eight drivers contesting three classes, with Layton defending his British 250 Championship alongside team-mates Adam Edgecombe, Joe Hawkins, Mark Newton, Tom Hatfield and Mark Gellatly, while Andrew Johnson contested the Honda Cup, and Josh Rayman the British 125cc.

Layton set the pace to secure pole position in a close-run session with several drivers all within a second of his fastest time.

Hatfield was the next fastest for the team, showing fantastic pace in eighth, with Edgecombe in 11th, Hawkins 12th, Gellatly 15th, and Newton 20th, while Johnson qualified fourth in the Honda Cup.

Layton was swamped in race one and found himself way down the field, but he battled back to the front, holding off five more drivers in a hard-fought race to take the win and set a lap record.

Hatfield recorded a fine eighth place followed by Edgecombe in 11th, Hawkins 12th, Gellatly 13th and Newton 17th. Andy Johnson had a great drive in the Honda Cup climbing his way to a second-place finish.

Layton was again embroiled in a battle at the front in race two, and after some close racing, had to be content with second place, just 0.2secs behind the winner.

Tom Hatfield had another superb drive to fight his way up to sixth, while Hawkins moved up to finish ninth with Edgecombe just behind in 10th, giving the team four drivers in the top 10.

Mark Newton was 14th, while Johnson had another superb drive to secure a Honda Cup race win.

In the 125cc category, Rayman faced a strong grid of almost 40 karts and it proved an uphill task.

After struggling to learn the circuit and pace of the leading drivers in free practice and qualifying, he was helped by team-mates to improve and finish the two races in a creditable 16th.

Team spokesman Stuart Parker said: “We are in joint-first place in two championships and set a new lap record for the class which is a fantastic achievement on our first race of the season.”

The next round is on April 29/30 at Croft.