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North optimistic of ‘weathering Covid-19 storm’

Jason North, the Bermuda Karting Club president, believes the more affordable L206 senior class could become increasingly attractive for local drivers during the financially uncertain Covid-19 era.

Karting was a notoriously expensive sport even before the Covid-19 crisis and North expects the club to experience a drop in numbers in some classes while the island's economy takes a hit during the pandemic.

However, North is confident the BKC can “weather the storm” and points to the expanding field of competitors in the L206, the cheapest class in which to compete, as a reason to be optimistic about the club's future.

“I'm sure this pandemic will not have a positive impact on us,” North said. “Hopefully we can weather the storm and come out stronger on the other side.

“Motorsports in general is expensive, but if we can do it in a more economical way and still be competitive and have fun then great.

“Last season some classes did struggle a bit as more drivers gravitated to the L206 class because it's more affordable. That's basically what the club is riding on right now.

“Not only are [the L206 karts] cheaper, they're cheaper to run throughout the season; however, that doesn't take away from the competitive nature of it.

“I find that the slower the class the closer you are to each other and the more competitive the races. It's the biggest class in the United States and the fastest growing. That's what we're pushing for — affordability.

“You get people saying, ‘I'd like to race karts, but it's so expensive'. Well, here's another option for you. It's a lot more affordable than it used to be.”

North led the L206 standings after nine of the scheduled 14 race days and was awarded the title after the Rubis National Championships was abandoned because of the novel coronavirus.

Among the formidable field of 14 drivers in the class were top names such as Scott Barnes, David Barbosa, Stephen Corrado and Rian Lindo.

“I took a break during the past few seasons as race director and I hadn't actually planned on racing last season,” added North, who revealed the new season is slated for September 20.

“The field was stacked with all of our top drivers. It was awesome as we haven't had a field like that for a long time; drivers who have all won titles racing against each other.

“We had some amazing races. Sometimes there would be three wide at the finish! It's a newer class for me and it's a little bit slower than the other classes, which is more ideal as you get older.”

North, who was voted in as the new president last summer, replacing Bilal Binns, said he is open to stepping down from his position at the BKC annual meeting next Thursday.

It is believed Barnes, who served as president for five years before being succeeded by Binns, will be running for presidency.

“We're not sure who is running yet; people like to keep their cards close to their chest,” said North, who is one of the island's most decorated drivers.

“I would personally like to see other people step up. I've been president several times and have been on the committee for many years.

“It would be nice to see a few of the newer members who have some experience in other areas bring their ideas to the table.

“I wouldn't say I'm looking to take a back seat; I still want to help. I've been in this sport for 30 years and I want to see the club grow. The club has a lot of potential.”



Final standings

L206 Senior Class

Jason North 708

Scott Barnes 654

Stephen Corrado 612

David Barbosa 608

Rian Lindo 573

Justin Lindo 548

John Carreiro Jr 533

Brandon DeSilva 495

Max Correia 321

Owen DeCosta 248

Ed Cook 244

Corey Lewis 228

James Wheldon 119

Ryan Burgess 56

LO206 Masters Class

Travis Lewis 652

Robert Wheatley 537

Patrick Stamper 335

Michael Smith 179

Kenneth Harrison 126

TAG Junior Class

Jorja Thomas 615

Jauza James 584

Jaden Malpas 424

Nathan DeCosta 358

Jayden Brimmer 286

Nile Bean 193

TAG Senior Class

Stephen Corrado 625

Richard Walker-Talbot 503

Bilal Binns 495

Scott Barnes 106

125 Shifter Class

Ryan Rebello 301

Scott Barnes 155

Shortened season: Jason North was awarded the L206 Senior class title

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Published July 14, 2020 at 8:11 pm (Updated July 15, 2020 at 12:36 pm)

North optimistic of ‘weathering Covid-19 storm’

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