Kart drivers under way in 24-hour race

A Kent karting circuit where Lewis Hamilton began his racing career is hosting a 24-hour race.

Buckmore Park, near Chatham, has 35 teams of eight people competing around the 0.6-mile (1km) circuit.

The track was purchased by 1964 Formula One world champion John Surtees in 2015 and is still run by the Surtees family.

Racing began at 14:30 BST on Saturday.

Buckmore Park first hosted a 24-hour event in 2012 but began annual 24-hour races following the death of Mr Surtees in 2017.

Speaking ahead of the event, co-owner Leonora Martell-Surtees, daughter of John Surtees, said: “This is such a fantastic event on the karting community’s calendar bringing together teams from across the country to Kent.

“In a nod to our motor racing heritage, the race will once again be a Le Mans start, with the drivers having to run to their karts before starting on their 24-hour marathon.”

The circuit said places to take part in the 2024 event sold out in under 90 seconds.

Teams are driving the same type of kart, averaging speeds of 55mph (88 kmh), across more than 1,400 laps.

The track said last year's event attracted more than 500 trackside spectators as well as more than 100,000 live-stream online viewers.

Buckmore Park described the event as "the equivalent of racing a kart seven times around the M25 in a day".

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