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Ryan Lawford memorial go-karting at Buckmore Park raises thousands for PAPYRUS charity

By Dan Wright

Thousands of pounds were raised for charity when a talented rallycross driver was remembered at Buckmore Park on Saturday.

Friends and family of Blean’s Ryan Lawford, who died five years ago, gathered at the Chatham circuit to take part in a 90-minute go-karting race.

Drivers competed in teams of two, three or four to raise money for the Prevention of Young Suicide charity, PAPYRUS.

Twenty-one teams took part. Picture: Steve Crispe

Ryan's dad Martin, who organised and competed in the event, said he was delighted with how the day went.

"I am really pleased and everyone enjoyed it," he said.

"We have raised £3,400 for the charity so far and it will be more than that when all of the sponsorship is in.

Martin Lawford in the pit lane. Picture: Steve Crispe
Stuart Emery led the early stages with The Nearly Men team. Picture: Steve Crispe

"Ryan never got his racing talent from me, but I loved racing in it and it was a really good day.

"Lots of people came to watch and I knew the weather would be good."

Lawford, 26, began his involvement in motorsport after getting to know 1992 European Rallycross champion Will Gollop as a teenager and went on to become an accomplished engineer and driver.

Martin and Julie Lawford with Sophie and Emma Wilson. Picture: Steve Crispe

Former British Touring Car champion Andrew Jordan, who worked with Lawford for a number of years, competed in the event, as well as numerous British Rallycross competitors.

Martin - who lives in Blean with his wife Julie - added: "Andrew loved it - he travelled down from Birmingham and he really enjoyed it.

"Julie and I would like to thank Andrew for coming along and everyone who turned up for Ryan and raised money for a good cause.

Teams prepare to head out for the practice session. Picture: Steve Crispe
Martin before the start of the practice session. Picture: Steve Crispe

"PAPYRUS is only a small charity and it doesn't get much money so it is nice to do it for it.

"I will do the event again in another two or three years."

Sittingbourne rallycrosser Darren Scott won the first memorial karting race in 2014 and repeated his victory on Saturday with his Gruesome Twosome squad, beating The Diggers team led by Canterbury rallycross star Tristan Ovenden.

Andrew Jordan's G-Tech squad finished third. Picture: Steve Crispe
Ryan Lawford was an accomplished engineer and driver

Jordan's G-Tech team finished third, with The Nearly Men - featuring Faversham rallycrosser Stuart Emery and KM reporters Dan and Joe Wright - in fourth.

Twenty-one teams finished the race, which was held in sunny conditions throughout the afternoon.

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