In Motorsport News
Over the weekend was my first time back with the team since last November and my incident. Having been out as a privateer 4 times this year, it was great to get back on track at Whilton Mill. It was scheduled to be very wet throughout the day during round 9 on Saturday with no sign of the track drying out. While it was forecasted to be dry all day during Round 10 on Sunday, this meant we could use fresh tyres on both Saturday and Sunday instead of having to look after them on Saturday so they last on Round 10 the following day.
Due to us being guests at Super One, we had to start the qualifying rounds from the back, so we decided to leave a very large gap before going out of the pits so that I didn’t get stuck in any traffic at all and get blocked on one of my quickest laps. This plan was ruined however, as at the start of my first flying lap the red flag came out because of a timing issue, I did my best to leave a gap as the green flag came out but as the session moved on, I began to catch traffic, which ruined my final lap where the track was at its peak of the session. I qualified in 12th place but I was just 0.5 seconds off qualifying in the top 5.
In the first lap, I moved up a place and got up into Position 11, on the second lap however, I got a bit of a wheelspin on the exit of one of the corners and lost the place I made up on the opening lap. Over the next laps I was in a really good battle, constantly swapping positions with the driver ahead until on the penultimate lap, the driver running up in the top 5 retired, moving me into position 11. On the final lap of the heat, I was back right behind the driver into 10th place and with a move into the final complex of turns that was setup from turn 3, I moved up a place and crossed the line in 10th place. After penalties I was placed in 9th place.
I started 12th again for the second heat, I knew that in order to start high up the grid for the final, I had to finish in the top 10. I gained a couple of places into Christmas corner on the first lap but going into Ashby, a driver behind me used me as their brake, sending me deep into the corner and dropping me down into 19th place, Over the next few laps in the second heat, I started to move up the order and by the 4th lap I was back into 13th place. I finished the race in 13th but due to my incident on the first lap, I got a drop down and a 5 place penalty. Somehow after finishing in 13th and getting a 5 place penalty, I was placed in 19th place.
While finishing 9th and 19th in the heats, I was starting 13th for the final. At the start the spring on my throttle snapped, meaning that everytime I went over a bump in the track, my foot pressed the throttle, this also made it very difficult to prevent wheelspin out of the corners. By the 4th lap, I was down to 19th. I gained a couple of places back on the 5th lap but going over the line going into the 6th lap, my chain fell off, meaning I had to retire from the final.
As I have said before, the round on Sunday was set to be dry all day, unlike the round on Saturday that was wet. We had to go out the back again because I was a guest so just like Sunday, I left a large gap to the karts in front so that I didn’t catch traffic. It was lucky for me that there was no red flag during the qualifying session so after a decent few laps I managed to qualify in 12th place, yet only 0.3 seconds off pole position. I knew I had the pace to be at the front so hopes were high for the heats to come.
Starting in 12th, I got a good run into Christmas on the first lap and by taking advantage to those in front defending on the inside, I sent it around the outside and moved up into 10th position. I was right on the rear of 9th position going into Ashby. When I got on the throttle coming out of the corner, however, my chain fell off yet again due to the axle shifting and bending at the race start, meaning I had to retire.
After my DNF in heat 1, I knew that I needed a good result so that I could start up the order in the final race. On the opening lap of the heat, I kept my nose clean and moved up a few places and got up into 9th position. A few laps into the race on the 4th lap there was a crash towards the front of the grid, taking a kart out of the race and moving me up into 8th, this also slowed down the karts in front, unfortunately I made a bad decision and lost the two places. On the 6th lap, I made up the two places I lost a few laps prior and moved back up to 8th. This is where I finished the final heat of the weekend.
Over this final round on Sunday, with a DNF and an 8th, I had gained a total of 30 points, which was good enough to start 21st for the final. For some reason, tw0 drivers starting in my lane further ahead of me couldn’t decide who was meant to start ahead, so instead they decided to go side by side with one another. All of this made my late miss the lights and made me start the race down to 27th instead of the position I was meant to be in. On the opening lap of the race, I made a few great overtakes and moved back up to 22nd.
As the race moved on, I continued to move up the order and by the last lap, I was up in 16th place. Post-race penalties moved me into 14th, which considering the position I started I was quite happy with. My pace was easily quicker than two of the three drivers on the podium, So I knew that if I finished the first heat, I would have been able to finish towards the front. My lack of races this year was evident as my usual race craft was way off. More track time needed!