Super 1 British Championships Round 1 - Rissington
Following a strong build up to the start of the Super 1 British Championships I was hopefull of a good meeting.........
Nearly everything was going to plan except during the week I developed a chest infection which was making me very tired and not 100% which was really annoying as I wanted to be on 100% form for this opening meeting.
Friday practice went very well posting the fastest time during the last session so I felt good going into the Timed Qualification Saturday morning.
We went out for TQ and it was always going to be tight and with a short 8 lap session, so close in fact that 1/10th of a second covered the top 5 drivers!
I qualified 3rd in group which would put me 6th overall, not the end of the world but not as high as I had hoped but it did mean that I would be starting P4 in both my heats.
With my chest starting to tire me out we started the 1st heat and I had a poor start dropping to P8 on the opening lap. I worked my way up to P5, then up to P4 finally crossing the line in P5. Unfortunately I received an unduily harsh 1 lap penalty for a racing incident which dropped me down to P26 taking valuable points away.
Heat 2 and another P4 start and we go. After lap 1 I'm in P3 and fron then on it's a full on race from start to finish with the top 4 positions changing throughout the race, I take the flag in P2 and bag the valuable points.
We wait for the intermediate classifications to be published to see where we will start the finals on Sunday and I know it's going to be painful. Out of a possible 68 points I've only amassed 42 due to the 1st heat which puts me in P19 for Final 1.......this has now turned into damage limitation and it's time to get as many points in the bag as possible.
P19 start and we go, Lap 1 and I'm up to P10 now to work my way as high as I can from here but I leave some space for a teammate who has driven off circuit to come back on and in thanks I get run off track by him......suffice to say it does not happen again and on the next lap I go past him.
The front 4 drivers have a small gap so I need to get to the front of my group and drag it up, if the rest of the drivers are using their heads.
I make my way into P5 with a view to catching the lead group but an Ex-teammate has different ideas and has only entered the event to try and scupper our campaign. Bearing this in mind rather than fight with them I decide to use him and, although he is way slower, 2 10ths plus, push him up as if we started fighting the front group would definately get away.
I push him up and when we get to the next driver I make my move and go back into 5th but it is now the last lap and full on racing is taking place and I end up taking 6th over the line, still not a bad increase of 13 places from 19th at the British Championships.
I really am feeling tired now so go to the motorhome for a rest before the main final.
So main final and I'm starting P6 and now it's all to play for.
The lights go out and we go, Lap 1 and I'm into 3rd but over 1/2 a second off the leading pair due to getting through traffic.
Over the next 4 laps I start to hunt them down but it's not happening quickly enough as I am on my own and they are pushing. To add another issue into the mix the group behind are pushing and catching me and on lap 5, rather than push to catch the lead pair the same driver with his agenda goes in on me and overtakes to give the lead pair even more of a gap.
I push but the driver in front is missing all the corners and it takes to teh last lap to catch the fornt pair, even though by this point we had gapped the following drivers by over 4 seconds.
Into the last lap and the 3 in front start to go defensive so I look for passing places but it's a hard track to pass at as there's not many stop start corners, mostly flowing fast.
Into the dog leg and the two drivers in front go fully defensive so I move to the outside to try a move around the outside of the pair but on entry both of the drivers in front go in too hot and run wide so I cut back to get the undercut on the way out.....I get better drive and pull alongside the P3 driver and I'm in a great position as we are heading toward a right hander which I will be on the inside of the P2 driver and I have momentum on my side.....until the P3 driver turns right straight in to me to force me off the track into the marshall post fast approaching!
I have no option but to back out, not something I usually do but I had no choice whatsoever, I drop back behind but with 2 corners left and the pair in front now fully defensive I take 4th.
So all in all not the best start to the championship but let's look at the positives:
Fastest lap in the final whilst having to push a slower driver
2nd Fastest lap in Final 1
13 place gain in Final 1
Consolidated good points following a harsh decision
Currently sitting P9 in the championship
One of the main competition had a worse meeting and is actually sitting in P24
So time to put this behind and move on to Round 2 at Rowrah, it's a long championship and I am still feeling confident.
A little pic of all the Global Karting drivers