Super 1 British Championships Round 2 - Rowrah
A trip to the Lake District for round 2 of the British Championships and looking to have a strong showing.
Friday testing went OK but times are a secondary thing once you are through TQ as Rowrah is a proper racers circuit and I was looking forward to it.
TQ comes on Saturday morning and after an average morning practice I was eager to set a good time to make the racing a little bit easier. It's a 6 minute session with 56-57 second laptimes and going out on new tyres meant we needed to get going ASAP.
The flag is shown and we head out to try and maximise the time and get the tyres scrubbed quickly to begin setting the times.
I go out and at hairpin 1 a driver ends up spinning me out!
This means I've got a gap to teh pack in front, now to go to work and hunt them down...... I catch the pack, go through them then head toward the next one and in the process set the 2nd quickest lap of TQ1.
TQ1 was the quicker of the 2 sessions with only the winner of TQ2 bettering my time so when the classification was posted I had qualified in P3. This meant that when the heats were drawn I'd start fornt row P2 in both of my heats.
I was drawn in heats 2 & 3 so a bit of a wait until my first outing which was at 14:45.
I line up to take the start and we go......the pole man takes the lead into the 1st corner so I slot in behind to see if we can push away. By the 3rd from last corner I feel as though the leader is holding me up so I go for the lead to see if things will work better this way but it's going to be a long race as we can't break away from the chasing pack with 1 second covering the lead 6 drivers.
The positions swap a bit during the race behind me and with 3 laps to go the 2nd place driver goes for the lead......next corner I send it back in relegating him back to 2nd again then he loses another place and I use this opportunity to get my head down and make the best of the fighting behind to stretch a slim lead of 0.7 seconds at the flag and take the win.
Another wait for my 2nd heat at 16:45 and I line up again on the front row.
Like the previous race the leaders were not able to make a break so it was a race from the off. I took the lead on lap one and managed to hold this until Lap 7 when the P2 driver took the lead and P3 followed him through.
Lap 8 the P4 driver jumped both myself and the P2 driver so I followed him through and into P3 and we pushed at the leader who now had a couple of lengths gap.
With 2 laps to go I followed the P2 driver past the leader and we tried to make a break for it as I knew if I secured 2nd this would put me Pole for the 1st Final tomorrow.......and this is how the race finished.
I was very happy with this as although I'd dropped a point I'd secured Pole and was the highest scoring driver by a few points.
Sunday practice and track position was not great but I still managed to post 2nd quickest time of the session showing the kart was OK.
Final 1 (Pre-Final)
On Pole and the lights go out and I get a great start and get nearly 1/2 a second gap to the P2 driver on lap 1.
Unfortunately all was not good as my left hand rear wheel hub had moved in and would prove to be disasterous.
I could feel the kart binding up, could hear a rubbing sound and as the race progressed and the hub continued it's fateful journey in along the axle could smell the melting rubber of my tyre against the drive sprocket carrier.
I held the lead until Lap 5 then just tried to concentrate on keeping the kart at the front with the leader although the wheel issue was robbing pace from me more and more every lap as the smoke form the rubbing tyre could be seen from the spectator points which were a long way away from the track.
Lap 10 the kart was just too slow now and I dropped back to P8 and at the end of the straight
going through the chicane the tyre finally let go and the kart spun off into the tyre wall. I jumped out and dragged it round, restarted the engine and thought if I can just grab a few of the minor places to get some points but as I drove the next lap it was clear this wasn't an option as the sprocket protector had completely cut through teh sidewall of the tyre.
Rather than get the race yellow or even battenburg flagged I drove back to the pits but I was devestated.
Final 2 (Grand-Final)
So, overnight I've reset and got my Chi focussed for a monumental task.....get good points in the Final from P34 on the grid against the best in the country!
This is what I love, the lights go out and we go....in front of me all the karts jostle to the right to try and get inside position but all I can see is clear track ahead so I get my head down. There is a right-left-right chicane at the end of the straight which is very tight at the beginning of a lap so looking up I need to work out a way of getting through this off line with 33 karts on my right... I see a slight gap open and slot into this and onto the lap.
drivers are still trying to protect their opening positions so I just look for gaps and send it in making up places and I come over the line to start lap 2 having made up a massive 16 places running in P18!
Now, this isn't great but it's much better than 34 so now to move up. This lap I move up a slot but there's a big gap in front of me to the next group, 1.3 seconds which takes me 4 laps to close and on Lap 6 I move up again.
Lap 7 and another 3 places but another big gap to the next group, 2.3 seconds but I'm worried that I won't have time to span this so head down and start nailing the laps.
Over the next 3 laps I close the gap 2.9s, 1.9s, 1.5s then straight in to move to P11 on lap10. Lap 11 to P10 with a 1.1s gap to the lead group. Again I try to do the job but this time it woudl prove to be a bridge too far and I run out of time at the flag having closed the gap down to 0.1 seconds and only 1.2 seconds behind the P3 driver. Another 2 laps and I'm sure I'd have got on the podium but I think it was a great recovery drive from the back of the grid.
So on reflection a very strong showing, not the time to have a mechanical issue but looking forward to the O Plate and the next round of Super 1.