TVKC Spring Special
TVKC are not doing a summer championship this year so they are running a number of special one-off meetings. The event would take the form of Saturday testing and Timed Qualifying and on Sunday there were 2 heats, a pre-final and a final.
Saturday testing started by running in an engine that we had just rebuilt which looked OK and we dialled in the kart in the first session so it was just a matter of seeing how we compared to the opposition.
Having raced the previous weekend I was feeling good and as it happened I was setting the times that would be the benchmark for all of the sessions. Towards the last sessions it rained so
we setup the kart accordingly and went out. The kart felt great and the session was officially timed so it was very good to see the timing showing me 0.74 quicker than any other driver on track, so the wet running was ticked off also.
TQ came round and it was a very short session of 5 minutes. We head to the grid and everyone was already there so it was a quick kart check as the lights went green and away I went. I get down to pushing for the times and hit the p1 slot after a lap or so, I keep pushing and when the clock hits zero I'm topping the board by 0.24. Again, on reviewing teh times, even my second fastest time would have put me P1 so it was nice that things were going well.
Sunday - Race Day
No 3 lap practice so straight into a heat. Starting Pole and with the confidence from Saturday I'm hoping for a good day and we roll round to take the start. We roll onto the straight and the other row of karts go before us so as I go over the start line I'm more than a kart length down but I can't change that now so as we run down the back straight I line up to send it in into hairpin 1. As I get closer I'm about 5 lengths back from the leader but go for the move and nail it and take the lead.
I get my head down and start to try and break but it's impossible due to the massive tow, I stretch
the lead all around the circuit but as soon as i get to the two straights the chasing drivers just tow up to me and this is how the race goes until the last lap when I have to go defensive and take the win. Unfortunately when we get on the scales they have moved since we last weight checked and I come in 0.15kg under so I get disqualified from that heat, not a good start but the pace is there with me only 6/100ths off fastest lap when I'm at the front pushing my own air.
We start Heat 2 and again the P2 driver goes before me and gets away with it but it's pretty much a carbon copy of Heat 1 with me leading every lap until the penultimate lap where coming out of hairpin 1 the P2 driver pods me off of the track on the short straight leading to hairpin 2.
This causes me to drop to P3 but over the next lap I move up to P2 where I take the flag.
The DSQ from Heat 1 was now going to come into play and it meant my starting position for the Pre-Final would be P11, not ideal but it's what I've got.
We go and it's time to go to work, lap 1 I go from P11 to P8, lap 2 P8 to 6 and over the next 7 laps I make my way to P3 and on the next lap make the jump to lead the race and it's the last lap, I fend off challenges and it's just the last 2 corners to go so I cover the inside and we come round onto the straight and it's a drag race to the line.......which by 0.01 I end up P2, but this is OK, a front row start for the final.
We go and I slot in behind the leader and try to push away for a couple of laps but he's not quick enough when leading so I take the lead on lap 3 and try to get away and by lap 9 we have a small gap of 0.8 seconds when the P2 driver goes for the lead. He gets past and immediately goes defensive driving down the white lines.
I sit behind for 1/2 a lap but this has given the chasing pack the opportunity to close to make this a 6 kart race. Coming down the back straight the leader is fully defensive so into hairpin 1 I make my move and go round the outside and get round. As we are going down the short straight to hairpin 2 the driver behind hits my right hand rear corner, rides up over my engine, shoulder, steering wheel and comes down on my right front. This pulls my kart right across the track and we get hit by the P3 driver but my race is over as it's snapped off my sparkplug in the engine.
I'm not sure what the driver was trying to do as there was 1.5 laps left and there was no need to try anything like this but there we go, race ended right there, sore arm and shoulder and damage, not ideal by any stretch.
Positives....very fast, very strong on track and getting used to being back in the seat again, great kart, great power and great teamwork.
Big thanks to Jack Dex Racing JDR, MSKart, Jade Engines and Kartpix Chris Walker for the photos.