1st Junior X30 Meeting @ WMKC
This was my first meeting at Whilton Mill in the Junior X30 class and I'd not been out much so really didn't know what to expect.
We had a plan for testing on Sasturday which we ran through. The result of which was I was a fair bit off the pace and we were running out of reasons why.
Towards the last session it was decided to make some changes back to a setup that we knew had always worked so after testing and prepping Saturday night Jack went back to JDR base and collected some items.
Early Sunday morning dad and Jack set to work changing the kart ready for practice to see if this helped.
Sunday - Race Day
5 Minute Practice
I went out onto a damp track for 5 minute practice hoping the changes would make a difference but unfrotunately a kart spun in front of me and I tried to avoid it but ended up going through the safety barrier.
It took me ages to pull the kart across the wet grass back on to the tarmac and only had a few minutes left to hopefully make a call on whether the changes made things better.
I think I ended up getting 3 laps in but when I saw the timing sheets it showed me as 4th quickest, which I was happy about. It was quickly back to the awning to check the kart for damage and prepare for Heat 1.
My starting position was P17 for this so time to see how competitive I am. The lights go out and we go. The kart feels good and as I like it and I start to make up places.
I push and go in to overtake without hesitation and at the 1st opportunity I can every time I catch the kart in front.
By the time the clock shows last lap I've made up 11 places but the kart in front may be within reach so going down into the left hand tight left-right corner I send it in from about 5 lengths back and get past to finish in P5, that's 12 places made up.........RESULT!
A better starting position for this one, P2 - Front Row.
We go and I get a good start and take the lead but on lap 4 I get relegated to 2nd by the driver who had been setting the fastest times of the day. I hold on to him in his tow for the next 7 laps but I'm pushing the kart and tyres very hard and not catching him so for the 4 laps I manage my pace to ensure I keep P2 at the flag. When I checked the lap times it was good as well as I was only a 10th of a second off the quickest.
So the trade off for a front row start would be my position I start in for Heat 3, P28, virtually last. All I needed to do here was make up as many places as I can to get a good grid position for the final.
We go and it's an awfult start with the grid split along the whole start-finish straight so the leaders were way ahead by the time I crossed the start line.
I get my head down and just go to work, passing karts as and when I can. I keep doing this but get held up for two or three laps in the middle of the race but once past I continue my way forward.
I'm still progressing when the chequered flag comes out and I wait to see how many places I have made up.
When the results are published it shows I made up 21 places to finish P7, great news.
The grids were published and I'd made P2, a front row start in my first meeting here.
Its a bad start as I get blocked at turn 2 and fall back to P4, so get my head down and start to claw back time. It looks like I'm struggling a little for pace but I keep at it and by lap 4 I move into 3rd and now there's a big gap to the P2 driver.
This is how things stay for the next 6 laps, effectively driving on my own as I had a gap to the drivers in front and behind until on lap 7 the chasing pack caught me and over the next three laps some frenetic overtaking took place the result of which was me dropping to P5 which was where I took the flag.
A mix of emotions really as I was very disappointed to have dropped so far down when really I was hoping at least for a podium and really wanted to challenge for the win. On the flip side my pace was good throughout the day and I was driving really well with tenacity and to start the final on the front row against a very strong grid with a load of track specialists was great.
A big thanks to Jack Dex Racing for the mentoring and setup, MS Kart for the great strong chassis, Jade Engines for the reliable top notch power, Stu Stretton Photography and Josh East for photographs also.
Next onto PFI for the TVKC May meeting.