Date: 21st November 2014 (56 days until the BRKC)
Track: Teamsport Gosport
My PB at this track (before this session): 30.486s
Best lap time this session: 31.113s
With a change to my normal karting schedule (a Friday night after work, rather than a Saturday) and, as my work colleagues would tell you, I have not been particularly well over the past few days, but I still hoped for a good perfomance out on the track having dosed up on cold/flu/cough remedies all day. I was on my own this week too, as Mary-Anne had gone to an awards ceremony for work.
A lot of you will be thinking that this post starts with a lot of excuses for a bad performance, but I want to make it clear that none of this had any impact on what happened out on the track.
I was almost going through the motions at the start of the first session. Stuck in some traffic at the beginning, but a couple of good moves pushed me up the field. It was on lap 13 that the fireworks started! For those who know the Gosport track, you’ll be aware that there is a bridge that goes over the top of the track to bring you back to the start-finish line. I took the fastest line at the hairpin, leaving me the inside line at the bridge. The bridge is about three karts wide, but this driver forced me into the tyre wall even though, at the point of impact, I steered full-lock into his kart to avoid being buried in the barrier. I’m not going to name the driver that did it, but for the rest of the evening this kind of behaviour continued from him. I backed off massively after this incident but still managed to put in a series of faster laps together at the end.
This group of sessions were also different for another reason; we kept the same kart all the way through and the karts were not used for the other group (the other group consisted of a group of kids so they were using the 125cc karts instead). This was both good and bad; good because it gave you the opportunity to learn the kart, but bad because if you got a stinker of a kart, you were stuck with it!
I was hoping that the incident in the first session was a one-off, but I knew who I was looking out for in the second (I remembered the kart number from the previous race). I thought by starting first in the pitlane, this would allow me to have the clean air for at least a few laps, but no, this wasn’t to be the case. I’ve been in some aggressive races in the past, but when one driver forces you out of the way, throws his fist in the air at you and then cuts straight across you whilst making an inappropriate gesture, that just is not on. The red mist descended and for the rest of the race, I was determined to re-overtake him (which unfortunately didn’t happen!).
I was so angry after the second session that I walked out of the pits with my helmet on and didn’t take it off for a good few minutes. I swore that I would be getting him back in the third session. I stood in the pits with my helmet on and my visor up staring at him as he got ready for the next race.
The third session began with the rival, kart 16, two places in front of me in the pits. I sat in my kart at the end of the pit lane just staring right at the back of his head, almost as if he had a massive target on it. But as soon as the lights went green, I changed my attitude and allowed everyone behind me to overtake. Four slow laps later, I took the bull by the horns and put in 14 consecutive quick laps with no-one infront of me (all within a second of each other), including my fastest lap of the night. I then got caught in a little bit of traffic at the end, but kart 16 was nowhere to be seen (apart from overtaking me and another kart under yellows right at the end!!)
Normally I would round it up here, but it didn’t quite end there. I went into the cafe to pick up my print-out and someone had put mine into a spillage of some sort, so my printout was soaking wet. I really wasn’t impressed, but at that point, I just wanted to get in my car and get home.
Looking at the data analysis, I was again Mr. Consistency, with my second best session average ever at this circuit. I am slightly concerned at my lack of overtaking in recent races leading up to the BRKC.
Also, on a different note, whilst wearing my white helmet made me stand out somewhat compared to the other drivers, with my full race suit on, I feel like I am the target for the bullies/jealous drivers.
Does anyone have any tips that they would like to share with me? Or does anyone fancy coming racing with me one day? (I would like to organise a private session, with practice, qualifying and race session soon)
My next session is on Tuesday after work (a freebie), so we will see how I do then!