Last night was the live draw for the heats of the BRKC. After a few technical difficulties (and counting difficulties!), we finally found out who we would be facing in the four heats to qualify for the semi-finals and finals.
It was a strange feeling watching and waiting for your name to be pulled out of the trophy; there were nerves, people you wanted to be drawn with, people you definitely didn’t and a lot of first-timers, like myself, who are unknown quantities. For those who watch the FA Cup draw on TV, imagine the nervousness and anticipation that you feel when your team is pulled out and multiply that by 100.
All in all, I think I’ve been given a fair chance with the draw; obviously there wasn’t going to be an easy heat throughout the 36 races in the first four rounds, but there were some “death heats” that will clearly be brilliant to watch but ridiculously tough to compete in.
Below, I have given a summary of the heats that I am participating in with the , with a brief overview and my “one to watch” out of the other drivers.
ROUND 1 (SATURDAY 17th JANUARY 2015) – 09:00:00
Heat 3: Sam Spinnael, Mark Whitelegge, Remigiusz Drzazga, David Birrell, Brett Gaskin, Paul Hedger, Xavier Andrew, Alex Vangeen, Michael Woods, Alexandru Damian
An early race to get me up to speed (quickly!) in the championship. Glad that I can get myself into the swing of things without a lot of waiting around and I will also get the opportunity to watch the first heat to pick up some last-minute tips!
One to watch: Alex Vangeen – Apparently “Mr 3rd place”, but a driver I have a lot of respect for and someone who can challenge for the overall win this year in my opinion.
ROUND 2 (SATURDAY 17th JANUARY 2015) – 15:00:00
Heat 4: Brett Gaskin, Marques Riddell, Jack Woodfield, Paul Hedger, Michael Coppin, Michael Moore, Slawek Piskorsz, Arnaud Tinet, Tim Andrew, Anwar Beroual Smith
Nice break between my first and second heats… Enough time for a light lunch. Maybe a nap? Of course not. The nerves will be building as soon as I finish the first one! In terms of form, this heat will be one of my toughest; Slawek Piskorsz, Arnaud Tinet and Anwar Beroual Smith will all be hugely competitive in this one.
One to watch: Anwar Beroual Smith – Multiple champion (by his own admission on the BRKC page!) and 6th place last year in the BRKC.
ROUND 3 (SATURDAY 17th JANUARY 2015) – 20:00:00
Heat 3: Oliver Bayani, Alex Vangeen, Harry Neale, James Shrimpton, Kyle Power, Gregory Laporte, Mark Whitelegge, Michael Weddell, Robin Kassam, Brett Gaskin
My third heat on the Saturday and the second time that I will be facing Whitelegge and Vangeen. Looking at the previous experience of the other drivers in this heat, there is last years’ 10th place finisher in the BRKC, Michael Weddell, in this heat along with a former world champion. Not knowing much about the other drivers in this field means that I will be watching them in their first two heats because I’m not up to speed on their experience and form at this point in time.
One to watch: Gregory Laporte – Former world champion and winner of various championships around the world. Formidable.
ROUND 4 (SUNDAY 18th JANUARY 2015) – 14:00:00
Heat 6: Will Buxton, Kristian Jennings, Andrew Duff, Ruben Boutens, Lee Jones, Paul Hedger, Nathan Bull, Brett Gaskin, Daniel Truman, Liam Brierley
If I end up needing to win in the final race to get into the semi-finals, I will have to beat the best to be the best. The one driver that I was hoping to avoid through the heats (but also secretly wanting the challenge to race him) was Ruben Boutens. It’s also the third time that I will be facing Paul Hedger this year! But don’t think that this is going to be a “one-man heat”, anyone could cause an upset on Sunday afternoon (I think that fellow blogger, Andrew Duff, could tear up the form book here!).
One to watch: Ruben Boutens – Reigning BRKC Champion. Need I say more?!
All other heats and drivers can be found on the BRKC website, www.brkc.net.
I’m off karting again tonight for the last time before practice on Friday in Milton Keynes!
Excited much? I am.