Youthful exuberance

Date: 13th March 2015
Track: Teamsport Gosport
My PB at this track (before this session): 29.956s
Best lap time this session: 30.311s

A little practice before the unofficial Fianium GP, but also an evening where I introduced an eleven-year-old to the track for his first ever experience in a petrol kart.

Unusually for me, as a member, I attended the safety briefing with Michael before heading out to the track, which was interesting as it was nice to see a real importance being put on the safety of the drivers, especially the children, that were going out on the track.
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I was determined to see that Michael had a good time karting; all too often I had seen youngsters, brought karting by their parents, who struggled (and in some cases failed) to get out of the pits at all. Michael, although slow around he track at first, really seemed to warm to karting. In fact, I really enjoyed karting with him, despite the extra responsibility I felt, because of his youthful exuberance – we set targets together at the end of the first and second sessions and I had never seen someone so happy at coming last when he looked at the leaderboard at the end of the second session. Michael showed continued improvement throughout the evening, finishing 7th in the last session, with a best lap time of 40.3s, which puts some of the adults to shame when they are karting for the very first time.

I started off slowly, trying to take care of the youngsters; make sure that they were having a good time, not to rush them or overtake them in a way which may have worried them. But when I got into some clear air, I felt good and on top form. I finished second in the first race (I wasn’t really racing at that point) with a 32.316s fastest lap.

As Michael grew in confidence, I did too; knowing that he was handling his kart well and enjoying it, meant that I was less preoccupied by watching him around the track and more into my own racing (still, every time I did pass him, I gave him a thumbs up which he responded to). I missed out on first place by 0.03s in the second session, finishing with a best time of 31.595s.

In the final session, I went for it from the first lap. Surprisingly, I barely overtook Michael, because he was holding his own and was probably one of the most consistent drivers in racing lines out there. I managed to pull together a 30.3s lap, to put me first with the fastest lap of the night from our group.

Karting with a young novice is a completely new experience for me, but I have to say that I really enjoyed it and the practice has hopefully served me well for the unofficial Fianium GP in 4 hours time and counting…

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