Date: 31st March 2015
Track: Teamsport Southampton (Eastleigh)
My PB at this track (before this session): 25.698s
Best lap time this session: 26.642s
After my exploits at this “new” track at the weekend (to which Nick is still recovering), I decided to use my free loyalty session at the same track after work.
I thought I may have to battle through the traffic to get to the track, so after getting changed into my karting attire at work I rushed off to the venue with about an hour in hand. Well, this must have been the only day where there was no traffic on the M27 or on Wide Lane going into Eastleigh. I arrived at the track nearly an hour before my first race!
After scouring through my Twitter timeline and doing an online survey, I went inside to watch some other groups on the track. The karts seemed to be particularly slow and slippery for everyone before me, so whilst I was hoping to beat my time at the weekend, I wasn’t holding out a great deal of hope at this point.
It was only when I got into the kart for the first time this evening that I found another hindrance; normally I kart, socially at least, after sunset. Today, the sun was at exactly the wrong height and was blinding coming out of the pits.
Anyway, enough of the “excuses”, unlike Friday evening, I felt very comfortable in the kart and I was ready to set some good lap times.
In the first session of the two, I felt like I was storming through the field overtaking near enough every driver in front of me with ease. To add to this, until about three quarters of the session gone, there hadn’t been any major incidents and my consistency was looking good. Even when the driver in front span out (on the straight) and I crashed into the side of his kart, at full-speed, flinging me out of my seat, I still managed a fast lap time straight after.
My fastest lap from this session was 26.757s – the fourth quickest of the week at that point.
I will admit that the crash I had in the first session did shake me up a bit when I got out of the kart; the half hour wait between sessions was needed as my left shoulder felt very tight and my muscles were all quite tense.
I don’t know what exactly happened at the start of the second session. I set off from the pits and instantly set off in pursuit of the three karts in front of me. In a way, I felt like I needed to entertain the quite large crowd that had formed at the track; I was pushing the grip to the limit, drifting and spinning the kart at various points, pulling off overtaking manoeuvres at corners that I had no right to do so and generally showing off.
It wasn’t fast and, if I’m honest, it stopped being fun pretty quickly. I got stuck behind a trail of karts each competing with one another and realised that the only way I could salvage a fast lap would be to back right off this group of drivers and claim some clear air. This is exactly what I did and three laps from the end, I set my fastest lap of the evening; a 26.642 which whilst not being as fast as on Friday, it felt as if it just clicked this time.
I don’t know where my next karting adventure will be, but I will certainly write about it here!