All By Myself

Date: 15th April 2015
Track: Teamsport Southampton (Eastleigh)
My PB at this track (before this session): 25.698s
Best lap time this session: 25.808s

After my “birthday week” including other adrenaline-filled activities and surprises, it was time to get back down to the track in preparation for my next race.

Again, this was a freebie from being a part of Teamsport’s “Grid” membership scheme, this time because it was my birthday. I arrived fairly early at the track to get changed and relax before my first session on the track. One of the guys came up to me whilst I was looking out at the track and told me that I would be the ONLY one on the track after the group of ten in the session before me, unless I wanted one of the marshals to join me. I was quite happy being out there on my own; no yellow or red flags to stop me, no slower drivers to get in my way, just me and my kart against the clock!

It was a great experience being out there on my own; I also had the freedom to try new things out and experiment with lines and braking points (could be very important in the race here next week!). I was very consistent in the first session; less than one second separated my fastest and slowest laps in the session. My fastest lap was a 26.293s, which with a cold kart, was faster than I managed in 50+ laps last time out!

I would say that the only downsides to being out there on my own was not having a reference point or knowing when the chequered flag was going to come down. About 4 laps from the end, I was preparing to come into the pits, so this obviously affected my lap times slightly, but it was entirely my fault – you should always race to the flag!!!

There also wasn’t as much of a break between the sessions as I had expected; I was straight back on 15 minutes later, when according to my booking email, it should have been a 30 minute break. I wasn’t complaining though, I was in the mood to put in a fast time!

The second session started a little slower. I wasn’t 100% happy with the feel of the kart and found myself shuffling around a bit to get comfortable in the first few laps. The kart also felt quite slippery, which was odd as it had been “warmed up” in the previous session. I soon got into the zone again and the lap times started tumbling… first the lap times were in the low 27’s, then the mid-26’s, then the low 26’s and even a couple of laps quicker still.

I don’t know whether this a good or bad thing, but I didn’t feel like I managed to link one lap up with my best driving… I did some brilliant lines through some tricky turns, but there was always one corner in the lap that wasn’t quite right. I’m taking this to mean that I can go much quicker if I manage to pull it all together. My fastest lap this evening was a 25.808s, just a tenth or so off my all-time best here (and that was with a kart that had been used for several hours before I got in it).

All-in-all, I am happy going into “The Mansell” race next week and, hopefully, I will be able to challenge the others to a competitive race.

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