Never think that success is down to your own performance alone

Date: 31st December 2015
Track: Teamsport Southampton (Eastleigh)
My PB at this track (before this session): 23.732s
Best lap time this session: 24.812s

After the previous night’s racing, I decided to have a “warm down” and introduce my friend Mike to the sport that I love and put so much of my spare time into.

After chatting with Mike on the way to the track, it turned out that this was his first time karting in a very long time, but I had a sneaky suspicion that he was going to be pretty good on track, so I was keeping one eye out for him when we were racing.

We arrived very early for our session (I was allowing for traffic that simply wasn’t there!), but this gave Mike the opportunity to take a look at the track and ask for a couple of little pieces of advice from me before we went to our safety briefing.

As always in these open sessions, there was a wide range of abilities; from those who had never stepped foot in a kart before to those who regularly kart. The challenge for me was to weave through the traffic and be as competitive as I could be (without bumping anyone!).

There was a lot of traffic on the track, and unfortunately, there were a few stoppages and yellow flags throughout the first session. I felt like I was doing a good job to get around the other drivers cleanly, even if some of my moves had an air of cockiness about them. One thing that I was very proud of was squeezing through the tiniest gap following a spin by one of the drivers (at ~12:41 in the video below).

I managed a 25.405s lap in this session, about half a second in front of the nearest competitor. Mike finished eight-tenths of a second off my pace, with a 26.212s lap, which is no mean feat considering that it was his first time around the Eastleigh track.

I set Mike a challenge for the second session; to go sub 26s, and he set me a target in return – to put in the fastest lap of the day (at this point in the afternoon it currently stood at 25.003s). Normally a sub 25s lap would be easy for me, but there was a lot of traffic and lines that I would usually take weren’t always there!

If the first session was me having fun (and showboating to an extent), the second was me pushing hard; I wanted that best lap of the day and I was determined to catch up with Mike again (who beneath his laid back exterior, was a force to be reckoned with when he stepped into the kart).

All of the drivers improved massively in the second session; Mike took almost two tenths of a second off his PB in this session, but just missed out on the sub 26s lap. Although the quality of the competition might not have been as strong as the previous night, I was pleased that I managed to get the fastest lap of the day with a 24.812s lap.

After the event, one of the drivers in the session messaged me and began to follow me on my Facebook page – It was great to be able to communicate with a fellow driver and it was a boost to my confidence to be told that he learnt a lot from watching and racing me (he also managed to cut over a second off his PB between the two sessions!).

The countdown to the BRKC continues…

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