Date: 15th January 2016
Track: Formula Fast, Milton Keynes
My PB at this track (before this session): GP circuit 33.527s, BRKC2016 alternative layout 35.916s
Best lap time this session: GP circuit 33.052s, BRKC2016 alternative layout 35.276s
After a lovely, relaxing holiday with my wife and family in a treehouse (with hot tub!) in the Forest of Dean; a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the kart track, I returned to Formula Fast in Milton Keynes for the official BRKC 2016 practice session.
I managed to squeeze two and a half sessions in throughout the day; one and a half on the normal GP circuit (the half was due to an admin error which was rectified quickly and professionally) and a session on the alternative layout.
The half session was a little bit chaotic; I had arrived earlier than my reserved practice session, so I volunteered to swap my session on the alternative layout with an earlier session on the normal layout. However, the swap didn’t go smoothly and resulted in me making a dash downstairs to get in a kart halfway through the final race in that session.
Once in the kart, I found my feet fairly quickly, trying out my planned techniques for the new laser activated pit stop and I finished the ‘sprint’ with a 33.551s – very close to my PB set in November (unfortunately, due to the rush, there is no on-board footage of this session).
After a brief track change, I was back out again (in the session that I had originally reserved) on the alternative layout. I was nervous for this session, because the alternative layouts have not been kind to me in the past. I tried to follow some advice that I had been given by my colleague at work with respect to the second layout; “drive around the hairpins, don’t skid around them”.
I needn’t have worried so much; I finished the session with a new PB of 35.276s and by finishing 5th in this session, I feel much more confident of scoring good points in rounds two and four of the championship.
My first outing on the alternative layout is tomorrow at 18:30, where I will be supported by a couple of friends at the track – hopefully I can put on a good performance with a little added pressure trackside.
I took the opportunity to sign up for one last normal layout practice session in the evening and, after a brief period of respite at the hotel, I headed back to the track for the last time before the the green lights shine for the BRKC proper. I was really switched on and prepared for the session; I was already 1.5s faster than last year’s best time in the morning, but I wanted more – I was aiming for a sub-33s lap in this session.
I was left on my own for a long period of time in this session, where my lap times were consistent, but not a blistering pace. It was only when I had made a pit stop and another driver had also stopped, that I had someone to chase and my lap times tumbled.
Whilst I may not have achieved my sub-33 second lap, a 33.052s PB sets me up beautifully for my first race tomorrow at 1pm – it has been labelled as a heat of death (and a must-watch), but where will I manage to finish?
Remember that you can follow all of the action of the BRKC2016 weekend live on YouTube (youtube.com/britishchampionship), Twitter (#BRKC2016 and @britishkart) and all the live timings at http://ffkbanbury.clubspeedtiming.com/sp_center/livescore.aspx.
EDIT: BRKC2016 will be streamed on Livestream http://livestream.com/accounts/16838646/events/4696618?t=1452941905