Date: 14th February 2016
Track: Teamsport Southampton (Eastleigh)
My PB at this track (before this session): 23.732s
Best lap time this session: 24.707s
A bit of a fun session with my friend Mike (who has become a GRID member after our NYE session!) and my first outing indoors since the BRKC.
Before I had even started, I suppose that a level of arrogance had crept into my mentality; I expected to be the fastest by quite a long way, having competed at one of the highest levels of indoor karting less than one month previously.
This was soon to be knocked out of me; physically on the track and mentally when the results came out. I didn’t take the first session too seriously, but I tried to turn it on when I couldn’t pull away from Mike – in our last session, I was about a second a lap quicker – this time, he had very good pace and was keeping me honest.
There were a few bashes and even more near-misses out on track due to the unpredictability of some of the drivers. I avoided a few drivers spinning in front of me (even if it did mean losing track position to Mike a couple of times!).
I did, however, top the timesheets with a 24.778s, a little over half a second faster than Mike who managed to finish second in this session.
Maybe because it was Valentines Day, the drivers wanted to get a little closer to one another in the second session, or maybe it was the usual confidence beating ability after one session.
The second session was more competitive and much rougher and the “No Bumping” sign was shown quite a few times (even if some did not agree with it!).
I tried to keep things as clean as possible but, in these sessions, some contact between karts is unavoidable. One incident, which I was involved in, that sticks in my mind started at the hairpin entry to the flyover; having followed the driver in front closely for a couple of laps, I saw them defend the inside line at the hairpin, so I deliberately held my outside line to try to cut up the inside on the exit. This worked well and the slightest of taps opened up the space for me to overtake. Once I was alongside and tried to push on, the driver that I had just overtaken turned in to me and bounced me up the on-ramp. One lap later, the marshals showed him the no bumping sign which he felt very aggrieved about, gesticulating from his kart.
I finished first in this session with a 27.707s lap, far more consistent than the first, with Mike a little closer behind me again in second place.
With all things considered, this was an average session for me – I want to, and need to, do better in the endurance race on the 23rd. Drawing some positives for the endurance race, Mike has improved dramatically and with a little bit of coaching in racecraft, he will be a fantastic team mate on Tuesday evening!