Date: 21st February 2016
Track: Teamsport Southampton (Eastleigh)
My PB at this track (before this session): 23.732s
Best lap time this session: 24.220s
Another quick karting trip with Mike and a couple of his friends, mainly in preparation for the team endurance on Tuesday evening. I was feeling a lot better in myself this week after shaking off the last of the virus that I had since the BRKC.
The first session started really well and the kart felt fantastic; I was very happy with my karts throughout the afternoon (whilst they behaved completely differently, they were great and there was nothing to complain about at all). I went for it straight from the word go and maintained my position at the top of the timing sheets for 21 laps.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t quite enough to “win” overall. Mike seemed to come out of nowhere to get in front me and exhibit some great defensive driving that I was ‘coaching’ him in last week. These few laps at the end were great fun and really tested my ability to follow closely and attempt to overtake. I finished the session in second place with a best lap of 24.348s, but with the best average lap time out of all of the drivers in that session. Mike finished just behind me in third spot, but having made massive improvements in all aspects of his karting.
Both Mike and I were determined for the second session; I wanted to top the timesheets and Mike wanted to get both a better lap time and to practice his new lines around the track.
From the pit lane, both of us went for it and were inseparable for the first four or five laps and, through our aggressive start, we were pulling away from the pack at pace. It was a brilliant battle, which I only managed to get the upper hand in due to a slight mistake by Mike at the “grandstand” hairpin, slipping off the racing line, and allowing me to squeeze through on the inside.
There wasn’t too much action throughout this session; Mike was held up a little longer than I was behind the back markers, allowing me to just concentrate on my driving (although he was always just about one corner behind!).
We achieved a one-two on the timesheets at the end of the afternoon’s karting; I set my fastest lap of the day, a 24.220, with Mike just fractionally slower than he was in the first session.
I have to also mention that the standard of karting was far higher than last week’s session and the racing was both competitive and fair, which makes it a lot more fun for everyone. I have a lot of confidence and respect for my teammates for Tuesday’s endurance race – now we just need to turn it into a positive result!