Date: 7th October 2016
Track: Teamsport Southampton (Eastleigh)
My PB at this track (before this session): 22.695s
Best lap time this session: 23.591s
A spur of the moment decision to go karting in the member’s 3-4-2 session on a Friday evening (whilst my wife was away), took me back to Eastleigh with my friend Mike. I couldn’t believe that this was my first time karting since my 9th place finish in the KartChamps grand final (I had spent some time in Germany and Denmark with work immediately afterwards, so didn’t have the time to take part in any of the sessions that I would normally participate in).
There were only three of us in the members’ session (myself, Mike and Connor), meaning that there was a lot of space out on track (if you wanted it). I did want a bit of space at first, so allowed Mike to get away and then I planned to chase him down in the laps to come.
I’m not going to lie, but the kart I had been given didn’t feel great from the first corner; slipping and sliding around underneath me, but I persevered with it and a few laps later, a little bit of grip did appear in places and I set out in pursuit of Mike. Unfortunately, although I did close the gap slightly, I didn’t quite have enough time to catch and overtake him before the end of the session.
After the first session, the three of us decided that we would rotate the three karts used in that session, so that by the end of the evening, each driver would get the opportunity to drive each kart once.
The second session went pretty much the same way as the first; Connor was able to pull away from myself and Mike, whilst we “battled” it out for position on track. Again, I wasn’t thrilled with the kart’s performance, but I did all that I could to be competitive in it, knowing that I would have an opportunity to deliver a fast lap time in the last session.
With all of that taken into account, both myself and Mike came off at the end of the session having enjoyed every minute of it, especially the sportsmanship between the two of us swapping track positions at the end.
I finally got myself chance to drive kart 14 in the last session, which I was very happy about (although it was freshly refuelled just before the session). Compared with the other two karts I had used this evening, it was far easier to drive and be aggressive through the corners.
I tried to manage the gap between myself and Connor in the early part of the session, but eventually he broke free and then I had to just concentrate on putting clean laps in to better my lap times and attempt to get on the best time of the day/week/month lists!
I was really pleased with my performance in the final session, which also placed me (at this very early stage) as holding the third best lap time of the month.
I do have a strange feeling (and maybe a little bit of a lack of direction) after the KartChamps finals. This isn’t a new feeling for me; I usually feel some emptiness after the BRKC, because it is so physically and emotionally demanding over those three days. I really have the urge to try something new, whether that be a new track, a new championship/event or something completely different in motorsport (maybe going for my full racing licence). One thing that I know that I definitely will be putting my efforts into is trying to acquire sponsorship to help to fund whatever step I take next.
Onwards and upwards…