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Rainy Rissington – 6/7 Jun

June 10, 2009

Gloom and doom at Rissy – and not just the weather!

 Following the sunshine and spoils of Whilton Mill 2 weeks ago, Rissington in June was a bit of a come down with both weather and result being somewhat disappointing.



Full wets for kart and driver

Full wets for kart and driver

Saturday was a new experience running in the rain and hunting after the optimum kart setup. Changes to gearing, track width, tyre pressures, weight distribution and toe-in all brought Sams times down toward respectability so by the end of the day we were pretty pleased with the outcome and optimistic for the forthcoming race day.






“With the weather forecast changing every time we looked, I didn’t know what weather to expect. But low and behold it rained… hard. So the whole day was about getting the right set-up for both the kart and me. Learning which corners are flat out in the rain and which aren’t. So once I had spun on a corner I knew I was going in too fast or braking too hard and then I would adjust that for the next lap. The whole day was just a total learning curve, as I had never driven round Rissington in the rain.”


Sunday heats

We woke on Sunday to torrential rain which only got heavier as we drove towards the circuit. By the time we reached Gloucestershire the standing water on the roads was alarming so upon arrival at the circuit we had no option but to invest in new wet tyres as our part worn set would just not be good enough for this amount of water. Duly fitted, the 3 lap warm up session was ideal to scrub them in, but afterwards Sam reported there was already a dry line developing.  By the time Heat 2 had arrived the sun was out and slicks were unquestionably the order of the day. What a change from the early morning weather! So we hurriedly changed the setup back to dry. Despite threatening clouds around the circuit we ran on slicks all day!


“Judging by the weather on the Saturday, I knew it was going to absolutely hammer it down, I was right, it did. Well up until about 9 o’clock-ish, when it stopped and there was clear blue sky in the distance. This was a booster because I would much rather race in the dry rather than the wet. By the time everyone had had their first heat, the track was completely dry, there was then a sudden rush round to get the kart set up for the dry. The next two heats were great, I made up a few places both times but was pushed out of the first novice position in the third heat. Unfortunately the marshalls didn’t see it.”



Sam and Charlie starting heat 2 in a haze of 2 stroke smoke

Sam and Charlie starting heat 2 in a haze of 2 stroke smoke

Heat 2 saw a return to past form with Sam and teamate Charlie starting together on the grid and running the whole race within inches of each other. It was great racing to watch, positions swapping several times, though not the most productive teamwork as they kept each other so busy they lost touch with the pack ahead of them. After 9 laps and 8 minutes of racing they crossed the line 0.09 seconds apart!

Crossing the finish line 0.09 secs apart

Crossing the finish line 0.09 secs apart


Sunday final

Despite the set back in heat 3, Sam still qualified in a respectable grid slot  for the final and started brilliantly. With the advantage of starting on the inside line, he made up 6 or 7 places on the first half of the lap as the pack then filtered into the heavy braking area of ‘dog-leg’ bend. It was bound to end in tears and it did – ours!


“In the end I qualified 15th for the final, but that’s where it all went wrong. It was the race that could determine whether I got another novice trophy or not. I was off to a good start as I claimed the position of first novice after the first corner of the first lap, but at the fourth corner (called Dog-Leg) that all changed… for the worst. I got one tap from the back and I spun and basically, my race was over. I restarted in last place.”


In a brilliant fight back Sam chipped away at the gap and caught the back of the pack after a few laps. He worked his way past several of the runners at the back until he started the last lap in a creditable 19th, or so it seemed…..


“I was in last place but fortunately managed to regain three places after catching up with the back of the pack. This changed again after another tap put me on the grass on the last lap two corners before the finish line but I wasn’t too bothered as my race was already ruined anyway. What an eventful weekend.”


Remains of side pods after mutliple attacks

Remains of side pods after mutliple attacks

So the karting gods were not on our side today. None of the incidents attracted the stewards attention so we take it on the chin. It really didnt reflect the performance – both Sam and the kart ran strongly all day, lots of overtaking, and yet came home virtually last.   😦

Thats racing …….


Full results and times on

Next stop Whilton Mill at the end of June for the last race as a novice.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Gran & Randon permalink
    June 13, 2009 6:58 pm

    Sorry you didn’t have such a good days racing but you will rise above it I’m sure. Just put it down to experience and look forward to the next race. We hope to come along and see you one day soon.


    Gran &

  2. Martin Riley permalink
    June 12, 2009 7:20 pm

    Hi both, enjoyed reading your racing exploits Sam and I will keep an eye out for your progress over the coming race meetings.
    I hope to make it to one of them in the near future to cheer you on.



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