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Sam grabs maiden TKM pole and podium at Kimbolton

August 11, 2009

After the last two disappointing weekends Sams run of bad luck ended with a spectacular result at Kimbolton in Cambridgeshire.

 

Having stayed over at the circuit we awoke to a stress free Saturday practice at the fantastic Kimbolton circuit for the HKRC (Hunts Kart Racing Club) August meeting. This was a one off addition to our usual race calendar to give the Team additional experience of a new circuit and the all important signature on the license (necessary if they are to race at a higher level in the future). The Kimbolton circuit is fast and technical with some very long straights, heavy braking zones, double apexs and technical chicanes. It demands a different driving style than our usual venues so the track walk and driver coaching from Team Manager Dave Paveley was all the more important this week.

 

Will making new friends on the dummy grid

Will making new friends on the dummy grid

The TKM grid was relatively small, but included the two top Kimbolton regulars battling for their championship plus a visiting Super One (S1) driver. S1 is a national TKM series attracting the very best drivers in the country. Stiff competition would also come from fellow teamates Jade Paveley and newcomer Will Shaw.

 

Saturday

Learning the track was the order of the day for all three of the DPRS Team, along withsome calculated tuning of the kart to optimise straight line speed of the long straights withthe tight twisty bits. The locals were very welcoming and their advice was a big help. Pretty soon all three were getting in respectable lap times despite the sessions running together with the madmen from minimax (a different junior class of kart). These guys even managed to get a 3 lap practice red flagged!

Jade set the pace on Saturday

Jade set the pace on Saturday

Jade Paveley set the pace within the Team all day Saturday. Sam explains

“I started the day with understeer but we sorted that out by trying to drive in a more aggressive way which I found hard at first but Dave told us we had to keep trying if we wanted to get better. I did improve during the day but Jade was on fire, I just couldn’t match her times”.

 

Sunday

The weather looked threatening first thing Sunday, but it didn’t last long. The sun came out and stayed out for a glorious days racing. Heat one though started as we finished at the last event – first corner incident and Sam emerged from the melee in last place again.

There was a tangle of wheels as a driver on the outside line tried to squeeze between the back of Jades kart and the front of mine, which launched him into the air over Jade [ snapping her spark plug clean off – dad ] and dented my brand new front bumper. I didn’t care about the bumper [ you didn’t have to pay for it!! – dad] as long as I could keep going which I did luckily. It made a big dent but we got it out later by pouring boiling water over it.”

 

Sam then did his usual and clawed his way back to the back of the pack, finishing a creditable fourth. Heat 2 had Jade on pole and Sam in second on the grid. Temporary help was drafted in to push start Jade on the dummy grid but it failed miserably and almost ruined her chance of even starting the race [ sorry Jade :-{ ]. Despite this setback, she drove a faultless race from pole to her own well deserved maiden heat victory. Sam was never far away but never close enough to really threaten. He was kept busy throughout the race by the third place kart, with 0.03 seconds covering the first three over the line.

 

Sam spent much of the heats chasing the back of S1 competitor #9

Sam spent much of the heats chasing the back of S1 competitor #9

Heat 3 saw Sam move forward from third to second behind the S1 ‘expert’ who by rights should have driven away into the distance. Sam kept him honest throughout the ten laps of 45 seconds to finish only 2 seconds behind, and over 6 seconds ahead of the chasing pack.

 

 

I knew the guy in front was one of the S1 drivers so I was determined he wasn’t going to get away. I tried to follow his lines but it was difficult as he was so consistent I could just feel him inching further ahead but I was pleased I kept quite close to him in the end”.

 

 

Whilst the heats had been solid finishes for Sam, we didn’t think too much of the results and were totally shocked to discover he had qualified in pole.

The shocking evidence - Sam had qualified on pole

The shocking evidence - Sam had qualified on pole

Dave told us the most important thing to do was finish all of the heats not to worry too much about winning, and it turned out true as all the fast boys had at least one crash or DNF which meant I was on pole”.

 

Final

Start of the final, another jumped start by 2nd place man went unchecked

Start of the final, another jumped start by 2nd place man went unchecked

The significance of pole is two fold, first you start on the inside line but second you get to control the pace of the rolling start – or at least that’s the theory. After a nervous wait for the final, Sam led the rolling grid out around the track and towards the start line. First time around the S1 driver (in second place) had taken it upon himself to lead the grid and so the Clerk of the Course sent them round for another rolling lap.

 

Second time approaching the line and the second place man did the same again – this time they let it go!!! So by the time Sam reached the start line he was 2 kart lengths down and in the process of losing second place to Jade who had come from 4th on the grid.

I saw the front of Jades kart at the side of me as we reached turn 1, but I had the racing line and kept her behind me. I didn’t worry about #9 jumping the start because it would have been hard keeping him behind me for 15 laps and he could have pushed me off trying to get past and I would have lost everything. I’m real happy with second place and knowing I got pole”.

 

Turn 1 of the final - Sam takes the racing line and settles into 2nd

Turn 1 of the final - Sam takes the racing line and settles into 2nd

 Jade then had her own challenges from behind which left Sam chasing the leader in a repeat of heat 3. In a longer race this time of 15 laps, Sam came home only 4.5 seconds behind. Jade had a disappointing result that didn’t reflect her competitiveness all weekend, and it just wasn’t Wills day – he was dogged by bad luck and racing incidents.

 

 

 

This is a significant result and it may be a while before its repeated. Thanks to the whole Team for the big cheer at the trophy presentation.

Team DPRS - Will, Max, Sam, Jade, Dave, Mathew

Team DPRS - Will, Max, Sam, Jade, Dave, Mathew

Full results here.
[ note – TKM and minimax shown joint results in heats ]
Next event Whilton Mill August 22/23.
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7 Comments leave one →
  1. martin woodham permalink
    August 13, 2009 5:15 pm

    Really sorry not to have been there to see you in action Sam – a great result, just goes to show that when the bad luck/ others’ bad driving stops, you’ve got the talent and maturity to exploit it and get the result.
    Very, very well done – now let’s have some more podiums!

    keep your foot in
    Martin

  2. alan permalink
    August 13, 2009 11:20 am

    well done an excellent weekends work

  3. August 12, 2009 8:58 am

    A really cracking weekend , well done Sam.

  4. Nigel A permalink
    August 11, 2009 6:12 pm

    Fantastic news!

  5. Ian Randon permalink
    August 11, 2009 5:46 pm

    Well done Sam. Sounds like you had a great weekend. keep it up.

  6. Peter Rhodes permalink
    August 11, 2009 5:45 pm

    Tremendous result, well done Sam!

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