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New PB at Whilton Mill – Sep 26/27

October 1, 2009

Despite returning faster and faster lap times, Sam was unable to convert the speed into results this weekend at Whilton Mill. At least he didn’t get knocked off the road so much; he managed to find the grass all on his own!!



Gentle pace for the first few practice sessions

Gentle pace for the first few practice sessions

With a fresh rebuild for the reserve engine courtesy of new sponsors – PCT Cars of Coventry, we spent the first couple of sessions running the engine in, and staying out of the way. By session 3 Sam was able to run up towards maximum revs and start to work on the setup for the weekend.

“By the time we had finished running the engine in, it was getting towards the end of the day and we could not do all of the testing we wanted to try such as different gearing.”



Sam in pole (rhs) - he was hit by the kart 3rd row on lhs

Sam in pole (rhs) - he was hit by the kart 3rd row on lhs

Sam woke on Sunday morning to discover he was drawn in pole position for heat 1. This set the nerves jangling after the start line experience at Kimbolton but following a driver briefing from Dave and Jason, plus the last minute grid briefing of the starter Marshal, Sam was ready for the challenge…..





“The start line marshal told me I was responsible for setting the pace and I had to stay below 20mph [measured by a speed trap – Dad] but even though I tried to set the pace I was just pushed along by people behind me – even if I braked. Then the kart in 2nd place just overtook me before I had reached the start line just like Kimbolton but they let the race go ahead so I was in about 3rd or 4th by the first corner.”


Shouldnt happen to a pole sitter - tyre marks on the front of Sams nassau panel

Shouldn't happen to a pole sitter - tyre marks on the front of Sams nassau panel

To rub salt into the wounds, an accident at the first corner launched the driver from P6 up over Sam’s nassau panel (the plastic nose cone) leaving tyre marks to prove it. How on earth did P6 get in front of pole at the first corner?? Another lesson learnt – ignore the advice of the start marshal!!!!


The race didn’t get any easier after the first corner. From a position of  P5  up the hill, Sam was out braked by some of the more experienced drivers coming up through the field into Christmas corner and to be fair Sam was right not to fight it – keen to get through the first lap unscathed. As the first lap madness calmed, he settled into a rhythm for the next few laps and started the familiar recovery drive, only to throw a chain after taking too much kerb into the Boot and had no option but to park it up on the grass and watch the rest of the race from the tyre wall. We don’t suffer many DNF’s so they hurt when they happen. Fortunately the race engine survived (they can over rev when a chain goes).


Chasing Tom Seddon

Chasing Tom Seddon

For Heat 2 Sam was drawn at the back of the grid just infront of the novices. In front of Sam there was a spill on the first lap at the top of the hill. The only way to avoid contact was to take to the grass (again!!) along with Tom Seddon.





“I rejoined just behind Tom and was able to keep up with him. We were both able to catch the pack so I stayed as close as I could to the back of his kart and  followed him through as he overtook. I even challenged him at times but couldn’t quite get past. Chasing Tom helped me get another PB of 48.85 seconds. “


Trying to find a way past Matt Davies

Trying to find a way past Matt Davies

Heat 3 was an improvement. Drawn in the mid pack Sam had a much better start and progressed through the field until he reach the back of two battling regulars. As they tripped over each other into the Boot, Sam nipped through and took them both into Pit corner. A slight error on Sam’s part let Matt Davies (#28) back through. 



“I thought I had the inside line covered up the hill but somehow Matt managed to put his kart alongside me and take the corner. I swear he must have had 2 wheels on the grass!!

For several laps of great racing, Sam was all over the back of Matt who defended well.

I knew I was faster than him and on several occasions was so close to him I could even read his Mychron [the computer on his steering wheel – Dad], but then on the last lap I out braked myself coming into the chicane and put myself on the grass.

By the time he had rejoined the circuit, Sam lost 4 places and crossed the line in 18th – furious with himself.



Dummy grid

Dummy grid

With a poor qualifying position of 20th (out of 30) the strategy was just to ‘go for broke’ and give it his all. The start was compromised by the two karts in front, both of whom were caught napping at the start and left large gaps between themselves and the kart in front. This disadvantages everyone behind them. Sam just “kept his foot in” around the first two corners and emerged 17th. 


“Into the Boot on the first lap the kart in front of me lost it and spun onto the grass. It surprised me so much I nearly followed him off the track!

There then followed several laps chasing #45 Jamie Tyler but gradually he pulled a slight gap out and Sam was unable to close him down.

“I was pushing really hard when I out braked myself again at the same corner as heat 3 into the chicane. I locked the back wheels and spun onto the grass, only this time the engine died and I was out.”

A disappointing end to an enjoyable weekend. Kart was good, engine was strong, driver was fast. But the result didn’t come this week.


For full results click here.

Next stop Rissy next weekend.


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