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Another trophy at Kimbolton

November 10, 2009

Sam ran with the leaders all weekend punching way above his weight against some impressive opposition. Despite the weather rolling the dice in the final, Sam kept his cool and clinched another very well earned trophy.

 

Pit crew brimming with excitement!

We like Kimbolton. A fast and flowing track, new surface, and very friendly paddock makes for a great weekend racing for our penultimate outing this year. We knew both driver and kart run well here so set our sights on a top five finish and our optimism proved well founded during Saturday practice as Sams times proved competitive.

Due to the shortened daylight hours, the format for racing on Sunday was to be 2 heats and a final.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday

The flaw in the plan surfaced on Sunday however with the track decidedly wet following overnight rain. Our wet setup had not been tested on this circuit and the surface was very slow to dry out.

Heat 1

Despite no further rain, the track surface still demanded wets so we sent Sam out on a compromised setup somewhere between “wet” and “dry”. Starting at the back in P18 we had high hopes of making up a lot of places.

I got a reasonable start down into the first corner but everyone was being careful because the grip was so bad. I made up 3 places but then got squeezed onto the grass. I managed to survive and took a couple more on the first lap. I had really bad understeer throughout the race but still managed to get several more places.

Sam finished in 9th from a P18 start but was unhappy with the balance and we couldn’t help but be a tad disappointed with the result.

Charlie on pole in heat 1

 Heat 2

With the track showing no signs of drying we opted for a full wet setup instead of the half and half we tried in heat 1. It was a gamble as Sam was starting heat 2 on pole with the fast guys not far behind.

I got a good start this time. When I turned into the first corner I just thought ‘yes the kart feels good’ the setup changes were perfect and the grip felt brilliant.

Whilst Sam had a good start, so did kart #3 – Sam Grogan. Front runner and recently crowned #3 at National (Super-1) level in this class (hence his number plate). The two Sams immediately pulled out a gap from the battling pack.

After a couple of laps no-one had overtaken me and I thought to myself ‘hmmm this is looking good’.

Click on the image for video of whole heat 2

Slowly Sam Grogan chipped away at Sams lead and then towards the end of lap 3  Sam lost grip momentarily….

Around the Hanger Corner I felt the kart drift and saw out of the corner of my eye the  white nose cone of Sam Grogan so I went defensive down the TKM straight but he got me around Kimbolton Corner.

Neither Sam nor Dad were too worried by this, and fully expected the Super-1 competitors such as Sam-G to disappear into the distance. But he didn’t….

I expect Sam-G to pull out a gap however that was not the case and I was able to hang onto him and occasionally had the opportunity to try and overtake but it was too risky and I backed out each time. I didnt want to take us both out.

The 2 Sams ran nose to tail throughout much of the race, Sam-G had the upper hand through the Willows complex and Sam-R appeared to have the grip around Kimbolton and Stow corners. A small gap developed in the middle of the race but by the last 2 laps our Sam was again challenging into Stowe. They finished 0.4s apart with a fastest lap difference of only 0.04s between them.

 

Final

Post race scrutineering and weigh-in

After a bit of a scare in post race scrutineering (bit too close to the weight limit for comfort!) we added a burger or two to the driver and planned our strategy for the Final. After a days racing the track was finally beginning to dry and one or two brave souls in the preceding race chose to run on slicks.

The whole TKM grid were watching and waiting, wheel guns at the ready….

Sam had qualified 4th on the grid out of 20. We made the call and chose worn wets as did most of the front half of the grid. One or two went for the gamble on slicks including another Super-1 competitor, Billy Baxter (ranked #10), who was a big threat and starting out of position back on row 4.

 

 

Sam started on the outside line and lost a place into the first corner so tucked in behind #77. Third on the grid Matt Davies had started on slicks and fell back on the first lap losing places to #77 first, then Sam took him around Hanger as Matt presumably struggled on the slippy surface with cold tyres.

 

Down the inside - Sam takes #77 but then disaster

With his superior grip around Kimbolton corner Sam got alongside #77 down the start/finish straight and took the inside line into Stowe. He appeared to be past but then disaster…..

I thought I was past #77 but he still turned in on me and we clashed wheels. My kart jumped up and somehow hooked onto the back of his. We were stuck together and before I knew it Billy Baxter and Matt Davies both went past us.”

 

Finally past, damage on nosecone from tangle with #77

Eventually the boys sorted themselves out after much arm waving at each other and the race continued. Fired up by the events of that lap Sam took no prisoners as he made the pass stick on #77 this time into Hanger, taking the racing line and leaving his opponent with no road.

 

 

 

 

Next in Sams sights was good friend Jordan, another front runner on his day. Sam took him around Hanger too and even managed to pull away.

 

For the remainder of the race Sam was chasing down Matt Davies and Billy Baxter but their slicks had by now got up to temperature and they were now the tyres to be on. The damage had been done and Sams hopes of further progress were finished. But what a great result – 4th out of 20.

 

8 year old Tom airborne on his cadet debut

Teamate Charlie recovered from a poor qualifying position to finish a very strong 9th.

Jade had a solid first race weekend in 125 gearbox category.

And our newest DPRS teamate 8yr old Tom had an eventful but impressive first ever cadet race weekend. A great little racer!

We like Kimbolton.

Full results click here.

Next and final race of the year is Shenington in 4 weeks time.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Trisha permalink
    December 7, 2009 1:54 am

    Hi guys, hadn’t seen a recent update from Dave so thought I’d drop by and see how things are going. Looking good!! Hope that Shenny went well and look forward to seeing the write up. Well Done Sam ;o)

  2. martin woodham permalink
    November 11, 2009 10:16 am

    A great day Sam & Neil – good to see you performing, and what a performance!
    4th place and a trophy was a great result, and having two Super-1 competitors in front of you – and within you sights – means a moral 2nd place in my eyes.

    Although we could see some signs of frustration at your impromptu tow, you took that in your stride like a pro, got back into the race and nailed the guy.
    Mature drive, top result, well done!

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