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Sams season kicks off at Kimbolton

February 14, 2010

After a couple of false starts due to the weather, Sam’s 2010 season finally started with a visit to our favourite circuit, Kimbolton in Cambridgeshire.

 

New look driver for 2010

New 2010 regulations meant a new look for the driver but more importantly were the changes for the kart. De-homologation of the chassis design has opened the TKM class to other MSA approved kart manufacturers in an attempt to attract more competitors into TKM. The result for existing competitors like Sam however is the realisation we cannot be competitive on our old chassis and therefore we have to consider replacing it with one of the wider karts from other classes including a larger and stiffer rear axle.

 

Tyres are also new for 2010, with a new TKM compound deliver much more grip for the driver and therefore speed around the corners. Driving styles will have to change to get the best out of these regulations. Time will tell ……

 

Winter testing the Octane chassis at Rye House

Following some very successful winter testing with the DPRS Kart Team, Sam had the opportunity to run this weekend on an Octane chassis developed by NJR Motorsport based at Rye House in North London. Our thanks go to Dave Paveley, Jason Dredge and of course to the guys at Rye House for the opportunity.

 

 

Saturday was dry and gave us the first opportunity to test the new chassis on the new TKM slicks. After a couple of sessions on the old chassis to set a baseline, ace mechanic and chief development driver for the Octane, Jason, transferred the engine to the Octane and we hit the track.

 

Sam had the full attention of multiple kart champion Jason all weekend

“The grip from the new tyres was fantastic even on my old chassis, but when I went out on the Octane it was incredible. I could brake so late and carry so much speed through the corners it was great fun.”

 

 

 

Sunday Race Day started wet and cold so we were back on wet tyres for the first 2 heats. Sam was caught up in a titanic battle with Richard Woolmer (#38) in heat one swapping places 3 or 4 times on every lap. Sam later on the brakes and braver through the fast corners but Richard carried more speed and was faster out of the tight corners. On the wet tyres we suddenly lost grip a few laps from the end and were unable to keep with Richard towards the end of the race. But they were to meet again …..

 

Sam and Richard battling it out in heat 1

With two reasonable finishes of 8th and 5th, both from a starting grid position of 10th, Sam qualified P6 for the Final …. in the dry.

 

The Final started well. From a P6 start Sam was up to P4 after the first corner, but last years perils of the first lap struck again sadly as 20 karts funnelled into the Bus Stop corner for the first time. Having made a good start, #38 tried to out brake Sam and lost control of his kart, putting Sam on the grass.

“I was so confident with the brakes on this Octane chassis I knew no-one could brake later than me. I saw a nose cone up my inside and gave him room, planning to get him back with a switchback manouver coming out of the bus-stop. But he still hit me and I was on the grass. I had to get out of the kart and pull myself back onto the track”.

 

Having lost 20 seconds in that incident, Sam was in last place and thus started the customary fight back! In a fascinating display Sam caught and passed 11 drivers in as many laps, sometimes passing two at a time to finish a  creditable 11th – not where we had hoped to be but not bad considering that 20 second detour.

“I might have been last at one point but I love racing through from the back. I could brake so late compared to some I was able to go for moves that previously would have been impossible. The Octane just has so much grip I can’t wait for Rissy in March”.

Additional width of the Octane chassis clearly visible from this angle

Full results click here.

Next race Rissington March 7th.

More photos of the weekend to come …

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 7, 2015 7:06 am

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  2. February 26, 2010 9:07 am

    Looks like a reasonable start to the season – shame about the detour off track, but a good fightback by Sam.
    Good luck at Rissington on the 7th

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