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What a difference a day makes

April 20, 2010

Great progress made during Saturday practice as Sam and Jason find more speed from the Octane chassis, finishing the day as fast as anyone on track. Something changed overnight as our Sunday race pace was almost 1 second off Saturdays lap times.

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Glorious weather at Kimbolton over the weekend made for good testing conditions on the Saturday and with the guidance and spanners of multiple kart champion, Jason Dredge, we set about tuning the new Octane chassis for dry conditions. This was probably our first opportunity this year to test with consistent conditions and Sam and Jason made good progress. Using GPS data analysis to help understand what was happening on the circuit Sams times soon started to tumble and by the end of the day we were within a couple of tenths (0.2 seconds) of the leaders.

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Race day was full of surprises. Sam was drawn on pole for heat 1, which immediately put the pressure on and set the nerves jangling. We bolted on brand new wheels and tyres and hit the dummy grid for a 3 lap warm up prior to racing. This is an ideal session to scrub in the new tyres, but within 100 yards a rear wheel fell off due to a broken wheel hub!! Not the start we wanted.

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Yellow chevron sends the pack around for another rolling lap

With hub replaced, heat one saw Sam lined up on pole alongside his pal Adam Strong. Sam controlled the pace of the rolling lap and tried to scrub his new tyres in the process. As he brought them round to the green flag the clerk of the course decided they were too fast and sent them around again – another chance to scrub those tyres. Good fortune or a cynical ploy by our boy?? 😉

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Sam and Adam battle at the first corner of heat 1

At the start Sam got into the first corner in first place but was taken by Adam in the run up to the bus stop. That was not too surprising as we didn’t expect to keep him behind for long. Chasing Adam down the straight into turn 1 to begin the second lap Sam’s heavy braking locked the rear wheels.

Now on direct drive the effect caught Sam by surprise. “I am confident on the brakes in this Octane chassis but I guess I left it a little too late. When the wheels lock on a clutched engine its not a problem. On direct drive the engine stalls and the wheels stop turning. I stupidly ended up spinning myself out of 2nd place. I couldn’t get myself going so had to wait for the whole pack to pass me before Jason could reach me and give me a push start. I was angry with myself – what a waste. My bad!“.

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Sam lining up a scalp for outbraking at turn 1

Heat 2 had Sam drawn alongside Adam Strong this time on the back row P20. Sam and Adam had a great start making up 10+ places only for the heat to be red flagged due to a particularly nasty looking accident (though no lasting injuries thankfully). To our horror the grid was reformed back in the original starting positions 😦

On the restart Sams progress was not so dramatic and our pace was down on expectations finishing in 16th.

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Aerodynamic position against the headwind

For heat 3 Sam was drawn in P11. Despite starting well the pace of yesterday was not apparent and Sam was dropping back compared to his peers but held position. On lap 3 Liam Murray took Sam into turn 1. “Liam came down my inside into turn 1 but I knew he had left his braking too late and would go deep. I switched back onto his inside to take my place back but he turned in on me and our wheels touched.” The resulting tangle shot Sam up into the air ontop of Liam’s kart and they came to rest with Sam and kart ontop Liam’s steering wheel and helmet. Thankfully neither driver was hurt. Sam restarted albeit at the back but Liam was out. The observer posted on that corner declared it a ‘racing incident’.


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Last of the late brakers

With disappointing pace and such poor results Sam qualified a very lowly 20th out of 24 for the Final.  Sam made a clean start and made good progress picking up 4 places in the first lap.  Further places were to come as Sam climbed up to a near respectable 12th, marred only by the speed with which Tom Seddon drove past us on the last lap!

Our race pace was not good by our own standards set only yesterday, and the result of 13th was a reasonable recovery considering the starting position but the day left us scratching our heads again.

What a difference a day makes …

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Click here for full results.

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Next race weekend Rissington in May.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Marjorie Randon permalink
    April 21, 2010 10:40 am

    Bad luck Sam. It will all come together one of these days so keep at it. Looking forward to coming to watch you again.

    Gran & G.Pa

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