A glorious Saturday afternoon took us to sunny Suffolk, the home of Ellough Park. After our mishap at Bayford Meadows last time out (from right stub axle sheered with 10 minutes left) our journey was filled with “We’ll be happy with top 5” comments, as opposed to pushing for a podium. As it was, things would go far better than we ever expected.
As I’d never driven Ellough before, practice was all about getting used to the circuit and – at the time – I felt that things were going okay. James was qualifying and, as the start of the session was waved in, I started watching the timing screens… and to my utter horror he just couldn’t break out of the top 20. By the end, unbeknown to us, he’d put in a stonker and came out 16th but something just wasn’t right with the kart. Wild card time.
Swapping your kart after qualifying puts you to the back of the grid, but at the time it seemed worthwhile – particularly as it was me to go first and, historically, I’ve been the weaker member of the kart365 dream team. “Stay out of trouble” was all I could think, which is exactly what happened, and 15 minutes later I’d made up 10 places and we were well on our way. Now it was time to put the masterplan into place.
This basically involves not spinning, breaking the kart or getting a black flag. Pit stops need to be perfect and lap-times consistent but not necessarily the fastest out there. This doesn’t always work, but the sun was shining and we were determined to come back from the disappointment of our previous race. Slowly but surely, as the race went on, our rivals dropped out of the running and with 20 minutes to go we were 2nd in class, just 15 seconds behind the leader. Sadly, we weren’t catching them… but suddenly we jumped up a place. I’m still not 100% sure what happened but it looks like they binned it.
And there we are. 1st place. 100 championship points. Back in the running!