The long bitter winter was over (damn snow) but Llandow wasn’t particularly welcoming with its weather choice! Forecast wind and rain and I usually hope they get the weather wrong but they didn’t this time. I hadn’t been to Llandow since 2015 when I entered in Pre 95 on an Atomik/Kali Kart package I had. It was fun but I never really gelled with the track, I wouldn’t class it as one of my favourites.
Back with the Ricard Racing crew for the attack on the championship, I had done a lot of prep work over the winter and winning the Winter Cup was an added bonus and the pace we had showed promise. A 3 dayer again with 2 days of practice to run through some updates and gear we had. I had a beautiful new Tecno SS22 to try out and it is a beauty of a chassis! Expertly prepped by John Priestley.
It ran very well but needs a little more testing to be race ready but was certainly not far off my Heron. I ran through some engines to bed them in then set about trying to see what we could do.
For Saturday I jumped back on my CRG as I decided this would be the kart I would race on, people tend to struggle with the Heron’s for some reason but mine always reminds me of a modern Tonykart, put it on the ground, run it, small tweaks and you’re set up. I then ran through some engine choices and wet setup and settled everything down to what I would be racing on Sunday.
Sunday was of course even wetter! for heat 1 I was starting 4th. I made a good start and had a few battles, I dropped back slightly but then the kart came on and I got back to 4th, not perfect but no loss and no gain in the end, you can see how close the racing was below!
12th for heat 2, a slightly damp track. I got a mega start and must have been up to about 5th by the first corner, I just licked the stamp and sent it round the outside, always a risky move as any tap and you’ll be sent into the tyres and there is always the risk of a kart sliding into you. Fortunately this time it paid off! I made my way through the pack to 1st and had a fairly comfortable win.
The fun and games really began in heat 3, on the grid, everyone on slicks and it starts to pour with rain. I was at the back so I wasn’t risking it and so changed to wets, a few seconds later it started to lash down and the whole grid switched over, always a bit of a mad panic!
I started 14th for this one, I was having trouble with visibility which was really hampering me, racing with glasses is no fun, time for some contact lenses I think! I got the tyre choice slightly wrong too, I needed some better wets but not a lot I could do given what I had on the grid with me, I still managed to have some good battles coming through the pack to 3rd but it was really hard work! Just didn’t have the pace in this one for my satisfaction at least.
Pole for the final, couldn’t get much better than that, a very very greasy track and it was getting colder. I got the tyre choice smack on for this but had also swapped to my reed engine for this final, a bit of a risk but I thought it would pay off.
A few roll up laps later and we were away, I got into the lead immediately and pulled a decent gap.
A few laps in I realised the engine wasn’t performing at optimum and I needed a bit more front end bite. About halfway through my team mate for the weekend Ben Yeomans caught me and had a go at sliding one up the inside, a good attempt I must admit but I managed to hold on!
I didn’t realise but behind my own battle Joe Scorey had come from the back to 3rd and was closing in quickly. I managed to settle myself down for the last few laps despite the pressure from behind and brought it home for the Round 1 win!
I was mega pleased, a good haul of points for the championship campaign and the win as well. Usually I have a bit of a disaster at the first round but this time it was the complete opposite! Looking like it will be a good year all being well!
Big thank you to my parents who continue to give up their precious time to come and support my racing, wouldn’t be doing it without them! My Dad is a certified legend on the spanners!
Secondly Ricard Racing, consisting of John Wellstead and Niels Christoffersen, fantastic banter and laughs but serious on the racing side too! Working closely with somebody like John and the experience he has is fantastic! As well as all the engine prep he does for me.
Thirdly the team at F100, keeping the series alive after some testing times, you continue to give us a championship within which we can race these epic karts, for that we can’t thank you enough.
Next up is Lydd, without a doubt one of my favourite tracks, fast and flowing and if it is dry it is a dream to drive in a well balanced kart, all being well we shall continue this form!