Karting Round 2 Preview

The first round at Crawley saw Craig King come good having run to fourth in the Christmas race. His win and topping the two sessions put him comfortably top of the standings but he will not be able to defend his lead this time out. He is unable to attend and so this is the opportunity for others to catch up. Matt Teager returns having missed May and should be considered favourite due to his pace at Christmas.

the tracks
The race will again be taking place at Crawley on one of their two tracks.

The grand prix track is the shorter of the two circuits but it is also the twistier. From the short straight you brake as little as you dare and fire it up the hill, this is where being as light as possible is of top importance. Once there you find a quick left right flick where Jun caused a red flag at Christmas as he got swamped off the line. Usually though this chicane is flat and spits you back down the hill. Once you reach the bottom you find yourself staring at a hairpin, there isn’t a lot of grip round here and it is easy to lose the back end and lose a lot of time with it. This is the corner that requires the most practice to take quickly. Once through, head to the outside and then dart for the apex of the next corner with your foot flat to the floor, if you lift off here you will compromise your pace onto the straight. At the end of said straight brake again for another chicane, get the second part right and you will carry good speed back onto the start/finish straight for another lap.

The Le Mans track at Crawley is slightly longer and more dramatic with bumps in the track and tight low grip corners, the downhill section is also exciting. From the start line, brake and turn left up the hill, at the top of the which you will have lost speed and so will be able to take the hairpin left flat. A short straight follows before another hairpin, a slight lift gets your round here before a bumpy straight towards the toughest corner of either track. This is a left hander that you always feel you could have taken better. Brake in, aim for the apex and then power out but get it wrong and the walls are close by. A short straight leads you down the hill into a right hander where if you get the entry right you can get through with just a lift. This is a very satisfying corner if you get it right… very painful if you get it wrong. From here it is flat back to the start line and the lap is over. This track hides driver ability to some extent and we were all very close (the top three were within 0.4).

the drivers (races – best result – best laps)
Steven Franklin (0 – N/A)
Not much is known about Steve, except he plays football and works in a bar… Lets move on

Patrick Hill – (3 – 3rd (Oct 09) – 29.6 (grand prix))
This will be the fifth time that Patrick has been karting. So far he has been steady but struggles under pressure. His pace is good and he was held back from a better position in the December race by the red flag which left him over half a lap behind second place and almost a lap behind the leader. Will be hoping for a top 5 finish this weekend. Probably can find another second within himself, its there, he just needs to grab it.

Flick Kensett – (2 – 2nd (Aug 09) – 29.55 (grand prix))
Flick has been quick both times she has come karting over a single lap. Sometimes has issues keeping the kart going straight which hurt her in the December race where she spun out of third and could only finish 5th come the end of the race. Considering she has been fewer times she may be hindered but she has shown natural speed and should go well.

Catherine Leopold – (2 – 4th (May 10) – 31.5 (grand prix))
Last October was the first time Cathy had been karting and she has gotten consistently faster as she has gone on. She continued improving in May as she came in 4th with a strong performance that was close to the leaders around the Le Mans track. Should continue getting faster this weekend and she can expect a top half finish this weekend.

Beverley Little – (3 – 4th (Oct 09) – 30.47 (grand prix))
Has improved every time she has been though her pace hasn’t really been overly consistent over a distance. If she can work on this she could finish quite high up this time around. Was unlucky not to capitalise further from the red flag in December’s race.

Elizabeth Little – (3 – 5th (May 10) – 31.05 (grand prix))
Tends to tootle along at the tail end of the pack having a jolly old time and waving for the cameras. She is secretly saving her amazing speed and skill for a surprise win someday when Jonathan is least expecting. He doesn’t expect much, that’s for sure, and even Wii Fit recognises he doesn’t pay enough attention to her. That is why when Beth OVERTAKES THEM ALL Jonathan will be flabbergasted and have to grovel. Muchly. (Beth’s description by… Beth)

Helen Little – (3 – 3rd (Aug 09, Dec 09, May 10) – 28.23 (grand prix), 30.8 (le mans))
In December Helen proved herself, she had the pace over one lap to get second on the grid and then was able to come in third place. Each time she has been so far she has come home third and she can improve on that this time around. A light weight and ability combine to give her lightning pace. May have to watch herself with the marshalls though following some bumping incidents in May. A strong contender for a podium again this weekend.

Jonathan Little – (4 – 1st (Aug 09, Oct 09) – 28.4 (grand prix), 30.6 (le mans))
Won the first two events partly due to having more experience than those around him. As their levels have increased though he has still been in the top two but could easily fall behind. His drive in December was strong as he started the race 5th and made his way up into second position over the first half of the race and then managed to comfortably hold off his sister as the race progressed. In May he was unable to match the pace of Craig King over one lap but managed to just edge out his sister by two tenths. A podium would see him leading the championship with Craig out.

Trefor Little – (3 – 2nd (Oct 09) – 29.48 (grand prix))
Showed brilliance in October to beat out Patrick and take a deserved second place. His race performance in December was a little more iffy though and it is possible he helped cause the red flag at the start. He ended up behind Patrick and Jun and will be looking to get a strong top half finish this time. The pace is definitely there and he has the potential to cause an upset. Qualifying up the sharp end will be key as he will be able to keep out of trouble at the start this time round.

Fred Maltby – (0 – N/A)
Fred passed his driving test last month (hurrah, finally etc etc). It will take him a while to get up to speed (as it has for everyone else) but once he is there he should be quick. Definitely one to watch in the second half of the race on Sunday wherever he qualifies.

Thomas McCorkell – (1 – 6th (May 10) – 32.8 (le mans))
Tom can’t drive on the road but that didn’t stop him going well in May. He has the racing knowledge and knows the lines and a little more practice will give him the pace to challenge further forward. Whether it will happen this time is another question but he will continue his steady progress this weekend and could give Beth a run for her money later on.

Matt Teager – (1 – 1st (Dec 10) – 27.38 (grand prix))
Considerably quickest at the first (and only) event he has been to and easily the favourite again thanks largely to having a lot more experience than anyone else. It will be interesting to see if anyone can get close enough to challenge him this time around or if he will once again romp into the distance.

the missing
Craig King – Was fastest in both sessions in May to take a dominant win. Missing out this time as he is stuck in Devon, should return in November and December to try and gain the championship
Rachel Ross – Back in Colorado now so will not be taking part in further races, could still finish in the top 10

the standings
1. Craig King – 14pts
2. Jonathan Little – 10pts
3. Helen Little – 6pts
4. Catherine Leopold – 5pts
5. Beth Little – 4pts
6. Thomas McCorkell – 3pts
7. Rachel Ross – 2pts

points this weekend
Points at a race meeting are awarded as such:
2 pts for pole position, 1 pt for second
2 pts for fastest race lap, 1 pt for second

By race finishing position:
1st – 10pts
2nd – 8pts
3rd – 6pts
4th – 5pts
5th – 4pts
6th – 3pts
7th – 2pts
8th – 1pt

Other races:
27th November (Kent)
end December (Crawley)

Come back next week for the results and photographs