Karting 3: Report

The final race of the 2010 season was won by Jonathan Little thanks to a fast couple of opening laps. The final result was close and all day long there were four drivers who could have won the race and unsurprisingly they were the four up for the title.

The event was held on the track used for the event in May. This meant that the majority of the drivers were learning on the job during the first session. The grid ended up largely biased towards those who attended in May. It was Jonathan Little who came out on top by four tenths. Second to fifth were then split by just 0.5 seconds making it a little bit of a lottery as to who came out on top. Craig King who was fastest at this circuit in May managed to edge out Felicity Kensett in the session to take second. Helen Little kept Felicity honest just 0.03 behind her friend, those two have been on a similar pace and it showed again here today. They were shadowed by Steve Franklin who has certainly improved since his first run in August and looks close to joining the leading group. Beth Little followed him in 6th and Trefor Little bucked his trend of qualifying last on the grid by getting himself 7th. He was followed by Thomas McCorkell who impressed and Patrick Hill who didn’t but unlike Thomas he was learning the track. Beverley Little, Ceri Almrott and Sarah Penberthy rounded out the grid. The prize for most difficulty in qualifying went to Ceri who had trouble keeping it in the right direction at the top hairpin and ended the session in the wall by the start/finish line. The grid pretty well matched expectations based on experience and ability but with the top four in the title in the first four places it was set up well for a shootout in the race.

The grid was therefore as follows:

Qualifying best name time off first
1 Jonathan 29.83
2 Craig 30.21 +0.38
3 Flick 30.42 +0.59
4 Helen 30.45 +0.62
5 Steve 30.7 +0.87
6 Beth 30.98 +1.15
7 Trefor 31.28 +1.45
8 Tom 31.92 +2.09
9 Paddy 32.04 +2.21
10 Beverley 32.53 +2.7
11 Ceri 32.94 +3.11
12 Sarah 33.26 +3.43

It turned out that possibly the biggest moment in the title race and the race for victory came as the field left the pits. On heading up the hill to the grid Jonathan Little slowed to talk to Craig King regarding starting procedure. He slowed too much and could not make it to the top of the hill. Forcing him to lift off the throttle and roll back to the base of the hill. By the time he reached the grid he had gotten back into second. The stewards lined up Craig and Jonathan in the order they arrived, both pointed out that the grid was backwards. Eventually it was switched around but the pole position line was moved forward, practically on the apex of turn 1. This guaranteed Jonathan would make the first corner first.

As the race started the revised pole positioning further disadvantaged Craig, it put him on the outside as Felicity Kensett made a dive up the inside into the corner, he was defenceless against the pass and she went through with Helen Little following soon after. Craig the championship favourite was down to fourth and his biggest rival Jonathan was first, it could not have been a worse first lap for him from that perspective.

The tradition of contact at the start continued further down the grid as Trefor Little braked too late in a move on Beth Little. Beth was given a big shunt off the track and she fell back into last place. Trefor fearing a black flag and wanting to gift the place back also lost places from which he would never recover. From the back Sarah initially gained two places as Beth and Ceri fell behind her at the start but by lap 4 she was behind them again. While she remained in that position for the rest of the race her average lap times dropped from 35 seconds to 34 seconds by the end of the race showing that a lack of experience was behind her pace and that given time she was improving. Ceri the other rookie was having similar difficulties and never broke out of 11th. Those who have been 2-3 times now seem to have a clear advantage over newbies.

As the race settled down Jonathan was able to maintain a short lead over Flick and Helen of around two seconds which was comfortable enough. Craig meanwhile was unable to get close enough to the pair to fight for second and the championship slipped away from him. Therefore the best action on the track was between the two girls for second. On lap 10 Helen got the better of Flick out of a yellow flag period and took the place away from her. The lapped traffic was starting to build up and the positions of the top four were going to come down to who got through the lapped karts the quickest.

At the front Jonathan was struggling, wanting to win cleanly he was taking too long to get past the lapped karts. Helen and Flick seemed to be scything their ways through behind and it was in this manner that on lap 18 Flick got back past Helen for second. It was around this point in the race that Jonathan caught his wife. He ended up stuck behind her for three laps trying to find a way past. Eventually sensing Flick catching up to him he made a move down the hill, Beth just about gave him enough room to get alongside, they banged up against each other down the straight but Jonathan had the momentum and the inside line into the next corner eventually squeezing his way past. From there on the yellow flags built up and the last few laps were quite slow. Jonathan lapped 5th placed Steve with three to go giving him a buffer back to Flick and Helen who were unable to catch up.

It turned out not to be the most exciting race in terms of passing (except for Paddy’s do or die move to unlap himself from Helen)but it was good fun and other than a couple of incidents it was a largely clean event, it was nice that the top four were so close through the event, with Craig in 4th whoever won from the top 3 (Flick, Helen or me) would have won the title so those last few laps were a little nervy.

Race Results:

Positions driver off first best lap
1 Jonathan 28.97
2 Flick +3.5 29.79
3 Helen +5.2 29.84
4 Craig +13.9 29.43
5 Steve +1 lap 29.38
6 Paddy +1 lap 30.18
7 Trefor +1 lap 31.02
8 Tom +2 laps 30.76
9 Beverley +2 laps 31.28
10 Beth +2 laps 30.88
11 Ceri +3 laps 30.5
12 Sarah +4 laps 31.98

The final championship standings were as follows:

driver total
1 Jonathan Little 18
2 Craig King 15
3 Felicity Kensett 14
4 Helen Little 12
5 Matt Teager 10
6 Patrick Hill 8
7 Catherine Leopold 7
8 Steve Franklin 7
9 Trefor Little 6
10 Beth Little 5
11 Thomas McCorkell 4
12 Rachel Ross 2
13 Beverley Little 0
14 Ceri Almrott 0
15 Fred Maltby 0
16 Sarah Penberthy 0

Thanks guys and bring on another good year in 2011. As a little bonus (whether you like it or not) here is a 5min reel from my helmet cam, apologies for the amount of crotch and rubbish captions… The camera positioning is a work in progress
[jwplayer config=”myplayer” file=”http://www.jonners.me.uk/files/kartingdec_1.flv”]

The karting photos are now up:
http://jonners.me.uk/gallery/index.php?category=46 any comments please leave them… I may have gotten a little bored of doing titles though I will go back and do some in future and add tags too.

The 2011 karting championship dates will be – February, May, August

I am also bringing in something called talote elite whereby folks who have finished in the top four of one of our events with 10 or more people are invited to join a team to race against people we don’t know at top tracks in the south. I will give more information in the coming months.