Come to Britbowl

I’m not usually one to just copy and paste a press release, but hey, I already edited it once…

The kickoff times for BritBowl XXV (25) – the official championship weekend for the BAFA (British American Football Association) National Leagues – have been unveiled ahead of the season-ending showdown later this month.

BritBowl XXV (25) will see eight finals take place over the course of two hard-hitting, action-packed days at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre on Saturday September 24 and Sunday September 25. Here is the line-up for BritBowl XXV weekend:

Saturday September 24
11:30am – Gates open to the public
12 noon – Cadet Flag Final
1:00pm – Junior Flag Final
2:00pm – 14-17 year old Contact Final
3:00pm – Division 1 Final – Leicester Falcons v East Kilbride Pirates
6:30pm – Pre-Game show – The Urban Voodoo Machine
7:30pm – Premier Division Final

Sunday September 25
11:30am – Gates open to the public
12 noon – Junior Contact Final
3:00pm – Division 2 Final – South Wales Warriors v West Coast Trojans
6:00pm – Adult Flag Final

Single tickets cost £15 for adults, £10 for 14 to 18-year-olds and £6.00 for under 14s. Weekend packages for both days of gridiron action cost £25 for adults, £15 for 14 to 18-year-olds and £8.50 for under 14s. Tickets can be bought via Ticketmaster at Tickets can also be bought on the day.

Event organiser DREW ANDERSON says: “We are busy finalising our plans for BritBowl XXV and think our event offers something for everybody in London. The hard-hitting action on the field will appeal to American football fans in the UK while there will also be plenty to keep the family entertained over the weekend. We are planning a special weekend on and off the field.”

The semi-finals for the elite Premier Division will take place on Sunday September 11 with top-ranked London foes on course to meet at BritBowl XXV. The London Blitz will host the Bristol Aztecs, while the London Warriors – featuring TV personality and NFL fan VERNON KAY among their squad – will take on the Tamworth Phoenix.

You can follow the build-up to BritBowl XXV via Twitter @BritBowlXXV or by going to Facebook and searching for BritBowlXXV.

If you have even a passing interest in American football then this is a great and cheap way to find out how the UK sport looks and works. I will be there, you may not see me, but I will be there and it would be great to see as many fans of the sport as possible.

Bafanl week 18 fixtures

South Wales Warriors @ Bournemouth Bobcats – Division 2 West
London Warriors @ Coventry Jets – Premiership

Cambridgeshire Cats @ Leicester Falcons – Division 1 Central
Manchester Titans @ Doncaster Mustangs – Division 1 North
Colchester Gladiators @ Ipswich Cardinals – Division 1 South
East Kent Mavericks @ Sussex Thunder – Division 1 South
Lincolnshire Bombers @ Chester Romans – Division 2 Central
Lancashire Wolverines @ Sheffield Predators – Division 2 Central
Milton Keynes Pathfinders @ Bedfordshire Blue Raiders – Division 2 East
Kent Exiles @ Watford Cheetahs – Division 2 East
Carlisle Border Reivers @ Edinburgh Wolves – Division 2 North
Dundee Hurricanes @ West Coast Trojans – Division 2 North
Bristol Apache @ Berkshire Renegades – Division 2 West
London Blitz @ Bristol Aztecs – Premiership

Bafanl week 17 review

With the new bafanl website having issues at the moment. I felt I would publish this week’s review on my site and the old bafacl site.

One of the weekends biggest results saw Glasgow knock the Clyde Valley Blackhawks from the playoff picture and in doing so they completed a double over the Blackhawks that should now see Glasgow finishing third in Division 2 North. The Tigers made the most of home turf to put in a great 30-6 result. Over in Shropshire, Revolution finalised their qualification with a convincing 49-6 win against Staffordshire. Meanwhile Essex won their closing game of the season against Maidstone to stay 8th in Division 2 and also gain a playoff position despite the two teams ahead having not yet reached that milestone.

In Division 1 the London Olympians finished the regular season in the manner they have fought the whole year taking a victory against the Hampshire Thrashers to finish with a perfect 10-0 record that gives them top seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With the Britbowl also being played on home turf they can look forward to a great opportunity in the post season. Elsewhere in the South the Ipswich Cardinals did what they needed to do to keep their playoff hopes alive with a close and exciting game against Sussex Thunder. Ipswich entered the game knowing anything less than victory would remove their playoff dreams and did just that with a 13-10 scoreline on home soil. Their season now comes down to next weekend when they face the Colchester Gladiators, the team who gave them their opening game tie.

That win would still not guarantee them a playoff spot though, their fate rests in the hands of the Birmingham Bulls assuming Sussex win as expected at home next weekend. The Bulls gained a place in the postseason last weekend beating the Nottingham Caesars. If they do so again in the final week and Ipswich win then it will be the Cardinals and not the Caesars in the playoffs.

The Cambridgeshire Cats are the other team hanging on in Division 1. With victory over Oxford on Sunday they need both the Caesars and the Cardinals to lose to make the postseason while also being required to defeat Division leaders the Leicester Falcons.

A close match between the Doncaster Mustangs and the Yorkshire Rams saw the Mustangs come out on top as they have so many times this year to claim their own playoff spot. The Rams and Mustangs are very closely matched, their first leg game finished in the Rams favour by a single point. This time it finished 36-26, while the result puts Yorkshire on the back foot they are expected to make the playoffs.

In premier the playoff teams can now be finalised after Farnham lost to the London Warriors. The seeds may change but it appears that the London Blitz will gain 1st seed with the Warriors 2nd, Tamworth 3rd and Bristol 4th. If that is the case then next weekends game which sees the Blitz heading to Bristol will be a semi-final preview.

We now have five teams guaranteed the playoffs in Division 1 and six in Division 2. Both now have 2 teams fighting to break into the final spots too. In Division 1 Nottingham are the team closest to the edge with Ipswich most likely to capitalise if they fall. In Division 2 it seems Dundee are most likely to drop out as they face leaders the West Coast Trojans next week with Milton Keynes favourites to pounce.

It all builds up to an exciting final two weeks of regular season football.

Oh and I will be at the Thunder game this weekend as my local boys East Kent take on my home town team Sussex Thunder. Hmm which should I be loyal to?

Amateur Sports – BAFACL

I am now the news editor for the British American Football Association Community League website. This has led me to research all of the teams in the leagues at present. In 2010 we had 51 senior teams 25 youth teams and 16 junior teams. I would say of those about half have websites. Of those very very few have the dates for the 2011 season on their websites so far, the season kicks off in a month and as far as I know the schedule was sorted a month ago.

A lot of the websites seem not aimed at those who might come to watch them but at people who may want to take part. While this is fine due to the relatively low popularity of the British game I feel they are missing out on the opportunity to get more people interested by not having this basic information available. As an NFL fan my first thought may well be “oo I want to try being a quarterback” and so you search to find your nearest club. My personal next step would be, I want to watch them play to see what it is like. To do this I would need to know when the team is next playing and where to go. Having seen a game I might then go “this isn’t for me” or “I’d like to give this a go”. Not knowing when the games are taking place rather hampers this for me as it demands additional research and so on.

As the league owners I’m sure there is more BAFACL can do and I will be suggesting this in the coming weeks/months to the others working on the site but there is a lot that the teams should be doing to help encourage people to come and watch their games as well.

For the record of the sites I have currently spent a reasonable amount of time on the Sussex Thunder team website – which just happens to play its games in Horsham (my home town) – seems to be by far the best at displaying the relevant information. If you think your team’s site is better, let me know. If any teams want help/suggestions with their websites then also let me know.

If on the other hand you have found this blog post by searching for a team’s fixtures they can be found here (as of today)

karting – Surbiton Raceway

Karting for Beth and I started outdoors at Easter in 2009 on a lovely rainy track near Elveden. It helped me fall in love with karting and since then I have been 8 times. After a lot of time spent at Crawley’s teamsport track I wanted to return to an outdoor track and after the teamsport London Bridge track proved too pricey I got my chance.

Surbiton Raceway is a speedy track out in South London and we had originally hoped to go at the end of February but the joys of moving house meant that I ended up running out of time. We reorganised for the 19th March so here is my race review…

A reverse grid featuring nine drivers set up the 30 minute iron man race at Surbiton Raceway in late March. The grid was based on last year’s title positions with the lowest scoring drivers last year starting first followed by the newcomers in the order they agreed to race and finally the top scorers in reverse order.

The grid was therefore as follows:
1. Sarah Penberthy
2. Beth Little
3. Kerrie Morgan
4. David Witt
5. Louise Hyde
6. Trefor Little
7. Patrick Hill
8. Helen Little
9. Jonathan Little

The drivers were led out of the pits by the pace kart for three warm up laps. The first lap was at a slow pace but then the pace kart sped up and the leaders did not follow its pace. After the pace kart laps confusion meant that little passing initially took place, the back four overtook Louise and on lap 2 David Witt passed those ahead of him for the lead. Jonathan meanwhile scythed through the field seemingly catching everyone else by surprise, by the end of the second lap he had moved from 9th to second and set about chasing down Dave. Jonathan made a move out of the fast chicane at the top of the circuit and took the lead. Jonathan coming through set the ball rolling for those behind and it was not long before the field had effectively reversed.

By the end of lap 6 Jonathan had built up a healthy lead and was catching backmarkers, Patrick Hill had worked his way up to second with Helen Little third after an early spin cost her a place to Patrick. On lap 15 Jonathan caught his father and slowed to pick his moment, he waited a bit too long, after two laps he checked behind himself and saw Patrick right behind him, Jonathan scared himself and hit a hole at the side of the track which got him sideways at almost top speed, he managed to catch the car but it was nearly a big shunt. He was certainly rattled but got back onto the back of Trefor by the end of the lap. The next lap into the chicane at the end of the lap Jonathan was right behind his Father but tapped the accelerator while braking causing the car to lose traction and the back to come out, this caught Patrick out and he couldn’t avoid tapping Jonathan. This sent Jonathan a bit further out but he managed to again catch the kart. Patrick though took the lead and quickly passed Trefor to lap him.

Paddy led for a number of laps near the start of the race

Jonathan quickly got past his Father then set after Patrick. Three laps later after a run down the inside on the long straight he was past. Patrick kept it quite close behind Jonathan until they caught Helen Little to lap her many laps later, Jonathan got through after a couple of laps, Patrick didn’t. In fact he never managed to pass Helen and Jonathan pulled away. In the closing stages David Witt caught Louise to pass her, Louise spun off and Dave had nowhere to go with Louise spinning at high speed in front of him he went hard on the brakes and spun off but avoided major contact with Louise and lost a position to Beth Little. Patrick also struggled at this stage of the race with a spin while still chasing Helen. Five laps from the end Jonathan caught his wife and was not about to find a way past. By the end Helen Little was right behind him but having been lapped she was not a worry. It just showed that come the end of the race had he not spun Patrick would have been very close to the lead.

Paddy’s chance of a win was scuppered when Jonathan lapped Helen and he did not

The finishing positions were as follows (driver – laps – best lap – change):
1. Jonathan Little – 57 – 27.091 – up 8
2. Patrick Hill – 57 (+8.76 secs) – 28.151 – up 5
3. Helen Little – 56 – 28.772 – up 5
4. Trefor Little – 55 – 30.062 – up 2
5. Beth Little – 54 – 29.070 – down 3
6. David Witt – 54 – 28.998 – down 2
7. Kerrie Morgan – 53 – 30.711 – down 4
8. Sarah Penberthy – 53 – 30.471 – down 7
9. Louise Hyde – 51 – 30.227 – down 4

There were championship points associated with the event so this year’s championship is as follows after 1 round:
1. Jonathan Little – 15
2. Patrick Hill – 12
3. Helen Little – 10
4. Trefor Little – 8
5. Beth Little – 6
6. David Witt – 5
7. Kerrie Morgan – 4
8. Sarah Penberthy – 3
9. Louise Hyde – 2

Here is my video add-on:
[jwplayer mediaid=”1535″]
This time I got it lined up correctly but managed to film for half an hour before starting and then either screwed up the saving at the end of the film (thus losing all but this lap) or ran out of space (also my fault)… its progress I guess.

Finally a big thank you to David Ting who happily came along and took photos for us!

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=””]

The karting photos are now up: 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.

Karting championship permutations

The good thing about a three race system drop score system is that unless someone wins both opening races it is guarenteed to go to the final race. This year we have four karters who can theoretically still win. Here is the table posted earlier in the week with an extra column for current points. I have also put in bold those who can actually still win.

finishing position
driver points 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 >8
Jonathan Little 16 18 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16
Craig King 10 20 18 16 15 14 13 12 11 10
Catherine Leopold 7 15 13 11 10 9 8 7 7 6
Helen Little 6 16 14 12 11 10 9 8 7 6
Felicity Kensett 6 16 14 12 11 10 9 8 6 5
Patrick Hill 5 15 13 11 10 9 8 7 6 5
Beth Little 5 14 12 10 9 8 7 6 5 4
Trefor Little 4 14 12 10 9 8 7 6 5 4

In a points tie break the championship position is decided as follows:
Points (points gained in best 2 events from results only)
Finishing positions (from best 2 events)
FL and Pole points (best 2 events)
Result of discounted event
Complete tie

Cathy although in 4th with seemingly enough points to win is out as she is a) not taking part and b) forced to drop a score so for example if she did turn up and won the race she would drop the two points she got for August (which would be her worst result) in favour of the 10 for the win.

Thus she would have 10 + 5= 15. I already have a guaranteed 16 points therefore she could not win.

Anyway… to the people who can win – there will be repetition here.
I am leading the championship by virtue of already having scored in two races. Whereever I finish I am guaranteed at least 16 points. If I win I drop 8 points and gain 10 and go to 18 points. If Craig came second we would each have 18 points (a win and a second). It would then come down to pole and fastest lap. Craig already has four added points for that. I have two. I would need to beat Craig in both of these to take it to the fourth part… which I would win.
If I come second and Craig comes third, he wins.
If Craig comes fourth or lower, I by virtue of my two second places beat him whereever I finish… BUT
If Helen or Flick win they beat me to the title.
The lowest I can finish is 3rd.

Craig is the only karter to have won a race which gives him a good footing. If he wins the race he wins the title. If he comes second and I win then it goes to the fastest lap and pole tie break (again he has the advantage here with 4pts to 2pts). If that is tied then Craig loses out due to me doing an extra event and getting points.
If Craig comes third then if Jonathan is second Craig wins unless Flick or Helen wins with pole and fastest lap in which case Craig would need to be second in one of the categories to win out, if he doesn’t then we have a complete tie for the title.
If Craig comes fourth then the best he can finish is second.
The worst he can finish is 6th (not going to happen)

Helen and Flick can only guarantee their winning if they take victory and Craig finishes lower than third. If Craig comes third then it comes down to fastest laps and poles, at this time Craig has the advantage in these stakes.
Lowest either can finish – very low

I hope this makes sense, if it doesn’t then well it doesn’t really matter anyway. I just find this stuff fun.

Karting Round 3 Preview

This is the second of three posts, the first discussed rule changes and can be found here and the final one coming tomorrow will go over the championship possibilities in more detail than this preview post will. Parts of this description will be regurgitated from August as well. We will first go through the tracks, then the drivers and finish with the current points.

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. This was also where Helen was hit from behind in August causing her kart to stall, visibility makes an impact here especially costly as it is in a blind spot for the marshalls. 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. 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, the first part is tricky to judge the braking for, aiming for the inside seems the best option. 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 (points – total races – best result)
Ceri Almrott (0 – 0 races – N/A)
Ceri has karting experience and introduced Jonathan to karting (and F1) around 10 years ago at an old Crawley track. He soundly thrashed Jonathan who was unable to negotiate the first corner on any lap… Should be strong even if he does prove rusty in comparison to others.

Stephen Franklin – (3pts – 1 race – 6th (Aug 10))
Showed well on his first attempt in August finishing in the top half of the field and having a good battle with Patrick in the first half of the race. Should be able to build on that this time out and possibly move forward.

Patrick Hill – (5pts – 4 races – 3rd (Oct 09))
It was mentioned in the August preview that Patrick just needs to find that little bit extra to get on the pace of the leaders. He then went out and found some of that pace in August getting a brilliant 4th place. In November testing he improved further setting his personal best laps. Consistency is not a problem for Patrick and it seems that outright speed will soon not be either.

Felicity Kensett – (6pts – 3 races – 2nd (Aug 09))
Flick had a very strong showing in August with a third placed finish which could have been second had it not been for a Jonathan induced spin on lap 15. A serious podium contender this time out and a win could give her the title.

Craig King – (10pts – 2 races – 1st (May 10))
Only getting stronger, his leaders pace is definitely there, this weekend will prove whether he has the consistency to be champion. A first place again here would make him champion and a second would at the least tie him for the title.

Beth Little – (5pts – 4 races – 5th (May 10))
Qualifying 5th in August was a highlight. She just needs to work on her pace over a long run as she fell to 8th in the race though she easily beat those drivers thought to be at her level.

Beverley Little – (0 – 4 races – 4th (Oct 09))
Considering where she was 18 months ago her pace has come on a lot and she is regularly further forward now than she was back then.

Helen Little – (6pts – 4 races – 3rd (Aug 09, Dec 09, May 10))
Very unfortunate to stall in August thanks to a tap. Dropped her to near last from which she never really recovered. The 3rd on the grid showed her abilities as did her 3rd place in May. A good hard passer who stands a decent chance of scoring the title with a win.

Jonathan Little – (16pts – 5 races – 1st (Aug 09, Oct 09))
Has not won since Oct 09 when he faced fairly easy competition. Seems a perennial bridesmaid having never finished lower than second. Knows that he needs a win to secure the title.

Trefor Little – (4pts – 4 races – 2nd (Oct 09))
Seems to seriously struggle to get a hold on the machine in the first session each time finishing last in both August and the October test by several seconds. By the time the lights go out on Monday though he will be dialled in and expect him to finish well above whereever he starts. If he can break the string of bad pace in the qualifying a top four finish is on the cards.

Thomas McCorkell – (3pts – 2 races – 6th (May 10))
Thomas having never driven a vehicle before the May event has done very well in both his events so far. Will be interesting to see if the progression continues this week. If so expect him to get close to the points.

Sarah Penberthy – (0 – 0 races – N/A)
Has never karted before making her the only true rookie in the field. Will be interesting to see how she does but could be a points contender as the race goes on.

Current Points:
1. Jonathan Little – 16pts
2. Craig King – 10pts
3. Matt Teager – 10pts
4. Catherine Leopold – 7pts
5. Helen Little – 6pts
5. Felicity Kensett – 6pts
7. Patrick Hill – 5pts
8. Beth Little – 5pts
9. Trefor Little – 4pts
10. Thomas McCorkell – 3pts
10. Stephen Franklin – 3pts
12. Rachel Ross – 2pts

finishing position
driver 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 >8
Jonathan Little 18 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16
Craig King 20 18 16 15 14 13 12 11 10
Catherine Leopold 15 13 11 10 9 8 7 7 6
Helen Little 16 14 12 11 10 9 8 7 6
Felicity Kensett 16 14 12 11 10 9 8 6 5
Patrick Hill 15 13 11 10 9 8 7 6 5
Beth Little 14 12 10 9 8 7 6 5 4
Trefor Little 14 12 10 9 8 7 6 5 4

November testing times: (session 1, session 2)
1. Jonathan (28.55, 28.61)
2. Patrick (29.48, 29.52)
3. Beth (31.24, 31.19)
4.Trefor (32.44, 31.22)
5. Beverley (31.85, 31.92)

Things learnt from November testing: Patrick goes fastest when being chased, Beth is now quicker than my parents. We are all getting more consistent (except my father).

Join me again tomorrow for the deciphering of the above points table.

Karting rule changes

The rules at the beginning of the karting season assumed that the majority of people would take part in all four events. As it has turned out that has not been the case with only four people taking part in every event and one event being cut completely.

The rules at the start of the year were as follows:

  • Points distributed on a F1 2009 basis – (10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1)
  • Additional points given for pole and fastest lap (2pts for quickest, 1pt for second)
  • Points from all races will count towards the final total.

Following consultation the rules have been changed thus:
Points are given on the F1 2009 points scoring basis but no points will be given for pole or fastest lap. Instead these points positions will be used in the case of a tie break. In addition the results from the two best finishes will count towards the final total.

The reason for this is to make the finale more exciting, it changes it from being an unlikely two driver fight (I could easily win with a 5th place finish having not won a race to Craig winning both his events) to being a tight four driver battle for the title.

The priority in terms of deciding championship position will be as follows:
Points (points gained in best 2 events from results only)
Finishing positions (from best 2 events)
FL and Pole points (best 2 events)
Result of discounted event
Complete tie

2011 will also follow these rules but also add the following:

  • The points system will be changed to maximise number of finishers receiving points and match the BTCC method (15-12-10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1)
  • A driver receiving two (or more) black flags in an event will not have his result counting towards the championship but will not lose their result (other drivers will not be promoted)
  • championship events will not cost more than £45

There will be three events again in 2011 with the races run between February and August.

Preview and permutations to come, additional rules may be suggested below between now and the first event in February.

Karting Round 2: Report

Matt Teager dominated Sunday’s race at the Grand Prix track in Crawley. He was easily fastest and lapped around six tenths faster than anyone else. His driving though was controversial, he was the best out there but seemed to feel that as everyone else was slower he had no qualms bumping them out of his way. It was this and a couple of yellow flag infractions that gave him three black flags over the event but he was still able to come away with the win.

Qualifying was a straight shoot-out between Jonathan Little and Matt, they were over a second clear of the rest of the pack and Matt managed to pull out a further four tenths on top of Jonathan’s time. Helen Little managed another strong run to third three tenths ahead of Flick in fourth place. In the midfield things got tight 5th to 9th were covered by just under a second with Beth Little doing a brilliant job to finish in the top half of the field. Patrick Hill returning for the first time this year was half a second behind her in 6th and was fortunate not to fall onto the third row of the grid with Steve Franklin finished just four hundredths behind. The two rookies Thomas McCorkell and Fred Maltby were next with just four hundredths separating their times. Catherine Leopold was next with a slightly disappointing qualifying effort to round out the top 10. Behind were two more drivers who haven’t yet raced this year. Beverley Little could have expected to be a couple of places higher but Trefor Little had a disastrous session to come last. He was five seconds off the back of the pack, spinning four times in qualifying. The track was greasier than it had been back at christmas but everyone else acclimatised quicker to the conditions. The kart may also have been part of the issue but it was a very disappointing performance from someone usually so high in the midfield.

The grid was as follows:

pos driver best lap off first
1 Matt 28.716
2 Jonathan 29.145 +0.429
3 Helen 30.566 +1.85
4 Flick 30.92 +2.204
5 Beth 32.064 +3.348
6 Paddy 32.52 +3.804
7 Steve 32.557 +3.841
8 Thomas 32.995 =4.279
9 Fred 33.034 +4.318
10 Cathy 33.276 +4.56
11 Beverley 33.815 +5.099
12 Trefor 38.591 +9.875

The grid lined up in position, Matt on pole was psyched, Jonathan his kart angled towards Matt was slightly worried that he may get swamped off the line with his sister Helen alongside and Flick behind both capable of better starts. Both were caught napping at the lights, unsure of the starting procedure they lagged for a second. Matt was able to pull into turn 1 first with Jonathan following him closely. Behind though its thought that Flick got a better start than Helen who lingered a moment longer, it got tight into turn 1 and the pair may have touched up the hill. The downside to this was that after a contact (which is believed to have come from Flick but it is not certain) Helen’s kart stalled at the top of the hill and in a position where the marshalls could not see her stricken kart. It was over a lap before they were able to get her going and she fell two laps down on the leader with any hopes of a decent result right out the window. At the front, Jonathan was doing all he could to keep up with Matt but the pole man was able to edge away corner by corner. The yellow flags seemed to affect Jonathan more than Matt as the two went at different speeds during these periods. Jonathan was also unable to shake off Flick who had inherited third place from Helen at the start. On lap 8 Helen recovering and struggling to get up speed again spun at the first corner collecting another kart at the same time. Jonathan took a wide line into the turn not seeing the karts until too late and joining the accident. This allowed Flick past him and up into second place.

Further back Beth lost three places on lap 2 having initially made up a place due to Helen’s accident as Patrick and Steve found their ways through. From the back Trefor Little had the start of his life. By the end of lap 2 he had converted his 12th place start into 6th place. He was having a masterful race now. Three cars were held up in Helen’s accident which means that he still managed to pass another three drivers. A fantastic achievement so early in the race. Steve got an almighty run on Patrick for fourth place catching Paddy by surprise on lap 4, Patrick managed to find his way back past Steve a couple of laps later and was able to maintain the position. On lap 8 Matt Teager was pulled into the pits from the lead with a black flag for disobeying the yellows. This also being the lap that Jonathan crashed and there still being yellows across the circuit Matt only lost about 10 seconds through his black flag on second placed Flick and maintained his lead. As the race entered the 12th lap Jonathan caught Flick who was being held up by a driver who was defending his line brilliantly. Jonathan managed to find a way around the pair of them on the outside going into the chicane after the back straight and regained second place. The same lap Trefor managed to get up into 5th place with a move on Steve. On lap 14 Flick fought her way back past Jonathan again following a mistake and the next lap the pair caught a gaggle of three karts. Flick found a gap on the inside into the penultimate corner and scythed her way through, Jonathan eager to keep the battle alive and not get stuck behind slower karts followed closely through. As they exited the corner he got the power on slightly earlier than Flick and just touched the back of her kart, it got loose due to the strain put on the karts in at the corner and round she went into the wall. A couple of those following were unable to stop and joined her accident. It was an unfortunate end to a brilliant battle for second position.

Things began to stabilise and gaps were forming, Cathy had moved up from her 10th place on the grid to 7th by passing Beth on lap 6 and was able to hold that right the way to the finish for a couple of points. Helen Little still recovering took Beverley on lap 7 to take 9th but there was no real possibility of anything higher up. It was a shame for her to miss out on points this weekend as she was so strong in May and qualified on the front row today just for mechanical issue and a delay by the stewards to ruin her race day. Thomas started badly, then got caught up in the first lap incident and dropped to last place, he drove steadily though and on lap 12 he managed to pass Fred to get out of last place. A great result for him. Fred meanwhile will show better when he gains more experience considering it was only his second time karting he did well to be on the pace in qualifying.

Although the battle for second may have been over there was still action to come up front. Jonathan caught Steve on lap 19 of the race and struggled to pass the improving rookie. He tried to pass on the outside into the chicane after the back straight and eventually did pass coming down the hill on the next lap. This allowed Matt Teager onto the back of Jonathan to lap him. Jonathan caught his father into the next lap and tried to pass as a yellow flag came out meaning he had to give back the position. On the resumption his father refused to yield and Jonathan tried again around the outside of the chicane again failing. Matt took the inside after Trefor and got past Jonathan. He bumped Trefor into the next corner causing a spin for Trefor into the wall. It was the same place that Jonathan had tagged Flick but with more ability to get out of the move and the marshalls saw fit to serve another black flag to Matt. When he came in though, he was given just five seconds as a penalty and the race was once again under yellows. This meant that again he was able to comfortably hold onto his lead.

In the end three black flags led to a hollow victory for a driver who was quite simply the class of the field all day. Most drivers had little but complaints for the victor for one incident or another. It is fair to say that he drove hard but not particularly fair in both qualifying and the race. Behind him though the battle between Jonathan and Flick which lasted 16 laps can be seen as a highlight. Further behind Patrick Hill put in his best performance so far for fourth but the driver of the day has to be Trefor Little who made up for his poor qualifying performance perfectly with a superb 5th place. Steve did a good job for 6th on his first attempt and he could develop into a future front runner next time. Cathy did the best her grid slot would allow her with Beth dropping places to pick up the last point. Helen Little missed out on a top four finish by no fault of her own with the early stall hurting her points score. Behind them Beverley was solid if not spectacular and the two new boys duked it out well for the final two place. They both showed well and they will continue to improve from here. Both did really well in qualifying but the first race was a new experience for them.

The classification and lap chart follow:

driver off first
1 Matt
2 Jonathan +14.46
3 Flick +20.41
4 Paddy +1 lap
5 Trefor +1 lap
6 Steve +2 laps
7 Cathy +2 laps
8 Beth +2 laps
9 Helen +3 laps
10 Beverley +3 laps
11 Thomas +4 laps
12 Fred +4 laps

Sunday’s race left the championship standings as follows:

driver points
1 Jonathan Little (2 races) 20
2 Craig King (1 race) 14
3 Matt Teager (1 race) 14
4 Catherine Leopold (2 races) 7
5 Helen Little (2 races) 6
6 Felicity Kensett (1 race) 6
7 Beth Little (2 races) 5
8 Patrick Hill (1 race) 5
9 Trefor Little (1 race) 4
10 Thomas McCorkell (2 races) 3
11 Steve (1 race) 3
12 Rachel Ross (1 race) 2
13 Beverley Little (1 race) 0
14 Fred Maltby (1 race) 0

There were some good drives out there on Sunday and we can look forward to more in the first ever outdoor race for the series in November. The weather may be chilly but the action will be hot! (I needed to get some cheese in somewhere)

If you are interested in joining us in November or at Christmas then let me know.