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

Fun times in Crawley

Last Sunday we had our first karting event of 2010 which also represents the first ever Talote Racing championship race (sad huh?). Information is going to be slightly short due to two things, first we had no-one to take photos and second we were not provided with any lap times barring our fastest as their printer was broken. We therefore had to just remember our fastest times

We turned up at the track and were led up to the second track (which we had never seen or raced before):

I led the field out followed by Craig and we just felt our way around the track. Our first impressions were good, the track is wider than that downstairs but the ramps are steeper and so the weight disadvantage I experienced was worse. It also had some bumps in the circuit one of which at the most tricky braking point. On heading back down the ramp for the first time at near to full speed we came across Rachel Ross and Cathy coming the wrong way round the track. Rachel hadn’t followed Beth and had somehow turned the wrong way out of the pitlane meaning Craig and I came barreling down the hill towards them. It was dangerous and a bit silly.

Once everything got going Craig dropped off my back as I got stuck behind Cathy struggling to pass her after catching up after my uphill disadvantage she was good though and kept to the racing line. Eventually I had to resort to a little helpful nudging. Craig meanwhile having dropped back and found open space managed to set the fastest lap of the first session. Towards the end of the session I was confident but getting held up and was caught and passed by my sister at the end, she had also been going quite well.

It seemed from the first session that it was a great circuit for keeping people close. I found that there were only really two corners at which braking was necessary and thus the speed meant that there was less opportunity to really fall back. The headline fastest laps at the end of the first session were as follows:

1. Craig King
2. Jonathan Little
3. Helen Little
4. Beth Little
5. Catherine Leopold
6. Thomas McCorkell
7. Rachel Ross

At the end of the first session I got some stick for giving nudges to ease my passage past various people, personally I think my sister was worse but hey.

As I followed people out of pits in the second part I immediately came across my sister giving Cathy a wee shove out the way which I hope proved my point. Anyway the second session once everyone had gotten used to the track showed everyones true pace. It seemed that we were lapping Rachel Ross once every two or three laps and although he was gaining confidence Thomas turned up quite a lot as well but as was pointed out after he has barely driven anything before.

Towards the end there was a big old battle between Craig, my sister and I on the track and we all stuck together for about 5 laps. I could tell places where I was faster than them but I could not find a way past. Really seeing as the session was about fastest time I guess I should have dropped off the back of them but hey it was a fun battle trying to get past the other two drivers who were on my pace. Then about a minute from the end of the session I managed to get past Craig following a small mistake, I then made a big mistake though and found myself in the barrier. This followed a previous attempt when while we followed my wife she spun at a tight turn, Craig took one side and I took the other, he got through safe but my avoidance action on my wife put me very hard in the wall. I hope she appreciates how hard I worked to miss her. Also at the end of this session I got my own back on Craig for christmas by banging into him at the end… not quite as good but I’ll take it.

The second session contained a second red flag (the first of course being the pair of drivers going the wrong way round the track). This one was caused by Beth spinning and somehow stalling her kart. The stoppage was called as the driver had to go and restart it. Nothing serious.

Session 2 times (also overall fastest laps)
1. Craig King (faster in S1)
2. Jonathan Little (faster in S2)
3. Helen Little
4. Catherine Leopold (faster in S2 and overtook Beth)
5. Beth Little
6. Thomas McCorkell
7. Rachel Ross

After one round the championship standings are as follows (an explanation of the scoring scheme is below):
1. Craig King – 14 points
2. Jonathan Little – 10 points
3. Helen Little – 6 points
4. Catherine Leopold – 5 points
5. Beth Little – 4 points
6. Thomas McCorkell – 3 points
7. Rachel Ross – 2 points

The top 8 score points:
1st: 10 – 2nd: 8 – 3rd: 6 – 4th: 5 – 5th: 4 – 6th: 3 – 7th: 2 – 8th: 1

In a practice scenario (like this):
2 points for fastest in each session
1 point for second fastest
1 point for beating a previous personal best (set on a different day)

In a race:
2 points for fastest lap
1 point for second fastest

2 points for pole
1 point for second

With three events to go then, Craig holds a good lead. Unfortunately we are not certain he will make the next event but fingers crossed eh?

Also if anyone who went has stories of the sessions then feel free to comment.

We are currently voting on when our next event will take place on our facebook group:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=343599396053&

Last Karting Action of 2009

On the 27th December eleven of us intrepid drivers turned up at the track in Crawley for a race to end 2009.

The afternoon started with five minutes of practice session and ten minutes qualifying. The practice session went by with barely a yellow flag shown with everyone taking their time learning the track. The ten minute qualifying session though ended with a flurry of yellow flags as drivers pushed to try and get up the grid. Several drivers therefore ended up lower down the order than they expected. It was also noted that a number of drivers who had been before (we had three rookies at this event) complained of a lack of grip. 11 drivers on a 400 metre track also led to traffic issues as it proved to be difficult to guarentee a clean lap. With that said the grid was thus:

Qualifying (time – off first)
1. Matt Teager – 28.00
2. Helen Little – 28.69 – 0.69
3. Felicity Kensett – 29.87 – 1.87
4. Seok Jun Park – 29.91 – 1.91
5. Jonathan Little – 29.92 – 1.92
6. Craig King – 30.01 – 2.01
7. Trefor Little – 30.33 – 2.33
8. Beverley Little – 30.43 – 2.43
9. Patrick Hill – 30.68 – 2.68
10. Beth Little – 32.89 – 4.89
11. Alastair King – 33.76 – 5.76
So quite a close gap between 3rd and 6th with less than 0.2 covering all four drivers. More impressive is that 4th and 6th were filled with drivers who had never been in a kart before.


Alastair holds me up during the race, I start to get frustrated as I fear my sister may catch me

So to the race. At the start Jun lost two positions to Craig and me. This possibly distracted him into the chicane at the top of the hill as he ended up hitting the wall and causing a pile up as Trefor drove into the back of him followed by Patrick. Beverley managed to get through with just some minor contact while the other drivers were stuck behind. The red flags came out (albeit a good twenty seconds after the accident) due to Jun’s tyre being stuck under the tyre wall. The delay in the flag coming out caused a holdup for those at the top of the hill as the top 5 managed to complete the first lap before the stoppage giving almost a laps advantage to them. Meanwhile Flick and I had managed to find a way past Helen as we came towards the end of the lap.

When racing resumed after about a minutes stoppage Helen managed to get back past me and I had to hold off Craig. Flick lost out to Helen on the second lap losing her a position before she spun on lap 3 letting me and Craig through. The order then stayed the same at the front for a few laps before Helen also managed to spin allowing me through into second. The top three then remained the same for the rest of the race with just a short battle between my sister and me for second at the end due to yellow flags closing us up this also allowed Matt Teager’s already 15 second lead to extend.

Further down the field Beverley lost the advantage of half a lap she gained having got through the crash on lap one making a mistake on lap 6 that cost her three places to the recovering Jun, Patrick and Trefor all racing hard at that point to get back in the race. Patrick got the best of that battle by taking Jun on the last lap following a number of position changes between them.

The race and its positions though were largely dictated by the crash at the start, once those 6 drivers fell behind there was no way back for them. Patrick did well to get to lead this group with a good 6th place after his 9th place start but bemoaned his lost chance to break into the top 4. Trefor had also been aiming for a higher position but his chances we ruined by the crash. The crash showed that having a high grid position on a track such as this is essential. Had Patrick or Trefor started but a couple of places higher they would have avoided Jun at the start and kept in contention. The track also proved difficult to pass on due to its tight nature with drivers often giving little nudges to get past. This was especially true when lapping Alastair who slowed early at the end of straights often causing difficulties to those following as despite his speed he was good at following the racing line. This proved rather frustrating for those behind him but he did a good job and with a bit more bravery could have finished a lot higher. An interesting first race then for us but not as open as it could/should have been with a runaway winner and half the field almost a lap down after lap one.


Lap by lap position chart

Finishing Positions:
1. Matt Teager: 13:20.66
2. Jonathan Little: +34.47
3. Helen Little: +35.47
4. Craig King: +1 lap
5. Felicity Kensett: +1 lap
6. Patrick Hill: +2 laps
7. Seok Jun Park: +2 laps
8. Trefor Little: +2 laps
9. Beverley Little: +3 laps
10. Alastair King: +4 laps
11. Elizabeth Little: +4 laps


The top three on the podium

So there we have it, the most experienced karters came first. My sister did well again. Craig showed potential on his first attempt as did Jun keeping Paddy honest throughout the race. Overall a good time, I apologise to Flick for hitting her when she spun but there wasn’t really anywhere for me to go. I also didn’t realise my sister was so close behind me at the end.

Fingers crossed for lots more karting in 2010 with trips to Buckmore and Sittingbourne as well. I am also looking into starting a Karting club as well, if you are interested and have ideas then let me know.

The Karting continues

I would continue saying its nerdy but there was quite a crowd (of two) as I entered the lap data (how is that interesting). I also apologise for the poor quality of my deodorant, it has now been replaced.

For extra information about the track you are best off going to my previous post first:
August 09

The track seemed wider this time around, I guess we (the 4 who had been before) had experience which made it seem less forboding. That said, Vicki was terrified.

In the first session everyone kept it rather clean, granted Paddy still spun a lot but the pace at the front was pretty good and the newbies found their feet. We were also lucky enough not to have many crashes and few yellow flags.

practice 1: (fastest lap – off first -average lap)
1 Jonathan – 28.99 – 0 – 34.60
2 Patrick – 29.6 – 0.61 – 37.10
3 Trefor – 31 – 2.01 – 39.22
4 Beverley – 31.46 – 2.47 – 37.88
5 Cathy – 34.65 – 5.66 – 43.40
6 Vicki – 40.66 – 11.67 – 47.40

Average lap time – 39.94

Considering the number of times he spun it Paddy was pretty quick breaking the 30 second barrier for the first time. I also improved.

The second session seemed to see people get tired, especially towards the end there were lots of little errors and crashes causing flags. I personally managed to avoid Paddy spinning at the first corner in the way he did the first time we came and I also had a good battle with my dad and couldn’t find a way past for some time. Vicky also looked a lot better than the first session. Also after three full sessions at the track without spinning, I spun four times in this session all from braking hard to avoid other karts either in the middle of the track or going slowly. Also, feel for my mother who had to get out and change karts halfway through.

practice 2: (fastest lap – off first – average lap)
1 Jonathan – 28.55 – 0 – 32.96
2 Trefor – 29.48 – 0.93 – 31.41
3 Paddy – 29.93 – 1.38 – 33.13
4 Cathy – 31.5 – 2.95 – 35.24
5 Beverley – 31.58 – 3.03 – 34.99
6 Vicki – 33.88 – 5.33 – 36.29

Average lap time – 34.01

The real star of the show was Vicky who improved by seven seconds between the two sessions going from a 40 to a 33. My father also did well and got himself ahead of Paddy in the standings:

Final results:
1. Jonathan – 28.55
2. Trefor – 39.48
3. Paddy – 29.6 (session 1)
4. Beverley – 31.46 (session 1)
5. Cathy – 31.5
6. Vicky – 33.88

In other news, as last time Paddy got slower between the two sessions. Cathy was almost able to best my mother and showed some potential for next time as well and if Vicky continues her rate of improvement she will win easily next time.

So now that we have been multiple times we can get a table for two different events. So here we have the current standings:

Overall (fastest lap – off first – number of laps)
1 Jonathan – 28.55 – 0 – 88
2 Trefor – 29.48 – 0.93 – 80
3 Paddy – 29.6 – 1.05 – 82
4 Flick – 29.8 – 1.25 – 38
5 Helen – 30.81 – 2.26 – 39
6 Beverley – 31.46 – 2.91 – 76
7 Cathy – 31.5 – 2.95 – 41
8 Beth – 32.53 – 3.98 – 37
9 Vicki – 33.88 – 5.33 – 37

These charts show that obviously practice makes perfect, would I be ahead of my father if not for my karting at Center Parcs? I like to think so with the size of the margin but its impossible to know. I also think Paddy can be a lot closer to the front if he reigns in his driving style and gains greater control of the kart.

We will be returning to Crawley for a race to see out 2009 in late December. If you are interested then let me know.

A final congrats and thanks to all my friends who have come and taken part and I hope more of you will come in future.

I feel nerdy

Am I a muppet… undoubtedly. So I may as well show it by printing analysis of mine and Beth’s go-karting race in March. Interesting? Un-bloody-likely

The track:
Apparently “WildTracks has one of the best tarmac circuits in the UK. Tight turns and fast straights make for great racing.

Fast and furious, and sitting only inches above the track, karting offers exhilarating entertainment and brings out the competitive spirit in everyone. Our 700m tarmac circuit is 10m wide – giving plenty of room for overtaking.”

The track is anticlockwise btw, from first hairpin to the top corner is flatout and then the run back has a bit more braking with some big puddles for good measure.

Race day was very wet making for a slippery track. I qualified in 3rd with the wife right beside me in 4th impressive eh. Beth was lucky enough to crash in qualifying though when someone decided to hit her off at the first corner… how thoughtful, oh well it let me dive through.

In the race I held third until lap three when the guy in 2nd place spun it off promoting me up a place. Meanwhile Beth started badly and never really recovered, an early spin put her down in 7th and last for the first 5 laps before she got herself up into 6th where she stayed for the whole race lapping the last place driver at least once. Meanwhile I inherited the lead on lap 7 as the leader spun off. I think at this stage I was the only person not to have a spin but I was constantly the third fastest on the track. The pole man caught me up again within a lap and pressured me for the next four laps before I touched the paint of the apex of the first corner and spun it, luckily he hit me which meant I kept me lead (well I was blocking the racing line) at this stage the rain was torrential and I had long since abandoned using my visor… something my wife doesn’t approve of. I was just finding the spray from cars in front too bad so I couldn’t see, wiping it didn’t help either. Of course the disadvantage was then I got in the spray I had to close my eyes because it fired straight into my helmet.

On lap 11, I left a small gap on the inside out of the top hairpin and the polesitter nailed me down the backstraight as we headed for the twisty bit before the start finish straight. He then continued to romp off into the distance as the race progressed. I was initially then chased by 3rd place and he passed me at one point but then spun off at the end of the lap meaning I held 2nd. I stayed in that position until the end of the race with only one more spin once again at the first corner as I this time went too wide and hit a big puddle and just aquaplaned off. The track began to dry off slightly at the end and the lap times fell by about two seconds.

My fastest lap: 47.93 (lap 26/30)
Beth’s fastest lap: 50.13 (lap 23/30)

My average lap: 50.71
Beth’s average lap: 55.82

My slowest racing lap: 56.63
Beth’s slowest racing lap: 68.38
These were both on the same lap showing that this was when it was wettest…

My spins: 2
Beth’s spins: 4

My time off the leader: 3.76
Beth’s time off the leader: +3 laps

My finishing position: 2nd
Beth’s finishing position: 6th

And to end a nice lap time graph:

I will just say this… I am pretty darn consistent. And also a nerd, a very big nerd who just wasted 20 minutes doing this. Should my wife really leave me alone for two weeks in future?

Oh well, I will do more joyous karting analysis from Crawley on my birthday. On that note, first person to make this image look like a race track wins a prize of sorts:

Toodles

Pictures lovingly pinched from uk-go-karting.com and team-sport.co.uk