Bayford Meadows Summer Cup Rd 3

Saturday the 26th September saw the final round of the Bayford Meadows SuperPro Summer Cup take place in less than summery weather. It was cold and windy with a feeling of rain to come. On the day, 27 drivers competed in 3 of 7 heats with 15 in the lightweight class that I was entered in to. Coming in to the event I was 4th in the championship and hopeful that I could maintain that.

Race 1

During the practice session I found Kart #12 a bit tail happy but it seemed to have good performance once I was comfortable in it and I was happy to qualify 5th out of 12 in it. I made an ok start and thanks to Reece Page running wide on to the kerbs at Turn 1 I was able to pass him at Turn 2 where we fought for a bit with me coming off the better. As we crossed the line we were separated by 0.128s – throughout the lap and the next he kept tapping me at the rear, using me as a brake which was costing me time having to control the extra movement while Chris and Iain in front pulled away. I was sure that I could catch them given the chance.

At the end of the lap I’d had enough and turned around to gesticulate at him, causing me to run off the grass and allowing him to pull ahead. Although he was a little in front as we exited Turn 1 I kept me foot on the floor and retook the position into Turn 2. He passed me on the entry to Turn 6. Over the next couple of laps once I got close enough I gave him some of his own medicine with the occasional shove, passing him (cleanly) on the inside of Turn 2 on lap 5.

The pass on Chris and Iain, seen from the back

Iain and Chris were 0.76s ahead of me and I knew I could catch them while they fought over 2nd place. By the end of the following lap I’d chased them down and starting to think about passing him. Entering Turn 2, I was close enough to Chris but didn’t fancy it down the inside again. He pulled out a gap exiting Turn 5 and I had work to do again! As we crossed the line at the end of lap 7 I was in 4th with both of them fighting each other and setting their best times so far. Fighting hard with each other they weren’t concentrating on me and, uncompromised by them I got a great exit from Turn 1 and was soon right their chuffs. I had plenty of speed left in the Kart which was still accelerating and kept my foot nailed to the floor, passing both of them into Turn 2. I held the position to the end of the race, finishing P2 0.5s ahead of them but a long way from Graham who won.

Full replay of race 1

Race 2

From the minute I got into Kart #7 I was uncomfortable – it just felt wrong. The steering wheel felt to high and my right leg was banging against the fuel tank. I knew it was going to be a stinker and it was. I qualified it 9th out of 12 and knew I was in for a tough time trying to get any points out of this race.

My start was ok – I didn’t win or lose any places and after Jamie made a mistake at Turn 5 I tried an overtake at Turn 6 and we touched resulting in a loss of momentum for me. We crossed the line separated by about 0.75s and I set about closing that down over the next few laps. There was a pack of Karts in front of us that was holding him up and would present a good opportunity get past a few Karts easily…. hopefully.

Coming into Turn 3 on lap 4 I had a look up the inside of Jamie when Dean made contact with Rob and I took two positions. As we crossed the line at the end of the lap we were separated by 0.69s while Jamie was less than 0.1s behind me and passed me on the inside at Turn 1. I stayed in 8th, struggling to get any further speed out of the Kart, finishing 0.34s behind Jamie and 5.9s in front of Thomas.

Full replay of race 2

Race 3

I knew this Kart was even worse than the previous one as soon as I got in it – it didn’t seem to have any grip at all and I even spun it at Turn 2 during the practice while trying to get a handle on it. Out of 11 drivers I qualified it 8th and made a good start, rising to 6th at the end of the lap after passing 2 drivers – one at Turn 1 and one later on at Turn 3. I managed to hold on but lost the place to Maurice at Turn 8 on lap 3 and unable to make any headway in catching the others I lost interest in the race and started to see how much I could slide the Kart through the corners, getting it almost 90 degrees to the track at some points, helped by a few drops of rain here and there. When the checkered flag was finally shown at the end of lap 9 I was happy to see it.

Summary

At the end of the meeting I was disappointed to have finished so badly in 2 races because of (I felt) bad Karts. The last one had been especially bad. I dropped from 4th place in the championship to 6th, beaten to 4th by Steve Best by 3pts. That fight we’d had at round 2 had cost me more than I thought at the time 🙁

Kart #7 was not good!

Here’s the link to the official championship standings: https://results.alphatiming.co.uk/bayford/2020/champ/1112/