Under grey skies and the threat of rain, 20 drivers took part in round 2 of the Winter Cup at Bayford Meadows. I was quite happy with my performance in round 1, taking my first overall win on track and was in 5th in the championship. I knew that if Lewis and Dean were taking place then 3rd would be the best I could expect…. especially if the rain arrived.
I qualified for the first heat in 5th with a time of 1:15.922, 1.5s slower than Reece who took the pole. I got a good start, overtaking Ant and Jason in front of as we got off the line and then lost the place to Jason almost immediately. At the end of the lap he’d pulled out a gap of 0.8s while I struggled on the damp track – I had Ant 0.7s behind me. On the following lap, Ant got past me as I continued to drive poorly, losing a lot of time at Turn 6 especially. Once Ant had passed me he continued to pull out a gap while I pulled out a gap to Bradley behind me. After 8 laps I finished in 5th, first place in class but not a result I was happy with.
I had an awful qualifying session for what was the 4th heat of the day, finishing in 9th place with a 1:04.848 which was 2s off the pole set once again by Reece. I struggled with this Kart which although it seemed to have plenty of power just would not slow down – I later realised that it pulled to the left when braking too so it obviously had some kind of problem.
At the start, I was caught up in a few incidents at Turn 1 but recovered quickly to move up to 6th by the end of the lap, 3.8s behind Steve in 5th. On lap 3 I made a mistake and dropped down to 7th behind Rob where I stayed, eventually finishing in 7th, over 7s behind Rob and over 30s behind Dean who won.
As the rain started to come down a bit more, I qualified in 4th for the final race of the day which I was a lot happier with although it was a lot more slippery than it had been for the previous heat and there was a bit of rain coming down. I got a good start and followed Lewis all the way to Turn 3 when the driver in 2nd place made a mistake and I was made up two places while Lewis took avoiding action. With the rain coming down, the track had changed again and `I ran wide at Turn 6, slipping off line again at Turn 10.
I crossed the line at the end of the lap in P2, 2.1s to Graham in front and a gap of 1.8s to Lewis. I knew he’d soon close that up. He didn’t seem to be that quick although after I binned it at Turn 6 again he shot past and that was any chance I had of a second class win gone. I didn’t lose any more places and rejoined in 3rd. At the end of the lap Lewis was 4.1s ahead of me while I had Rob only 1.6s behind. Once again I had a good lap until Turn 6 – this time I just wan wide, losing it at Turn 9 and running out on to the kerbs and grass.
I span again at Turn 2 as the rain continued to come down, losing 2 places and dropping down to 5th. By the end of the lap I was 1.6s behind him with Jacob right behind me. For a while I managed to stay with Rob and then he started to pull away from me. The gap continued to grow by about a second per lap until lap 8 when I span again at Turn 3 and dropped down to 9th where I eventually finished, 5.2s behind Jacob.
After three heats I was shocked to have finished 3rd overall, tied on points with Dean. Although I wasn’t happy with the way Id driven, especially in the last race, 3rd had been my goal when at the start of the day and I was happy to have met my objective. I finished the meeting in 3rd place in the championship too, only 1pt behind Dean and another 6 behind Lewis. Scoring 71pts is a good result as we’ll all have to drop one round in the final results (best 5 of 6 count).
The biggest thing I learned was that I suck in the wet and need to practice. Especially around Turn 6 where I just couldn’t work out how to get around it without spinning out.
Otherwise my GPS device didn’t pick up a signal all afternoon so I have no telemetry…. which would have been really useful. I’ll need to have a play with that before round 3 in early January. My GoPro also continued to switch itself off randomly… I’ll replace the SD card before the next race and if there’s still a problem it’ll need to be replaced. It’s never been the same since they sent me a replacement after I smashed one late in 2018.