After a long lay off from full-metal racing and after some badgering from Ant Brown I decided to book a session at the reopened Buckmore Park. The race was a 60 minute endurance for pairs of drivers. Ant wasn’t able to make it but James could. Neither of us had driven around Buckmore for ages so we didn’t have a lot of expectations for the evening other than having some fun on the track.
Both drivers had to take part in the 10 minute qualifying session – I went out first and then handed over to James halfway through. Sadly, I wasn’t able to get my GoPro attached to the Kart due to a damaged mounting point but I was able to get my telemetry app up and running.
In the we qualified in 4th, with a time of 51.633 set by me on my last lap. The top 5 were all within 0.5s of the kart on Pole so it looked like we might have a good result.
James took the first 30 minutes and got a good start, finishing the 1st lap in P2 just under a second behind the leader. By the end of the 2nd lap he’d closed that gap, taken the lead and was 0.5s in front! He continued driving well until losing the lead on lap 7 and dropping to 3rd. He was still in 4th on lap 12 until dropping down to 7th on the following lap after spinning. He continued to stay in 6th or 7th until we swapped over on lap 32.
After completing my outlaw we were in P6, 35s behind the leader. Despite a spin on lap 37 after a slower driver span in front of my at Symes Sweep I had pulled us up to 5th. After the spin I started to get some consistency and was lapping in the mid 0.51s. On lap 41 I took 4th place and was 8 seconds away from the podium.
I kept pumping in the laps and after a while could see the kart in front (I’d memorised the karts in front of us at the start of my stint), making the pass at Conways on lap 50. The Kart in 2nd place was now 9s in front. On lap 59 they must have made an error or picked up a penalty as the gap plummeted to 3s. I took another 3s out of it on the following lap and took 2nd position at Conways on lap 61, making the pass on the inside.
On lap 64 I got boxed in by a back marker and some good driving from the 3rd place Kart, dropping back down to 3rd. Not giving up, I pushed on, setting my fastest race lap and personal best of 51.027 on lap 67 and making the pass at Conways immediately after. As we came around again the last lap board was shown. I left to much space and the other driver passed me at Conways. I tried as hard as I could to stay with him but we had to settle for 3rd, 0.081s behind 2nd. If the finish line had been a foot further on I’d have beaten him.
So what did I learn? Not a lot really. It was a lot of fun to get back in a Kart again and I wasn’t to sore the day after. I’d enjoyed catching up with James before the race too.
My telemetry told me that I’d been quickest through the first sector in the early parts of the race and then been trying a bit to hard and losing speed. That was interesting and something to bear in mind for the future. I need to sort out the GoPro once and for all as once I started to analyse the data I really missed the video footage. After the session I learned a lot about my data, cleaning it up so that I could get it loaded into Circuit Tools…. which I managed after several hours.
Now I need to go out again… hopefully they’ll do a 3hr race soon and James, Ant and I can all get out on track.
You can see the full race results here.