Not Junior obviously! Since going down the owner/driver route my track time has dropped down to a couple of outings per year. I’d driven the JTKM at Clay’s IKR in a parent’s race last year and done ‘ok’. To be honest, I didn’t really enjoy not feeling in control of the kart at any point during the day! I’d also driven the corporate karts at Clay and been pretty damn quick if I say so myself 😉 Senior Prokart seemed like the perfect compromise so I bagged myself a rental kart and took the plunge.
I struggled to cope with the fairly hard tyres in practice although the kart felt good and the engines seemed to be strong based on my catching people down the straight. My Hairpin and Top Bend were letting me down a bit but a qualified in 8th of 12. Then things started to go south: in Race #1, I got hung out on the outside of the entry to The Esses and panicked, hitting the brakes and spinning (the reality is that the person I thought was hanging me out had actually conceded the corner to me!). I got going again but felt a loss of power a lap or so later. It felt like I was running on a single engine but, when I pitted, both engines were running. The problem was identified a throttle cable issue and duly rectified. At least that was what we thought. I new as soon as I left the pits for the pre-final that I was in the same boat and I was dropping away as soon as the karts sped up to begin the race 🙁 I was pretty peeved at this point and was thinking that I should have entered a pay as you drive arrangement! 😉
The problem was fixed for the final. I began in last and made a decent start. I think I gained a good number of places at Billies as there was some contact which I was able to drive around the outside of. Then the two karts in front of me decided to quite literally try to run one another off the track!?! I ‘d never seen anything like it. The Super One clerk would have had a fit!!! I passed them as they messed around although I think that may have made them wake up to themselves and focus on the race. They soon passed me and I lost another place before I settled into my rhythm and tried to catch some people. I wouldn’t say that I was at ease with the kart but it certainly pulled well out of the corners. I made a few nice moves slipstreaming down the straight, pulling out around The Kink and then parking it on the apex at Billies to prevent the cutback to bring it home in a repsectable 7th place. It was an awful lot of fun 😀
It was another good day at Clay IKR. The atmosphere is something I’ve enjoyed on both visits. Although I can’t see Junior switching from MSA anytime soon, I’d definitely do it again although I have my eye on an endurance event for next time.