I had booked today off to prep the kart for the weekend. My plans had evolved to heading to the track in the afternoon to get our tyres fitted and then, with the tempting offer of some awning space, I departed at 8am to arrive with my chums (mostly to ensure they bagged themselves a spot large enough for me to park in also!). As it turned out I passed them as they were getting their McDonalds breakfast. I arrived at the track to be greeted by the man at the gate. Imagine seeing some bloke on his own in a Clio (Junior was at home revising) towing a kart on a camping trailer: I am 99% certain he was all set to turn me around and tell me that the track was closed for practice!!! I wanted to bag enough space for three awnings and blurted out that I needed 9m of awning space. I think he took this more literally than I had intended and sent me into the premium spots where there was still space for a team – result! Looking a bit conspicuous opposite the AIM ‘tent’ 😉 I did go back and confirm my intentions but we were cleared for paddock parking 🙂
Unsurprisingly, the sight in the paddock was a stark contrast to the view at a club meeting and I was instantly struck by how similar all of the cadet mechanics looked (are they clones?). It felt like there was a lot of money being spent ans I didn’t see anyone else arriving with their kart on a camping trailer 😉 It was great to have the Llandow dads from last year back together: The banter started pretty much as soon as we parked up. I didn’t really have a lot to do in terms of preparation: I’d deferred removing numerous sets of tyres from rims since I was going to be staying until 6pm, when the tyre fitting window opened, and I had planned to just check the carbs and head out to get the control fuel. Fortunately the organisers allowed the tyres to be fitted throughout the day. Not only did it mean no hanging around into the evening but I didn’t have to fit two sets of tyres in 20 minutes (I would have failed!). With the tyres sorted, the sponsors stickers attached, the control fuel purchased and another handful of Factor 60 applied, it was time to sit and chill out. It was a nice feeling to be able to get the kart ready in your own time with no pressure to get out on track. Although the TKM classes do not practice on a Friday, I think you’d have to arrive the day before the race; Rocking up and having to do everything in the morning would be a tad mental for my liking. I was even able to leave early enough to be home for tea with the family (despite every car in South Wales seemingly headed eastbound on the M4 at the same time as me).
It will be an early start tomorrow since I want to be at the track at 7am to be ready in plenty of the for the morning activities. Since I’ve been awake by 3am for the past two nights, getting up shouldn’t be too difficult. Wish me luck!