After the success of last year’s Christmas Karting, we had planned to make the parents versus juniors contest an annual thing. Teamsport Bristol hadn’t really done their bit by not running a family and friends event for members this year but they offered us something much more tempting: Our own race event! Things snowballed from there really: Ten drivers in 2013 became thirty seven in 2014!!! We had drivers from TKM and Rotax, Clay and Llandow, even a Super One driver 🙂 Ok, having to collect all of the deposits and balances was a royal pain in the arse but it was building up to be something special.
So eleven juniors, five seniors, fourteen parents, four siblings and three mates descended onto Teamsport for a night which promised much. We had drawn three groups and each would have 10 mins practice, 2×10 minute heats and a 15 minute semi-final before the groups came together for 15 minute A, B and C Finals. Not bad for £35, huh? 🙂
The track was a lot quicker than it was when Junior and I were regulars, so much so that I bettered my PB in the practice (without getting too big headed I wasn’t a slouch before!). I was quietly confident that the track record (set only the night before by one of the staff) was in danger 😀
The races themselves were pretty rough, three abreast coming down the ramp never ends nicely! The two heats were run youngest > oldest and then oldest > youngest. Heat 1 for me wasn’t good; spun on the first lap and again a few laps later, I struck it lucky when half the field piled up underneath the bridge leaving a little under a kart’s width that pushed my way through, at walking pace under the yellow flags of course 😉 and came away with a decent 4th place. Heat 2 definitely wasn’t one for the purist, I got to the front and defended for ten laps with a queue of juniors behind me. It was enough to put me alongside Junior on the front row for our semi-final 😀 I had a decent kart in the semi and Junior was definitely struggling with this – I tailed him around as we pulled clear although I turned down the couple of half chances that came my way as I knew that Junior would just as soon bin us both than see me past him and my eyes were set on the A Final! After Junior almost got taken out lapping a back marker who definitely wasn’t going to get out of the way, I bided my time and brought it home in second.
I qualified in fifth for the A Final, courtesy of being slower in the semi than the other two semi final runner ups but was the lead adult and right in the junior mix. I got a decent start but juniors these days don’t really have much respect!!! I was being nudged all over the place so reverted to defensive mode to at least let Junior clear off to fight for the win. Once one barged me out of the way, a few more followed suit and I was in seventh before getting spun around. Things got worse as I then made a move on someone who just seemed to understeer into the tyres and took me with him. Still, I think I put up a reasonable fight even if I finished a lap down. Junior finished runner-up to the lightest of the drivers who won all his races on the night. Collectively we destroyed the fastest lap leaderboard too, with seven drivers bettering the former record. It was a lot of fun and only another eleven months until our next visit 😉