http://pateandlester.com/google2d538127caf9be1a.html It’s been a long time since my last post. Although Junior and I continue into the uncharted territory that is senior racing, our journey through junior karting has come to an end and it feels like the right time to bring a close to the chronicle of our trackside adventures. Junior is now 18 so not really Junior any more and I’ve been doing this for four years; I’d even go as far as to call myself competent!
What started out as a bunch of experiences and costs documented to help noobs better understand what they’d be letting themselves in for when they entered the sport evolved beyond the costings and ultimately became a diary of our time in junior karting. Hopefully it will still be useful to those starting out (you really need to look at the earlier posts) and I hope to bring the guides up to date at some point. The blog reached way more people than I could ever have imagined: over 28,000 genuine hits from around the world and a year-long stint writing for Karting Magazine – mostly thanks to The Kart Bandit who stumbled across my adventures and took it to the masses.
Of course whilst I hope the blog retains its usefulness to karting dads (or maybe just the ability to entertain!), the most important thing for me personally will be to reflect back upon everything we did in junior karting. It’s been a mad, mad four years. Karting takes no prisoners, you have to be totally committed to it if you don’t want to get found out at the track. And even then we got found out more than I would have liked! I am very proud of my driver and they way he dealt with the setbacks we suffered. He always believed, *mostly* remained upbeat and just enjoyed driving his kart as quickly as he could. I seemed to be the one who suffered on those disappointing journeys home. We won’t dwell on the one that got away, it will always haunt me 🙁 I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t change a thing; We’d have a room stacked full of trophies if I had my way but the positives go far beyond pieces of shiny plastic: He always was my best mate but watching my son grow as a racer and a person has been an honour and a thrill. My advice to karting dads is to cherish the times you spend together at the track. Never, ever shout at your driver. Don’t criticise them publicy even when you feel they may have been in the wrong. Don’t wave frantically at them as if they are driving too slowly for you: WTF are you thinking!?! Do you seriously think they aren’t trying to drive fast??? Encourage, encourage, encourage. Although there was that one time at the Festival… 😉
So this is it! My final piece of advice is for those moving from Junior TKM to TKM Extreme: Paddock gossip says you must run unrestricted in TKM Extreme, piling on as much lead as it takes to make the weight. There may well be some tracks where this is the case (I fear Kimbolton) but we’ve raced at Llandow (the most technical track in the country), Buckmore Park (*the* best track in the country) and Clay Pigeon (the best facilities in the country) and we’ve done just fine for pace. Test for yourself before you take out a loan to buy all of that lead!
I’ll still be posting on Facebook if you want to keep in touch. Thanks for keeping me company over the years. I hope it helped you – the therapy was certainly great for me! 😉