Eddie ended the 2005 Club100 season on a high by equalling his best ever finishing position in the sprint championship. An eleventh place finish saw him end the season 18th in the championship (out of 132), also a career best.
As usual for Buckmore Park, it was cold and miserable. Although the rain held off for the day, the track was dangerously wet for the first few qualifying heats. Eddie started his first heat from fourth position. A good start and a tidy first few laps saw him up to second at one stage before being overhauled by Champion Brian Trott and Paul Kaye to eventually finish fourth.
Starting from 12th position for his second heat, Eddie again made a good start and made up several places to again finish in fourth position.
Starting tenth for his final heat, Eddie made a terrible start and dropped to virtually dead last at turn 1.
“The outside line (where I was) seemed to slow right down coming out of the last corner before the start. I had left a bit of a gap to Kieran McCullough so I could floor it coming up the hill but I had to brake hard because the pack seemed to almost stop. I lost momentum up the hill and got swamped at the start…”
Eddie quickly started making up ground and, as the track began to dry in most places, started reeling in the drivers in front – eventually finishing 9th.
These results put Eddie 14th in the A final. Again making a good initial start, Eddie went around the outside of a few karts into turn 1 but got squeezed at the exit and dropped back several places. He fell into the clutches of Kevin Coombes, who Eddie was competing for the title of “Most Improved Sprint Driver of the Year”. The two then enjoyed a race-long wheel-to-wheel battle.
Making up lost ground and also taking advantage of drivers in front making mistakes, the duo raced hard on a track that was now completely dry (albeit still quite slippery in certain braking areas).
Coombes narrowly beat Eddie by two tenths of a second and also took the Most Improved Driver of the year Award.
Sticking around for the post-race presentation, Eddie was also given recognition for his achievements in the sprint championship this year and was the first to congratulate Coombes on his award.
“I am fairly sure that the result of this race may have settled it” explained Eddie. “I think the votes were pretty even and the staff admitted that they were split on who it should go to. I think Kev beating me may have tipped the balance.
This was obviously on Eddie’s mind at the start of the race. “He came out of the pits at the start of the warm-up laps right behind me and I deliberately slowed to let him past, as I didn’t want him spotting any of my strengths or weaknesses. Instead I followed him!”
“To be honest, just being given recognition for my improvements is good enough for me. The comments I have had from the staff and the other drivers throughout the course of this year have, I’m sure, had a positive effect on my driving.
“Kev has done a great job this year – he’s won a race for a start! – and he deserves this accolade.”