The 2006 Club100 season got off to a slow start today as IMSD Racing drivers Eddie Hall, Stephen Deuchar and Ian Wilson struggled home down in a lowly 21st place overall and well off the podium in their class.
Early signs were promising. The kart was good and Eddie – first out - made short work of overtaking other karts. The only scare came near the end of practice when their kart developed a serious fuel pickup problem, but this cleared itself before qualifying.
Eddie was nominated to qualify for this round. The team decided to send him out early to try to get a clear lap. Unfortunately, several other teams also chose this option and Eddie struggled to get a clear lap. After aborting two runs, Eddie managed two clear laps before returning to the pits to conserve fuel. The team lined up way down in 24th place!
“I was disappointed with the starting position.” Eddie explained. “I really expected to be 15th or 16th or somewhere up in the middle of the grid. I didn’t do a great job and I felt that, based on how well I seemed to be going in practice, I should have been much higher.”
Eddie was also nominated to start the race. Noted for his exceptional starts in the Inters last season, this must have been a bit of a shock as he struggled to make much of an impression in the early laps.
“I couldn’t believe how much more aggressive the drivers were compared to the Inters. It was just like the start of a sprint race! I’m not complaining because nobody did anything silly, but I expected people to be a bit more cautious because it was a 2 hour race. It just caught me a bit by surprise that’s all.”
After making only a couple of places off the line, Eddie inherited a few more after a first lap incident saw a handful of drivers go off. Only a few laps in, the team suffered their first of two major setbacks when Eddie got caught up in another driver’s spin.
“I was flat out down the start straight with somebody coming up my inside lining me up for turn 1. The guy in front of us lost it going in. I couldn’t take the inside because of the guy up my inside so I had to take the long route around the outside. Unfortunately he rolled back and I had nowhere to go.”
This incident lost Eddie over a lap and a half and, despite clawing back time, he was down in 25th when he handed over to Stephen.
The race settled down from here and the team were just playing catch-up and trying to break into the top 20. A spin from Ian Wilson in his first stint lost them another lap, but made very little difference as they were still struggling down in the high twenties.
The only other big scare came in Eddie’s second stint when he had to take to the grass when the kart he was overtaking squeezed him off the rode. He managed to get through and lost very little time.
“Overall it was definitely not our best race. We had a few big problems today, which prevented us from challenging for the Clubman race. We just have to take heart from the fact that we all drove well and had we not lost over three laps, we would certainly have been knocking on the door of the overall top 10 and would have been challenging for the Clubman podium.”