It was another disappointing day for the reigning Inters Champions at Llandow in South Wales, as the team again suffered problems and finished well down the order.
The day got off to a bad start in qualifying with Ian Miller struggling and getting held up in traffic and setting the slowest time and lining up last in the 28 kart grid. On a circuit that is fairly difficult to overtake, this put the team on their back foot.
Stephen Deuchar started the race and picked off some of the slower karts in the early laps before handing over to Miller. Unfortunately the team forgot to remove the lead from the kart (Stephen is much lighter that either Eddie or Ian), which hampered the team for the first half of the race.
Eddie went out (still with Stephen’s lead on) and managed to make up a few places early on, getting as high as third in class before losing over 10 seconds near the end of the stint due to massive fuel surge.
“Because we were struggling for fuel consumption and we seemed to be getting bad surge with a quarter of a tank of fuel in the kart, we decided it would be better to run for about 4 laps with surge. I did this but, in hindsight, I should have bought it in after the first lap because it was so bad at the end that I lost all the time and places that I gained, which ultimately probably cost us another podium.”
The second half of the race went by with little incident, although Stephen was starting to raise his concerns with the performance of the kart.
The last drama occurred a few laps from the end, when a back marker tripped up and took out both IMSD and Conservatories Online (who were running third overall). Again Eddie was at the wheel.
“I was stuck behind a guy from Avit Racing, who was already virtually dead last and several laps behind. Unfortunately, he was one of these drivers who has absolutely no respect and assumes there is nothing wrong with blocking someone who is obviously lapping them. He was obviously going to be trouble so I tried to keep my distance (knowing that we were near the end of the race). I let Phil Ingram (from Conservatories) past because he was lapping me. Sadly this guy got all crossed up at the bottom of the hill and took not only me but also Phil out.”
This incident lost the team almost a lap and put them down in 9th in Clubman and 19th overall! IMSD Racing has now dropped to 16th in the championship and 6th in Clubman.
Stephen was pragmatic after the race. “I still think a top three in the Clubman's championship is very realistic. At 5 points per place and a very close championship, every place gained or lost is going to matter... We can do it! There are still 5 more races and 500 more points to be won!”
He also stated that the team’s result was hampered by a poor performing kart.
“We didn't have a fast kart. Our fastest lap was 4th slowest of the whole field, which is not where we usually are. I notice that the Sunday HW sprint times were generally a bit slower by about 2/10ths, but Eddie was by contrast faster by 2/10ths, despite carrying 4kg more weight. That suggests our Saturday kart was about 0.4secs per lap off the pace, even before we sat in it.”