Eddie ends sprints on a high

2013-12-09 09:17:19.2

Eddie achieved his goal by rounding off his sprint career – at least for a while – with another solid A final finish.

On the back of the team’s most competitive race since Spa, Eddie arrived at Buckmore Park full of confidence.

Starting last on the grid for the first qualifying heat, Eddie played it safe at the first corner, hanging back and making sure to keep out of trouble at the first few corners. He then started to make his move, sitting on the rear bumper of Dave Peathers for the majority of the heat and eventually finishing a moderately respectable 10th.

Starting 7th for heat two, Eddie initially made good progress and was third by turn 3 (at the behest of IMSD team captain Stephen Deuchar, who was here as a spectator). About half way through the race, his kart started to suffer with lack of bottom end and he subsequently dropped back for 6th on the road.

Starting second for his last heat of the day, Eddie just failed to get past pole man Fernando Matumato. Driving a very good defensive race, Matumato held off the rest of the pack for the first few laps. Desperately seeking a way past, Eddie made a lunge at the first hairpin but ended up going too deep into the corner and lost ground as a result. Disaster nearly struck at the end. Racing hard with Symonds, Eddie backed off at the fast chicane before Symes sweep to give him room but was tapped from behind, forcing Stuart off the road. Avoiding a spin himself and still unable to find a way past Matumato, Eddie settled for 5th place and another A final grid position.

His results in the heats put Eddie down in 20th on the grid for the A final. Making a good start, Eddie was up to 15th by the end of lap 1. He caught up with Stuart Symonds again, who had dropped back. Eddie again started to develop problems with bottom end and struggled out of the slow corners. Nevertheless he enjoyed a great race with Symonds, Mike Bodnar and Gavin Knight, the four racing nose to tail for most of the race. Bodnar eventually managed to find a way past Eddie but then took himself out with an over ambitious lunge at Symonds on the final hairpin. On the final lap Eddie had to back off slightly to avoid a recovering Jamie Jakins, who had been involved in an incident with Dave Lewis. This gave Gavin Knight the opportunity to dive down the inside at Symes Sweep and demote Eddie to 13th.

Eddie admitted to being more than satisfied with the result. “It was a great race. I was suffering slightly with bottom end for most of the race, but not enough to slow me down too much. I had a great battle with Stuart, Mike and Gavin, which was really fun. I enjoy racing with guys like this because they are quick and safe and you know that they won’t try anything stupid.

“I tried getting past Stu a number of times, especially into turn 1, but he was just too good to get past and because I was struggling out of the corners, I could never quite get far enough alongside to make the move stick. On the last part of the last lap, Jamie rejoined from the escape road I think and I just had to ease out of the throttle slightly. This gave Gavin enough to get past me down the hill. It was a great move and he deserved the place – I’m not going to argue with him on that corner.”

Eddie’s 13th place was enough for him to be satisfied. “I came into this race knowing that it would be my last sprint – at least for a while. I just wanted to have a good day and have another solid A final result so I could end my time in the sprints on a high. I certainly achieved that goal today. It was a great race and I enjoyed battling with the likes of Stuart and Gavin. They are both quick and clean drivers and it’s just nice driving with them, knowing that they aren’t going to try anything silly. Gavin in particular is a really nice guy off the track and very sporting and it’s good to race with him.”

Despite not doing any more sprints this year, the second half of 2006 will be very busy for Eddie. There are still 4 more Endurance races, two 390 Pro races and the Daytona 8 Hour in 2 weeks time.