Eddie had his first taste in the 390 Club Pro Man of Steel series yesterday but managed no better than 7th in class after being taken out three times during the 1 hour race.
The karting community returned to Buckmore Park after the tragic events of last Sunday that claimed the life of the very popular Adam Goatley. There was a sombre, yet very positive, mood prior to the race with everybody paying their respects to the obviously very much liked and respected driver.
There were two groups of 10 minute qualifying sessions to determine the grid for the race. Eddie went out in the second group, just in time for the rain to intervene. Despite the tricky conditions, Eddie managed to line up 9th out of the 35 competitors, three places behind IMSD teammate Stephen Deuchar who went out in the first group.
Both drivers made brilliant starts and got up to 2nd and 3rd respectively by turn 3. However, while Stephen was tapped into a spin, Eddie managed to survive some heavy contact and only dropped a handful of places. It was Eddie’s turn to be tapped into a spin at the bottom hairpin on lap two, dropping him out of the top 10 and just in front of Deuchar.
The two fought their way through the field as they raced on the same bit of tarmac. While Stephen was involved in another incident that dropped him off the lead lap, Eddie continued to make progress before he, again, was tapped into a spin at the bottom hairpin.
Shortly after, Stephen allowed Eddie past to lap him and tailed him for a few laps before getting the bit between his teeth and re-passing him, setting some consistently quick laps as he streaked away from his young team-mate.
Eddie was taken out for a third time at the exit of the second hairpin, but lost minimal time as he executed a full 360 and kept his foot down.
Eddie was running well in the top 10 overall when a small mistake at the bottom of Symes Sweep near the end of the race allowed 3 karts to get past and dropped him to 10th overall and 7th in class.
Despite the number of incidents during the race, Eddie was fairly upbeat after the race. “It was a good laugh. I maintain that I really just want to do this series for a bit of fun and keep my hand in over the winter so I’m not going to start getting upset when little things like this happen. The great thing about these karts is that the engine doesn’t stall when you spin so you don’t lose much time.”
When asked what his initial thoughts were on the series, Eddie was also fairly positive. “It is a very well organised series. Alan Wood does a great job there and he is also a really nice guy so there is a good atmosphere there. Most of the members seem friendly so that makes for better racing.
“I found the karts quite a handful. They are much heavier than the 2 strokes I race and they have a huge amount of understeer. Also, the brakes seemed almost non-existent, even allowing for the wet conditions. Having said that, they are a lot sturdier than the 2 strokes and you can really throw them about more. I think that was one of my biggest problems – I was driving them too much like a Club100 kart. In that series you get punished quite severely for excessive curbing and contact. Because these things aren’t really open wheel, contact seems a lot more acceptable. Still they are fun to drive, and that’s what I’m here for.”
And what did he think about his chances in round 2?
“Well I need to adapt my driving a bit and do a better job of tackling the inevitable dodgy driving manoeuvre from certain people. I think I’ve got the measure of it now so I hope to go better at round 2.”