It was back down to earth with a bump today as IMSD Racing struggled home in a lowly 16th place after a few early race incidents from Eddie.
The team were making their debut in the Premier Championship after four successful seasons in the lower ranks of Club100 Endurance racing.
The day seemed to start smoothly with all three drivers (Ian Wilson, Stephen Deuchar and Eddie Hall) all seemingly happy with the kart in wet, but drying, conditions.
“It was great to get back into a 2 stroke. After racing the ‘lawnmowers’ over the winter it was quite a culture shock, especially just how responsive the brakes and throttle are.”
As has become the norm, Eddie qualified and by his own admission didn’t do a very good job.
“I came out of the pits for my second run with a nice clear track ahead of me but I could see some of the top drivers coming down the hill and obviously on it. I decided to be sporting and let them past. This was fine except that I got badly held up on all of my flying laps as I hit traffic.”
Eddie qualified way down in 19th place out of the 24 teams. Nevertheless he made a good start and came down the hill in 12th place. This was where mistake number 2 happened as Eddie spun off right in front of the pits.
“I had made it round turn 1 and turn 2, which is where you normally expect to have incidents on the first lap. As I exited the second hairpin I thought ‘right I’m safe now’. I then went and lost it at the bottom of the hill trying a half-hearted attempt to pass Stuart Brierley.”
Fighting his way from the back of the field, Eddie quickly caught and passed a number of the tail-enders, but sadly made mistake number 3 when he tagged a slower kart and was brought in for a 10 second penalty.
Stephen was the second to go out followed by Ian. The two between them hauling themselves back into the mid-field. However, by this time the track was virtually all dry and highlighted that the kart was running far too rich, which caused poor speed on the straights.
“I came out of the pits to start my second stint just behind Chris from HB Racing and he just disappeared down the straight. Fortunately the rain started falling again and the lack of top-end became less of an issue.”
Making quick work of the karts in front, Eddie then proceeded to have a terrific battle with the two leading teams – albeit not for position.
“Kieran (Essex TT) was right behind me and I let him past because I knew he was fighting for the lead. I soon realised that I had the legs so I had to pass him again. We exchanged places a few times and then Stuart Symonds (formerly Conservatories Online) got involved in the battle. I knew they were fighting for the lead but – and they will hate me for saying this – they were holding me up. I think I lost them in traffic before I was called in – it was great fun!”
In the end the team came home 16th. Despite the disappointing start to the season, the team were all encouraged with their race pace and fully expect to be further up the order for the rest of the season.