A better day at Buckmore

2013-12-09 09:17:19.2

The team celebrated their best result since Shenington by driving a solid and clean race to finish 9th.

Fine weather welcomed the drivers for the Bank Holiday weekend race at Buckmore Park and with a driver line-up of Eddie Hall, Ian Wilson and the returning Stephen Deuchar, confidence was high for a good result.

They had limited running in practice after a kart change and a mixture adjustment on the replacement kart. Nevertheless, all three felt comfortable and went set good laps in their few practice laps.

As usual, it was Eddie who qualified. Getting held up by traffic on his first two runs, Eddie could only manage 15th on the grid.

“A slower kart held me up on my first lap and then I was held up on my second when I caught RBB Racing on their slowing down lap. I didn’t feel particularly comfortable with my third lap so I opted to do one more. To be honest, I think I overdrove and lost a couple of tenths at the first and second hairpins and I didn’t think it was sensible to do a fifth lap so I couldn’t improve.

”Obviously I’m disappointed because I thought I could get us well into the top 10. I think I was only a couple of tenths off the top 6 so that makes it even more disappointing.”

Despite this, it was the team’s best qualifying performance since France.

It was up to Ian to start the race and he maintained position in the early stages and enjoyed an early battle with Team Sugar Hut. Being one of the last of the mid field runners to pit worked to their advantage and by the time Stephen took over, they were already well established within the top 10.

Stephen spent most of his stint battling with Jenny Tools Racing and Red M1st – a battle that would continue for the entire race.

Eddie took over for stint 3 and ran for most of the stint nose to tail with Chris Davies (Red M1st) and Gavin Knight (Jenny Tools) as the trio made their way through the backmarkers.

Being slightly quicker at this stage and doing a better job in the pits bought Ian out in front. By this stage, however, all three drivers were complaining of mild under steer, which was losing them valuable tenths in the corners and Ian couldn’t keep their rivals behind for long.

Again, it was excellent work in the pits that kept them contention for a top 10 finish and Stephen emerged right with them on the track. However, by this time the under steer problems seemed to be worse and Steve lost several seconds to Spencer Fortag (Jenny Tools) and Davies from Red M1st.

Short stinting Steve and a brilliant final stop brought Eddie out just ahead of Simon Mace (Red M1st), the two wheel to wheel as Mace emerged from the pits a lap later. Jenny Tools were a few seconds further up the road and seemingly uncatchable. Struggling with under steer, Eddie was just delaying the inevitable and a small mistake at the second hairpin allowed Mace to nip past. Despite struggling, Eddie was able to keep right on the tale of Red M1st as they continued to fight their way through the traffic.

A late race incident dropped Jenny Tool’s Spencer Fortag out of contention so Eddie crossed the line in 9th, just a second behind Mace.

“It was a pretty good race today. We made some good decisions in practice and got the kart working right, we all drove well – nobody put a foot wrong, our pit work was excellent today and we came away with a pretty good result.

”Obviously it’s a bit depressing to be happy about coming ninth but I think we should be encouraged by it. We were fairly well on the pace of many of the top teams, which is where we know we should be so I’m hoping that this confidence boost will help us for the next race at Clay.”

The team could also have finished slightly higher if it hadn’t been for the handling problem, which manifested itself during the race.

“I think without that we maybe could have finished a bit higher but I’m not sure. I think Jenny Tools and Red M1st slightly had the edge today and I don’t think the handling was that bad – it was certainly drivable and I only really felt we were losing out a tenth or so at the bottom hairpin. Near the end, Simon was a good couple of kart lengths ahead of me and I knew we were way ahead of tenth so I pretty much held station over the last 3 or 4 laps.”

This was the team’s first top 10 finish since Shenington in March and has moved them back into contention for a top 10 finish in the championship.