After a slightly improved performance at Buckmore last month it was back to normal at Clay as the team limped home a disappointing 19th after another tough day at Clay Pigeon.
The day started out smoothly. Eddie went out first in practice to get the kart sorted and brought it in after a few laps to get the mixture adjusted. The test driver took it out and made a few tweaks and handed the kart back for Ian Miller to have his run.
Ian Wilson went out last in practice and, for the first time since France, qualified. Despite two runs, however, he could manage no better than 27th out of the 30 kart field.
Eddie started the race and immediately knew there was a problem.
“The kart felt pretty good in practice. The handling was crisp and it had great bottom but I just felt it was lacking slightly in top end. I brought it in and the tester went out and made a few adjustments. Ian asked if I wanted to have another couple of laps but I refused saying that he should have the lion’s share of practice as he was qualifying and I trusted the tester.
“In hindsight it was a bit of mistake because I think the mixture was adjusted a bit too much the other way. Even during the rolling up laps I could feel that the kart had no bottom end and wasn’t pulling out of corners so I knew we were in for another long afternoon.”
The team never really figured in the race and struggled around 15th and 16th place for most of the morning. Eddie conceded that his own off-colour performance didn’t help matters.
”Quite frankly, I thought I drove like a bit of a twat all day. I didn’t make any huge blunders or throw it off the road or anything like that, but I just kept making small mistakes. Snatching the brakes, missing apexes and I kept clipping the kerb on the entry to the chicane, which I think is ultimately what caused the handling to go. Whether I bent the chassis or just the steering I don’t know. I know I was pushing extremely hard to make up for the performance deficit, but these are mistakes you expect to see in a rookie and not someone who’s in their sixth season!
“It’s a real shame because, although the kart was pretty awful, once the fuel level dropped it seemed to be a lot better. In my last stint I got past a big group of karts in a couple of laps but then I clipped the kerb at the chicane again and when I came into the hairpin, the thing wouldn’t turn. I thought I’d got a puncture at first but I soon realised that something was bent.
“Obviously I’m sorry to the whole team but I don’t think it would have made a huge amount of difference to our end result. I guess in hindsight, had we left the kart alone in practice we would have had a much better day. Still, we’ve got to go into the last 2 races and fight as hard as possible.”