Second Place at Clay

2013-12-09 09:17:19.2

Eddie’s aim of returning to the podium was achieved at Clay at the weekend as he finished a close second behind main championship rival, Parm Nijjar, losing by only 0.130 seconds after briefly taking the lead on the last lap. The endurance race was equally impressive, Team Senna running competitively until Eddie suffered a brake failure at the fastest part of the circuit, suffering a heavy impact into the tyre wall.

Practice was held on Friday afternoon and Eddie was in action with his regular endurance team, 3Cubed. Eddie did two runs experimenting with weight and deemed himself happy with the session.


Eddie joined forces with Lee Kemp and James Akehurst for a one off appearance with Team Senna. All three drivers took turns at qualifying; doing super-pole style 2 flying laps each. Eddie set the fastest time at the end of the session that put the team 15th out of 31 teams and ninth in class.

“I think if we had sent just one of us out to do the entire session we would have qualified much higher, possibly top 6, but we are not really in the championship so we all just split all the driving equally.”

It was Eddie who took the start and made solid progress to get up to seventh by the first pit stop. James went out for the second stint followed by Lee. Eddie went out again for his second stint and, having just lapped his 3Cubed team mate, Ian Wilson, suffered a catastrophic brake failure at the bottom of the hill at the fastest part of the circuit.

“It was quite a good accident really. I felt the pedal go the floor as I dabbed the brake into the corner before the pits and thought ‘I better come in at the end of the lap’ but then when I got to the braking zone at the bottom of the hill, nothing! I managed to steer onto the grass and scrub off some speed before planting it backwards into the wall.”

This cost the team several laps and dropped them out of contention for a good result. Despite this incident, Eddie was delighted with the outing.

“I’m happy. I think both James and Lee did a fantastic job, especially Lee because he had never raced at this circuit before today but he quickly got on the pace and was even keeping Jamie Jakins honest in the latter stages. He was a great team player on the pit wall too, which is what you need in the endurance races.”


After the nightmare of Rye House, Eddie came to Clay eager for a good result to redeem himself and also get the lead back in the championship. Good qualifying heats put Eddie second on the grid, ironically next to his team mate of the previous day, Lee Kemp. Qualifying didn’t go completely smoothly as Eddie was given a penalty for an accident he caused that removed Andrew Capaldi.

“It was a stupid accident really. I made a great start off the line to jump from fourth to second and I knew I had the legs on him. I positioned myself in the middle of the track going into the hairpin, partly to defend from behind but also to show my nose to Andrew. He braked a bit earlier than me and I had one of those ‘should I, shouldn’t I’ moments and then locked up on the slippery track and clipped his rear wheel. I obviously went up and apologised to him afterwards, which he graciously accepted, but it still ruined his day.”

Starting next to Lee Kemp and eager to get the jump and pull out a lead over his main championship rival, Parm Nijjar, Eddie tried going round the outside of Lee at the start but lost traction on the slippery surface and dropped to fifth, behind Nijjar. He got back to fourth on the opening lap, which became third on lap 3 after slipstreaming Lee down the hill. Third became second after he followed Nijjar past Richard Higham at the hairpin on lap 8. He then held station behind Nijjar until the final lap before making a bold pass for the lead down the hill. He held the lead until the final complex of corners but Parm Nijjar muscled his way past and Parm, Eddie and Lee crossed the line side by side, separated by 0.1 seconds in what was reckoned to be one of the closest finishes ever in Club100. Eddie was understandably disappointed with second place but enjoyed the race nonetheless.

“I’m obviously disappointed not to have won, especially losing to Parm because I know I had the legs on him today and he is going to be hard to beat at the last two races. I really enjoyed the race though, partly because it was fun racing against Parm and Lee – they are both great drivers - but also because I think it was one of my most intelligent races. I learnt from my mistake at Ellough where I allowed the chasing pack to close up by battling too hard. This time I held station and tried to stick close behind Parm and open a gap to the rest. I kept showing my nose down his right at Billy’s where there was a good head wind but I knew how difficult it would be to defend so I waited until the last lap board was out before ducking down and surprising him down the left into Billy’s. I defended round the chicane and hugged the inside line down to the hairpin but left half a karts width. Parm is a very ‘persuasive’ driver and forced his way past. It was a very bold move but I think fair and I enjoyed the battle.”