Controversial start to the season

2013-12-09 09:17:19.2

It was not the start to the season that Eddie wanted as his team was disqualified from the endurance race on Saturday and he could manage no better than 13th in the sprint race on Sunday after difficult qualifying heats.


Eddie was in confident mood going into the season opener. Making his debut for Target Racing with Marc Laukam and Lee Kemp, the trio were certainly looking capable of challenging the front of the grid.

After a problem-free run in practice, Eddie qualified and set the sixth fastest time to put the team in prime position. Marc Laukam took the start and moved straight up into fourth; a position he held for much of his first double stint. Eddie was double stinted for the middle phase of the race and maintained position, keeping the team within earshot of a podium.

It all went a bit pear shaped at the final driver changeover, as there was a mix-up with the lead. There was a delay getting the lead weights changed over for Lee and the wrong blocks were put on. This not only cost the team over 10 seconds in the pits but would have serious repercussions after the race. A further mix-up with the fuel windows resulted in Lee making an unscheduled call in the pits and being waved straight through.

These two pit lane blunders ultimately cost the team a podium finish on their first outing. Nevertheless, Lee kemp drove a fine double stint and crossed the line comfortably fifth on the road.

The team’s joy would be short-lived, however, as they were found to be 0.5kg underweight as a result of the pit lane blunder, and were disqualified from the results.

Eddie was understandably disappointed afterwards but was philosophical about the disqualification.

“Obviously it is gutting to have driven so well for over two hours and get nothing at the end of it. It was a very silly mistake and we all accepted the blame for it. There is obviously a lot we need to work on before the next race, especially our pit work, but we are a new team and these are areas that will improve over the season.

“Other than our mistakes in the pits, I’m really encouraged by the team’s performance. Marc and Lee are really great guys and a pleasure to work with. In terms of pace we are very evenly matched and our combined speed should be giving some of the top teams something to think about. We really gelled well as a team and I really think we are looking good for the rest of the season. We just have to put this disappointment behind us.”

Small consolation for the team was the fact that five other teams were also disqualified for the same thing.


Eddie went into the sprint race on Sunday as one of the favourites to win. It was at this circuit last year where Eddie dominated; leading from start to finish. This year would not be so successful.

Qualifying went badly as Eddie struggled with an underperforming kart in his first heat and dropped through the mid field to finish a disappointing 14th. A 7th and a 5th in his last two heats only netted Eddie 22nd on the grid for the A final; only just squeezing straight in.

Eddie made a good start and slowly started clawing his way up the field, climbing as high as ninth before being tagged, not for the first time, by the erratic Vince Bond and another less experienced driver, and dropping to 13th at the flag.

Eddie was deliberately coy after the race.

“Not really the best day and not how I wanted to start the season. Still, these things happen and I’ll have to come back fighting strong at the next race.”

When asked about the contact in his final qualifying heat and the final, Eddie was just as evasive.

“Well it’s not the first time I’ve been ‘Bonded’ and I don’t really want to talk about it. He has a reputation and everybody knows he is dangerous so I think the less that is said about it, the better. I’ve just got to concentrate on not getting taken out at the first hairpin at Rye – that is my objective now!”