After the disastrous race at Whilton Mill and fresh from his exploits in the European championship at Spa, Eddie was looking to turn his sprint season around at Bayford Meadows and kick start his 2009 campaign. He and his Target Racing team mates were also looking to build on their so far successful Endurance season.
Had it not been for the disqualification at Buckmore Park, Target Racing would have been sitting in third place in the Premier championship coming into round 4. As it was, they were trailing in 10th place but with 3 dropped scores to count before the end of the season, they were in confident mood going into the weekend.
Sadly, Bayford would prove to be the least successful race of the season to date after bottom-end and handling problems in practice meant that Chris Bell could only qualify 22nd on the grid.
Eddie started and, despite making up ground at the start, it soon became obvious that he was struggling and never looked likely to make any inroads into the leading pack. Marc Laukam faired little better and ultimately had to make an unscheduled pit stop when the exhaust broke during his second stint. The team were allocated a new kart and Laukam immediately went 4 tenths quicker, which set Chris Bell up nicely for the last stint.
The team would eventually finish a disappointed but nevertheless impressive 13th and 9th in class. Eddie was very positive after the race.
“Obviously it’s a bit disappointing not to have finished in the top six, which is where we would have been, but to have finished as high up with the kart we had shows what a great job everyone in the team is doing and demonstrates that we are more than capable of driving around problems. It still gives us useful points in the championship and we are still in good shape for the rest of the season so I’m very happy.”
After a nightmare start to his sprint season, Eddie was looking to keep his nose clean during the qualifying heats and set his targets on getting back amongst the front-runners. He duly delivered the goods with a 2nd, 6th and 8th in his three heats to make the top 10 on the grid for the first time this season; lining up 9th on the very competitive looking grid.
Off the line, Eddie had the advantage being on the inside line and followed a train of karts around the first corner and taking advantage of a couple of drivers in front getting onto the dirt. He completed the first lap in 5th place and made short work passing Richard Higham and Matt Brooks for third. He spent the rest of the race close behind championship leader and Target Racing team mate Lee Kemp, but seemed unable to do anything about passing.
The race was eventually won by Simon Young with Kemp second and Hall third. Eddie was happy to be back on the podium but was clearly cagey when interviewed after the race about the rest of the season.
”It’s always good to bounce back after a poor showing and that is what I’ve done today. I don’t want to get carried away with it but it is great to be back and we’ll have to see what happens for the rest of the season.”
It also transpired in the post race interview that Eddie almost abandoned the lightweight sprints after Whilton Mill and contemplated moving up to the Premier championship. It now appears that he will stay where he is. He also jokingly made reference to his team mate’s strong championship challenge.
”I think I’ll see the season out and see how it goes from here. I’ve already used up my three dropped scores now so the championship is going to be very difficult. I told Lee earlier in the week that when I’m no longer in a position to win I’ll ride shotgun for him – that was what I was doing today, which is why I didn’t pass him!”
Despite this quip, Eddie later admitted that he thinks Kemp is looking the best bet for the title this year.
“I have to admit that if I can’t win it, I would prefer to see Lee win it. Apart from the fact that he is a very good friend, he is also my team mate and he has done a fantastic job this year.”