The wheels come off the wagon… literally

2013-12-09 09:17:19.2

It hasn’t been the start to his championship defence that Eddie hoped for as Avit Racing again struggled with reliability issues that prevented them from getting a good result as their kart literally fell to pieces in the closing stages of the race.

Eddie went out first in practice and brought the kart straight in reporting handling and brake problems. The kart was tested and deemed OK to race by the test driver but Sami Seppala brought it straight back in. Running out of time to get it tested again, the team took a last minute decision to get the brakes bled before qualifying.

It was Eddie who qualified but could manage no better than 9th, struggling as he was with the handling issues.

“That was the best I could manage. I just couldn’t get any more out of the kart. My decision to get the brakes bled has sorted one issue but the handling is still a big problem. It is turning left down the straight and that is causing big problems in right hand corners, which is a real problem going round Stadium. It’s not nice to drive at all.”

Eddie was also nominated to start the race and made surprisingly good progress given the performance disadvantage. He moved up to a natural position of 5th before handing over to the Flying Finn, Sami Seppala. Rich Higham did the third stint. It was the same running order again and the consistency of the trio got them in contention for a podium finish.

The race was stopped near the end due to a heavy accident at the flat out stadium bend, which fortunately had no serious injuries. At the restart, Seppala was making good progress and chasing down 3rd but disaster struck with 20 minutes remaining when his left front wheel came off and the team lost several laps waiting for repairs.

Rich Higham ran the last stint and climbed up to 15th at the flag. Eddie was pragmatic after the race.

“It was a bad day today but not the end of the world. I don’t want to complain too much because the guys do a great job in preparing the equipment but it’s fair to say we were let down today. I don’t understand how that kart was deemed fit to race because as soon as I drove out of the pits in practice, it tried driving itself back in to the pit lane. The brakes were also hopeless but fortunately we managed to get that sorted because we’d never have lasted the whole race otherwise. I think it was the wheel nut that caused the problem because during my second stint, as well as the thing turning left down the straight, I occasionally felt a knocking going down the back straight, so the wheel must have been working its way loose all race. It’s really disappointing because the guys had the same problem at Buckmore as well.”

Despite his obvious disappointment, Eddie was still in confident mood for the rest of the season.

“Given that in both races most of the teams that have beaten us have been one-off entrants, we are actually in quite strong shape. All results count towards the championship this year and most of our main rivals have missed a race so, providing we keep scoring and stay consistent, we’ve still got a good chance of another championship this year.”

Eddie will be in action again in 2 weeks at Whilton Mill in the Premier championship.