Eddie made a guest appearance in the BPKDC Elite series yesterday racing in both the endurance and the sprint events. With Spa only 2 weeks away, it gave him some valuable extra track time before the big event.
Eddie raced in the morning’s endurance event with fellow Club100 Lightweight sprint driver Johnny Hazell and BPKDC regular Dan Vary. The team was being managed by Johhny’s father, Rob Hazell in his Renegades team.
Eddie qualified 8th on the grid. Being an exclusive Buckmore Park championship, the elite grid was very close. The top 20 drivers were separated by less than eight tenths of a second with Eddie’s time only 3 tenths off pole.
Making a good start, Eddie moved up to fifth in the early stages, which became second when teams in front made earlier pit stops. Johnny went out for the second stint and put in some solid and consistent laps as did Dan Vary. At the end of Dan’s long middles stint the trio had dropped down to ninth.
Half way through Eddie’s second stint the rain started to fall. Eddie managed to keep it on the island unlike many other drivers. He ended his second stint in 6th before handing back over to Johnny for the last stint, who managed to keep it going in the greasy conditions to eventually finish 9th.
Eddie was satisfied with the result after the race.
“It was a very enjoyable day. I’d like to say thanks to Rob for generously offering me this drive. I came here to have fun and I did. We’re obviously not in the championship so I was keener to just enjoy myself, get some good track time and try and do the best job for Rob’s team. The competition was very close and I enjoyed driver with Buckmore Park’s elite.”
In a very last minute deal, Eddie also took a vacant space in the afternoon’s sprint race, again thanks to Rob Hazell, who had to withdraw his entry due to a rib injury sustained in a pro-kart race during the week.
Using a similar format to the Club100 championship, Eddie had 3 heats. He lost an easy 5th place in his first heat when he tangled with two drivers going into Garda. Still, a second a sixth in his next two heats put him 13th on the grid for the A Final.
Just before the final started the rain came down again. Making a good start, he gained several places off the line and then kept it on the track to finish a comfortable 7th.
“It was a shame about the accident in my first heat. Basically Jack Harding came down the inside of me going into Garda just as I pulled out to go down the inside of someone else. You can’t fit three karts into that corner and I got squeezed into the guy on my outside. I think I may have got a tap from behind as well. I did try to explain what happened to the guy I hit because he was obviously annoyed but he lacked the maturity and intellect to listen so I didn’t pursue it. Had I not had that problem I would have qualified in the top 5 and I think a podium would have been on the cards.”
This was Eddie’s first BPKDC event in nearly 3 years and he gave his views on the day as a whole.
“Given that the Elite series use Club100 machinery, I felt very much at home. I knew the competition would be fairly hot because all the drivers who race in this series are pretty much experts around here. I was very impressed with the standard of driving in the endurance. The whole field was separated by less than a second in qualifying which is even tighter than the Club100 prems. The race itself was good, fair and clean and I very much enjoyed it.”
His views on the sprint series weren’t quite as favourable but he still enjoyed his experience.
“I’ve always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with sprints but I didn’t have anything to worry about because this was just a one-off for me. I’ve got to say I thought the standard of driving here wasn’t anywhere near as good. There were a lot of drivers who seemed to be using four-stroke mentality in 2-strokes and there was even more bumping and wheel banging that we get in the Club100 sprints. There also didn’t seem to be quite the level of camaraderie as there is in Club100 and some of the drivers seemed positively unfriendly. Still, it was an enjoyable day and I did have lots of fun. Alan Wood certainly runs a very good championship.”