After an impressive outing in the Premier Endurance in Dorset the previous week, Eddie was fired up for the double-header at Buckmore Park. It transpired that Eddie had picked up another rib injury during the previous week’s endurance race but it didn’t hamper his performance as he qualified on the front row for both races and took pole position and fastest lap of the race in the Elite endurance.
After declaring himself happy with the performance of the kart, Eddie was sent out to qualify and duly put in a lap time good enough for pole position.
His lead lasted less than 20 metres as he was pushed wide by a group of karts behind going into turn 1 and then put on the grass going into the second hairpin. Somehow managing to keep the kart going, Eddie rejoined over the curb at the hairpin and slotted into 5th. He soon set about chasing down the leading karts and took the lead back on lap 10.
Eddie enjoyed a good battle with Stuart James before pitting to let Johnny Hazell and Dan Vary take their stints.
All 3 drivers put in excellent performances and were on course for a well deserved podium finish. Alas, Eddie was given a very questionable 20 second penalty in his second stint for apparent ‘advantage by contact’ and this, coupled with a few slow pit stops, dropped the team to 5th. Eddie was philosophical after the race.
“I wouldn’t want to suggest foul play at all - sometimes these things just happen. There was no real contact; at most it was a slight bit of side pod rubbing as I went past. I overtook a few people into that corner so I’m not even sure which incident they are talking about to be honest. Given I was lapping the guy, there was no advantage gained so I’m not sure what was going on really. I was surprised when I got the call to come in, especially as it was a good ten laps after the non-incident, which is a bit strange. It’s possible that either someone wasn’t happy about being beaten in their own back yard by a rookie team or the marshall just should have gone to SpecSavers but either way we have to accept the penalty.”
“I’m just sorry for the guys because they deserved a podium finish today. The team did a fantastic job and all credit to Rob on the pit wall for his great strategy calls and also to Johnny who put in some brilliant laps today and was really on the pace. There’s always next time.”
Eddie claimed yet another front row grid slot with 2nd in the afternoon race. Again getting bumped down the order off the line, he soon settled down in 4th and kept pace with the leaders.
Running as a 4-man team at this event with Johhny Hazell, Jonny Manvers and Toby Newton also taking stints, Rob Hazell worked his magic on the pit wall to find the optimum strategy to keep the team amongst the front runners.
With all 4 drivers putting in decent laps on the circuit, the team was again on course for a podium finish. However, they lost a lot of time in the pit stops which dropped them out of the top 3 and Johnny Hazell was unlucky to be pipped to 4th on the final lap of the race. Still, after 5 hours of racing, Eddie was happy with two top 5 finishes.
“Again, all credit to the team today. We deserved better but it’s still encouraging to see the results getting better each race. We did lose a lot of time in the pits again so that’s definitely something that needs work on. Just things like not having the fuel cap off, taking too long getting in and out of the kart, overshooting the fuel bay or parking too far away – things like that. It’s still a very young team so this is something I’m sure will improve over time. It was still a great effort from the guys and they should all be happy.”
Eddie saw his Avit Racing team mates score their first victory of the year as well but denied any team orders taking place.
“It was great to see my team win today. It did put a small smile on my face when I out-qualified Jordan but they obviously had better race pace. Rob ‘Smedley’ Hazel never once informed me over the radio that Jordan was faster than me and we were allowed to race freely. There were no team orders to let him past at any time.”
Eddie will be in action again at the Glan-Y-Gors circuit in North Wales for a 3 day event.