|Go Karting at Daytona
31 January 2003
click small picture for bigger image
We drove down the hill into the large car park and the
snow was thick. The hill would mean that anyone coming on a bike would
have to leave his or her transport at the top of the hill, but the walk
down wouldn’t have been too hard. Well on first impression of Daytona, I
was very well impressed. The building was very big, and very modern
inside. The lady behind the desk was polite and suggested that we wait
upstairs in the bar until the rest of Go Star had arrived.
only met a few members, I was quite nervous about who I would recognise,
but as it happened everything went smoothly (thanks to mobiles). I found
them all, and luckily spotted Ian as he spotted me. Everyone was happy
and chatted easily within the large group. After working out who was
here and who had been unable to make it due to weather being bad,
everyone went off to get their racing suits on. There were 14 racing,
and myself and a few others watching. Unfortunately due to the lighting,
and my not so competent camera, the pictures were nowhere near as good
as I had hoped. The lighting also prevented us from filming the event.
First off was the Qualifying period, first out on the
karts was Jason Pollen, easily spotted by his green fluffy helmet cover.
18 Laps was the highest amount covered in this period in which Sean
Onipede gained poll position with the fastest lap time of 41.31sec. But
it was all very close. The top ten pole positions were all under 43
seconds, with the top 3 being under 42sec.
On the Grid again after a short break, to stretch and
prepare for the gruelling 45minute GP Extended Red Eye Challenge:
1. Sean Onipede
2. Robert Richard
3. Chris Martin
4. Jason Pollen
5. Mike Sladden
6. Ian Porter
7. Ben Hallett
8. Matthew Turner
9. Colin Nicholls
10. Joseph Smullen
11. Alan Landsdale
12. Michael Brierry
13. Shaun Lee
14. Stephen Lee
And they’re off!
rules are simple… No bumping, or foul play! Stay in your kart at all
times! Take note of the lights and flags! Every racer had attended the
short instructional video, and had a chance to query the regulations.
Penalties for not applying to the rules… Sin Bin for 10 seconds, and if
you still don’t listen, then into the pits!
Well that seemed very simple, but alas ‘boys will be
boys’ and the sin bin was crowded, and even ignored. Most of the racers
seemed to think that they had the last word against the marshals; so
denying flashing boards with black flag ‘In the Bin’ penalties was a
growing trend for most… “You know who you were guys!” This of course
supplied us the spectators with 45minutes of laughter, and plenty of
“Ooooooooh, that was harsh” or cringes, as we shouted “No! Don’t get
out!” At the end of the gruelling 45minutes, that had exhausted us and
we had only been watching! The guys were shown the ‘One lap to go’ and
buckled down in a last attempt to gain another place forward.
course was easy to observe from our position as we watched from
upstairs. The upstairs area was split into 3 sections. First section,
was warm and had a glass screen to look threw, and a bar selling food
and drink. The seating was soft and relaxing, alternative entertainment
had been supplied with pool tables and slot machines. Walk threw the
double doors and you move into the open area, with loud music playing
and the atmosphere of the race. Kart engines roaring, and large electric
notice boards displaying each riders name, kart number, position in the
race and fastest lap time. Chairs and tables had been supplied, but most
stood against the railing, over the top of the Pit Lane. The left side
of the course was totally visible from this position, as it wound up
with its diagonal tilts, swooping over the lower track
around. Big Scalextric sprang to mind. As you can imagine, this was a
particularly good entertainment area, as Karts crashed and bumped,
accelerator foot peddle pushed to the ground… but aren’t you supposed to
take one foot off before applying the brake? ‘Sin Bin’ which was also
conveniently placed in perfect view in this section. Option to cross
into the third section, where you could view the right side of the
course, was tempting, but the fresh cold air in this section seemed
easier to run from, especially since the score board wasn’t visible. The
track was flat and twisty on this side, and proved to be as taxing to
the drivers as the warmer, yet more complicated side. From the racers
point of view, it must have been a nice comfort to feel the cool air,
after battling threw the warmer area (judging by the fresh smell, this
heat came from Tumble driers, that dried the clean racing suits).
Only one injury during the event, and unfortunately
Stephen Lee had to retire from the race after receiving a rather
aggressive bash to his side in Lap 25. No broken bones, and no tears so
a good result on that score.
Sean Onipede held lead position for 35 laps, after
which Robert Richard challenged and eventually conquered. The results
changed every two – three laps with Robert, Sean, Chris, and Mike
waiting patiently for the racer in front to make a mistake, at one point
there was a gap between Jason and the top 4 which looked impossible to
conquer, with Matthew, Alan and Col battling a trio in the middle. The
anticipation continued for another 43 Laps until the chequered flag
CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERY-ONE BRAVE ENOUGH TO ENTER!
The result of the 2002 February GP Extended Red Eye Challenge:
Well done you guys! And lets hope there are many more Go Star events.
By Michelle Pye