Go Karting Jan 2003

 

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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. Having 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!

The 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.

The 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 and twisting 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 appeared.

CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERY-ONE BRAVE ENOUGH TO ENTER!

The result of the 2002 February GP Extended Red Eye Challenge:

2nd
Chris
1st
Rob
3rd
Jason

Well done you guys! And lets hope there are many more Go Star events.

By Michelle Pye

 

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