Cock O’ North – Wombwell

With it only being my second time here I had a lot to learn on Saturday practice. Which went ok, but I was struggling with the hairpins, and we had to get the kart setup correctly for raceday.

Sunday

Qualifying

As the track is close in a busy town we could only start at 12 o’clock, rather than the usual 9 or 10 am. This meant there was not enough time to fit in Qualifying, 3 Heats and the Final. Due to this, we had to do random grids for the heats with no qualifying. Soo…

The Heats

(They are short heats and not much happened so I have put them together)

On the first heat, I was starting 2nd. On the first lap, I got passed and up into 1st place managing to pull a gap of 1.3 seconds. In 6 laps I was caught back up, which showed my lack of experience on this track compared to the other drivers. My leading race pace just wasn’t there. I needed to learn quick. On the 9th lap, they got passed me at one of the hairpins I was struggling with, before they pulled a small gap. I finished 2nd.

On the second heat, I was starting 3rd. On the first lap, I fell down to 5th due to cold tires (wrong pressures). However, on the 5th of 14 laps, I got back into 3rd place. Then on the 8th lap I moved up into 2nd by outbraking at the end of the long straight. Going in to the 2nd to the last lap, I was re-overtaken on fell down into 3rd, and finishing there.

For the third and final heat, I was starting 1st. On the first lap, I fell into 2nd. I stayed in position for the rest of the race, pulling a small gap to the car behind and the car in front also pulling a small gap to me. My pace was certainly improving, as I was learning how to be quicker by each passing lap.

The Final

For the final, I was starting 2nd as the driver that was starting 1st had won every heat. They were easily the quickest and most experienced driver at Wombwell. Off the start, I got up into 1st of a brief second before being re-overtaken and falling back into 2nd. For the next 4 laps, I was fighting with 3rd place, allowing the leader to pull a big, 2-second gap to 3rd place and I.

As I was fighting for position, towards the end of the 5th lap, I was overtaken! This was not in the plan. This shortly changed as on turn 2 of the next lap, they caught up to a backmarker which made them spin into the barriers (not my fault). I now had to catch up 2 seconds in 6 minutes. This was seemingly impossible unless I was at least 3 or tenths of a second quicker every lap. Thats was a big ask as I hand been that quick all weekend.

When I crossed the line on the 7th of 17 laps there were 6 minutes remaining. Believe it or not, with 2 minutes remaining on the final race, I was all over their bumper. I had been lapping a few tenths faster every lap. So as soon as I could, I went down the inside and overtook them on my favouite long straight, anchoring on from 58mph down to about 20mph. (It was quite easy as I don’t think they knew I was there).

There were 4 laps left and I had to defend my position. Every corner I was going to the inside to leave them no room to overtake me. My pace dropping, but I had to hang on! As I came around the final corner, of the final lap, of the final race, I was in the lead by less than a quarter of a second. I was ecstatic, I couldn’t believe the gap that I had closed In only 6 laps!

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