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3rd round PCI-Karting Championship 2009

Watergrass Hill - Kart world 5th of April

For the first time this season we visited Watergrass Hill in Co. Cork for the 3rd round of the Championship season. Watergrass Hill is north of Cork easy to find and a well laid out circuit and I seem to remember that it has a good name in Irish racing.

I didn’t have my GPS with me (the missus), so I allowed for plenty of time to get lost and I surely did, half the fun I thought and still managed to get there in time. I was looking forward to a great afternoon as the weather was holding off.Even if it didn’t it would get interesting.

Members arrived well in time from Dublin, Galway Co. Waterford and elsewhere including our locals from Cork and looking forward intently to a great session. It was great to see Denis from Cork again after a long time. He was driving a beautiful white 911SC which was his retirement present to himself as he told me some time back.

We also had a Porsche-Open-Racing representative amongst us, our President of the PCI - David Whelan including his son Daniel.

At this stage I would like to thank all the members for the great effort they have taken and brought extra men/women to make sure we would have the numbers in order to have a great Grand Prix session and the track entirely for ourselves. We engaged in our usual chitter chatter and looked adoringly to some of the Porsche’s presented in gleaming polish. As it happened while we were clocking in with our details, we were told that the session was running late because of the previous people still on the track. Mind you they must have been on a go slow I think if they where late. We surely had enough to talk so time was flying and before long we where up for the qualifying session.

Qualifying - Session

The track was opening up wide coming out of the pits and everybody straight away engaged in definitive racing for Qualifying positions. I did see some little tangle for positions early, while I was rattling along to get used to the lines and where to put the foot to the mat.

The long straight lead into a sweeping turn 1 downhill - where the g-forces send my head spinning and on to a hairpin in turn 2 breaking hard not to drift to far to the other side, back on the throttle flat and up to hairpin turn 3 with just up to speed by then, braking hard and again not drifting to far, flat throttle again up to turn 4, taken in full throttle and joggle position then for turn 5 hairpin, brake hard steering the Kart while drifting with throttle open to the left and then aiming for turn 6 flat out into the long strait to start the next Lap.

Before I had myself accustomed to the track the qualifying was over like a flash, as we where lead back into the pit lane to receive our starting positions.

The Final

Names were called out and drivers where put into the relevant qualifying positions of the awaiting Karts. I can’t recall the exact qualification places but the usual suspect where right upfront including Anthony Saunders, Jody Griffin and Dave’s son Daniel and Denis did quit well even in his first retirement year as well as Dave including Per from Denmark and his friend Tony. I saw Connie as well doing quit good and thought keep an eye out for him, as I pulled up as 12th in qualifying and I think I had Fearghal in front of me or was that Oisin? Eoin and Colin where there as well, while I couldn’t recognise some of the racers with the helmets and in the race suits. We also had Rachel with us in the field who is a friend of Denis and accompanied Eoin as well as Paddy. Well with a field of 16 we where packed and it promised an impressive race.

The start of this Grand Prix race was with a rolling start, so one of the Stuarts brought us out on the warm-up lap and as coming back up to turn 6 the Stuart peeled off into the pits while further up the following strait another was holding the green Flag waiting to be dropped.

Full throttle and looking for gaps I was heading trough the strait, sweeping downhill into turn 1 as some of the boy’s already made headway and started to disappear. No surprise Joe and Anthony where well away as was Daniel in the pack and already taking turn 2, when on the approach and during the drive trough of turn 2 some joggling for positions took place. There where tailspins and collision’s with about 4 or 5 drivers involved as I was just barely able to avoid a collision, by squeezing trough on the kerb of the corner and floored it up to turn 3. Looking back to the melee I said “oh please good give me a sign” and in thru fashion another incident similar to the first one on turn 5 occurred, squeezing trough again I found myself in P5 after the first lap.

The incidents tweaked my competitive streak, while the laughing was almost over as I was heading trough turn 1 again with Paddy not to far away I pressed the pedal harder and was braking harder I saw myself reducing the distance to him. I could see it would not be as easy to get past Paddy in front but keeping up the pressure was the name of the game. So for about 7 Laps I kept the pressure up and finally on turn 3 in the 7th lap Paddy made a mistake by drifting to wide and I was able to squeeze past with pedal to the metal.

Paddy was definitively one for not giving up that easy and the hunter was the hunted. Honestly Lads if you are laughing reading this, imaging me doing the same and trying to hold off Paddy from chasing me down. I was looking ahead and only could see Anthony, Jody and Daniel far ahead with them already catching and being close to lapping the back markers. Paddy was snapping behind me as we where coming up to some back markers. We both manoeuvred well trough that part and kept flat out on to the next lap, with me hitting the kerb on turn 6 to squeeze every inch of line. Heading down to turn 1 I drifted a little wide and had Paddy inside me going into turn 2, as I was braking late but hard, taking the line and whatever way Paddy hit me it spun him while I flattened the pedal.

I had a similar encounter with Eoin with whom I also had a little battle, but came out good with of us both cracking up laughing of course.

I couldn’t see Anthony nor Jody or Daniel as they where well ahead and only heard after with Jody having a tingle tangle with Daniel finishing in first with Jody second, while Anthony kept hard after them but finishing in third. Fearghal was a newcomer to the Championship and had a good race with the old hogs, finishing in 10th while Denis and Dave had a battle, with Denis showing his metal and finishing in P7 and Dave in P8. Connie had an excellent race as he took the flag in P6 as was Oisin in P11, while Paddy was happy with P9 and Eoin with P12. It has to be mentioned that Rachel fought a brave race in amongst the rough necks and had to take some punishment and finished in P16 and scored Lady’s winner. Tony sailed trough in P14 as David kept ahead of Rachel and finished in 15th, while Colin had great fun driving trough in 13th. I was coming up to back markers from time to time and had Per the big Dane not knowing on my heels going through the chequered Flag with him taking P5 as I thought I was save for position and eased off on the final Lap taking 4th.

The Race was a lot closer as some of the position’s suggested and it was generally fought very fair, just like the big boy’s or probably even better as fun would have been the main motive for the occasion.

Final Positions

1st Daniel Whelan

2nd Jody Griffin

3rd Anthony Saunders

4th George Neurieder

5th Per Juliussen

6th Connie Shiel

7th Denis Collins

8th David Whelan

9th Paddy O’Sullivan

10th Fearghal Collins

11th Oisin Forde

12th Eoin O’Sullivan

13th Colin Lynch

14th Tony Monaghan

15th David O’Hanlon

16th Rachel McCarthy

 

This will change the standings in the point scoring not by much but it will put some pressure on the Competitor’s, as we go on in the Championship it should get really interesting.

The first three winners where awarded little trophy’s from Kart world as gesture and everybody acknowledged their wins. However there was a Stewards inquiry into the legality of wearing Finns (Moustache) worn by me, as to giving me an unfair advantage, with the outcome Dave, that Ross Brown has confirmed that wearing a moustache is more a hindrance and I should be given at least one lap up on my Race position or extra points to that effect. Anyway Dave it was a great outing I will gladly remember, as I hope everybody who participated will too and made this a great day.

A number of Members with their Friends after the GP was finished, were led by Denis Collins to a local Restaurant for a warm down lap to replenish with refreshments and food. One springs to mind I think was it Tony who couldn’t get enough, food that is. Great appetite Tony!

My gratitude goes to everybody for coming and helping by bringing their Friends and also to come from Dublin, Galway, Co. Waterford, Cork and Cork County.

The Leader board after the 3rd Round in the Championship is as follows:

1st Anthony Saunders 26 Points

2nd Jody Griffin 20 Points

3rd George Neurieder 14 Points

4th Connie Shiel 10 Points

5th Damien Stembridge 8 Points

6th Neil Lane 6 Points

6th David Whelan 6 Points

7th Ted Gaffney 5 Points

8th Karen Gaffney 4 Points

8th Denis Collins 4 Points

9th Fearghal Collins 2 Points

10th Gerald Monks 1 Point

Just to finish off the report I would like to mention, the next session is in Limerick at Kilcornan Karting I include a link www.limerickkarting.com for you to have a look at the track and get directions etc., We are booked in for Sunday the 26th of April, session start at 13.00hrs., so we will have to be there at the latest for 12.30hrs. We have this one arranged earlier so that members coming from Dublin or elsewhere have still a bit of the day left driving home after some refreshments. I will take Bookings anytime trough the usual mediums i.e. Phone/work 051/563935 or mob. 085/7818824 and you can mail me: gnd911t@yahoo.co.uk or gnd911@ireland.com

Pictures from last Sunday are included also on www.flickr.com/photos/karting09

My last thanks go to Alan for publishing the Report on the PCI-Website.

So I leave you with, if I don’t see you in Mondello on Friday hopefully I see you save and sound in Limerick on the 26th.

Many thanks to all and drive safely

George


05/04/2009

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