PCI – Karting Championship 2010
1st race and Season opener in Roscrea at X-treme Karting
After a nearly 2 month absence and hibernation, the call to the Karts echoed throughout the counties for the new PCI-Karting Championship season 2010.
I couldn’t wait myself getting going again, having some craic on the track while I was heading to Roscrea via the midlands from Wexford.
Whilst I was recalling last year’s successful season I was wondering how the Championship will develop, will we have a new Champion this year or is last year’s Champion Anthony the man we all have to chase.
There were some new and old faces arriving, being glad to see them all well as Anthony with friend Tony and Connie with brother Padraig, John from Cork with friends David and Padraig, as well as Members Rob and Ben from Anthony’s neighbourhood, as well as Ciaran with son Sean from Co. Meath.
After acquainting new and old friends we were called for a short briefing before we all changed into overalls and helmets. The session was a Grand Prix race with practice and qualification laps to be followed with A and B Final’s. The first batch of six competitors went out on the practice laps as we could see straight away Anthony laying down the marker of what to expect, as he raced off well ahead of everybody else. With five laps practice we were called in to let off the second batch of six competitors to try out the track and the Karts.
During the Qualifying session as with the Practice laps there were a few incidents like some skidding off in the side barriers or as in Connie’s case the chain hopped off the sprockets and destined him to the B-Final. Connie’s brother Padraig, Rob, Anthony, Toni and David kept the slicks hot as all of us were trying to keep up with them to get good positions for the Finals.
The B-final was contested by Padraig from Cork, Connie from Galway, and John from Cork, Ciaran and son Sean including Ben from Dublin. From the start all positions where fought over fair and square as they headed for the first corner and racing down the strait to the second turn you could see the field spreading out with some ding dong battles developing. Coming through the next turns and during the rest of the B-final the only significant incident was as Connie spun and lost second position having to fight hard to get back and finishing in 4th, while Ciaran and his son Sean finished a robust 5th and 6th respectively and Ben hanging on with a fantastic display to 3rd, John O’ and Padraig K. fought out 2nd and 1st respective with a great battle between them.
The gag in the B-Final was a running start to the Karts and no way was I fit for a running start so I and one of the other contestant argued with the owner that we are carrying shot legs/knee and hence couldn’t repeat the same start. Duly we were placed according to qualifications and got a flagging start.
Right away Anthony had his way and pulled away with Rob tight behind him as all the rest of us were trying to hang in there coming into right turn 1 hitting the kerb flat on the pedal and down the strait to hairpin turn 2, hugging the line just a bit of the throttle and trough to the left side of the track changing over to the right to negotiate turn3 left and flat out up to right turn 4 keeping it tight around, full throttle sweeping up to left turn 5 cutting it tight, flat out keeping to the left sweeping into right turn 6 sharp and drifting through the start/finish line heading down the strait hard on the throttle on the left turning hard right into turn 1 again.
You can be sure this was a very competitive final with plenty of incidents notably Tony and myself in a tangle as he was challenging me for position, when his front left wheel got locked through his plastic-bumper via incidental collision, on my rear wheel and me dragging him through turn 6 not realising it as I was trying to defend my position. Luckily we untangled and both where not worse for the wear. There was a few spins as I did myself at one point laying in P2 which was costly as I was back in P6 but recovered to finish 3rd, not before unfortunately Anthony sitting in P1 in the last lap the chain on his kart hopped off the sprocket and finishing in 4th, Padraig, Connie’s brother having most of the fun going sideways around most of the turns with a few spins included finished 5th and Toni’s suffered the same melee as Anthony to abandon his kart with engine trouble’s finishing 6th. It left Rob who had a solid drive throughout initially behind Anthony to finish 1st, while David from Cork closely behind in 2nd.
What a great start to the season you wouldn’t believe it, the Karts where fantastic twin-engine and without limiters, the track new to us with a brilliant layout and weather a bit cold but the sun splitting the stone’s. Everybody was mighty impressed with the session and we left with great satisfaction of a day out well worth to remember.
Positions of PCI-members in the Championship after race one is as follows:
It leaves me only to thank everybody for coming and giving it a great Sunday afternoons karting and I hope to see you all soon at the next race.