Athboy the Venue and the 31st of October or Halloween Bank Holiday Monday was the last Race day of our PCI Karting Championship season. What a season we had with plenty of fantastic action from all our competitors fair and square all round competing to the best of one’s ability. I could not have asked for more at the start of the season.
I had been at the Venue since about 9 am as Mick had invited me to partake in the Start of the Tullyallen Karting Clubs winter seasons first race. Mick was racing his gearbox Kart as he gave me a lent of his Rotomax which was set up fantastic for the day’s race. By the time we went out racing around 10 am I was thinking will it be as wet as it was then when we would have our PCI-Session around 3 pm that afternoon. As we finished racing around 2.30 in the afternoon I was soaked from top to bottom and water was seeping out of my shoes and at that stage it didn’t matter how much more wetter I would get.
From around 1.30 I think the first PCI-Members arrived to have a look at us for the moment as to how we were doing during our races. Willy and his Son I think was the first and Mike arrived well ahead of time to see us hurling ourselves around.
By about 2.30pm all of our participating members had made the journey to the venue and I was really pleasantly surprised that so many headed my call to the last Karting session of the season. We were able to put 15 on the grit which was fantastic for the day it was and everybody was looking forward to an afternoon or an hour of fun.
Because of the day that was in it and with the daylight rapidly getting darker by the clouds it was decided to run two groups of 7/8 for qualifying and an A + B Finals. We all agreed and we got stuck in with gusto and tried avoiding ditching our Karts on the side of the track. As you know with hired Karts in the rain or a wet race you still have your slicks rather than your wet tyres as it is with the Pro-Karts. Hence it is a delicate balancing act between the throttle and the steering that you would circle around the track and you wouldn’t use your brakes all that much if at all.
This time we did the track the other way around as we had been on this track once before this season so we decided to run the race the other way, which was just as interesting as we had run some month earlier in the season. The first group was testing the waters literally and it gave us waiting behind an idea what we could expect once it’s our turn. All of us went off the track or spun at various turns with us onlookers applauding the bravery of all of them and soon we could see who would have the best chances in succeeding in the race. Alex, his Son and Glynn with Andy looked the best out there, while I had a little tingle tangle with Mike whom I had been sliding into and pushed him of the track as I honestly tried to avoid him but couldn’t get the kart move the other way. I can report no other major incident occurred as we all used the head to have fun without a bang.
The A-Finalists were as follows: Stephan, Andy, Alex, Glynn, Michael, David, George. The B-Finalists were: Oscar, Mick, Ben, Willy and his Son, Michael and Ciaran.
The B – Final was the first Final to go ahead as everybody gave it all as we on the side-line for now supported them with waving and spurring them on along with plenty of banter from near misses or the like as they mastered their way around the track. It did appear that some of the track was getting a better grip but as the race went on some light drizzle towards the end of the race just made sure enough that the A – Final will be as wet.
The A – Final went off to a flying start with the first corner being taken easy so we wouldn’t be spinning off but as the race progressed, I in particular could not really cope with the wet was it now the slicks or me getting tired and loosing concentration after spending a full day racing with the pro karts. As far as I remember I tried a few tricks and none of them really came off and at that stage I decided just to have fun and try to drive the kart to the limit in the wet and only ending up spinning more often than not around the turns. Everybody else was having just as much fun and some serious racing was displayed especially from Andy and Alex including Glynn, Michael and David as Alex’s Son Stephan was well away and winning the race some distance ahead of any of us.
The A-Final classifications were: Stephan, Glynn, Alex, Andy, Michael, David, George
The B-Final Classifications were: Oscar, Ciaran, Michael senior, Michael, Ben, Willy, and Kaleb.
This would leave the Championship with the following final positions:
1st Joe 89 points with Joker including fastest lap time in Race 2, 3, 5, and 6
2nd Connie 64 points with Joker
3rd Ben 56 points with Joker including fastest lap time in race 4
4th Andy 47 points with Joker
5th George 35 points with Joker
6th Alex 34 points with Joker including fastest lap time in race 7
7th Brian K 33 points
7th David D 33 points with Joker
8th Jacub C 30 points with Joker
9th Michael D 29 points with Joker
10th Rob C 26 points with Joker
11th Bob C 15 points
12th Anthony S 13 points
12th Stephan W 13 points with Joker
13th Patrick C 12 points with Joker
14th Dusty/Jon 10 points with Joker
14th Oscar 10 points with Joker
15th Ciaran Fl 9 points with Joker
16th Chris P 6 points
16th Mike D 6 points with Joker
17th Denis C 5 points
17th Mick B 5 points
18th John E 4 points
19th Dave W 3 points
19th John M 3 points
20th Garret C 2 points
20th Alan W 2 points
20th Willy B 2 points with Joker
Looking at this points Table you would quickly realise how close together our Competitors are how competitive they are and the effort they all have put into this season. With Joe being our runaway Champion and Connie now the 3rd year in a row in the top three with newcomers like Andy making a definitive mark, Ben being able to hold on to 3rd and Alex coming in for one race and score’s maximum points with a win and fastest lap including Joker. The D’s Michael and David are right up there with everybody else including Brian and Bob, like Jacub could have all changed the points-table to a significant degree if we all had time to go to all of the races of the season. I myself I think can count myself lucky and happily finishing 5th overall as I didn’t have a great season mainly by mistakes, being unfit and probably hanging a bit on the heavy side as well hehehe …
But what a season we had, with some wet races, plenty of sideways and wheel to wheel action taking place during all the races the most memorable races for me was trying to match Bob’s driving style in a wet race in Collon, to find it does work and having some terrific wheel to wheel action with Brian in Athboy where I thought Brian was only toying with me but none the less one of the best race-actions I had taken part in and of course throughout the year with Connie. Having had battles for position in every race with the most of fun being had by everyone and if I did push some-body off or horned them I am sorry not to have been in better control of my Kart and no harm was ever meant apart from racing for position. I am sure all of you have some great yarns to tell and wouldn’t it be great if we could hear some from you at the Trophy presentations on the 28th of January in Waterford.
I had during the year stated at one point, that our Competitors and their driving is at this stage up to some incredibly good standard and I think we all can give each other a good run for their Money as well as anyone else in the Kart-world and beyond. It leaves me to believe we can look forward to some great racing again in the new season starting from the 26th of February this Year. I also know there are a lot more talent within the club who are only starting to come to the forth and I can say with certainty next season will be just as good if not better. Another aspect I would like to mention that is, the hired-Karts may not always are equal and hence some of us struggle for positions more than others but even though as we are competing in a Championship we are still there mainly to have some fun and it’s not as serious as if you would race in F1. We would be just as good as them in effort at the very least if not the Talent that some of our Competitors displayed over the last season and the seasons before since we started the PCI-Karting Championship some 3 years ago.
The last thing I would like to do is to thank every Member who competed and their Friends most sincerely for the support they have given the PCI-Karting Championship throughout last season including the seasons before. It is a solid contributor of the PCI-Events Calendar every year since its inception in 2009 and made every single race we had a memory to treasure.