PCI – Karting Championship 2010
2nd session in Abbeyfeale Co. Limerick the 11th of April 2010
Abbeyfeale is a long way from most of the mayor city’s in Ireland but none the less a worthwhile track to visit from the first impressions I was getting as I arrived on the venue. The weather was fantastic as the sun was heating up the track we hadn’t visited before, so I was looking forward to the challenge ahead.
With only 7 races this season the second session was as important as any race for anyone who has Championship aspirations, to defend the PCI-Karting Championship Perpetual Cup or just to have regular fun with Karting. No surprise then with Anthony and friend Peter being there apart from Connie and John as well as Pat from Co. Clare with his 911TT packed to the rafter with his children for a good day of fun with Karting including some other friends of his which accounted for 7 people in total organised on his behalf.
Right away our total of 12 drivers where to find out that the Karts where great fun to drive, single engine and fast enough for a very tight technical track during the practice laps. No particular incidents maybe one or two spins as drivers where getting used to how hard we would be able to manoeuvre around the circuit.
We were divided in lots of 6 drivers to compete for the A and the B Finals. Having spent myself during practice taking pictures of my fellow competitors, I had to take the task a little more serious as I was trying to get used to the tight corners and find the race lines. It was evident competition was high with great talent displayed on the track, so it was no surprise to me as I could only manage the B-finals, with Roger W., Peter F., Laura B., Andrew K., and John W. The second lot of 6 drivers where competitive as the first set and clearly we could see that both finals will be immensely contested.
Question was would Anthony current Championship holder get his way in the A-final or will Pat B., Niall Cr., Connie, Tim B., Chris B. give him a challenge. From the qualifying it was clear it will be hard and he would have to be persistent and in need of a good bit of luck.
At the fall of the chequered flag engines roared into action as the first corner offered immediate challenges for positions as the nature of this final unfolded. Having lost some positions myself on the start I was able to claim back some and competed for third as I was also continuously challenged for my own P3 only to show how close the final was fought over. At some point I thought being in P2 after the Kart before me spun, I may be able to challenge for first as in certain area’s I was able to gain track on P1 only to suffer the same faith as Connie and Anthony in the previous session respective and had to retire with a broken chain. It left Roger unchallenged after 10 laps as the winner of the B-final with Peter finishing in a respectable P2, Laura competitive to the core in P3, Andrew after a challenging session in P4, John having to retire in the last lap after having some great racing with myself throughout the final only to break down a lap after I suffered the same.
Roger had won the B-Final and the organisers allowed him to compete in the A-Final so we had seven competitors revving up, as they waited for the drop of the starter flag. It was immediate apparent this Final would be even tighter fought over than the B-Final and no quarters given between family members either as Tim, Chris and Anthony leading into left turn 1 full throttle out off to the right on to small straight with following left turn 2, little of the gas or brake hard before and through the apex full throttle positioning for turn 3 right, flat out on to turn 4 hairpin to the left, flat out to turn 5 left again as good as flat out keeping the throttle down to turn 6 flashing through sweeping right handed to negotiate turn 6 left cutting through the apex drifting out to right hand side to catch the apex of turn 7 left at full speed and keeping flat out up and along the only straight of the track heading past the start finish line and into turn 1 again.
The field was keeping chase on the front three of Tim, Niall and Anthony as they were very tight together with a few incidents, like brake manoeuvres but generally a tough, fair and competitive challenge that was exciting to watch and at times you would have thought F1 could not be any better than this.
The only spectacular incident was as Pat on the Start/Finish straight coming out of turn 7 lying in P4 lost the front wheel of his Kart and destined him to retire after a solid drive challenging for P3, hence leaving him to finish in 6th. It left Connie after some tough racing to finish in unchallenged 5th, while Roger after a great challenge had to retire before Pats incident nipping at Connie and Pat all the time for and exchanging positions during the race ending in 7th. After some drivers error Anthony finally had to surrender to Chris his P3 and ending up 4th as Chris finished 3rd with Niall and a solid drive finishing in 2nd and Tim almost and nearly at all times throughout the race unchallenged for P1 finished to win the A-Final with a convincing display of kart racing.
The second session went off with a bang just like the first session of the season competitive fair with a new track we hadn’t visited before as well as new faces who added immensely to a higher degree of competition and the challenge for the Trophy’s. Weather as the track where fantastic and as the first session a day out well worth to remember.
Positions of PCI-members in the Championship after race two is as follows:
I would like to thank everybody for making the considerable efforts and especially Pat for contesting with Family members and friends to make up 7 of the competing participants.
I can’t wait for the 3rd session on the 30th of May in Galway at Pallas Karting starting time 12.00hrs, with Grand Prix status including A- and B- Finals.