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PCI-Karting Championship 2010

3rd round in Pallas Karting Portumna Co. Galway 30th of May

Last Saturday was a bit of a soft day and as we were heading for Portumna in Co. Galway I was thinking of last year’s session. I wondered would it be another as wet a session as then, when half of us more or less where sailing around the track. Thankfully weather was holding and it had rained itself out overnight and by the time I arrived at the venue the sun was breaking through giving us a dry track to look forward to.

Our locals like Connie and brother Padraig, Oisin and John were already there and waiting for the rest of us, as we all trickled in just about in time with pleasant surprises when Pat and Roger, Kieran with son Patric, Colm and brother Tomas arrived along. Declan a friend of Oisin arrived just as we headed out for practice laps as he multitasked babysitting beside the track and jumping into the Kart and chased us around the track.

During the practice session we had no particular incidents to report as we all got familiar with the track looking for the best lines to take. I did see the odd spin or better slide off on turn 6 with one instance gravel pitting my visor as this turn was to be taken tight but most of the time we drifted way to the right as we wouldn’t back off the throttle. 15 minutes where up quickly and we rolled back into the pit.

Qualifying

It was decided to let all 13 competitors off this time together from the start-line at the drop of the flag to compete for best race position. It was clear to all of us that a race isn’t won at the first turn, but it didn’t hold us back giving it hell for leather right down into the chicane turn 1 hard left clipping the curb, jetting over to the right at full throttle through turn 2 right, drift off a little to the left to align for the next chicane turn 3 right flat out, strait over to squeeze through turn 4 left almost curbing again, drifting right and sweep left to line up for long right turn 5 sweeping through at full speed keeping it as tight to come out into strait with as little loss of speed as possible and flat down to right turn 6, hit the brake hard and let off to hit throttle hard while steering opposite lock and drifting left through lining up for left turn 7 drifting right hand and head up flat out to right turn 8 hit brake hard and opposite lock again through it, while straightening out to head passed start-line heading again for the first chicane.

We all knew with 13 competitors on the track it’s going to be busy and even with that in mind we all where hot on the case from the drop off the flag. All was going well with positions changing continuously through almost all the turns until we came up to turn 6 where I was coming in quite hot and hit the brakes too hard being in P2, doing a 360 sideways almost off the track as all my compatriots trying to get through the turn and a bottle neck unfolded in front of me; whereby two off the lads collided and Connie having nowhere to go, hitting them hard at speed with another competitor nowhere else to go hitting Connie’s Kart catapulting him out of the Kart to his left from the impact. I instantly jumped out of my Kart as I could see Connie was in some pain and wanted to assess if he was hurt.

Thank God with plenty of expletives and assertion Connie was able to get on his feet in apparent pain limping back to the pit and straddled another Kart to keep competing. I must commend Connie for keeping going, which ended in a great finish for him after all, since he had a tough start throughout all of this season it will only get better from now on. Needless to say the Kart was wrecked with front wheel damage needing a possible chassis rebuild having a suspected bend frame.

The red flagged race was restarted and carried on with care in mind and we had a great session after all, as Connie kept on going to make a great race position after his little accident. While the rest of us competing at various positions with some of the Karts being a little of speed which accounted for some of our good racers not having the best race position after qualifying.

Final

What a start and with the action in qualifying needless to say a few cool heads were needed and as you know in the heat of the battle anything is possible. With Paul’s experience (Pallas Karting) and a bit of adjustment it was decided and agreed by all to head off out from the pit in intervals for the Grand Prix. The start positions where reversed according to your qualifying result which made all a bit more interesting.

We were left off in 15 second intervals for the actual Grand Prix so we would be more spread out in the field of 13 competitors. The goal of the exercise was to chase down each of the drivers in front of us and to overtake at any opportunity; thereby eliminating bottlenecks where to many drivers compete even just for the right line around a turn. As a result, I can’t really tell a great story of the race and only can give you the account from my perspective.

As I was getting out of the blocks the first driver was already around turn 6 and heading towards turn 7 while I was concentrating straight away in pursuing the driver in front of me. The Kart that I was driving in the race was not as fast as the one I had in qualifying I noticed and I wasn’t the only one, as this track more than any showed the difference in top speed and hence I wasn’t the only one struggling.

No excuse, I knew as I was trying to “squeeze out” any bit of extra speed keeping tight on the curbs on all turns and hit the brakes late and hard if I did use them on turn 6 or turn 8, which seemed to make a bit of difference as I could see gaining some ground. I did get the first fellow driver in front of me but could make no further gain after as I was even lapped by the top 3 leaders just before the checkered flag dropped towards the end of the race. There were no more incidents during the race apart from the top 5 giving it a fair battle as by all, for position to the very end.

Hence I am to report with Anthony taking 1st with best overall time followed closely by newcomer Colm in 2nd, Padraic Connie’s brother in 3rd, Patric, Kieran’s Son in 4th with an ever battling Connie in 5th, his friend John in 6th, Pat from Co. Clare in 7th, Colm’s brother Tomas in 8th, Oisin seasoned racer from Co. Galway in 9th, George only managing 10th, Roger with a fighting display but a slow Kart in 11th, Declan handling two jobs at the time in 12th and unlucky Kieran finishing 13th after the chain on his Kart broke in the penultimate lap.

Positions of Porsche Club Members after Race three is a follows:

PositionNamePoints
1stAnthony S26
2ndGeorge N17
3rdConnie S16
4thPat B11
5thRob C10
6thColm F8
7thPadraic K5
8thJohn O'C4
9thBen D / Kieran Gr3
10thKieran F1

There was some great racing displayed from the infrequent clips I could assert during my own quest around the track and I have to report, the standard of racing in this year’s Championship has qualitatively risen which is a credit to all competitors and makes each of the races an absolute cracker. It should get even more interesting in the standings of the Championship as towards the top things are starting to get a little tight again throughout the places so I could imagine some great battles ahead as it seems Anthony is racing away and looking good to retain his title for another season. I would like to thank everybody making this again a fantastic Sunday afternoons racing, with special thanks to Connie for organising the local Crew, as well as to newcomers Colm and Tomas, Kieran and son Patric as well as to seasoned competitors Pat and Roger all the way from Co. Clare and last but not least Anthony.

The 4th session of the Championship is planned for the 11th of July at Midlands Karting and should be a great track from what I have heard. Publication for the planned session will be detailed 3 weeks in advance so keep an eye on the PCI-Website, the PCI-Forum on the Karting tab or check your e-mails.

In the meantime enjoy the sunshine, keep the rev’s up and drive save

Hope to see you all soon

Many thanks

George


30/05/2010

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