by Jamie Wesson
Team 175 Race Review - Round 5
Anti-Clockwise is hairy at the best of times. Not in an orangutan kind of way, but the scary hairy kind of way. Now try that in the dark. The combination makes for one heck of a thrilling experience. This treat was lined up for perhaps the only time this year at round five of the T175 series.
Despite some reservations about their seating position, in a kart that was either too far forward or too far rearward, Jam Wesson was surprised to put himself and team mate Todd White on pole. But only by a fraction. A superb qualifying from Andrew Strike meant that Jamie's competition going into the race start would come from the team in kart 3, Andrew and his team mate Neil Graham. Fellow championship contender Jon Brown lined up third, but pitted on the opening lap for his mandatory run around.
Jamie had opted for the seat to be further forward, with the Anti-clockwise direction demanding the kart have a pointy front end. The forward bias made the kart floaty at the rear however, and Todd White reported feeling uncomfortable with the driving position. Perhaps the kart wasn't in it's most optimal form, but Jamie had to be at his absolute best to keep a rapid Andrew Strike behind him for the first stint. Andrew had decided not to come in sooner like Jon had, but instead to try and measure his pace against the leader.
He almost got the upper-hand when the pair encroached upon their first set of backmarkers. It may have been John Hall that turned out to be the filling in a sandwich at the Lightbulb, as Jamie attempted to go around the outside of him and Andrew tried to get the advantage by sticking to the inside line. They were three abreast going into the kink, Jamie just squeezing himself through and Andrew having to wait for an undercut out of the last turn.
A pass on Ian Noden was the final challenge for the pair before the first round of driver changes. It was now all about the pace of their team mates, as there was absolutely nothing separating the starting drivers. Jamie and Andrew had both notched an absolutely identical 40.774 (I think), reinforcing how close their pace was during the opening stint. Jon Brown wasn't far off, only two thousandths behind with a .776. He would go on to set the fastest lap of the race however with a 40.750, earning him and his team mate David Brown a valuable additional point in the championship.
Neil was showing good pace but was unlucky with the traffic, Todd was struggling in the unbalanced kart 11 but Bruno was setting the track alight, making use of his new lighter self. By the time Todd had come in to do his run around, the Browns had leaped into the lead by a significant margin, one which would not be overhauled. Andrew and Neil lost further ground during the third stint, but had solidified their place on the podium.
One of the toughest people to pass was Scott Russell who put up the fight of his life to prevent Jamie and Ian Noddy Noden from passing. A move down the inside into turn one from Jamie was met with a cut back from Scott on the exit. Jamie then got his nose down the inside into the loop, but Scott pushed back with an assertive move at the hairpin. There was contact, but nobody was off the track. Then came a move around the outside of the loop and into the pin from Jamie, but another cutback meant the move wasn't quite coming off. Eventually a better run out of the hairpin stuck and Jamie could finally break away. Ian would have similar trouble getting past, the battle between the pair culminating in one kart making a trip onto the grass.
It had been a tough but entertaining race. A win for the Browns see them force the championship wide open on a night when Jamie and Todd could have practically put one hand on it if they had shut out the competition. A stunning performance from Andrew and Neil means that they continue to be a threat that has to be taken seriously in future events. There was plenty more action down the field as the event enjoyed a full capacity grid, an amazing turnout for a week day evening. Sadly, I was invested in the race of my own team so didn't get chance to catch up with the action downstream, but the Team 175 series continues to prove it's worth. Until next time.
Full Results can be found on the website here:
Andrew's onboard highlights:
Jamie's onboard highlights:
Thanks for reading.