by Jamie Wesson
Team 175 Round 5 Review
It turned out to be another nice morning for the latest installment of the team 175 series, and a half dozen teams lined up to take the start, which just happened to be a reversed grid. The teams looked like this:
Kart 7: Andy Hobson & Gus Kerior
Kart 2: Kurt Partridge & Dave Windridge
Kart 4: Alex Haydon Williams & Ian Williams
Kart 9: Tom Kitchener & Andy Summers
Kart 5: Don Bowen & Sean Cassidy
Kart 10: Jam Wesson & Lou Aracsi
The race got going and immediately Don and Jamie had the same idea. As they were at the back they would get their mandatory run-around pit stops out the way early, and hopefully achieve some clean air when they re-emerge. This however, created a bit of a problem.
Don and Jamie pitted together, with Jamie on the bumper of the number 5 kart. He didn't know where Don was planning to come to a halt though, envisioning he would round the corner of the U-turn mid pit lane first. He didn't. Don came to a stop at the end of the "in lane" and Jamie slammed on the brakes, locking up and nearly sliding in to him. He had to make a quick adjustment left to avoid contact.
This now created an obstacle for both drivers, as Don had already jumped out of his kart and begun his run around. There was no room for him to run all the way around as Jamie's kart was blocking his path, and Jamie couldn't get out of his kart because Don's kart was blocking his exit. Jamie gave it one big blip of the throttle to move himself ahead a little, nearly running Don down as he had decided to run anti-clockwise around his kart. Jamie jumped out, nearly got the favour returned as Don took off again, and hopped back in. The drive through was done but he had lost a lot of time in the altercation. Don was now a full straight length ahead and even Kurt was able to come in for his run around on lap 2 and get out in front of the number 10. This race would now have to be won on pure pace, and Jamie had a lot to make up.
Meanwhile, Tom Kitchener had decided to take his chances at passing the karts ahead, and successfully made his way to the front. He got the hammer down in the clean air, and it was now just a matter of waiting to see where his team would emerge after they made the mandatory pit stop later in the race.
Jamie had begun the fight back, and started by passing Kurt with a nice move down into T1. He did the same to Don a few laps later, getting a nice slip stream down the main straight and popping out in the braking zone. He then caught Gus in third and got a great run off the loop, snuck up the inside down the back straight and went side by side into the last corner. There was a small damp patch mid corner, the last remnant of the overnight rain, which caused Jamie to slide out a little and rub sidepods with Gus. No harm done though, the pass had been completed as both drivers rounded the kink onto the main straight and Jamie was away.
He would have caught Ian Williams toward the end of his stint too, but Ian decided to box for his mandatory stop shortly before the driver changes occurred. Jamie smashed in a couple more low 39's and then it was time to change. Lou took over and the track now belonged to the team-mates.
Andy Hobson was displaying some pretty solid pace in the number 7 kart, passing Sean as the latter struggled to get his lap times down, fighting the friction from too much grip on the front tyres. Dave Windridge made a small error at turn one, going a little wide, allowing Lou to pass, which was convenient for the number 10 team as they could afford little hold up in their battle with the number 9 kart.
Both Andy Hobson and Andy Summers came in for their run-around, and for the first time in the race the true standings revealed themselves. Lou and Jamie had done enough to pull a small gap to the 9 kart, just under a quarter of a lap in length. Jamie knew that if they were able to close the gap and then some during the first stints, they should hopefully be able to pull away during the second. Tom called his team mate in as soon as the pit window opened, trying all he could to try and claw back some of the advantage. The second stint for the race starters was relatively uneventful, with each team just trying to maximize it's pace, so we'll finish up with the last action from the final stint.
Alex Williams was attacking Dave once the final driver switches had been made, but seemed to be struggling to find a way past. Eventually he made a move into T1 and got ahead, now able to put in some flying laps himself. The two Andy's seemed inseparable at one point, With Andy Hobson using his impressive pace to stay on the back of Andy Summers. He was conveniently using Andy S to toe him up to Dave, holding the position ahead, just up the road.
Alex's spell of clear laps came to an end when he closed up on Sean Cassidy and I think this might have been for position. Thinking he could get by quickly, he tried a pass down the inside into turn one. But in classic Sean style, he held off the attack around the outside, and cut back in front on the entry to the Lightbulb. He wasn't going to let him have it that easy! Alex did eventually use his weight advantage to pass, but Sean had shown the fighting spirit he still had left.
In the final moments of the race, there was a close battle as Dave held off Andy Hodson for fifth place, with Sean hanging on to fourth only a few hundred yards up the road. But the flag dropped and Lou Aracsi drove the number 10 kart home to victory. It had been an interesting race with a couple teams enjoying a close finish. The final round is on 29th of November.
1st: Jamie & Lou
2nd: Tom & Andy
3rd: Alex & Ian
4th: Don & Sean
5th: Kurt & Dave
6th: Gus & Andy
Fastest lap: Jamie - 39.044