On Monday 18th October we had the “All Welcome” karting session at Thurrock in Essex. Thanks to everyone for turning up. I think we all had a good time. There were six drivers and six spectators:
Kaz – driving – that’s an easy one, he’s the one who has made several comments on this blog
Mark P and Julie Bowen (my sister) – spectator (although next time…)
There was another couple who wanted to come but couldn’t, also named Mark & Julie
Mark F – driving
John B – driving
John Bowen (my brother) – driving
Colin Bowen (er, me) – driving
Blanche (my wife) – spectator
Colin B (my regular karting buddy) – driving
Eve, Amy and Laura (Colin B’s wife and their girls) – spectators
I was there at 2pm, but I didn’t expect anyone to arrive until six. About 3:30 John B phoned to say he was on his way. He had been ill with a virus that had made it painful to move. He wasn’t over it, but decided to drive anyway. He’s been once before I think. His racing lines were right, but I don’t think he had a good kart (mine was excellent). He could only do one session, so was leaving just as others started arriving. Thanks for coming John.
I said my car was excellent, but I didn’t think so as I was warming the tyres up. There was little rear end grip but it did accelerate quickly, and I equalled my personal best lap-time.
As John B left, my sister Julie arrived with her Fiance Mark P and my brother John. John said he’d drive, but Julie and Mark decided to watch; they’re saving up for their wedding next year. I’ve got news for you two; I’m spending your wedding present money on my karting!
Colin and Eve then arrived with their girls Amy and Laura who had a little cheerleader routine worked out to support their Dad. Blanche (my wife) then arrived, but sadly without a cheerleader routine (or outfit).
It was all getting a bit manic by then. John paid and went to the safety briefing, Colin paid and went to get changed, and people were turning up for practice before their 8pm corporate event. The only person I expected to turn up that hadn’t was Kaz.
We waited around for the end of the drivers’ briefing, and got in our karts. There were 11 of us, 3 from BowenRacing and the rest for corporate event practice. They wanted to do 30 minutes straight, but we wanted to do two 15 minute sessions in the hope that Kaz would turn up for the second one. The marshals said that they would give us a chequered flag at the end of our time, and the others could stay out.
On arrive and drive, they don’t start you on the grid, you just leave the pitlane and go from there. I was in a different kart, and noticed a lot of play in the brake pedal, so the first thing I did out of the pits was test the brakes; there weren’t any. Even on cold tyres I couldn’t lock the brakes, so I went back into the pits for a replacement kart. Luckily I got the fast kart 9 again.
I did quite well in the rest of our session, I beat my personal best by 0.11 sec with a time of 41.27, 1.14 sec faster than the next best lap time.
Still to come… The last two laps of Session 2 – my battle with a cheat.