I had my first ever trip to kimbolton this weekend. Wet weather meant it was also my first trip out on wet tyres. Plenty to learn and then you find out that they're trialling a different track layout for the first two practice sessions. The new layout, circuit 3 has many more tight turns and braking points, I like it, later circuit 1 was used and would be used for Sunday's races, I like that too, it'll be interesting to see which they use next year. Wet weather tyres give much better grip the what I'm used to, by session 4 we were on slicks. Coming in from session 4 we found the rear axle had moved, wrecking the sprocket in the process, new sprocket fitted and dad was a bit concerned about the state of the front sprocket, the chain seemed OK being a harder material. Session 5 we missed as dad was still bolting it all back together and session 6 all went well on a mostly dry track but the session was short due to lack of daylight. So, racing tomorrow after 5 minutes on a dry track and about 13 minutes on the track we'd be using.
Race day, track was wet but the sun was out, 3 laps practice was OK. Heat 1 we took a last minute gamble to go out on slicks, 5 of the 25 runners took the same gamble. Being a I had to start with the others at the back, in 22nd place. The track was right on the changeover point between wet and dry tyres with neither having the obvious overall advantage, I had a few little scraps and came home in 17th place. Not bad. I did manage to set 9th fastest lap though in tricky conditions, that's what Tyro tyres do for you.
Heat 2 Was described by one spectator as a demolition derby, one crash in front of me at the start, I narrowly squeezed between the crashing karts and the tyre wall on the outside and made up a few places. I was quick through sector 2 in particular where there's a great series of corners and was chasing closely another novice Aaron Lusk. Out of turn two a kart went off and then rejoined the track at right angles and Aaron collided with it hard, I just missed them both and went on to finish 15th, I believe Aaron left to go to A&E with a broken arm.
The final we started 17th, quickly I realised I wasn't getting full speed, corner speed was OK but speed off the corners wasn't quite there and I seemed slow on the straights, I missed out on the novice trophy as a result, finishing just behind Will Howells in 16th place.
Checking the kart the following day we found that the chain was wrecked and the front sprocket largely without teeth probably a result of the previous day's abuse combined with the wet weather. I think I'd have been a bit further up the field without that.