We went to our first TKM festival hoping to qualify for the Elite final, i.e. be in the top half of the grid. Did we get there?
Friday was spent practising for the two day meeting, it was a bit wet at times but no problem, the forecast was for rain on the Sunday.
Saturday was bright and sunny, during morning qualifying I set the 6th fastest time in my group, the number of competitors meant qualifying was spit in to two groups. The track seemed to improve for the second session and I finished up around 16th once the two groups were amalgamated.
We had two heats on the Saturday afternoon, in the first I finished 5th and set the second fastest lap which was pretty good going, in the second heat that day I finished 4th with the 4th fastest lap. Looking good for Sunday and a decent birthday present for my dad.
Come Sunday and with the previous day's results in mind our target changed to a top ten finish, we knew a couple of quick drivers had had problems on the first day. Our third heat was held in the morning and we finished 7th with the 7th fastest lap, I'd got caught up in a little incident on the first lap and it was all a bit rough for a moment but after that no problems, things were looking good.
The rain didn't materialise after all on the Sunday though it looked close at times and I lined up 7th for the pre final in the early afternoon. For the first half of the race I was following Ben Watson and Louis Harvey in the fight for 5th but made a small mistake and dropped far enough back from them that I didn't get the benefit of the tow down the straights so couldn't catch up. I came in 7th with equal 8th fastest lap.
I lined up 7th for the final, the weekend had gone far better than we could imagine for a lad and dad team in their first year of TKM (and third year of karting), the Gillard chassis is great and I seem to have got used to the change in grip compared with the Tyro class and the more aggressive racing. Off the start I dropped back to around 12th as the kart in front of me had a problem and slowed, I was boxed in behind it, by the end of the first lap I was 11th and on lap 4 made up another place to 10th. By lap 7 I was ninth and there I stayed on my own with a bit of clear track in front and behind. Dad tells me that Aaron Lask and Theo Tibbitts were working together trying to tow each other around to make up the gap and at one stage they got close, he reckons if they'd carried on we'd have been together on the last lap but thankfully they started to race each other a couple of laps from the end slowing them down and so I finished 9th overall with the 8th fastest lap.
Thanks to Gillard for the chassis and Michael Anthony Estate Agents for their support.
Thanks to Nanny and Grandad for Marley sitting again, that dog has so many holidays, thanks to all our visitors on race day, Auntie Anita, my cousins Phoebe and Lucy and the Tyro gang, Alex, Ben,Ashton, Nathan, Neil,Joe,Lucy. Also thanks to The Swains for their company and food and the Raistricks too. Josh had a blinding meeting in his first race weekend off novice plates, oh and dad was pleased with the cake and cider birthday present. Finally thanks to all the Marshals and officials of the meeting and Tal-ko and Maxxis Tyres for sponsoring the meeting.