Christmas was fun, opening the presents, spending time with the family, eating loads of chocolates, but its not as fun as getting into the kart and having some fun, so when Dad asked if I fancied karting this weekend, I said yes before he'd even finished asking me. The plan was to goto Fulbeck on Saturday as someone had hired the track, so it would be a good opportunity for Dad to get out on the track and help me on certain corners, but before that, there was a test session at Paul Fletcher International (PFI) on the Friday. This is a track Ive never been to before, but always wanted to go since my karting buddies Henry and Brandon told me how much fun the track is.
So on Friday we arrived bright and early at PFI and got set up ready to hit the track. The first session was for a full hour, so that gave me a good chance to learn the track before really pushing it. Boy was it slippy, I really struggled to find the grip. I could see the other karts around me were also struggling, so I knew it wasn't due to bad setup, so I just pushed on, learning as I went, and ultimately getting faster and faster.
The rest of the day, the sessions were 20 mins long and the track was drying out so I was able to get the lap times down each session. Dad got plenty of setup help from Shaun and Steve (Jack and Henrys Dads), and I got some good driving tips from Shaun and some of the karters, and managed to end the day in the 1:11's, so I was pretty pleased with that for my first visit here and I really want to get back here soon!
On Saturday, it was time to visit Fulbeck. Ive been here many times before, so I didn't need to learn the track as I did at PFI, but I did need to work on some of the corners to try and find a little more pace so I can keep up with the leading pack when the racing season starts. Once again we got some good advice from Shaun who had brought a driver coach along - Mark Ward, who pin pointed some areas for me to work on.
One thing I was struggling with was braking hard enough and late enough into the corners without locking the rear axle up. After having a quick look at my kart setup, Mark suggested a small change to the way the brake pedal was setup, which totally changed the way the brakes engaged, gave me more feel on the brake pedal, and allowed me to get those brakes on harder and later at key points on the track. By the end of the day, I was consistently lapping in the mid to low 54's on a damp track using worn out inters, and these are the fastest times I've ever done around here.
I had a great time over the last couple of days, Ive learned a lot more, built up my confidence, and most importantly, had fun with my friends. Im looking forward to getting out there and racing again.
Heres a few photos from the weekend.
Have a Happy New Year, and I'll see you all in 2019.