Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th January was the weekend for race 3 of the Wombwell Winter Series. I went into this weekend 2nd in the championship, but unfortunately, the leader was unable to make it, so I had to put a solid performance in as I had the chance to take the lead heading into the final round in February.The entry list was big in our Honda Cadet class, 16 entries, one of the biggest at Wombwell for a while.
Saturday went well, it was one of those typical winter weekends where the track stayed damp and slippy all day, so on went the wet tyres and they stayed on all day. We seemed to get the setup nailed pretty early on, and managed to be in the 39's most of the day.
Heading into Sunday, the track was dry, but it was freezing cold, and as Wombwell only gets used once a month, the track was slippy.
Heat 1 saw me starting on pole position. I got a good start, keeping my lead in the first corner and heading up the long straight in 1st place. At the end of the straight, someone misjudged their braking point and hit me hard up the rear end sending me into the gravel. By the time I managed to get going again, I was pretty much in last place, what a nightmare. Now it was time to keep cool and try and work my way back up the field. The heats were only 6mins +1 lap, so I didn't have long to get to work. I kept my head down and drove my heart out, overtaking people each lap, pushing on every corner, trying to catch whoever was in front of me. By the time the chequered flag came out, Id made 11 overtakes and managed to claw my way back into 5th place, not bad considering I was dead last on the 1st lap.
Heat 2 had me starting down in 9th position, so I had my work cut out to try and get towards the front. My Dad always tells me that the race isn't won on the first corner, just make sure you get round it safely and then race on from there. This is especially true at Wombwell as there is only a short straight before corner 1 where 16 cadets have to get round a 90 degree left hander. A few karts around me had a coming together, and more through luck than judgement, I managed to not get hit, and head up the main straight having gained a couple of positions. The rest of the race was pretty uneventful for me, overtaking a few more karts heading into the last couple of laps. Id slowly managed to catch up No. 68 - Freddie Moore who was in 4th place, which considering this was Freddies first ever race at Wombwell, and the fact he'd missed a good few weeks of karting as he'd unfortunately broken his arm, was an amazing drive by him. With a couple of laps to go, I managed to get past Freddie, but he wasn't letting me just drive away. He was right on my tail all the way to the last lap, where with a couple of corners to go to the end, he made a good clean pass on me. I couldn't believe it. I kept pushing though, and on the second to last corner I got round a little quicker than Freddie which allowed me to get a run on him into the final corner. I stuck my kart on the inside going into the last corner and managed to make the pass stick. Freddie held his line and it was a drag race to the line. I managed to get 4th position finishing just 0.171 seconds on front of Freddie. What a race, you cant beat a good hard clean race, I think most of the people watching at the sidelines enjoyed our little battle, I know our parents certainly did. Hopefully that is the first of many good battles we will have as we will be racing against each other a fair bit this season.
Heat 3 and I started 6th on the grid. After a good start I quickly got up into 3rd place, chasing down Brandon #55 and Jack #26. Nearing the end of the race, they'd managed to pull a slight lead on me, but Henry #77 was creeping up on me. I pushed and pushed all the way to the end, and managed to finish in 3rd just 0.326 seconds in front of Henry. I seem to be making a habit of these super close finishes.
Final - So a 5th a 4th and a 3rd place finish in the heats meant id be starting the final in 4th. Jack in 1st, Brandon in 2nd and Henry in 3rd missed the 1st race of the winter series, so they aren't really battling for the championship, so Dad told me I just had to finish in front of the other guys and girls that had completed all 3 races, and that would be enough to get me into 1st place in the championship. So, off we went, making sure I got around the 1st corner. Henry and Brandon went into the corner side by side, both running wide in front of me, but I didn't have enough space to get by, so I just settled in behind them up the straight, keeping my 4th place. This let Jack get a small lead on us all which he kept right to the end. I knew I just had to finish, and it didn't matter of those 3 finished in front of me, so I didn't want to push too hard. In the end, it was a pretty uneventful race for me, I just settled into 4th, watching the battle for 2nd with Brandon and Henry a few seconds in front of me. Jack got the win, in fact, Jack won all 3 heats and the final, so a massive well done to him for a brilliant drive, Brandon ended up getting the 2nd spot less than 0.2 seconds in front of Henry in 3rd, and I got the 4th spot which I was more than happy with as it meant I was now at the top of the championship heading into the final round.
The final round is in February. Ive currently got a small 9 point lead, so it's still all to race for in the final race. Good luck to all the other competitors.