State Titles: Quick but this J-Max Field is Hot! June 2014

In qualifying I set a time of 33.642, which was just 0.12 off pole – but the field was so close, it was only enough for 10th out of 18 karts, many of which are state champions and have even had great success internationally.

In the first heat, due to qualifying, I started in 10th place. At the start of this race, the green light went on for a bit, and then switched to the yellow light – so everyone was confused about whether the race had actually started or not. In this confusion I lost three to four positions. After the carnage I had gained all but one of those positions back – due to the fact that a few drivers got taken out trying to reform the grid. The officials let the race go. On the second or third lap I got into 8th because two drivers collided on the straight. But unfortunately I lost those positions next lap. I remained behind a train of three karts for the next few laps, but on the second last lap I was overtaken from behind and dropped to 11th. I could not manage to regain this position so I finished in 11th

In the second heat, also due to qualifying, I started in 10th. At the start of the race I managed to get myself into 8th. Unfortunately during the third lap I lost a position and dropped to 9th. Unfortunately the next thing happened on the same lap, I ran wide and let another kart through. After this I pretty much stayed put until 6 laps later I made a move for 9th. On the second last lap, however, I lost two positions due to one kart getting past – which slowed me down – and allowed another kart to catch at the next corner. I finished 11th

In the prefinal I started in 11th – due to my finishes in the previous two races. At the start of this race, at the second corner, there was a kart spun in the middle of the track and I had absolutely no where to go, hit him, and dropped to 16th. On the second lap I got past a slow moving kart for 15th. On lap four I was overtaken and dropped to 16th – but quickly got back to 14th after two karts collided in front of me. This opened up a bit of a gap to 13th, I quickly made this gap up, but after a couple of laps of being stuck behind 13th my tyres overheated and I slowly started to drop back. Fortunately I managed to hold on to 14th position.

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Photo: Andrew Hooper

In the final race I started in 14th. This grid was determined by my finish in the prefinal. At the start of this race – also at the second corner – I got involved in an incident and managed to be facing backwards and in the gravel. I was lucky not to get bogged – but I emerged in 15th and 6.7 seconds behind the next kart. 6.7 seconds is a hard gap to catch in a field within 2 tenths of each other. I kept pushing for the remaining 21 laps, and on the last lap at the third last corner I managed to make the move and finish in 14th.

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