Camberley Kart Club - Friday March 25 2016 by Jez Caudle

Today could have been a lot worse - it could have been THE worse day in our karting lives so far…

We arrived 45 minutes later than usual because we have a reserved pit space. The only reason I used to get there early was to make sure I could park somewhere where I could get the van in and out. Now I just drive straight into our place.

It didn’t take long to finish setting up the kart - I’m getting good at threading the accelerator cable into the carburettor and even better at remembering to put the spring in.

For the practice session the track was still damp - we went with warn wet tyres as did everyone else bar one. His decision to go with slicks wasn’t a total disaster and this should have triggered something for me.

Practice was okay, the set up seemed okay. We dropped a couple of PSI for the first round but stayed on wets. I hadn’t checked the RPM on the Alfano until we were on the grid and that’s when I realised - we were on the wrong tyres and the wrong sprocket. We had started on an 89 and the max rev’s was far too high. An 88 might have been more appropriate but never mind, it’s only a heat, not timed qualifying or anything … Oh but it is a timed qualifier, it being a special race for Good Friday!! But I wasn’t too bothered. Of the grid of 5 I knew that we were faster than 2 of them and challenging the other two. We wouldn’t be challenging this time but third isn’t bad.

So off William went and was soon in third place and pulling a gap to 4th. The other two were off but after a few laps 4th started to close the gap - significantly and then he was past and William had no response. As he lost more ground I called him in as it was pointless him being out there.

He told me that he lost power and nothing happened when he hit the gas. I out it down to wrong tyres and wrong sprocket. I put him on dry’s and went down 2 teeth to 87 as it was lovely and warm now - I was in a t-shirt. William started well and pulled a gap to 4th but he was soon back and past him. So not the tyres and sprocket then.

For Heat 2 I changed the spark plug and after some telephone advice from Mike at Shark leaned the engine out by 2 minutes. Off out again and the same result - pull a gap to 4th while 1st and 2nd disappear and then 4th comes past.

We had a spare Shark engine but I wanted to leave today behind us and concentrate on Saturday so I changed the carb instead. If a carb change made no difference then we would know it was the engine and tomorrow I would use the Shark engine.

I’ve got the knack of getting the carb back on then off to the engine starting bay and it started but the accelerator cable needed correcting as it was holding the throttle slightly open. Back to our pit space and the throttle cable was adjusted as well as the throttle stop. Back to the engine starting bay and fired up again but it was still over revving so I knocked the idling speed down until it sounded right. I’m not confident of my ability to judge these things but needs must!!

So the final began, William was up to third into the first corner and started pulling a gap to 4th. This time the front two didn’t disappear, he was staying with them - which was different than before. With 4 laps down I was sure 4th was reeling him in but he wasn’t losing much to the front two. I was complete bag of nerves by this point so stopped watching then decided to start timing William’s laps on my phone. That way I would know if he was slowing down. His times were sub 32 seconds and he was very consistent. The gap to 4th continued to grow quicker than the cap from 2nd. William lost out clearing the back marker but was then back on it. The consistent lap times continued and third place it was.

So we ended well and happy knowing that the engine is fine and we go into tomorrow with our tails up!!