Forest Edge - Sunday May 1 2016 by Jez Caudle

This was alway going to be a testing race. Firstly I had worked my last shift at the football club - a 21st birthday party that finished at midnight. Luckily the young lady and her friends disappeared at 11:45pm to go clubbing and there was bugger all the clear up. The rest of the family got cleared double quick and was home by 12:15am and in bed 5 minutes later.

An early rise and we made it to Forest Edge for just after 7am. I was preparing the kart with help from Shark engineers when suddenly the announcement came over that scrutineering would be closing in 10 minutes - we hadn't signed on at that point!! So off we dashed to sign on and I was all fingers and thumbs. Luckily Caroline in the office calmed me down and as we emerged Jack (a Shark engineer) had pushed the kart into the queue for me. We got the okay from the MSA guy and William went for his track walk while I tried to calm down - not easy as I was using caffeine to stay awake and that was adding to my agitation. I always do calm down quiet a bit after scrutineering as I was led to believe that it was akin to trail by fire and this thought is very persuasive when I think about it. The reality is so much more benign - the scrutineers are there first and foremost to ensure safety and then to make sure the rules are being followed. We have been asked to make changes in the past, always in a polite manner and always given a proper explanation of why it needs doing. Every time we come away I ask myself "why did you get stressed about that?". And every time I have no answer.

With Formula Kart Starts going into administration the expensive teams had a free weekend and with a round of Little Green Man due to take place at Forest Edge later in the year, they descended. The way I can describe them is: spoilt brats. Why bother overtaking when you can just hit someone? It's almost as if the huge amounts of money they have had thrown at them have instilled an entitlement complex. A Marxist prediction of karting would have been confirmed - the rich believe that they have a right to push the poorer people around - and they did and worse than that, they got away with it.

The new Shark engine we tried was really good and performed well. When not being pushed off by the rich kids, William did well. His starts were very good but he took the top corner in the final too fast and spun. He waited for the karts behind him to go past and then got hit up the rear by a novice who seemingly made no effort to go around him - maybe he had a top team watching and was hoping to impress them. He was a little shaken by then and made up some places but ended the dat disappointed.

We had bought a MyChron 5 and borrowed a temperature sensor. When taking the spark plug out the sensor got broken at the spark plug end. £60 for a new one. I think I can repair it so I'll have a go this week. The MyChron data that we collected was very helpful. After watching some YouTube videos I was able to analyse the data and show William where he could pick up time - this came in really handy for the next practice and William set a new unofficial personal best of 48:93 - getting under that crucial psychological barrier of 49 seconds. So the weekend wasn't a complete wash out - it never is as things are always learnt. It's just that sometimes hindsight needs to come into play.