The best laid plans.
Shenington - Sunday February 18 2018 by Jez Caudle
The half term was a busy one for Kenny. We set off early on Wednesday morning for a 2 hour, 100 mile trip up to Whilton Mill International Kart Circuit. One of his engines had had a rebuild and needed 2 and a half hours on it to bring it up. Despite the many hold ups adding half an hour to the journey time we were still there for 9:30am and had the kart ready to roll at 10am. The track was very slippery and Kenny was having problems keeping the kart on the road so that season ended early.
After a setup and tyre change it was time for another session – this time Kenny emulated Felipe Massa at Spa last year and went for a fast lap straight away. And just like Felipe he ended up stranded in the tyre wall. Kenny was okay, the kart was recovered.
Kenny managed a couple more sessions before the rain came – water is the enemy of IAME Gazelle engine so we stopped for the day well short of the hour and a half we had hoped to run. We had our tea and retired to bed in the van.
All we had to do on Thursday was drive the 30 miles to Shenington Kart Club so we had a late morning and stopped en route at Pizza Hut for the lunch time buffet. Suitably stuffed with pizza we got to the track and unpacked ready for Friday’s practice sessions.
Kenny put in some good times with his under power engine and the minutes continued to mount up, we were still hopeful that it would be up to power by Sunday for the races. We retired to bed on Friday confident that we were headed in the right direction.
By the second practice session on Saturday it was clear that something was not right with the engine and the carburettor was changed. This improved things but power was still down. With only one session remaining before race day his other engine was strapped on with the same carb and exactly the same settings so we could do a back-to-back test. Kenny was 1.5 seconds a lap faster!
With the lack of running on the Wednesday and not as many sessions on the Friday and Saturday tKenny’s top engine just hadn’t had enough time to come on. Maybe if we ran that engine it might come on during the race but this was a risk too far for me – I didn’t want to dent his confidence by being lapped.
Sunday started well, Kenny was close to the pace for the warm-up and the first heat. But as the other drivers went faster, he stayed on the same times. We weren’t helped by his data logger deciding it was 2036 and therefore not logging anything. He started second last for the final and finished in last place – again the data logger, despite being reset and having the correct time at the start of the race once again decided it was 2036 and that is shouldn’t log anything. So we didn’t even have the solace of being go through the data and see what we could learn.
For the three days at Shenington Kenny only made one mistake and I think this is the problem. If he isn’t making mistakes, he isn’t trying something different and if you don’t try something different you’ll always get the same outcome.
Kenny goes again in two weeks at Forest Edge Kart Club – we will use the Saturday to experiment and get it wrong so that on Sunday we get it right.