Tuto Super One Senior X30, PFI,

Tuto Super One Senior X30, PFI,

PFI Super One – Round 6 Senior X30
September 8th/9th/10th

After showing good pace at Kartmasters, Will was looking forward to the final SuperOne round at PFI. Testing had gone well and with a strong result this weekend Will could scrape into the top 10 and get a plate in his first year in seniors, so all to play for.

In qualifying on Friday Will managed 9th overall, but was disappointed as he got held up on his final 2 laps and would comfortably have been in the top 3 or 4 had he had a clear run. Starting in 6th place for his first heat Will made a good start and was up to 4th by the 2nd lap. He was soon demoted to 6th and could only manage to make up 1 more place by the end of the race; such is the level of competition in Senior X30. The 2nd heat turned out to be wet and Will was one of the few drivers who had to start the race on brand new tyres, which is not ideal. Will drove as well as he could but the pace was not in the kart and he fell back to 11th place by the chequered flag. Overall not a perfect day but Will would start the first Final on Sunday in 8th place, so not too bad.

The early morning dampness soon dried out to leave a dry track for both Final races of the 2017 season. With Will starting in 8th place he had all to play for and was looking forward to the days racing. A good start in Final 1 and 2 places made up on the 1st lap things were looking promising, but as is the case with X30, it’s not easy to always move forward and lost 5 places in 1 lap. He battled away for the rest of the race and did really well to climb up to 6th by the flag, keeping his chance of a top 10 finish in the Championship. Final 2 started under an ominously dark sky and a few spots of rain in the air; with the field out on slick tyres it was going to be an interesting race. Will made another good start from the outside and row slotted into a comfortable 5th place moving forward to the group in front. After slowly catching the lead group and with 3 laps to go, the rain began to fall quite heavily. The defensive driving began in earnest and the lead group, which included Will was soon caught by several karts from behind. Last 2 laps were very difficult for all the drivers, who were now on a soaking wet track with slick tyres, with lots of contact and some not so good moves by some drivers, Will crossed line to finish in 6th place. In the final standings Will came 11th place just 3 points behind 10th, so unlucky not to get a plate in his first year. Will had 3 incidents during the season that cost him around 70 points and were no fault of his own, so potentially could have managed 5th or 6th place finish in the Championship.

Big thanks to Drew and Dave and their team at Tooley Motorsport, ASNU and St Clement Danes School for their financial support and encouragement, Dean at Grice Engines for the power, Chris Walker for some great pictures during year and to Hayden Media for their great media input.

 

Tuto Super One Senior X30, Shenington

Tuto Super One Senior X30, Shenington

Shenington – MSA British Karting Championship Rounds 3 & 4 OK Senior
August 26th/27th

Having only had 6 X 7 minute sessions in the OK Senior since the opening rounds, we knew that this was going to be a difficult weekend. The problems with setting the carb right for the race distance is very tricky, even for the more experienced drivers. Friday practice was ok for Will, he was around the pace but you never know how good other driver’s tyres are and this can affect the lap times quite significantly.

In Saturday’s qualifying Will was on pole for most of the session, but a small mistake on his final lap dropped him to 4th as others put in fastest laps on their final tour. In Final 1 Will was hampered for power as his carb jet settings were incorrectly adjusted prior to the race. With no engine power he struggled to make an impression and finished in 7th place. The 2nd Final proved no better for Will as his engine seized on the second lap due to damaged caused by the carb settings in the 1st Final.

On Sunday Will had to run in his engine after an overnight rebuild and in qualifying he did well to manage 5th place. In Final 1 an incident in front of Will on the 1st lap delayed him, putting him to the back of the field. With obvious engine issues making progress was difficult, but Will drove really well and managed to finish the race in 6th place.

Final 2 again proved very frustrating for Will, another incident, this time on lap 5 dropped him to the back of the field. He tried his hardest to adjust the carb to improve performance during the race and again drove really well, managing to finish the race in 6th place. Another difficult weekend in the fantastically fast OK Senior class, just a pity there’s not equality in the engines; probably would see a lot more entries to the class if there was.

Big thank you to the team who tried very hard to get things right. Thank you to everyone else who supported Will this weekend in their own way.

We decided this would be our last OK Senior race this year and we would not enter the last 2 rounds at PF. Will was in 5th place in the Championship and dropped to 10th in the final standings after the PF round so still managed to get a seeded number.

 

PFI: MSA Kartmasters GP (4/5/6 Aug)

PFI: MSA Kartmasters GP (4/5/6 Aug)

PFI – MSA Kartmasters Grand Prix
August 4th/5th/6th

The annual trip in August to PFI for the GP Plate has always been a bit of a lottery and this year was to prove no different. Thursday testing was ok for Will and he was generally around the pace of the quicker drivers although he was never the quickest. The format for the meeting means lots of time between sessions and plenty of time to clean the karts.

With 1 practice session on Friday morning we were soon into the 1st qualifying session of the meeting. Will did a good job in qualifying, getting himself into the right position for the all important final 2 laps. He finished 4th in group around a tenth off pole and ahead of some very strong runners and would start both his heats in 6th place. In heat 1 Will made a good start picking up a place early on, but eventually slipped back to 9th by the chequered flag. Heat 2 was a lot better for Will; he battled forward early on and in a very bruising race took the lead on lap 9. After some very hard driving between the leaders on the last couple of laps, Will managed to stay in front for a good win. A strong first day for Will, which at this stage in meeting is all that is required. With the same format as Friday, 1 practice and then qualifying Will was in a positive mood. In qualifying Will seemed to struggle for pace and was mysteriously half a second off the pace. He came in and said the tyres were rubbish and gave no grip, the reason for this became apparent in parc ferme when Wills tyres were checked. I had mistakenly fitted our old GYG tyres from Super One and they had heavy graining on them. Unfortunately Will was excluded from qualifying and would start both his heats from the back. After apologises from me, Will was already relishing the battle ahead.

In the 1st heat Will started very strongly and made up 9 places on the first lap and looked very strong. He made up positions all through the race and in total made up 18 places to finish in 14th, a fantastic drive in difficult circumstances. The 2nd heat was much the same as the first with Will scything through the traffic with great skill and commitment. This time he made up 21 places and finished in 11th spot with fastest lap as well, remarkable given his position after qualifying. Will would start the pre-final in 12th position and all was to play for.

The Pre Final turned into a very up and down race for Will. The hard battling amongst some very experienced drivers saw Will get pushed back to 23rd with only a few minutes of the race left; however, with a push at the end he came through to finish 18th at the flag. Will was later given a 1lap penalty for overtaking under a yellow flag which and would start the main Final in 28th position.

The MSA Kartmasters GP turned into a very tough race with incidents up and down field. Will drove a steady race and kept out of trouble and made up 16 places during the race to finish in 14th position. Not what he was hoping for, but under the circumstances this weekend, a good job with some great results. Some big positives to take away from the weekend, his heat win in a tough race was great for his confidence and the drives from the back of the grid in Saturday’s heats were fantastic for him and great to watch, with a fastest lap to boot.

Thanks as always to Tooley Motorsport for their great effort and dedication and to all the other folk out there who support and encourage Will along theway.

Tuto Super One Senior X30, GYG

Tuto Super One Senior X30, GYG

Glan Y Gors SuperOne – Round 5 Senior X30
July 8th/9th

It’s been a couple of years since our last visit to the picturesque GYG circuit in north Wales, so it was nice to be back. Will loves the GYG track and has always been very quick in the races he has competed in at the circuit. A test weekend before the event went very well and Will was only a tenth off the pace, but had plenty to work on to improve his times.

It has been very difficult to judge where you are come official practise before the event, mainly due to the tyre degradation in Senior X30. The only time everyone is on the same rubber is qualifying on Saturday. Will had a decent qualifying session and he only did a handful of laps to try and conserve his tyres. He ended up 6th in group, which was a good effort with very close times at the front; however with the first group always having the best track conditions, this translated to 18thoverall so it looked like another tough weekend ahead.

Starting 9th in heat 1, Will had a good first lap, picking up 2 positions and moved into 6th by lap 4. By this time Will was just over a second behind 5th place and could not make any progress to the chequered flag, but 6th was a decent result for him. Will was unhappy with the karts handling as it appeared to go “off” early in the race. We tried a few changes for the 2nd heat and he again started from 9th place on the grid. The karts handling was not to his liking from the outset, although he did make up a couple of positions early on. The kart again got worse during the race and he eventually dropped back to 10th position at the flag. The results in the heats gave him a 15th starting position for Final 1 on Sunday afternoon.

Final 1 became a carbon copy of the 2 heats, with the kart being quite quick early in the race and this allowed Will to move up into 12th place by lap 4. From there on progress was hard for Will with the karts handling again detraining and he was soon under pressure from behind; notwithstanding this he held onto 12th place for 9 laps. On lap 15 an incident in front of Will at the double right hander saw him take evasive action to the left, leaving him vulnerable to a group directly behind. In all Will lost 7 places due to the incident and finished in 19thplace, although this was later adjusted to 16th after bumper penalties. Will was still not happy with the kart so we made several drastic changes for Final 2. Final 2 saw 2 incidents on the first lap, with someone driving over the top of Will at the end of the straight putting him in the barriers with a very bent kart. To his credit, Will dragged the kart some 20 meters back onto the circuit and rejoined the race, albeit 2 laps down. He was at the back of the field at this point, 2 laps down and the kart was visibly pulling to one side, but this didn’t deter Will. As he got used to driving a bent kart his lap times became very competitive with all the lead drivers barring the eventual winner Oliver Hodgson. He overtook several karts coming through the field but was still the last placed runner at the chequered flag. A great drive in difficult conditions but showed his true character behind the wheel, well done Will. Another tough weekend for all in Senior X30 and lots learnt for the future. Many thanks to the team for all their hard work and effort to overcome the issues this weekend, and to all the folks who support Will in various ways.

 

Tuto Super One Senior X30, Fulbeck

Tuto Super One Senior X30, Fulbeck

Senior X30, Fulbeck, Rd.4
24th/25th June

After a strong showing at the E Plate meeting last weekend, we were all hoping for a good weekend of racing this week. Will was right on the pace during Friday’s practice and was looking forward to the tough competition over the weekend. Things were made a little tougher for him when Will didn’t optimize his qualifying session and he ended up in 18th place overall.

In the two heats on Saturday afternoon Will had solid drives and 7th place finishes in both. Will struggled to maintain his pace from Friday’s practice and needed to up his performance on Sunday. His heat results put him in 12th position for Sundays first Final; still not bad in a strong field of 48 drivers. In Sunday morning’s practice Will was again right on the pace and feeling more confident of moving forward in the Finals.

Final 1 proved to be a very tough race with lots of close hard racing. Will fell back to 14th early on and didn’t start moving forward until late in the race. Some good over takes late on and nosecone penalties gave him a finishing position of 10th in the results, and some good points for his Championship standings. After a fantastic first lap in Final 2, Will was up to 8th place and challenging strongly for 7th. It took several laps for him to find a way into 7th but he managed it on lap 8 and immediately began to catch the lead group who were running nose to tail. As he caught the lead group an incident brought out the red flag and the race was stopped while the debris was cleared. At the restart Will again ran strongly but was now pressured from behind. After a small mistake cost him a place, he turned in some very fast laps at the end of the race and was second fastest by just 2 one hundredths of a second. An eighth place finish at the flag was unfortunately lost after Will confirmed his nosecone had been pushed in when he was shunted from behind into another kart; this left him in 20th place. Not really a fair result for all his hard work, but unfortunately that’s how karting is today, too many drivers unfairly penalised for other people’s mistakes or bad driving standards. As always we would like to thank Team Tooley for all their hard work and support and of course all the folks out that that support us one way or another.

 

Clay Pigeon MSA British Kart Championship

Clay Pigeon MSA British Kart Championship

Rounds 1 & 2 OK Senior
June 3rd/4th

Having not been to Clay Pigeon since his cadet days, it was going to be a very different experience for Will driving an OK Senior kart and one I’m sure he was going to enjoy. Friday testing went very well and Will was looking forward to his first senior OK race; although it was already apparent that tyre wear was going to be the dominant factor this weekend.

Qualifying went well and Will was third; with 9 one hundredths of a second covering the first 7 on the grid, it was going to be a very close race. In Final 1 Will ran a solid third until his tyres began to go off and he slipped down to finish 6th and was frustrated at the way the tyres went off during the race.

Final 2 was even more frustrating for Will. The tyres gave him no chance of moving forward and he slipped down to eighth place by the chequered flag. Not what he was hoping for; although the karts were fantastic to drive, tyre management should not be an issue with short kart races and left Will feeling disappointed with the opening round.

Will was hoping for a better result in round 2 on Sunday and was quickest in Sunday morning practice. In qualifying Will only did 4 flying laps to try and preserve his tyres for the coming races so was down in 10th place after quali. In Final 1 Will got a poor start and was soon down in 13th place and not wanting to push too hard on his tyres, made moving forward very difficult. A steady drive and being mindful of his tyres to save them for Final 2, Will only managed to climb up to ninth by the race end.

In Final 2 Will was hoping to be able to push a bit harder and move forward during the race. However a coming together between 2 drivers in front of Will not only delayed him, but also dislodged his front fairing so an automatic penalty was inevitable. Having lost ground early on meant Will had to push hard on his tyres sooner than he had wanted to. This had an impact on his ability to catch and pass those in front. In the end Will could only manage to climb up to 7th place on the track, which was later amended to 10th after his penalty for a dislodged front fairing was added.

All in all a disappointing weekend for Will and with both second Finals won by drivers coming from the back of the grid after not competing in the Final 1, not a good advertisement for the British Karting Championships. The tyres did not seem up to the job and influenced the results in an unequal manner; hopefully things will be different at the next round.