PFI – MSA Kartmasters Grand Prix
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.