We held our (almost) annual go-kart Grand Prix on Wednesday 28 August at the Liskeard Kart World straight after the sailing championships. We got excellent conditions and a new record attendance of 24 keen karters took part. Both clubs and families were well represented. Leading families included the Berisfords (4), the Bunyans (3) the Whaleys (3) The Galls (2 + Tom’s girlfriend), the Aldridges (2) and the Smiths (2). Club representation was as follows Carsington 4, Brightlingsea 4 (all Berisfords), Grafham 3, Swanage 3 (all Whaleys) Stewartby 3 (all Bunyans), Beaver 2, Draycote 2, Shanklin 2 and Worthing 1. As usual the competition was hot and as fiercely contested as the sailing.
All contestants got a 5 lap warm-up session and the grid positions for the first heat was decided by fastest laps from the warm up period. There then followed three 10 lap heats and the finishing positions from each heat determined the grid positions for the next heat. Thus it was track position which mattered (not fastest laps like last time). This made it much easier for the spectators to follow but mistakes were punished more heavily as recovery from a spin or a crash was difficult.
The grid for heat 1 was: pole Matt Smith, 2nd Mark Aldridge, 3rd Paul Craft 4th Ray Gall 5th George Love – so no big surprises so far. After the 10 laps in heat 1 the results were as follows: 1st Mark Bunyan, 2nd Matt Smith 3rd George Love, 4th Ray Gall and 5th Paul Craft and so far so good. After a short break heat 2 took place. After a further 10 laps the finishing places were 1st Matt Smith, 2nd Mark Bunyan, 3rd Tom Gall 4th Adrian Whaley and 5th George Love. The drivers were debriefed after a bruising heat and a couple of drivers were handed out penalty points for dirty and over aggressive driving. Annabell (Tom’s girlfriend) was given a massive 8 penalty points and Ben Whaley was also giver a few. In between heats the talk was of what might have been if Annabell had not ‘T’ boned driver A or if she had not spun off driver J, etc. - what has Tom done to make her so mean? The final heat was run a short time later and the results had a similar look with the places going to 1st Matt Smith, 2nd Mark Bunyan, 3rd George Love, 4th Ray Gall and 5th Tom Gall. There followed a long delay while (a) the operatives worked out who should take part in the final (b) they cleared an errant dog off the track and (c) they cleared the backlog of other punters from the queue that had developed.
The final eventually took place with 8 drivers and it was Matt Smith who took the crown from Mark Bunyan, Adrian Whaley, Tom Gall and George Love. No one could deny that Matt and Mark were the outstanding drivers from the proceedings. There followed a second final for 9th to 16th places. This was done as we had pointed out that our big group deserved more races and prizes and it was the easiest thing the track could do. So a mid-place final too place and Ben Whaley won 9th place from Liam Thom and Andy Burnham.
Anyway a good time was had by all and the trophy was presented to Matt Smith and wine prizes to the others who were in the top 3. Amusingly Ben Whaley also got a bottle of bubbly for being 9th but he pointed out that he REALLY deserved it as he clocked up the fastest lap on the day.
Final places: 1st Matt Smith, 2nd Mark Bunyan, 3rd Adrian Whaley, 4th Tom Gall, 5th George Love, 6th Mark Aldridge, 7th Ray Gall, 8th Steve Petts, 9th Ben Whaley, 10th Liam Thom, 11th Andy Bunyan, 12th Jack Berisford, 13th Sam Whaley, 14th Paul Craft, 15th Annabell, 16th Phil Warner, 17th Jacob Aldridge, 18th (Joint) Andrew Berisford & Joe Farmer, 20th John Shenton, 21st Ellie Berisford, 22nd Catherine Berisford, 23rd (joint) Matt White & David Bunyan.
Bob Carter, 2 Sept 2013