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Perhaps it was foolish to pick, for our first outing in 10 months, the Race Meeting for past champions. This meant we were up against our old rivals, The Farmers, Kamakazi, and Bogs Dollocks, as well as Team Supreme and Hytune.
To add to our difficulties, the meeting occurred on a day when only three of our drivers were available, and Gil had to do a bit of rapid recruiting. Luckily, we were lent Stewart Addison for the night, a fact that probably saved our dignity!
The kart was good, and the start was a grid start on qualifying times. Stewart's excellent practice time earned us fourth place on the grid, and Gil took the first session, slipping to fifth on the start, and then getting a number of good laps, including a remarkable (for him) 29.02 lap time, and finishing the session in 3rd place at the head of an impatient queue. Well, if you can't attack the leaders, you can at least defend!
Stewart took the next session, turning in good times throughout. The changeover had knocked us back to eighth place, but Stewart pulled us back to fourth quite quickly, and finished his session in second. 28.16 was his best time.
During Stewart's session, there was a strange event, at which all the top teams were quite irritated. Stewart was clearly in first place, with a couple of other top teams close behind, when a team that had been lying in fifth or sixth suddenly appeared in the top spot without having overtaken any of the teams in front of them. Despite a stewards' enquiry, the matter was never resolved, and the team retained their place. It was probably due to a timing malfunction.
Mark took over and ran his session mostly in second or third place, with a best time of 29.04. For most of his session, he was being held up by a slightly slower kart that proved impossible to pass until quite late on, and he was unfairly batted out of position at one point by a rather aggressive driver.
John hadn't competed since 2002, and, coming out of retirement for this race meeting, achieved a best time of 28.27 during his session - truly excellent, considering his decrepit condition - and we would have finished in third place had we not had to make another driver change. We strongly suspect that at least one of the podium teams didn't make the correct number of changes. However, Stewart did the last five minutes at a cracking pace, including a lap at 27.97!
We were judged fifth on the night, but that was a little unfair, in our opinion. We deserved fourth on the basis of the mysterious timing error and third on the basis of iffy driver changes.
The actual racing was of a very high quality. There were few collisions of any kind, and none of the multi-kart pile-ups that often occur. The lap times were breathtaking. In the past, we've seldom managed sub-30 second laps. This time, all of us were achieving that all the time. Hytune managed a 27.28 lap.
Anyway, we had fun, and who wants a cheap plastic trophy and a winner's shield?