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Victory! - 21 May 2003 - Aldershot

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Victory! #1
Mark de Brun -Le Mans start specialist.

Victory! #2
Satisfied grin on Gil's face

Victory! #3
The Glittering Prize

Victory! #4
Martin Higham - Wibbler (or Wobbler)

Victory! #5

Victory! #6

This was just one of these magic nights, though it was a little too exciting at first. We drew a kart that evidently had a slight tyre or axle problem, as you could clearly see the right rear wheel wobble when running on the axle stand. I took it out for practice, and couldn't detect the vibration among all the other ones, and it seemed quite swift, so we stayed with it.

Good decision. It turned out to be very reliable and nearly the fastest on the night.

Mark volunteered to do the Le Mans start. We nearly slipped up, because just before the flag fell, I noticed that the motor on our kart wasn't running, and managed to whistle up a marshall. The music soared, the flag fell, Mark sprinted into action and roared off. Unfortunately, fourteen karts tried to get through a five-kart gap, and twelve actually made it, leaving Mark nailed to the armco by another victim of road rage.

Accordingly, we set off in last place but one. And, to tell the truth, being involved in the first stampede meant he wasn't involved in another four or five that occurred in the next minute and a half, and by a display of skill unlikely to be forgotten in the annals of the Fugitives, he was in fifth place after three laps.

There followed a more difficult period as he caught and overtook the leaders one by one, so that after twenty minutes, he was in the lead. A lead that was briefly lost as a couple of confusing pit signals brought Mark in for an unscheduled stop / get out / get in / drive off visit to the pits, which, however, counted as our first "driver change".

Shortly after, Gil took over for half an hour, virtually without incident, then Mark drove to the refuel stop, after which we were still first, three laps clear.

The second half was fun, but mostly uneventful, though there were a few loonies out there, prepared to kill if necessary, but we just stayed out of trouble, finishing five laps clear of the field.

You may judge our euphoria by the fact that we actually DRANK the champagne substitute that we were intended to spray on our fellow contestants. We are both feeling better now.

It's worth mentioning that Martin Higham, an erstwhile Fugitive, entered his own two teams (Wibble and Wobble) in the contest, using untried but enthusiastic drivers. Suffice to say that, while showing promise, they were never a threat to us.

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