The good thing about Whilton is they have big grids and that some of the best UK drivers are there (if no S1 round). The bad thing about Whilton is that the grids also contain inexperienced drivers and a fair few bad and dangerous drivers.
So when you have mixed grids (as opposed to qualifying heats), there is a good chance that you will come across one of the bad drivers and be put on the grass. If you happen to be drawn in a 'bad' pack, then you are with them through all the heats.
The other bad thing about Whilton is the marshalling inconsistencies. Perhaps with big grids its hard to see who does what and when, but when the course clerk listens to marshall x because he's been there some time, but refuses to listen to marshall y because he's new, its a little annoying!
So, Whilton in August was a difficult meeting. Riley was smashed off the track at least once in every heat. To add insult to injury, the only incident that was called in was one where Riley bumped another driver off the track (admittedly probably too roughly). So after 3 heats of hell, Riley was given a 5 place penalty for the final and started 22nd.
At one point Riley was back up to 8th, taken off again he finished 15th. An amazing drive, but a very frustrating weekend.
We have raced at Llandow all season and during this time we have raced on old tyres ie tyres previously raced at one other event, for us at Clay the week before. Saving £140 and turning up on just the Sunday, so saving hotel costs and Saturdays practice fee has meant that we are able to race Llandow as our 3rd race in the month. Luckily all other minis have used old tyres too. Until this month! the other entrants all had new tyres, but we decided to race with old ones, estimating the difference to be about half a second 0.5. We hoped this would be enough for 2nd place. It was....just and actually we werent as far off the pace as we thought. Yes, we saved money, but Riley was quite demoralised. So, September??
Clay is where we started racing just over 2 years ago and its the circuit we call home, so, really pleased at last to have won a final there.
Great driving all weekend, won 1st heat, 2nd in the next and 3rd from starting 14th. Started on pole and managed to maintain the lead.
Have solved our brake problems and engine overheating issues, so finally back on a level where we can start to tweak and make kart improvements - hopefully!
Overwhelmed by the kind words from fellow karters and parents too. Really special day!
When Riley started karting we knew nothing of the different karts, equipment, clubs, teams, series etc etc. Or where it woud it lead!