10th June - CP Club Championship Round 5
Honda Cadets on the grid 25 including 8 novices
Finished 1st novice
Riley took his second Novice win. However, it has been a stormy week and not just with the weather; as people have left the team and techincial issues have been abundant. We knew race weekend would be tough as Bradley Barrett was running pretty quick, as was Edward Orchard and Harrison Dunsden. Also it was going to be a wet race, so anything could happen.
To top that we've had an engine problem since last race (unusual for Honda’s) and it couldn’t pull the sprockets we wanted and underload the engine wouldn’t pull passed 5500rpm. Team boss Mike Kellard also offered us a brand new Shark chassis for the weekend - still with my engine on. That was too good to turn down. However, that does mean time then had to spent setting that chassis up for Riley and tweaking brakes, seats, chain guards etc. All burning practice time. Instead we were basically testing…. Not an ideal run into the race day.
The engine problem still persisted even after team boss Mike Kellard had spent hours reworking the valves and ensuring everything looked right. Last thing Saturday we change the carb for a spare after Mike had said that metal petrol cans were not a good idea; apparently they rust and you get a really fine rust powered in the petrol and it can block the jets. Only Sunday would tell if this had made any difference.
Sunday race day and up at 7am to be track side for 8am. Drivers briefing and oh good we have Mr MSA Head Marshal from the Super1 series down for a visit, stand by your karts best behaviour! Engine seemed better and was pulling 5700, but we were only still in the 42.00 seconds, not 41.40 Riley's best (engine should hit 6000 easy depending on the sprocket you are running). So with a half good engine and the weather playing it’s worst with rain, dry, rain, dry!! We started race day.
First race heat was dry and went ok. Started 2nd novice and finished 2nd novice, 16th on the grid to finish 15th.
Second race heat was so close to to being a dry start it wasn't funny. The team flew into action when we saw the track get damp and we called it right and had full wet set up when most got caught half way. That was a stressful few minutes and some fast flying spanners. Riley Started last 18th on the back row, but stormed the pack and ended up 11th and 1st novice.
Heat 3 we were not in, so we waited for race heat 4. It had now dried so we were on slicks ready to go and then it turned and was wet, wet, very wet. Back on with the wets double quick time. Riley started 17th on a grid of 20. Bradley Barrett was on pole for the novices in 14th and it was already tight for points between Riley, Bradley and Edward. Riley needed to be within a place of Bradley to have any chance of being pole. Riley had a stormer and just slashed his way through the pack to catch his friend Bradley Sheppard 53 (a non novice). They had a right ding dong, Riley put it up the side of him 3 times before he finally made the move stick, but once he did the fight was over and Riley was gone. Bradley Barrett was also flying but was now only one place in front of Riley. There just wasn't enough time to catch that place back and Riley came 9th and Bradley Barrett 7th.
Points totals came out as 60, 60, 57 with Riley on pole, Bradley second and Edward third. Riley had beaten Bradley in race Heat one, so that was the difference. However, being a novice you don’t really get pole you get the next space after the main grid - which was on the outside of the first corner with Bradley behind, but having the inside line, so Riley had to slam the door on the start. Bit unfair this and there always seems to be an odd number when Rileys sticks it on pole!
The Final, 25 karts with 8 novices. Riley got a good start but Bradley had great acceleration and was up the side on the first corner. Somewhere in the mayhem of the first corner Riley let Harrison past too. It was really wet now, but Riley stuck to it and started to wind in the other drivers, eventually pulling passed Harrison. Bradley and the other main pack were still a second down the track. Once again though Riley stayed consistent and kept cutting the gap until Bradley got sideways and tagged another kart causing him to spin and Riley was through. Then he was chasing down the main pack drivers.
Riley was getting quicker and looked smooth, these Shark karts are pretty good! Then in Lap 10 there was a big off and they red flagged the race. Riley was 11th at that point, but as it was red flagged they wind back a lap. So the guys that crashed get back in front of Riley! As the crash was deemed a racing incident no one was disqualified so he ended the day 15th, but with the First Novice trophy in his wet gloves. Harrison Dunsden pulled out a great drive and came in 2nd novice followed by Edward and then Bradley. So Riley has completed 4 races and has 3 trophies not bad….