Driver Journal Hudson1984 - Early midlife Crisis Looms....

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Hi all

so, at the grand old age of 37 (for a few weeks anyway) i've been seeking some excitement and hopefully some socialisation.

I've always had somewhat of an active background but mostly focussed around martial arts rather than racing. I've done the odd Kart session, couple of iron mans, couple of corperate things, certainly nothing major.

Last year, I had my hip replaced which means the end of martial arts for me, and i've struggled to find anything else that really fits in around normal life. I enjoy cycling but group rides are normally during the weekend and being as I've got a 3 year old who for some reason quite likes spending time with me (he'll learn) it makes that hard to organise. Plus, I look a tit in Lycra!

So after looking through probably every sport, seeing what's local and workable, and allowable with the hip, I've come to Karting. We've a great local track being Ellough, so that's the new home away from home.

They run an open grand prix, and that's my immediate aim.

With this in mind, I booked an instructor session, just to get an idea of where I am, where I can improve and how i'm going to fare in their league.

had a great instructor, who certainly could have overtaken me at any point and left with a good deal of things to work on. But also, with some more enthusiasm for the upcoming league matches.

My debut will be September 26th, and apparently my times would put me in the middle somewhere which is great, nice place to be I think.

I'm hoping to spend all of next year in this league (it refreshes in January) I don't really expect to be getting up there with the leaders, but hopefully i'll be able to hold my own in the middle of the group.

As I said above, my lad is 3 (4 soon) which gives me a year to get some further experience before hopefully getting him into Bambino. Whether this be by getting him his own cart and us spending time doing testing, or something else - will have to learn more in that regard.

My longish term goals would be to compete in club100, I think that's an achievable goal. For him though we'll just see what happens, I'd really like to find a series that we can both take part (not at the same time of course) i.e. if there's a bambino/cadet series that runs on the same day as senior. Meaning I can have a bash at seniors then watch him in the younger carts.

If we stick to it long term I really love the look of F1000 single seaters, but I'm a long way off in terms of ability in making that viable and in reality, I think trying to support the laddo karting would be hard if I were to do something completely different.
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Well, I've now got a race under my belt!

what a fun evening.

Entered an open GP sessions at the local. 30 odd people in the group, so it was split into 2.

5 minute warm up, then three 10 minute heats followed by 2, 15 minute finals (one for the fast group, 1 for the slow)

My warmup was 2nd, felt ok sadly though my first 2 heats followed each other and both came after the warm up, so 25 minute stint which I am totally unprepared for lol! By the end of the 2nd heat I was more concerned with keeping my dinner down than actually racing.

But the main thing is there was progress throughout the evening.

Warm up Avg lap was 56.606 putting me in 7th
First heat Avg lap was 59.303 finishing me in 10th
2nd Heat Avg lap was 56.972 putting me in 12th but feeling more comfortable
3rd heat avg was 56.082 which whilst left me in 9th (after starting in pole) felt really comfortable and gave me my fastest lap of the night (54.805 - which I kept to for 3 laps)

So this all put me in 4th on the grid with in the slow group final.
I quickly lost my position and went down to 5th. My weight is killing me on the starts and I have to claw my way back rather than being able to start strong.
Average for the race was 56.875 which wasn't bad and left me in 7th. Had a great battle with the guy in 8th for the majority of the race which really pushed me to find decent lines.

Learned a heap from this one race....still ache as well!!

Booked onto the next GP and the next endurance. More race time the better I think.

Here's hoping I can get to a podium position with the slow guys before the years out!!
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Well done and good on ya! Off to a good start :)๐Ÿ‘

Keep us all in the loop here with updates!
Sounds like you had a decent first race, your plan for the future seems pretty solid, I still do hire kart championship but for the social aspect mainly as no one else jumped up to owner karts with me, good luck and keep us all posted
Well - Race 2!

New layout to contend with this time around, so my 5 minute warmup was a case of learning where to go and try to get my head around the new route.

There's more straights - or at least the straights are longer.

Which doesn't bode well for my fat a$$ lol. Being left for dust off the start is a real pain, nothing I can do, just have to watch people fly past and then race then afterwards

After the warmup, I was straight into race 1, started in 4th, was 7th by the time I crossed the start line! and ended the race in 16th. A poor showing for sure,

My lap times started at 1:03:11 and were down to 58:950 by the last lap, so in the right direction, but not consistent.

I was straight back in for race number 2, this time starting in 13th, which is pretty much where I stayed. got a bit more racing here with the other slow people, and felt a bit more comfortable. Overtook to get myself into 11th, but couldn't make it stick. Back to 13th for me.

Lap times were going in the right direction though, first lap was 1:04:366, and all others were at the top end of 58 seconds. Sitting between 58:807 and 58:439 so I was happy with that, I'm aiming for consistency and then improve from there, I'm not likely to win races so I'm just aiming to improve.

Race 3 was much the same really, found my comfort zone in the 58s, but I got myself racing another guy which actually slowed me down, I really had the pace of him which felt great, managed to get round him on the last lap. Which was a boost in confidence for me. Clean overtake and made it stick. I'll take that. Another 13th for the book.

So. The final. Sitting in the slow group in 7th, Now I went in feeling really confident. Other than the guy on pole, I'd overtaken - or at least felt able to compete with the guys in front of me. So I went in with a definite intention of RACING. I at the very least wanted to hold my position....

Ah plans..... they're lovely in your head aren't they.....

As normal, every bugger went flying past me off the line. Found myself in last place, which wouldn't have been so bad but the back markers decided they'd had enough of racing and bumper cars sounded like more fun so had a bump on turn 1, I had no where to go, so slammed into one of them..... which straightened them up and had me off the track in a wet patch...

So i'm now flat last, with half the track between me and them. Wonderful!

After swearing a few times I got my head back in the game and just tried to run the rest of the session clean and see if I could claw the space back.

Sitting in 12th (12 in this race) I got my head down and pushed:
Lap 1 (with crash) 1:17:305
Lap 2 59:281 - a dodgy turn, pushing too much making a daft error.
Lap 3 59.092 - feeling better and convinced myself I was catching someone got them by the end of the lap Pos. 11
Lap 4 59.015 - definitely catching the other slow people.
Lap 5 1:00:988 - spoilt all the hard work! pushed too much for ability and went wide.
Lap 6 - Lap 11, Groove found! back in low 58s
58:026 being best 58:445 being my worst, Now I'm miles off the pace of the winners but these laps felt great, I could see the gains on the others and felt much better in terms of knowing where I'm fast (and could overtake) and where I was slower (straights)

Lap 12 - I'm on them! Just working on getting round and SCREEEEEEETCH. Same person who crashed turn 1, fluffed it on turn 1... I went off, but got back in quick so didn't lose too much.

Lap 13 I'm still with them both. Working out where and how to take them but not get caught up in their dodgy turns. I noticed they were both breaking too late - especially when they knew I was close, so made a point of getting myself into eyeline to throw them off.

Final lap.

Still on their tails, still just keeping myself in the fight but avoiding points where they've not left space (not that they have to) Didn't try to do much on the straights but the final sector is all turns, so got myself as close as possible. Both go in too hard on hairpin, which allowed me to get on the inside on the exit giving me the position into the final turn and over the line in 9th.

Ok so it's still 9th, a lose of two positions from where I started but it felt like a race. I'm telling myself I could've competed with the fast guys in the group if not for the crash but that's how it goes, I'm pleased I managed to catch them up and get round them.

Fastest Lap for me for the night: 58.026
Overall race winner (in my group): 56.320
Overall race winner (out of everyone): 54.995

So clearly there's room to improve.

I think a big help would be shifting some weight. I'm a big guy, 6ft tall and closing in on 17st!

need to get back down into the 13st area and I think that's the easiest way my times will improve.

Other than that. See you next month! Think I'll get myself down once a week for 2x15 min sessions and really crank the practice too.
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Great post, I enjoyed reading that and well done! Keep em coming. ๐Ÿ‘
Well done! Keep up the hard work :)(y)

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