Driver Journal Jacob Lethaby - Honda Cadet #95

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Driver Name
Jacob Lethaby
Driver Number
Team Name
Jacob Lethaby Racing
Primary Sponsor
Secondary Sponsor
Photography By
Sean Lethaby
Jacob is 9 years old and races in the Honda Cadet class, taking part in the MKRC South West Championship (GX160) and The Kart Championship (CKC) in Honda Cadet 200.

He’s been doing practice sessions for around 18 months but this is his first season racing.

What a great first day racing for Round 1 of MKRC and the South West Championship yesterday. Jacob has absolutely done us proud and although the end results (more in a sec) didn't align with what he could have achieved, he made an incredible start.
I was a bit nervous after Saturdays practice session where he was way off the pace and thought maybe we've put ourselves (ok, I've put us....), in over our heads! Jacob saved us (me) though and I couldn't be prouder of him! - He practiced with a set of very old slicks (but barely used) which had obviously gone a bit hard.

In our excitement, we didn't take many photos as I was glued to alphatiming live monitoring his lap times, but hope to get more next time.

Anyway, the race format was 3 x heats of 8 minutes plus 1 lap, and a final of 10 minutes plus one lap instead of a qualifying session which was originally published.
As a rookie, Jacob started the heats toward the back of the 14 drivers in his class.
In the first heat, Jacob was drawn in 11th place for the start.
For some reason, the 9th place person was way behind the rest at the start (rolling start) leaving a large gap and holding up everyone behind. Jacob then hesitated off the line, meaning he was overtaken by two and dropped to 13th and second last. He recovered really well, put in some decent lap times and passed the tail enders before eventually finishing 8th. He'd reeled in the 3 second gap to 7th but alas, time ran out. Great first result though, and he was well focused which bode well for the rest of the day...

Heat 2 and Jacob started 8th. Passed two at the first corner and seemed to be running well but couldn't get past the the next person. Times started to drop off by about 6/10ths per lap, and he was passed on the second last lap to finish 7th. After coming in I noticed his left rear wheel had shifted inward, meaning it was heavily rubbing on the chain guard and obviously causing a lot of restriction in movement. I blame the mechanic.... Yep, that's me too. Guilty moment as I'd moved the rear hubs yesterday trying to get an optimum set-up on the rear track width, and obviously hadn't done them up enough.😫

Heat 3 and disaster. Started 10th and had worked his way up to 6th after another cracking first lap. He was absolutely on point with lap times consistently faster than anything he'd previously achieved. Chasing down 5th place and had an off at the hairpin. He had managed to beach himself on the curb and couldn't get off. I raced over and managed to get him back on track eventually, but by that time he was a lap down. Utterly frustrated and upset, he decided that was enough and came into the pits, not realising that a DNF would mean zero points, rather than the 20 points he would have picked up for even finishing the race in last place.
Chalked up to inexperience, with lots of words of encouragement to quash the tears.

Despite nil points in heat 3, he'd achieve enough throughout heats 1 & 2 to start in 12th. Once again he came flying out of the traps and was in 5th place after a lap and a half! He was reeling in positions 3 & 4 (1 and 2 were in another league and a second a lap quicker than anyone else) before three of the tail enders had a coming together resulting in a red flag. All were ok, but parc ferme conditions were called meaning that the race would start again with original grid positions. 😭🀬
Once again though he was carving his through the field and up to 6th. Getting past the ones behind had left a bit of a gap to 5th but Jacob stuck to his lines and slowly reeled him in. At the hairpin again, Jacob did the old switcheroo to get in front however, as the other boy came back across behind, he caught Jacobs rear wheel and caused him to spin. The fact that Jacob was ahead should have meant the boy was penalised but it was put down to a "racing incident".
The result of the spin left Jacob finishing 10th.

All in all, not the end results he was well capable of but its really encouraging to see his lap times extremely close to experienced drivers and those fighting for podiums! His overtaking was a joy to see and we're really looking forward to, and optimistic for the rest of the season and seeing how he progresses. We're both also climbing the steep learning curve, but doing it now with genuine positivity.

Next up is Warden Law in CKC on 18/19th March, where the competition will likely be a bit stiffer though.

Once again a massive thank you to our sponsors, HV Energy Systems and Plan-It Stone for helping us get here, hopefully we can kick on and repay the faith they've shown with some finishes that Jacob is capable of! Graphics should be delivered in time for this too so new livery awaits.


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