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Rain, Wind and the Rookie Trophy

It was another tough weekend this weekend, with a grid of over 60 Honda cadets including most of this years S1 grid all battling for position in cold, windy and wet conditions.

With so many entries at PFI (there were double grids in Hondas, IAMEs and X30 Junior), we didn’t get that much running time this weekend, with just timed qualifying, a pre-final and final. So at 8 minutes each, that was a grand total of 24 minutes running time all day on Sunday!

Just look at the size of that entry list for the Honda Cadets!

Qualifying was tough. We’re on a zip chassis which is always tricky to get working well in cold, wet conditions and we only qualified about 16th in our group. Then in the pre-final we climbed up to 7th within the first couple of laps, but got loaded going over the bridge, shoved wide and lost about 15 positions. Despite this he made it back to 8th by the end of the heat, so the result wasn’t bad – a good bit of damage limitation there!

That got us straight into the A final, but it wasn’t smooth running even then. The B final had to be called off because of a sudden heavy rainstorm which had all the kids spinning off left right and centre because they were all on slicks, so the B final had to be re-run, pushing the A final right to the end of the running order.

There were also a lot of incidents and ambulances out on track this weekend, so with all the stoppages it was starting to get dark by the time our A final happened. Plus, after 4 hours of waiting, lots of time watching the ambulance crews out on track, and such changeable weather it was particularly nerve-racking for the parents watching I think!

The start of the A final was rather confusing all round because one of the marshals signaled to the kids that there had been a false start and for them to go around again, so half the kids slowed down, while others who hadn’t seen him continued racing.

By the time we’d realized that it wasn’t a false start after all we had dropped down to 22nd. Then we got caught up in a multi-kart incident in one of the hairpins and really had to knuckle down for the remaining 6 minutes!

T drove really well, and worked his way quickly through the field, managing to make it back up to 11th before crossing the line. It’s such a pity the final wasn’t the original 12 minutes it was supposed to be as I think he could have made his way much higher than that! While he was gutted that he didn’t come higher he got himself the rookie trophy and it was a good result considering all the bad luck we had.

He drove brilliantly, and I’m so glad he got to bring home some silverware at the end of the weekend, even if it wasn’t the podium position he’d been hoping for! Good team haul of trophies too with 3rd and 8th position plus the rookie and novice trophies!

Podium at PFI

Just a quick note of thanks to Chris at who took the photo at the top – I love how T’s trying to squeeze every tiny bit of extra speed out of the kart on the straight – great pic!

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