||[Saturday 25th November 2017 at 4:06 pm]
Today was the annual pre-thanksgiving-meal karting (or as Jonners put it one year, "let's get some exercise that involves sitting down"), and for a change we had the upstairs track at Crawley. I think the last time I did that was for my birthday a good few years back. There were enough of us today that we could do a proper qualifying and race with a reverse grid start.
The qualifying went quite well - I qualified 6th out of nine with a fastest lap of 27.450, only slightly ahead of Paddy on 27.482. We were managing very similar times with Paddy right behind me for several laps - I would out-accelerate him on the up ramp, but then he would carry a little more speed through the corners and catch up by the end of the lap. I let him pass at one point (so I didn't have to consider his position when braking for corners) and he pulled away slightly, then we hit traffic in the form of Jean and I snuck past him while we were both trying to pass her. Looking at my overall lap times I was continuously improving over that session.
The race was a reverse grid with myself and Paddy on the second row. I got a fairly decent start, and managed to stay level with Paddy into the ramp - then I as before out-accelerated him and Paddy did a sterling job of keeping the faster drivers behind. That left me in 3rd and within a lap or two I passed Jean for 2nd place (the printout shows me in 2nd place from the start). Then I ended up stuck behind Oliver who I just could not get past despite being faster than him in qualifying. Jonners and later Martin caught up and passed me, and then on lap 22 it all went pear-shaped as I turned the corner into the down-ramp to discover a kart (probably Martin) facing up the hill. Well, I didn't really have anywhere to go and rammed him spinning me sideways, and then David powered over the crest of the hill to see this pile of karts with no time to do anything except thoroughly shunt me! I can tell I'll be sore in the morning! Resolving all the mess took a red flag and ended with me a couple more places down (which was a bit unfair as I was 4th before that mixup), and in the end I finished in 7th with Jonners having only just lapped me. On the flip side, I again improved during the race and found almost a second of pace, with a fastest lap of 26.588 (interestingly my 3 fastest laps were the 3 before the multi-kart pileup, so I'd presumably just gotten into a nice rhythm).