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Brain Fade Mars Big Legends Feature PDF Print E-mail
Written by Team Green Racing   
Sunday, 22 July 2007

After making the decision to skip the Orielton meeting on 8 July 2007, Team Green Racing took the picturesque journey to the Highclere track south of Burnie for the Big Legends Feature. A good field of twenty karts entered the combined over 40's classes, with Dale Madden making a return to the lightweight class after confining himself to the heavies for the state series.

Practice on the Saturday was fine but cold, with the thermometer nudging into double figures only briefly. We took the opportunity to test our theories for solving our low grip setup issues. With such low temperatures, our first run confirmed that the “standard” settings for the kart offered no grip whatsoever and even worse Robert complained that the kart felt very unbalanced. We then made the adjustments that we hoped would fix this and Robert immediately reported a vast improvement in both the grip and balance of the kart.

It rained in Burnie on Saturday evening, but at Highclere this morning it was fine and dry, apart from the frost that blanketed the complex.

The over 40s were first out for practice and at a balmy 2.4 degrees, we were literally driving on ice. The final left hander before the finish line was particularly treacherous and the fast right-hand sweeper before Tongs hairpin was also covered in a frosty sheen.

An hour later the track was still rather treacherous for the first race. Robert was drawn on seventh grid in the combined heat, and although this was on the fourth row he was happy to be on the right-hand side of the grid for the inside line into the first corner.

A bit of biffo through the long first corner between Rod Bender and Greg Hanson saw Greg spinning to Robert's left. He managed to squeeze through, but a number of karts behind, including David Cramp and Dale Madden, were unable to avoid him and were also out on the spot.

Robert dispatched three more karts over the next few laps to take the lead in the lightweight class and had soon caught heavies Rod Bender and Brendan Dimsey who were in first and second respectively.

It nearly all went pear-shaped on lap six. Robert had assumed that Brendan was competing in the lightweight class and consequently was desperate to get past him. Closing to lap Margaret Wells through the treacherous left-hander, Brendan went to the right and Robert tried to pass both by taking Margaret on the left.

Unfortunately the blue flags weren't being waved and Margaret, startled by Brendan's sudden presence beside her jinked to the left and straight into the path of the fast closing Team Green Racing kart. Robert desperately tried to avoid a huge accident and ended up at right angles to the track and virtually stationary. It cost four seconds but in the end it didn't matter as Robert maintained his track position to win the lightweight class for race one.

Race two saw the Team Green Racing kart in eleventh position on the grid. With the big guns up the front for heat two Robert was going to have his work cut out to get a good result.

He made a good start and quickly worked his way through the field. By lap four he had moved through to fourth place and was closing on the leaders. Another great result beckoned, but on lap seven Robert caught Margaret to lap her just as she entered turn one and lost over a second to the leaders in the process. David Cramp won from Dale Madden, with Terry Chadwick in third.

Fourth place in heat two put the Team Green Racing kart on the outside of the front row for heat three, with Rod Bender on pole after great heat one and two results in the heavyweight class.

The plan was to tuck in behind Rod at the start, but Robert found himself hung out to dry on the outside into the first corner and was fourth at the end of the lap one.

Terry Chadwick was the only lightweight class driver in front of Robert and if the Team Green Racing driver had been thinking he would have worked out that all he needed for pole in the final was to stay where he was. Logic went out the window, though and Robert attempted a pass into the start straight hairpin that was never going to work. "As soon as I had committed myself to the move I realised that it wasn't going to come off" confessed Robert afterwards. The Team Green Racing kart hit the back wheel of Terry's kart and ended up landing on top him.

Both karts were out of the race on the spot, fortunately with no damage to either karts or drivers. Terry was remarkably forgiving of the move, especially as he was also looking at a front row start for the final before being taken out.

The DNF in race three left Robert in seventh place for the fifteen lap final. He made a good start and settled down to the job of working his way through the field. The kart had maintained its good grip and balance and it wasn't long before the Team Green Racing driver had worked his way up into third place, right on the back bumper of David, with Lyn Cengia heading the field.

David decided he needed to make a move on Lyn and did so in his normal clean and efficient way to take the lead. Robert knew that he would quickly have to do likewise if he was to have a chance of the win and briefly took second from Lyn before she immediately drafted back past on the start straight.

Then it all went pear-shaped for the second time today. Robert was checking his tuning lights through the fast right-hand sweeper before Tongs hairpin and when he looked back up he found that Lyn was already braking for the corner. After taking Terry out in race three, the last thing Robert wanted to do was take out yet another competitor and so he hit the brakes and threw the kart sideways to wash off as much speed as possible.

He still made contact with Lyn's kart, but fortunately not hard enough to take her off the track. It resulted, however, in a spin for the Team Green Racing driver and by the time he had recovered he had dropped to sixth place, which is where he stayed until the end of the race.

David took yet another deserved win, with Lyn second and Michael Jack capping off a great day's driving to finish third. Robert was promoted to fifth after Dale Madden's withdrawal, but was ultimately frustrated that raw speed had not translated into a better result.

Team Green Racing's next meeting will be at Archerville on 5 August 2007 and this will also be the team's first run in the senior national class.

In closing we would also like to give a quick thankyou to Rocky and Pam Stone for their logistical support this weekend.

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