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Features from Karting magazine

5 years, 5 moments – Super One at PFI

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The final round of Super One takes place this weekend at PF International. Championships will be decided, prizes will be handed out and there is guaranteed excitement and drama on track!

Here are 5 moments from the last 5 years that Super One has been held at PFI… How many do you remember?

2015 – Graham back for 1 last time

Last year saw Matthew Graham take the championship in Junior TKM even though it was Matthew Taylor who was leading the championship coming into the weekend. Taylor ended up finishing 3rd. Matthew Graham is making a come back to the class for this weekend at PFI to take advantage of his last chance to run the 1 plate. Will his return be well greeted or rued come the end of the weekend!

2014 – Tom Canning the Honda Champion

In 2014, Tom Canning finished 2nd in final two and with it became the Honda Cadet champion, beating defending champion, Kiern Jewiss. Canning didn’t win a single final two throughout the year but he proved and saying “consistency is key” and walked away as champion.

The race ended in unfortunate circumstances after Jude Young flipped on the banking. Trapped under the kart fellow competitor, James Walker, and a father were quick to get the kart off him which then set on fire. Thankfully Jude was okay.

2013 – Hard chargers!

In 2013, PFI hosted the penultimate round of Super One. In the Junior TKM main final, Kyle Hornby climbed up 21 places to finish in 1st and Dino Lee climbed up 22 places to finish in 2nd after an incident in final one. Will we see anyone coming from the back of the grid in any of the classes this year? And could it disturb anyone’s championship so close to the end?

2012 – The start of a journey

When Rookie, Jonathan Davis climbed nine places in the second final to finish 2nd some may have thought it was a fluke. However the Intrepid and OK1 driver, proved his form time and time again throughout the season and eventually went on to become the champion beating drivers including Jake Hughes, Bobby Game, Scott Allen, Tom Healy and Denis Gorman. Impressive!

Jonathan Davis

2011 – Lucky number 4

Harrison Thomas finished 4th at PFI in Super Cadet in Super One in 2011. This year Harrison is driving for KR Sport and is 4th in both the Senior OK class and Senior Rotax! Coincidence? 

Harrison in 2011

Harrison in 2011

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Written by Bethanie Lawson

Images courtesy of Chris Walker, Kartpix

Videos courtesy of TDi Media

 

Like this article? Then read these:

5 years, 5 moments – Super One at Shenington

5 years, 5 moments – Super One at Larkhall

Nicole Firth proves racing dreams can come true

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Back in 2012 Nicole Firth was racing in the Junior Class of Easykart UK which was covered by an article in Karting Magazine in May 2012. In that article, entitled ‘Introducing Nicole Firth’ and written by Andrew Gould, the arrival of Nicole on the UK National karting scene was covered and in it she also set out what she was hoping for in her future racing career. In her own words as a 16 year-old she said this…“I’d like to keep racing as I really enjoy it. Even if I can’t afford to race on a professional level, I assure you, you’ll find me at my local track… Even if it’s just testing with some friends! I find the whole aspect of engineering to the physics and geometry of it all fascinating – and I want to use this experience as an introduction for myself. I would like a career in the mechanics or design of race cars as this is something that I am passionate about and will always have an interest in.”

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Well can you imagine how surprised she was to read this article again just a little over four years later to find out she was on the verge of fulfilling most of her own dream, as she had stated above! …Having just completed an apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering at Ginetta Cars and now stepping into a sports car to race at the Snetterton circuit in a competitive round of the Ginetta GRDC 2016 Championship! She was there all set and ready to go thanks to some pre-race testing and coaching from Luca Hirst (her boyfriend, who previously raced in the Ginetta GT5 championship), Mike Simpson (Ginetta Factory Driver), Charlie Robertson (also a Ginetta factory driver) and racing coach Jamie Stanley (who races in Ginetta GT4 in British GT).
The Ginetta GRDC Championship is the low-cost entry level for aspiring racing drivers. This is particularly aimed at those who are going into cars for the first time, so the ideal step to take for someone with just previous kart racing experience like Nicole.

Looking at her path to reaching her vision we can see that every step of the way it was motor racing at the heart of what she did. After completing her school work and getting excellent results she went to study Mechanical Engineering at York College but soon found the attitude of most in her class mates just taking college too flippantly for her liking. So she soon quit her full-time studies as it simply was not delivering in satisfying her thirst for being surrounded by serious engineeringfocussed people (let alone race-engineering focussed people!).
At this point she decided to take what many would see as a backward step and take up some casual work down at her local kart track in Pontefract, Raceway Karting (where she had initially entered the world of karting by attending the kids’ indoor karting club at the age of 12). But this was her passion and she preferred just the basic work of marshalling and some kart maintenance to being involved with the people at college who seemed to be there just to mess around and focus on anything but serious engineering study like she was wanting.

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Nearby to her home in Pontefract is Garforth near Leeds which is the base of Ginetta Cars. Through contacts between Raceway Karting and Ginetta Cars she was then asked to go for an interview for a position that had opened up for an Apprentice CAD Designer. With her understanding and experience of racing at the age of 16 (that karting had given her) together with her excellent school results, she was the obvious choice for this position and was offered the role and asked to start straight away!

Back to the present and the racing car she would be stepping into at Snetterton is a Ginetta G40R GRDC. She was given the chance to race at short notice, but had previously prepared herself for such an opportunity by taking her ARDS test at Silverstone. This had consisted of some prior training at the Porsche Experience Centre, which is also based at Silverstone, and then later taking her ARDS test there. Both of these came as gifts for her 18th Birthday and 2014 Christmas present from her father Peter, who had also been her Mechanic during her karting years. This was a great experience for her at the age of 18 and her father says he can remember spectating with envy as she went past him flat-out down Hanger Straight during her training!

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So since we last had the interview with Nicole at the age of 16 she has completed two years of Junior 100cc Easykart and followed with two years in Senior 125cc Easykart, which at that time were both run under the MSA. She has also competed in two Easykart World Finals in Italy, one year in Junior Class and one year in Senior Class. And now she has entered car racing in the Ginetta GRDC Championship, which has the same ethos as Easykart in that the driver is meant to be the one that makes the difference rather than set-up adjustments or tweaking of parts. This means Nicole is given chance to compete on a level playing field with the rest, most of who are just completing their first year in the Championship.

In her career development she has just completed her apprenticeship with Ginetta and now is working there as Junior Design & Development Engineer. She came out of her apprenticeship with two engineering college awards getting her two achievement cups to add to her kart racing cups! As well as her daily CAD role at Ginetta, she also works on race weekends with Ginetta as Data Engineer for GT3 Teams either run or supported by Ginetta. This has also taken her outside the UK to such race destinations as Spa Francorchamps, Le Mans, Paul Ricard and Estoril circuits.

So she is literally living the dream she first told us about in 2012… It just goes to show how having a vision can help guide your future, even if you are not obsessively focussed on making it happen… because surely having that vision she had at 16 years old helped get her where she is now (along with her academic achievement, work ethic and racing abilities as well of course!).

Maybe it’s a good idea to set out your karting and future-racing dream too… you never know, it might come true sooner than you think!

KITS Presentation evening at Brighouse Civic Hall. Winner of KITS Apprentice of the Year Award - Nicole Firth. 12.05.16

KITS Presentation evening at Brighouse Civic Hall.
Winner of KITS Apprentice of the Year Award – Nicole Firth.
12.05.16

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A&D Driver of the Month Nominations – September

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Once again this month we release a shortlist and let you the readers decide the A&D Driver of the Month. Below are the 5 candidates to choose from so let us know your winner!!!!

Chris Carter

Chris clinched the DMAX Heavy Enduro Championship with races to spare, showing his dominance in that category this year.

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Andrew Spencer

Wrapped up the NKL Championship with a round to go. Impressive stuff.

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The Cosley Cougars

They won the British 24 hour at Teesside amidst one of the strongest arrive and drive grids ever.

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James Small

James is nominated once again for winning round 6 and coming 2nd in round 7 if the Club 100 elite sprints showing consistently good results.

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Joe Holmes

Joe is my fifth nominee for winning round 7 and 8 of the Club 100 heavies, and winning the Red Lodge heavies final by 11 seconds.

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Let us know who you think deserves to win the A&D Driver of the Month by using the contact methods below:

Facebook – @kartingmagazine
Twitter – @kartingmagazine
Email – news@kartingmagazine.com

Written by Piers Prior

My Lakeside experience

There were two reasons for my visit to the Lakeside Karting venue. Firstly their new Pro Karts had arrived so I was keen to get it out in them, but on my arrival I was desperate to try what looked like a challenging, but fun circuit layout.

On first view the Lakeside circuit may seem fairly compact, but this exaggerates the elevation changes which makes getting round it challenging.

The Karts

So once I’d finished looking around the circuit it was time to get ready and head up to see the new karts.

The first thing I have to say is the staff at Lakeside are very impressive. The turnovers they had between sessions ran super smoothly and they were all very informative and helpful.

The karts themselves are very well presented. To sit in they were very comfortable and the seat was a good fit which was a bonus! Adjustable pedals also meant my legs were in a comfortable position.

First laps

Once I had the tyres up to temperature (which took around a lap) I got my first proper feel for the kart. I was busy trying to get around a demanding circuit, but overall the kart felt very good to me.

Steering was very responsive, the brakes were doing their job more than well and the acceleration was as good if not better than any other corporate karts I’ve driven.

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The track

To give you an idea of the Lakeside experience I thought combining a track guide with a kart review would be the best way to do this. So let’s start with turn one…

Turn one is a hugely important corner as getting that wrong will ruin the whole first half of your lap. Why? Well turns, two, three and four immediately and require a certain rhythm.

The approach is downhill and is flat, you must hit the inside kerb, but the track then rises very quickly which leads into a tight left hand turn two. So after going flat across the kerb as soon as you feel the rear tyre hit the ground you apply the brake, smoothly. Watching the session before lots of drivers were being sucked in by the turn two kerb and were turning in far too early, to nail turn one you must stay slightly to the right on the exit to open up the turn two entry.

Turn two

Turn two is fairly straight forward in all honesty. Having opened the corner you’ll now be flat through turn two and exiting in the middle of the track will be perfect.

Good over kerbs

Turn three is where the new Pro Karts show off their skills in riding kerbs, within reason of course! The kerb on the inside looks threatening but close your eyes and put two wheels on it and you’ll be guided round the corner without even having to turn the wheel. Impressive stuff!

Front end

Now we go into turn four which is a left hand hairpin. This was a great place to push the kart’s front end grip and braking force. With the front end of the kart being very good you can really go in hard on this corner and keep the revs up. Have the wheel almost full lock before you even arrive at the apex and push that throttle down. It won’t go at first, but just stick with it and you’ll be rewarded on the exit. However, DO NOT use the kerbs on the exit. They look scary to look at and running them really slows you down.

Acceleration

Turn five was where I could test acceleration. It’s a short straight before you’re straight into another hairpin. Now the best way to take this is by using the brakes to turn the kart. Sounds weird, but if you leave your braking late the force you’ll put into the pedal will do most of the kart rotation for you meaning you can get straight on the throttle. The acceleration was okay out of here, but the exit is uphill which makes it seem slower. Later in the lap is where the speed in these karts become very impressive!

Top end

Turn five is the last time you need to brake before you hit Devil’s drop which I will come to later.

So following turn five we have a right hander which is very easily flat. The kerb on the inside is for use but just run the green part of it and be careful on the exit. That’s followed by a short shoot down to turn seven which is another flat out right hander. Don’t use the concrete on the inside, just the black stuff! However, do use the concrete on the exit of that corner to minimise steering input and maximise speed!

Now we start to drop down hill and really pick up some serious pace! You’ll then approach a flat out left hander (stay off kerbs) before rising back up hill which goes very quickly with the speed now being carried. There’s a small strip of concrete run off but don’t use that as it’ll pull you away from the turn in point for the menacing Devil’s drop.

The best corner in karting!

Devil’s Drop has to be one of the best corners I’ve driven in karting and I’ve driven all around Europe (without trying to show off). It’s a blind left hander which has a dramatic drop down hill. As you approach it you just stay flat and hold your breath. Use ALL of the kerb on the inside, the kart will be mid air for a split second before you land and are thrown into a tricky double right hander. It’s also the last so demands a good exit.

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Impressive handling!

The last double right hander is really where the kart shows off it’s mid corner speed, but also it’s punishment to big mistakes.

All you have to think about here is the exit of the corner. Being a hero on the brakes will do you no favours. Stay wide and completely miss the first apex and after slowing the kart down just balance the throttle and ever so subtly drift the kart round and hit the white line on the second apex.

You’ll know if you’ve got it right as you’ll find yourself almost kissing the tyres on the exit. I tried taking both apex’s, missing the second one and as afore mentioned being a ‘hero’ on the brakes. None of them worked. That brings you back up to the start finish line.

Summary

The new karts at Lakeside were great fun to drive. As well as being novice friendly, for experienced racers like myself you get a lot of enjoyment out of them. The track is brilliant and I think mastering it will take me a few more visits.

So now you know how to drive it (roughly) and what to expect from the karts, why not head down and give them a go yourself!

Written by Chris McCarthy

Brentwood Karting. Where are they now?

Brentwood Karting has a great reputation for producing young drivers and turning them into successful athletes. Here are just a few drivers who have gone onto progress into higher forms of Motorsport after starting their career at Brentwood Karting.

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Luciano Bacheta

Luciano started his motorsport career at Brentwood Karting taking part in their weekly karting championship. Luciano used the skills he learnt at Brentwood and has progressed into one of Britian’s brightest motorsport talents: racing in TCars, GP3 and Formula Palmer Audi to name a few before winning the FIA Formula 2 Championship. Luciano now races with top team, HTP Motorsport with Mercedes in the Blancpain Endurance Series.

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Ryan Gillespie

After learning his race craft at Brentwood, Ryan went into Mini Max and achieved great results across every championship he entered including winning the Super competitive Josh O’Malley Cup. Ryan moved from karts to cars for 2016 and now races with the 750 Motor Club with K-Tech in the Renault Clio 182 Championship.

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Danny Harrison

Another Brentwood boy is Danny Harrison, Danny advanced into Honda Cadet racing in Super One and FKS recording several podiums and race wins. After Honda Cadet Danny progressed into Mini Max and continued his impressive form, he still holds the lap record at Kimbolton. In 2016 Danny also took to step into cars racing in the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship with Mutation Motorsport.

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Ben Green

Ben started karting at Brentwood in the weekly race league and then progressed into the Subaru Karting Championship then Formula 6 Karting. Ben joined the super competitive Ginetta Junior Championship in 2015 before advancing to the Ginetta GT4 Super Cup for 2016. Its Ben’s first season in series and as the youngest driver he has already recorded three podiums at Donington Park and Knockhill.

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Connor Mills

After developing at Brentwood, Connor advanced into owner driver racing in Honda Cadet before advancing to Mini Max, winning the Mini Max British Championship and the London Cup. Connor took the step to cars racing single seaters in the Formula Ford Championship with great success. Connor now races in the Legends Car Championship and is currently in a battle to win the Championship.

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Written by Dan Lee

 

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New Karts at Brentwood

The Duncan Phillips SuperGreen Challenge

CIK-FIA Academy Karting Trophy 2016 Quotes

Callum Bradshaw

“It’s a great feeling to win the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy. Being the first Brit to win it is a really immense feeling! The championship was quite hard, it’s only three rounds which turns into two after dropped rounds. We’d already done the job in the opening two rounds, so we came here (Kristianstad) and did what we needed to do to make it all official. I’d like to say a big thanks to the MSA for picking me again. Also to my Mum and Dad, Rob Dodds (BKC Racing Team Owner) and my mechanic Alex Ferris.”

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Oliver Clarke

“I think the championship has gone really well, I’m a bit disappointed not to make the podium but 7th is still good for our first year. I’ve learnt a lot from the championship, driving on rubber was a big difference and has made me realise the fitness that’s required to do well at this level. Overall the experience has been fantastic. I’d like to thank the MSA for selecting me and giving me the opportunity. Also I’d like to thank Keiran Crawley (Msport) and my Mum and Dad for all the support.”

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Greg Symes, MSA Academy Manager

“It’s hard to put into words just how proud we are of Callum and Oliver’s achievements in the CIK-FIA Academy Trophy this year. To be there and watch Callum bring it home was a fantastic feeling and everyone at the MSA is over the moon with the result. It was a shame Oliver didn’t get the result he was after, but I think 7th place is a very impressive result considering his age and experience in the Junior class. He gave it his all in the final and had Callum in his sights all the way to the flag to take 5th place. It was great to be there to celebrate the results with the boys. We wish Callum the best of luck at the CIK-FIA OKJ World Championships later this year.”

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Rob Dodds, BKC Racing Team Owner

“As a team we showed great pace in the series last year with Callum and Alfie Brown, so our aim was always to win the championship. We had a plan going in to it and stuck with it all the way through. We knew we just needed to score points consistently and stay out of trouble all the way through. We hit the ground running at Essay which gave us good momentum and overcame the tyre and engine problems that hit us at Portimao. We knew we didn’t need a good result at Kristianstad, but we wanted to end with a podium and so nearly did. The result still hasn’t sunk in to be honest, we’re only a small team and we’ve just won a World Championship. But we won’t scream and shout about it, we’ve already turned our attention to the next race and we’ll keep pushing to keep getting more results like this!”

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Keiran Crawley, Msport Team Owner

“Doing the CIK Academy with Oliver was a brilliant experience. I’ve done the series with other drivers on a few occasions and this year was a real step up organisation wise. I must say OTK did a fantastic job and things were run very well from their side. Oliver made a couple of mistakes over the season as most young drivers do, but he also pulled off some really impressive performances which proved he was a very good pick by the MSA. He’s a small lad and as a result had some strength issues, but overall he coped very well with the demands of European racing for someone fresh out of Cadets. I think 7th was a great result, but I was disappointed for Oliver as I think he should have finished higher. The points system is very odd with no points being awarded in the Pre Final which cost us. We had a top six finish in all three finals so to end up 7th is very unusual, but everyone is in the same boat.”

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Callum Bradshaw wins CIK Academy!

Callum Bradshaw provisional CIK Academy Champion

RHPK Round 7: Team Karting magazine diary

After the exciting news of becoming Karting magazine’s new team captain I decided it would only be best to get the three Tom’s back together. Myself, Tom Kempynck and Tom Sibley after racing together in the Daytona 25h earlier in the year, three fast inseparable drivers.

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Appointing Tom Sibley as head mechanic, he decided to head over to Rye house early afternoon on the Friday and get to the track in daylight, giving the kart a once over and learning his way around. Myself and Kempnyck arrived later that night. As night fell we decided that our next priority would be to practice our driver change, within five minutes we were running from left to right across the pit lane with a stopwatch to see how fast we could dive out the kart. Sorry If we woke any other teams, but it was a idea worth practising as the next day we were faster than any one.. In the pit lane.

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Race day! We arrived pronto as the gates opened ready for a race we had little knowledge about, one thing we did know was it was going to be a wet one. Thankfully Biz had prepped the kart to perfection, as the little mechanical knowledge we had with the kart we couldn’t have done it alone.

With little difference between the three of us drivers, we decided to have Kempynck out for quali as he is the more experienced driver. After fifteen minutes Kempynck had been setting some breakneck Lap times so we decided to bring him in and preserve fuel and tyres qualifying us in 6th position.

Tom Kempynck

Tom Kempynck

The conditions were to remain miserable for the race, but regardless we were eager to give it our best shot. We made just one alteration after quali and that was to increase the caster, Kempynck didn’t seem to have quite the pace he had in quali which I believe was down to this. After his 1h20 stint he brought the kart back in 9th and with a speedy pitstop I was next up to drive. I gave it my all but didn’t quite have the pace of the front runners so it was aggravated 1h20 stint for myself after another superspeed pitstop we rushed Sibley out for the final 1h20 stint and were hoping he’d have something better to bring us back up the order. We were wrong, as we struggled for grip as the two left tyres worn thin. We finished 12th overall.

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Tom Golding

The Biz kart was outstanding on performance, the one thing we lacked was kart knowledge, something that we are working hard on between now and the next round as the three Tom’s mean business. It was our first visit to the RHPK series and we’re confident on a stronger result for the next round.

Tom Sibley

Tom Sibley

After the event Tom Kempynck commented: “On arrival at the track Friday evening we started to train on our pitstops and driver changes. We were the only team out there until after dark running up and down the pitlane in order to perfect them. It was mixed conditions in free practice and as we had only one set of wet tyres, we decided to run them for a limited time in order to save them for the race. This resulted in a basic wet set-up compared to the more experienced RHPK teams. Nevertheless, I managed to qualify us on P6 which we were quite happy with. We gambled with the tyre pressures for the race as it was supposed to be dry later on in the afternoon. Unfortunately, this didn’t work out for us due to heavy showers and we ended up dropping to P12. I would like to thank Karting Magazine and BIZ Kart for this great opportunity and I am already looking forward to the next round.”

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Reflecting on Saturday Tom Sibley commented: “This weekend was a huge learning curve for our team. Friday night started with me familiarising myself with the kart, we were the only team at the circuit Friday night running up and down the pitlane in the dark practicing our pitstops and driver changes. We had good pace in practice and quali putting ourselves a respectable P6 on our first outing and in the wet. The experience in set up really paid off for the other teams as we struggled with the front end in the heavy rain and dropped back. We worked really well as a team, especially with slick pitstops. Tough conditions for our first race but hopefully we will come back a lot stronger next round.”

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Written by Tom Golding

Images courtesy of Andrew Webb, Sprocket Photography

 

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RHPK Round 6: Team Karting magazine diary

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