Karting Dad

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When Superone comes to town

With Junior in the midst of Year 11 exams it has been a quiet month as far as karting is concerned. The visit of the Super One championship to Llandow was the perfect excuse to get back into the swing of things and the club were looking for members to help with the running of the event. I volunteered my Sunday on two conditions a) I wasnít cleaning toilets and b) was granted leave to watch the Junior TKM final. I was unsure what to expect so being assigned the role of race observer – at the final corner – was surprising and scary!

I’ve had a few things to say in the past about officials and contact. I’ve ‘matured’ somewhat in that respect but I maintain a hard line on how I expect contact to be handled, especially as we ended our last round in the X-ray department!

As you might expect from the country’s premier race series, the event was very professionally run. The clerk introduced himself during the warm-up and I think quickly sussed me as someone who might be needing assistance. His presence on my post for much of the day was re-assuring; I noted plenty of ‘light contact’ incidents but nothing seemed to get past him, to the point he had the warning flag shown in instances where even I would have let it go! Ge?ing the chance to compare my take on things with his was really insightful. There were only a couple of incidents on my post that went to the office although I had one heart-stopping moment where a dozen or so cadets came piling into the hairpin together. I held my breath in fear of imminent carnage, knowing that I had no chance of accurately recording the events should the stuff hit the fan. Fortunately (miraculously?) they sorted themselves out – before coming together at the next complex and out of my jurisdiction!

Following on from the marshal training, this was another day where I learnt a great deal. I always appreciated the difficulty in observing the bigger grids and, even in the smaller grids, there will be occasions where the observer is simply watching other karts and will miss something more significant. That said, o?en it’s more about consistency; there is no point showing a warning for minor contact at one corner only to escape any punishment for a place-gaining punt at the next. The Super One clerk took a ‘no nonsense’ approach and I’m certain his presence resulted in fewer last lap lunges, at my corner at least.

That’s my lot on officials. There was much to enjoy about the racing itself: some really entertaining races involving the country’s leading cadet drivers, a few dominant performances in the TKM classes and my first experience of the awesome KZ1 class. I’m not up to speed on the politics but this surely must be the pinnacle of karting? It was certainly the clear favourite judging by the reaction of the members of public I saw parked alongside the main straight!