After a hugely disappointing last round of the British Champs at Rowrah where we yet again narrowly missed out on the title it was onto the world champs.
I shall be reporting from the last big race of the year the last ever Formula A World Championships.
It was held at Angerville in France just one hour south of Paris.
The journey there was easy for once thanks to our sat nav system.
It was Dad (Tim), Brother (Martyn) Fraz (mechanic) and myself who travelled from England.
We arrived Wednesday at mid day just in time because the awning and karts were all out and looking good.
For this race we used GFR tuned TM engines from the UK.
We started testing on the Thursday with two 15minute running inn sessions and two 20min test sessions in the afternoon which were all after the scruitneering and bar-coding. We did a few laps in the 10minute session to make sure everything ran OK and we did the last 20 minute test to save the Tyres for testing because like the rest of the European races you only get 6 tyres for testing and racing. The test didn’t go as well as expected but we were confident we would get it sorted for Fridays testing.
We ate at the track in the Maranello hospitality tent and you find that most teams bring there hospitality trucks and awnings along to impress everyone at the world championships.
We were staying in Orleans which is about 40minute drive from the track because everywhere was so full.
Friday the weather forecast said rain all day but it held off until the afternoon and the temperature was around 20 degrees. We only had two 20minute tests in the morning because the I.C.A’s had timed qualifying in the afternoon for there world cup race, so we had a lot of time to prepare for the race in the afternoon.
Saturday we had qualifying in the morning and heats in the afternoon.
The first qualifying session went ok and in ended up 6th in group but I knew if we changed the kart and engine a little I could go faster. But in the second run I was held up on my best lap so I only managed to go 3 hundreds faster which only dropped me 1 place in group but left me 27th overall.
So for the heats I would start off grid 14 whish is not good at angerville because the first corner is a 90 degree right and there is always a crash there.
I managed to avoid it in the first heat and finished 10th but in the second heat I didn’t and finished at the back. So the third and last heat I had to finish in a good position to make it into the final. So we changed engine and I finished in 5th position.
So for the Final on Sunday I started the first final in 23rd position.
Saturday night before a big race we spend a lot of time checking, cleaning and preparing for the Finals so it was a late night again.
Sunday morning the track was wet so we went out with the kart how we raced it in the dry because if it rained whilst you were on the grid you are only allowed to change the tyres and nothing else. But in the warm up the tyres pressures were way different to what we usually use in the special Bridgestone wet tyres so I was 1.5 seconds off the fastest.
For the first final the track was starting to dry a little but everyone remained on wets apart from one person who eventually pulled in.
Again as usual the start was mayhem and at the third corner there was a massive shunt and I was taken out but I managed to do a 360 keep it going but I was nearly the length of the straight behind the pack. I soon caught up with them and finished 16th.
Alexander Simms won the first final closely followed by Jules Bianchi.
By the time the second final came the sun had been shinning and the track was dry.
So everyone went to the grid with slicks on ready for the dry.
With about tens minutes to go tit started to rain slightly but only a few people changed tyres but then they quickly changed back. They made us put the karts on the grid with two minutes to go. But everyone kept looking at this huge black cloud coming over. Then when the 30 second board came up the heavens opened and everyone ignored the officials and lifted there karts up and put there wet tyres on. A few people managed to put nine tooth’s on the front (Antonucci and christo) but a lot of people got caught. The race was started and before I got to the light I was already drenched.
I made a good start in the Malay but as I went down the back straight the engine wouldn’t run properly because it had so much water in the air box because we weren’t allowed to use the wet air box. So for the first 4 laps I lost so many places down the straights. But after that the engine started to clear and I got faster and faster and finished 15th.
Francesco Antonucci won the race I think mainly due to the fact that he had a nine tooth on the front and not many other people at the front did.
I hope you enjoyed reading the column and gives you some incite into racing abroad and hopefully I will be doing the same next year Thanks Jason Parrott