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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
Written by Tom Golding
Images courtesy of Andrew Webb, Sprocket Photography
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