RHPK Round 8: Team Karting magazine diary

The three Tom’s are back for Round eight and hoping for a dry race! Last round was a wet one and we were out of our league, we had minimal knowledge with wet setup which led us to finish 12th. After that kick in the teeth we realised we needed to up our game as we were up against a strong field of drivers. We then had a day out testing in the dry and taking a visit to the BIZ factory to learn everything about the kart and team, we knocked a few tenths off our lap times and became much more confident in ourselves.

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Qualifying

With the weather looking on edge we decided to get Kempynck out in the early stages, briefly we were up to 2nd but after eight laps he had put us into 4th! We then pitted to check tyre pressures and reserve fuel. With ten minutes left we had dropped down quite some way as the track was still dry and getting grippier. We sent Kempynck out for the remainder of the session, finishing up in 5th, our personal best result.

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Race

Kempynck was up first for an exciting stint, with championship leaders Helicopter Services starting behind us in 6th we knew we were in at the deep end. By the end of lap one Helicopter Services had somehow made their way up into 1st! We managed to get ourselves up to 3rd place battling with JRH Racing and Team Lambo. After an hour on circuit we pitted Kempynck in 5th place with a nightmare of a pitstop. Pulling in around 5 – 10 seconds after the JRH Racing kart losing us almost 50 seconds in the pits bringing us out into 18th!

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Next up was Sibley, who brought us a long way up the order right back into contention of a top ten result. With 1h30 left on the clock we pitted Sibley and I was up for the final stint. With some critical driving and some great team encouragement over the pit wall we chased 5th place closing them down to fifteen seconds finally finishing up in 6th overall.

With the great help and support from Biz and some more testing we’re hoping for a top five for the last round of the season.

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After the race Tom Kempynck commented: “We visited BIZ Karts two weeks ago where we had a chat / feedback session about the previous race. Martin at BIZ told us valuable information regarding the setup of the kart and later on that day we put it into practice at Rye House. On Friday evening before the race, we went through all the data from this test session to see where we could improve our lap times. The free practice on Saturday was in mixed conditions which was ideal to experiment with our wet set-up whereas it was dry during the qualify session. I qualified on P5 and did the first stint. After a bad start, I moved up to P3. Later on during my stint 2 fast teams that had a bad qualify came through the field and overtook me. I brought the kart in on P5 on the rear bumper of P4. Unfortunately, I was called to go in the pits when the team on P3 went also in the pits (+ 10s ahead). They were too light and had to fuel which made us lose a significant amount of time. After this pit stop, we were on P18 but climbed back up to P6. Without this unfortunate pit stop we would have been fighting for P4. Nevertheless, we made a lot of progression and will be stronger for the next race!”

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On reflection Tom Sibley commented: “We had mixed conditions in practice going into a dry qualifying so we took a gamble with our set-up which paid off in the race. Kempy put us 5th on the grid and had a rapid first stint, a mishap in the pit lane brought us out around 18th, Golding and I just kept our head down, nailed some consistent lap times and brought it back to 6th overall. With our knowledge of the kart and track growing, we’ll be pushing for an even stronger result!”

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As always a big thanks must go to BIZ Karts, UFO engines and Andy Webb from Sprocket Photography.

Written by Tom Golding

Images courtesy of Andy Webb, Sprocket Photography

 

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RHPK Round 7: Team Karting magazine diary

RHPK Round 6: Team Karting magazine diary