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James DeHavillande’s EDP Diary

Castelletto pole
James started on pole at Castelletto after causing excitement in qualifying.

Following last month’s first instalment of the Easykart Driver Programme Diaries – in which Cadet stars Ronan McKenzie and William Stowell noted their experiences of life as part of Birel’s ladder of talent – this issue sees 2009 Cadet champion (and now Junior star) James DeHavillande describe his visit to the Castelletto circuit near Milan. James also competed in a round of the Italian Easykart Championship and tested a works Birel/BMB KF3 kart.

Friday 23 July 2010

We arrived at the track at about 8.30am and found the Birel race truck and awning. Whilst the Birel staff were getting organised I went for a track walk – and the first thing I noticed, was just how sticky the racing line was. If you stood still for a couple of minutes, your shoes started sticking to the track – far more grip than we experience in UK racing.

Even this early in the day the heat was building and I was glad to get back into the shade. As a spectator, just walking around the paddock was quite draining – so as a driver it was going to be a physically testing day, when lots of fluids would be essential. Consequently, I drank about 4 litres of water each day. The track was also beside a lake, so mosquitoes were another issue to contend with – I was covered in bites.

The testing sessions were for 40 minutes per hour, so I had plenty of track time to fine tune my set-up.

Saturday 24th July 2010

First day of official practice. We checked out the opposition with our stopwatch and I seemed to be on the pace, so looked forward to the Sunday racing.

Sunday 25th July 2010

2
British EDP drivers Ronan McKenzie, Will Stowell and James DeHavillande

We changed to new tyres ready for the timed qualifying session. With 42 drivers entered for the junior class, qualifying was split into two groups. In the first session Dario Orsini recorded the fastest lap of 52.056 seconds, but as the second session got under way I found it difficult to find some clear air on the circuit and my best time was a tenth off Orsini’s. However, as I approached the start/finish line for my last lap, I dropped back to get some space and then put in a 50.047, which had the commentator screaming into his microphone. I had taken pole. The Birel management considered it to be an exceptional performance for my first race at the track and against the top drivers from the Easykart Driver Programme, who’d had previous experience at Castelletto.

I started from pole in the Pre-Final and led to the chequered flag. Unfortunately I was called up before the stewards. In Italy they use a speed camera and I had taken the pack across the line too fast. The stewards explained that as the pole man, it was my responsibility to control the starting pace and then gave me a 5 second penalty!

This put me on grid six for the Final. When we lined up, seven of the top eight drivers were from the EDP – I had some serious opposition.

As the lights went out for the start, I leapt up to 2nd place at the first corner but only held this position briefly before being smashed from behind and sent across the grass. A large bump in the ground sent me airborne before I crash-landed, nose first.

I was strapped onto a stretcher with a full, head-restraint and carried to the side of the track. It was too dangerous for the paramedics to cross the track whilst the race continued, but eventually they took me to the ambulance and doctor. From there, I was transferred to the local hospital for an X-ray.

With no broken bones, but feeling very battered and bruised, although otherwise OK, I was discharged.

Monday 26th July 2010

After a hot bath and a good breakfast, I declared myself ready for the KF3 test.

For the first session, I just had to do a few laps to ensure the engine reached the correct temperature and then came in to have some tape put over the radiator. After a couple more though, I had to pit because my back was causing a lot of pain. The Birel managers offered to re-schedule the test, but I said that I would rather carry on.

Gradually my lap times improved as I got to grips with the different driving style needed for the KF3 kart and the set-up moved towards the optimum. Unfortunately, the track closed before I could try one of the team’s full race engines.

Overall, I think they were pleased with my performances in the Easykart races and the KF3 test. Consequently, I’m now hopeful that I have done enough to justify a place in the factory Birel team.

Club100 To Introduce New Class

The Club100 Championship will introduce a new arrive and drive class designed as a stepping-stone between it and the Easykart UK Championship in 2015.The Club100 ‘E’ class will cater for racers aged 16 years and above, and will use a Club100 Birel N35 kart powered by an Easykart IAME Touch And Go powerplant. The class will run over eight rounds on the same bill as the Easykart UK Championship. The champion of the class will win a new Easykart 125cc machine worth £2800.Club100 boss John Vigor said: “This is definitely something very new and unique. A great opportunity for drivers to be involved in an owner driver environment but without the initial added pressure of transporting and maintaining your own kart. As well as the current Club100 membership, this could also attract drivers back into the sport of karting”.Easykart UK boss Andy Cox added: “Drivers in Club100 ‘E’ class will gain confidence and experience before maybe deciding to move up to Easykart the following season.”

Easykart Round 7 Whilton Mill

Round 7, Whilton Mill, 31st August

Cadets

Georgie Anker was in top form and claimed pole position in qualifying. He followed this up with a win in the first heat and the pre final to line up on pole for the main final. He was joined on the front row by another George in the form of George Evans. Scott Huntley was third with Charlotte Fox fourth. Dillon Reed rounded out the top 5.After two aborted starts which saw championship leader Harry Barlow and Christian Lilley both end up doing roly polys – fortunately without serious injuries – it was third time lucky and Georgie Anker made the most of it and lead away at the start. Evans passed Anker for the lead on lap five but Georgie Anker was having none of it and pulled off a fantastic move going into the Boot to reclaim the position. This allowed Scott Huntley to get past Evans. With Huntley and Evans now locked in a fight, this allowed Anker to build up a slight cushion. Charlotte Fox was close behind in fourth watching this all play out and ready to pounce should the boys in front of her trip over each other. Further back, Dillon Reed was in a race of his own in fifth but towards the end of the race he started to fall back into the clutches of Tyrone Stansfield and the chasing pack. Despite not having the straight line speed of Evans, Stansfield or Fox, Anker, unphased, managed to maintain a half second lead and claim a fantastic victory. Evans came home a well deserved second with Huntley third. A very mature drive saw Charlotte Fox fourth with Tyrone Stansfield completing the top five.

Juniors

In the sea of tension surrounding the paddock, there was an air of calm around the number 6 garage and Esmee Hawkey, who won all the heats and disappeared from the hustle and bustle of the pit lane. It was like watching the Stig, only blonder and more feminine. Sam Faulkner joined her on the front row with Mitchell White and Jenson Murchison behind. Hawkey was jumped by Sam Faulkner and he led the pack into turn one. Lap two saw Esmee Hawkey try to take the lead back from Faulkner but she lost out to Jenson Murchison, who slipped by on the following straight. She was having none of it and managed to take the position back before the end of the lap. She then pulled off a move on Faulkner going into the Boot section, going all the way round the outside but Faulkner held his line and Hawkey found herself being forced all the way around the outside going into the final turn and drops down to third again. Murchison then tried making a move on Faulkner going down the hill into Ashby’s and the two made contact, dropping several places. This allowed Hawkey back into the lead and from there she never looked back. Faulkner, having been demoted to fifth after his coming together with Murchison, managed to work his way back up to second. However, Esmee had enough pace and she crossed the line to win by over three seconds. A great recovery drive saw Faulkner second ahead of Mitchell White. Murchison recovered to fourth but must have been left wondering what might have been.

Senior Lights

Kieran McCullough took pole ahead of Sam Massey, Owen Jenman and Patrick Lay. Jenman got the jump on Massey off the line and slot in behind McCullough. On lap three, Jenman took the lead from McCullough and a terrific battle for the lead ensued with the two drivers exchanging places several times. The whole grid was close; running nose to tail. McCullough was bumped down to fourth on lap five after a bit of contact at Ashby’s, which allowed Jenman to build up a big lead. However, Massey was on a charge and quickly caught and passed Jenman. Jenman tried coming back at him going down the hill into everyone’s favourite overtaking spot at Ashby’s and the two touched, dropping Jenman down to fourth and Massey all the way down to seventh. This incident promoted Patrick Lay into the lead closely followed by McCullough. Jenman and Massey soon started working their way back up the order and Massey overtook Jenman in the same place that Jenman tried passing him earlier.

Massey made it stick and pulled away to chase down the leaders. He soon caught Lay and McCullough who were fighting over the lead. McCullough was driving an extremely wide kart and Massey couldn’t find a way past and this squabbling allowed Lay to extend his lead over the last lap. Driving an extremely calculated and intelligent race, Patrick Lay crossed the line over a second clear of McCullough to take a well deserved win. Massey heroically claimed third ahead of Sam Dimelow and Owen Jenman.

Senior Masters

Barnaby Pittingale took pole for the final with Joe Paterson alongside and the on-form Brian Trott third. Neil Fisher joined him on row two with Roland Breadner completing the top five. The majority of the field got through lap one with Pittingale leading the way. Paterson made a move on lap two but Pittingale defended well and forced Paterson to back out of the move and lose a lot of time. This allowed Trott to get right on the rear bumper of Paterson and dive through at the hairpin on the following lap. This put Paterson under pressure from the chasing pack which was headed by Fisher, Bone, Breadner and Mace. Half distance and Paterson had established a gap to the people behind and was back past Brian Trott going down the hill into Ashby’s. Chris Bone lost out to Roland Breadner and then Simon Mace got past a few laps later. Paterson was now chasing down Pittingale. However, his earlier attempt to pass had allowed Pittingale to open up a big enough lead that Paterson couldn’t reduce in time. After 20 laps of intensity, Pittingale crossed the line to take a superb victory. A great performance by Paterson saw him claim the runner up spot and a real heroic drive after problems early in the day saw Brian Trott take a well deserved podium in third.

Easykart – Round 6

Round 6 Llandow, 17th August 2014

South Wales was still feeling the effects of Hurricane Bertha as the Easykart competitors assembled for Round 6 of the championship in pouring rain. Set up and tyre management would make for an interesting day.

MASTERS

Masters Pre-Final

With the conditions beginning to improve but the circuit still far from dry Trott was determined not to get caught in second but it was Mace who made the better start to take the lead. Joe Paterson made a demon start and was rapidly making up ground. Trott harried Mace all the way round the first lap and made the better exit out of the final turn to swoop by into the lead at the chicane. Paterson was also looking to find a way by. Trott continued to stretch his advantage but as he came down the back straight his engine let go and he coasted into early retirement and an end to his days racing. Mace inherited the lead but not for long as Paterson slipped by at the first chicane. Mace wasn’t about to give up though and continued to attack at every opportunity. Paterson wasn’t to be beaten though and took the flag just ahead of Mace and a flying Roland Breadner.

Masters A final

Joe Paterson led the field away from pole and with the conditions improving rapidly and his set up finally sorted he put in a drive which showed just why he is the Championship leader. He moved steadily away from the pack to record a resounding win and strengthen his Championship advantage. Mace gave valiant chase but couldn’t get his tyres to come in until it was too late to mount a serious challenge. Nevertheless it had been a good day for him as he gained valuable points. Breadner took third. With Paterson well out front but not out of sight it’s looking like a three way fight for second between Churchill, Mace and Trott.

SENIOR LIGHTS

Lightweight pre-Final

Drama right at the start as poleman Jenman pulled off the circuit with electrical trouble leaving Lay to lead the field round the first tour. Ingram held second but had Robert Newman hard on his tail. Dimelow had made a poor getaway and dropped to sixth but was looking very feisty in his efforts to ascend the order. Lay continued at the front but on lap 9 Newman dived through at the chicane to take the lead. Also looking strong was Massey, beginning to drive like a champion elect and harassing Ben Yeomans for fourth. At the front meantime Lay grabbed the lead back from Newman with two laps to run. A lead he then held all the way to the flag with Newman just a Kart length adrift in second followed by Dimelow, Yeomans and Massey.

Lightweight A Final

Lay lead away from pole with Dimelow up to second from Newman. At the back Jenman, his Kart maladies cured, was really on the move, up to fifteenth by the end of lap1. Lay continued to lead but experienced major understeer and on lap 5 Dimelow slipped by into the lead. It was the beginning of a steady descent for Lay as his handling worsened and he became a sitting duck down the straights. He would eventually finish twelfth. By half distance Massey had finally made his way to the front ahead of Dimelow but all eyes were on the flying Jenman up to an incredible fourth. Sadly his heroics had rooted his tyres and he would advance no further. At the flag then it was Massey followed by Dimelow, Newman and Jenman. Massey continues to lead the championship with Jenman in second place.

JUNIORS

A smaller entry than usual due to the holidays but it didn’t detract from the quality of the racing despite the atrocious weather.

Junior pre Final

The track had at last dried out. Faulkner led away from pole but Hawkey was beaten into the first corner by Murchison. Collins was holding fourth from a charging Elliott Webb and Mitchell White. At the front though Faulkner continued to pull away as Murchison and Hawkey disputed second but then on lap 5 Hawkey appeared on her own. Murchison was out at the bottom of the circuit with a displaced chain. A comfortable win for Faulkner with Hawkey a distant second ahead of White in third.

Junior A final

Faulkner again led the field away but Hawkey made no mistake this time and slotted into second ahead of White. Faulkner led for the first three laps with Hawkey in close attendance and looking for a way by which she finally achieved on the run down to the final turn. Further back Murchison was well on the pace after his pre-final drama and making up several places. At the flag though it was Hawkey who took a well deserved win from Faulkner with Murchison a distant third.

Sam Faulkner remains at the head of the championship table from Esme Hawkey. These two were the class of the field at Llandow but Jenson Murchison and James White are not out of contention.

CADETS

Cadet Pre Final

A great race this one turned out to be. Barlow led away from pole but this time the chasing pack never gave him any respite. First Stansfield and then Anker made moves but Barlow defended manfully until lap 10 when Anker braked just a fraction later to take the lead at the final corner. Barlow wasn’t about to settle for second however and two laps later he was back at the front. Anker was now under pressure from Stansfield for second allowing Barlow to pull a gap. With one to go Stansfield dived inside Anker at the bottom of the circuit to take second. It was a move which forced Anker to run wide and lose precious momentum and he was unable to mount any sort of comeback. Barlow ran out the winner with Stansfield second and an aggrieved Anker third.

Cadet A final

Once again it was Barlow away from pole with Anker grabbing second from Stansfield who was in turn passed by Evans, Fox and Huntley. Evans was in real attack mode and on lap 8 took Anker for second at the final turn. It was not to last though as Anker grabbed the place back at the bottom of the circuit. Barlow still led, just, but it was still anyone’s race. Huntley was pressing Evans hard for third with Stansfield also back in contention. As the race wound down the front four circulated almost line astern until the final turn on each lap when it became anyone’s guess as to who would come out ahead. Great racing!. At the flag though it was Barlow who again took the win after a very mature drive from the feisty Anker, Huntley and Stansfield. George Evans was the leading novice taking a well judged fifth from a charging Charlotte Fox.

Harry Barlow takes a healthy lead in to the next round after great drives under pressure. Euan Johnson remains in second despite a poor day at Llandow but Tyrone Stansfield, Scott Huntley and Georgie Anker are now closing in.

Easykart Cadet winner scoops top prize

Oliver Gray aged 9 years from Sevenoaks has won this year’s ‘Win an Easykart Cadet competition’ organised and run by Easykart UK.

Eighteen finalists aged between 8 and 10 years old were evaluated after qualifying for the final through karting leagues run at Brentwood Karting, Buckmore Park circuit, Xtreme Karting in Scotland, Herefordshire Raceway and Mr Karting in Leamington Spa.

The final evaluation day was held at the Whilton Mill International circuit using Easykart Cadet Karts.

For some of the drivers it was the first time for them on a large outdoor track and also the first time driving a racing kart. Drivers were evaluated on racing lines, kart control and speed over two separate test sessions, each driver was also interviewed!

This year’s standard of driving was very high and all the drivers were very impressive but after the testing and interviews there could only be one winner – Oliver Gray, who is yet another protege of Brentwood Karting!

Oliver impressed from his very first session and looked completely at home in the Easykart cadet. Oliver does indeed look to be an exciting addition to the Easy cadet grid for 2015.

Oliver’s prize is a brand new Easykart Cadet worth £2500 plus free race entries to every round of the 2015 Easykart UK Championship run and promoted by Club100.

Easykart UK would like to thank all the drivers and parents for supporting this years competition as well as our supporting karting schools.

Easykart UK runs Easy Cadet for ages 8 – 13 , Easy Junior for ages 12 -16 and Easy Senior from 16 +.

For more information on the Easykart UK Championship visit www.easykart.co.uk or find them on Facebook.

Easykart Cadet Winner Scoops Top Prize

Stock-FlagOliver Gray aged 9 years from Sevenoaks has won this year’s ‘Win an Easykart Cadet competition’ organised and run by Easykart UK.

Eighteen finalists aged between 8 and 10 years old were evaluated after qualifying for the final through karting leagues run at Brentwood Karting, Buckmore Park circuit, Xtreme Karting in Scotland, Herefordshire Raceway and Mr Karting in Leamington Spa.

The final evaluation day was held at the Whilton Mill International circuit using Easykart Cadet Karts.

For some of the drivers it was the first time for them on a large outdoor track and also the first time driving a racing kart. Drivers were evaluated on racing lines, kart control and speed over two separate test sessions, each driver was also interviewed!

This year’s standard of driving was very high and all the drivers were very impressive but after the testing and interviews there could only be one winner – Oliver Gray, who is yet another protege of Brentwood Karting!

Oliver impressed from his very first session and looked completely at home in the Easykart cadet. Oliver does indeed look to be an exciting addition to the Easy cadet grid for 2015.

Oliver’s prize is a brand new Easykart Cadet worth £2500 plus free race entries to every round of the 2015 Easykart UK Championship run and promoted by Club100.

Easykart UK would like to thank all the drivers and parents for supporting this years competition as well as our supporting karting schools.

Easykart UK runs Easy Cadet for ages 8 – 13 , Easy Junior for ages 12 -16 and Easy Senior from 16 +.

For more information on the Easykart UK Championship visit www.easykart.co.uk or find them on Facebook.

EasyKart – Round 5

Championship, Round 5, 19th July, Glan-Y-Gors, North Wales

Cadets

From the sun and heat of the early races, intermittent rain developed for the two finals by mid-afternoon. Barlow led from pole in the first final, but he had an inspired Euan Johnson pressing hard from grid 3, from the closely following Huntley and Wroot. There was little to choose between them from the entire race, with Barlow hanging on for the win by 0.170s, with the next three just one second apart, as Huntley caught Johnson for the runner-up place in the closing seconds, ahead of Wroot. Harry Graham was several lengths further back in 5th place, with leading rookie Joe Sheppy in the top six.

With Barlow on pole for the main final it was all over for his rivals once it started to rain. Barlow pulling away into a very big lead. He set the fastest race lap in the early stages of 56.990s (lap 3), then sat back and relaxed, before cruising to the flag with a five and a half second gap over Johnson in 2nd place, and his two shadows, ‘E’ plate Georgie Anker and Wroot. Huntley was a distant 5th, pushed hard by rookie George Evans.

Masters

Paterson made the best of his hard-earned pole position, opening out a small gap over Churchill before the end of the first lap. Any hopes Churchill had of getting closer to the leader during the following laps, were soon thwarted by Brian Trott, who got into the ‘E’ plate champion’s slipstream from mid-distance and started to push hard.

Up front though and Paterson was running quick and smooth, keeping tight lines and gently opening out his advantage over Churchill. 2.25s was the winning margin over Churchill and Trott, the latter two separated by only 0.23s. Simon Mace took 4th place, helped by Roland Breadner dropping out of 4th position in the final few laps at the first corner. Shaun Port ended up in 5th place, with rookie Crutchley rounding off the top six after getting the better of Mark Lawrence a couple of laps earlier.

The main final dawned wet with a persistent drizzle, which worked perfectly for Paterson. By the time the rain stopped and the sun came back out half a dozen laps into the 20 lap final, Paterson had such a lead it was all over bar any mistake from the leader. An eight second+ winning margin at this level is more than a little impressive, especially given the quality of the opposition. For Paterson it could not have gone better. “We had a great weekend and everything went to plan. The kart was fantastic in both wet and dry conditions. Me and John (my mechanic) make a great team and we understand each other. Carl pushed me all day, but we had the edge; he is a great driver, a great competitor, and a good mate.”

Churchill looked to have the better of everyone except Paterson, but it soon became clear that Trott had other ideas. As the track dried, and with no opposition to worry about from behind him, Trott closed in on Churchill and started to apply pressure. Churchill started to slide more in the closing laps giving Trott his opportunity. Around the last lap Trott pushed hard, and as Churchill’s kart twitched coming onto the finishing straight, Trott pulled alongside to steal 2nd place by 0.01s!

Breadner’s run to 4th place had been a great effort from grid 21, showing only just how quick he had been until his pre-final retirement, and with the fastest race lap of 51.940s, maybe the front battle would have been a touch more interesting if he had started higher up the grid. Grand Master rookie Peter Mills finished 5th (from grid 10), ahead of Mello. Unfortunately for both Port and Lawrence, both of whom had been inside the top five, problems led to Port slipping back to 12th after an off, with Lawrence retiring at mid-distance.

Senior Lights

The best one word comment of the day came from Owen Jenman, who after finishing in 2nd place to Sam Massey in the pre-final, which had taken place on slicks on a wet track, had simply been an understated “interesting!” It had looked to the increasingly wet spectators more like “troubling”. That was apart from Sam Dimelow who appeared to have been the only driver on wets. He was well placed at the start, running in 2nd place, before slipping back into the chasing pack as his tyres struggled in the semi-dry conditions. If the rain had been just slightly heavier, it was a gamble that could have reaped dividends.

It soon became clear how no one could touch Sam Massey in the relatively poor pre-final conditions. With Jenman the ‘best of the rest’, Massey had what appeared to be an easy run to the chequered flag for a solid win on a testing track surface.

Because of a kart problem, Kieran Gordon had not been at his best in the damp of final 1, but come the main event he was untouchable. Coming from grid 7 a few spots of rain by the end of lap 1 suggested problems, but it did not develop into a deluge, and Gordon moved forward with determination. “My day started with a big off in qualifying with a bent axle and steering column, and at the end of the day we realised I had ruined the frame! In the first heat we started 16th and finished 7th with the chassis being out by around two inches! The pre-final I started 7th and finished 7th after getting hit at the start back down to 12th. At the start of the final I was running in 6th just in the tow of the leaders, when the rain came down. I moved up to 3rd, then on lap 12 I passed Sam Massey for the lead in the double right coming back down the hill. From there I just settled down in to a rhythm and saw out the last 8 laps.” Jenman’s retirement was Newman’s gain, as he stepped forward to claim the final podium place, clear of Richard Moxom, Matthew Pearce, and Jack Golding.

Junior

Esmee Hawkey is one quick racer, and she showed her pace in what could be her final karting year, before moving onwards and upwards in the sport in 2015 if her current plans reach fruition. With pole for the pre-final ahead of Jenson Murchison we were set for a good race and so it proved. With the drivers taking to the track on slicks as a fine drizzle of rain fell, it soon became clear this would, barring incident, be a two driver race.

Hawkey made a good start from pole, but she had Murchison tracking her for the distance. There was little between them on lap times, with Hawkey’s best of 43.570s comparing to Murchison’s 43.580s, although the latter’s ‘turn-in’, especially on the final corner was looking that much sharper than the leader’s. Around the final lap there was nothing to separate the two of them, particularly when they raced side-by-side through the infield, but it was at the final corner where Murchison held the advantage and he used it well, claiming the win from Hawkey by 0.210s. In the two leaders wake a good scrap had developed between ‘E’ plate Sam Faulkner and James White, with Faulkner surviving a grassy moment up the hill, before recovering to wrest 3rd place from White by the flag. Elliot Webb and Mitchaell White completed the top six.

The final was all Hawkey and Murchison once again, except the rain was now falling heavier and every driver was racing with wet tyres. Hawkey made the better start once more and opened out a small gap in the early stages, looking as though she had the race well under her control, with a best lap well clear of anyone else. Unfortunately Hawkey picked up a slow puncture with three laps to go and Murchison closed in quickly. Around the final lap they touched at the bottom of the hill, leaving Murchison to win easily by over 10 seconds from Faulkner and White, with Hawkey slowly crossing the line in 4th place before pulling up on the slowing down lap