I'm not sure where the idea for a karting event came from nor how it morphed into an 'inter-Area event'. Regardless, it was a jolly good few hours in a noisy, fume-filled warehouse on an otherwise bright and breezy Sunday in November.
Eighteen drivers took to the track: 6 from Area 4, 4 from Area 22, 4 from our local Aston Martin Bristol dealership and 1 from Area 18. Despite Martin's cajoling over many weeks, his 'Area 18 Repness' was the sole representative from South Wales. However, 3 guests made up for the shortfall so that 4 full teams competed for the non-existent Area Trophy!
After kitting-up, being briefed and then separating into two groups, we embarked on practice and qualifying laps. Warming up the tyres, being given the wrong kart and enjoying too much of the sideways action, were all valid reasons to end up in the 'B-Final', i.e. the slowest 9 drivers of our group.
Those who'd clearly either done it before or spent the practice laps actually working out how not to slide around quite so much, ended up in the 'A-Final'.
I think you need to turn around...
The two races were hotly contested, as the yawns of the spectators attested. The results table below doesn't tell the whole story. Thrills and spills, overtakes, trail-braking, opposite lock... they all happened and sometimes deliberately.
The race time allowed for 19 laps in the A final and 18 laps in the B final, which of course flew by in no time when actually sitting in the karts doing what seemed like phenomenal speed (and looked dreadfully slow from the viewing balcony).
Aston Martin Bristol kindly supplied a selection of prizes (AMR cap, bobble hat and year books) to add to the Club's sponsor Champagne Taittinger for the overall winner.
Well done to Thomas Matten (AM Bristol) for his stunning win from pole position with a best lap of 40.192 secs. Area 4's James Thorburn took the silver trophy (40.583) with Area 18's Chris Taylor (40.240) on the third step of the podium.
The making of the movie?
The B-Final (no trophies or podium celebration) was won by Area 4's Rick Cullen after starting 2nd on the grid (43.629) with Area 22's Bryan Wyatt in 2nd (43.251) and John Case (43.011) in 3rd.
The Area Reps were all politely in the B Final! (Martin Beattie A18 (white shirt), Andrew Fawkes A4 (Petronas shirt) & Tom Wood A22 (right)).
Feel free now to dissect and debate the race statistics ad infinitum...
Huge thanks to all who supported this event as driver or support crew. Especially to Aaron Allnutt at Aston Martin Bristol for supplying some terrific prizes!