Karting: R2 Race Report

In Karting Teamby Jean-Luke Laister

2019 Inter-Service Karting Championships
Round 2, Three Sisters Kart Track

Results: Race Abandoned
Qualified 1st – Kart 45: SLt Jean-Luke Laister & Lt Martin Theodorou
Qualified 10th (1st Heavy) – Kart 46: POAET Craig Beesley & LA(ACMN) Liam Waterhouse
Qualified 23rd – Kart 47: LAET Sam Cresswell & LAET Matt Chambers
Qualified 25th (3rd Novice) – Kart 48: Mne Sam Woods, ETWE Scott Clements, L/Cpl Jase Probert & ETWE Ben Johnson
Qualified 32nd (7th Novice) – Kart 49: AB Rich Price, AB Josh Wilson, AET Adam Green & Sgt Keith Curran

Members of the Team outside the Awning

Round 2 of the 2019 Inter-Service Karting Championships was held at Three Sisters Race Track in Wigan. The Royal Navy Karting Team entered 14 drivers over five karts, the Team’s biggest number of drivers to date! The grid was at capacity with 46 karts from all three Services along with a few civilian teams meaning it was looking to be a very busy and interesting race.

The Team were in a great position going into the weekend, thanks to new karts, equipment and engines they were able to purchase through a grant from the RNRMC and the Sports Lottery earlier in the year.

Practice showed the team to have plenty of pace, particularly at full speed along the start/finish straight due to our powerful engines, looked after KnighTorque. Both experienced drivers along with the eight novice drivers were exceeding expectations and things were looking exciting going into qualifying.

In kart 45, SLt Jean-Luke Laister, of 750 Naval Air Squadron, was able to put in a near perfect lap right in the dying moments of a damp qualifying session to get the team it’s first pole position in several years. While POAET Craig Beesley in Kart 46 was able to qualify 10th overall and first in the Heavyweight Category. Kart 47 qualified 23rd with LAET Sam Cresswell; Kart 48 was 25th (3rd Novice) with Mne Sam Woods and Kart 49 came 32nd (7th Novice) with AB Josh Wilson.

The race got underway soon after with Laister in 45 keeping the lead into the first corner. Over the next fifteen minutes Laister fought it out with RAF Coningsby and REME as the top three pulled away from the pack. At the fifteen minute mark the leaders started to approach and began to lap the back markers. Laister was more fortunate in his overtakes and managed to use this period to build a four second gap between him and the two others.

At 30 minutes into the race a racing incident on turn one left RAF Marham with only three wheels on one of their karts and this brought out the battenberg (yellow/black quartered) flag, where the first placed kart in effect becomes the safety car backing up the pack to allow for the race to be restarted when the incident is cleared. Laister took this opportunity to make one of the three required pit stops to hand over the kart to Lt Martin Theodorou for the second stint. A standard pit stop takes between two and two and a half minutes which meant Theodorou came back out right in the middle of the pack for the restart. After some excellent driving Theodorou had bought the kart back up to seventh by minute 45 however an accident in the pits which required medical attention brought out the red flag and racing was stopped.

Unfortunately the incident required the air ambulance which meant the Clerk of the Course declared the race abandoned. Had the race restarted kart 45 would have been in an excellent position fighting it out with the leaders with a pit stop in hand. Once they had all made the first of their pit stops the Team would have had around a 2 minute lead and been in a great position for the remainder on the three hour race.

The Team will now look forward to Round 3 at Jurby Kart Track on the Isle of Man. If you are interested in joining us there or to get involved in the other three rounds later in the year, please contact karting@rnrmmsa.co.uk.