Karting: R3 Race Report

In Karting Team by Samuel Cresswell

2019 Inter-Service Karting Championships
Round 3: Jurby Kart Track, Isle of Man

1st – Kart 45: SLt Jean-Luke Laister & Lt Martin Theodorou

Round 3 of the 2019 Inter-Service Karting Championships was held at Jurby Kart Track on the Isle of Man on the historic sight of the former RAF Jurby.

Due to travel difficulties and operational commitments of many of our drivers, the Navy were only about to enter one kart into the three hour race.

Trainee Observer SLt Jean-Luke Laister, of 750 Naval Air Squadron, and Trainee Pilot Lt Martin Theodorou, soon to join 825 Naval Air Squadron, partnered together in Kart 45.

Unfortunately the round got off to a bad start when a novice from the Royal Engineers Team spun in practice and collided with Theordorou, bending the steering column, a track rod and, most damagingly, the chassis. The Team were able to fix the kart but the bent chassis meant they would be on the back foot for the rest of the weekend.

Laister took the kart for qualifying but was only able to manage seventh in a very close field, with most of the top seven karts separated by only two tenths of a second.

Shortly after the race begun with Laister making an excellent start. By Turn Three of the first lap the team were right behind RAF Conningsby, who had managed to keep their lead after qualifying pole.

Laister kept a short distance behind Conningsby until they approached the back markers and began to lap some of the slower karts. The team were able to take full advantage when a novice driver collided with Conningsby forcing them both to spin off the track, taking the lead at about 20 minutes in.

For the next twenty minutes Laister battled it out with RAF Lossiemouth for the lead until more good fortune when a loose engine mount forced Lossiemouth to make a pit stop for repairs.

At the hour mark Laister came into the pits for one of the three required pit stops for a driver change. Theordorou took over and put in some good laps to further extend the Navy’s lead before coming in at the halfway point for fuel and to give the kart back to Laister for his last half hour stint.

Theodorou took the last hour of the race but by then the kart was suffering, not just with a bent front end but also with a loose kingpin on the front left wheel. Despite this at the three hour mark Theodorou was able cross the line at least a lap ahead of all the other military teams to claim victory for the Royal Navy Karting Team.

The Team will now look forward to Round 4 at Crail Kart Track, Scotland. If you are interested in joining us there or to get involved in the team, please contact karting@rnrmmsa.co.uk.