Team Wrap: Sam & Jack at Warwick

team PR / Randy Greenhalgh

The final championship race has been run. After a second place finish in our last meet (I know I haven’t written about it) Sam had wrapped up the 4SS Junior championship. There was one other highlight from what was really a forgettable weekend (Round 5 that is) was Jack stopping to help another driver who had rolled his kart and was stuck beneath his kart. Jack had stopped to help before the race was stopped, so he wasn’t allowed to restart the race.

Now onto Round 6. I spent most of Saturday practice working with Jack on his driving and playing around with his set up. Our tyres weren’t the greatest, and we were down on grip. We had some better tyres in the trailer, but I didn’t want to waste them on practice. I didn’t do much with Sam, as his chassis has been awesome for most of the year.

For Jack Greenhalgh, it’s a bit of a stretch in the F500!

We seemed to make a bit of progress with Jack, and the track time is always good. Most everyone was a bit off, as the track was a bit green. After a nice dinner of steak (for Linda and I) and burgers for the boys we sat and spent some time with the members of our karting family.

Sam would be first out of the gate, with Jack 5 races behind. A nice gap, that would actually give me some time to work on the karts without being too stressed.   I’m always stressed at the track, it’s just the amount that varies. The 4SS class had a new driver come up and join us, along with Casey. The 4SS kids would be starting behind the KA4’s in a mixed field. The start was something that we constantly have to work on with Sam. Casey got a great start and managed to get in front of one of the P plate KA4 drivers. To be fair, she was driving in her first race I believe, and she did a fantastic job too !! It took Sam a lap to get past, and was a little over a second behind. Sam chased down Casey, and set the fastest lap of the race in the chase. Casey made a small mistake in pub corner, and Sam took advantage and ducked up the inside to take the lead. Casey wouldn’t make it easy for Sam, and dogged him to the finish. He was only 0.5 behind, it was a great race !!

Jack trying out the Rotax Superkart for size

Jack started 12th, and lost a position on the first lap. Jack dropped back a bit on cold tyres, but once the tyres came up to temperature, he started to gain on 12th. The 2 of them had reasonable battle, but Jack just couldn’t find a way past. He made a couple of small errors, and lost some momentum. Jack was happier with the kart, and said that the changes made it feel a bit better. The lap times were better than Saturday, but still a ways off of our best.

Heat 2 for Sam was an interesting one for us. Sam would start from the outside, and managed to make a better start. Casey still had his number though and slipped in front. Sam tried to stay with him, but Casey had the inside. Sam decided not to push a bad position and pulled in behind Casey. Sam managed to make a move on the 3rd lap and held on.

On the 5th lap 3 KA4 karts got together in the Kaos hairpin causing one of the karts to launch and then cartwheel off the track. The driver was caught underneath the kart and was trying to extricate himself, but wasn’t able to. As the 4SS guys are quite a bit slower than the KA4’s, it took awhile for them to get to where the accident was. Sam saw the driver couldn’t get out from under his kart, and immediately pulled off the track, jumped from his kart and pulled the other kart off the driver. He knew that by doing this, he would be classed as a did not finish (DNF), and would not get the race win. Just like Jack in the previous meet, he did it anyway. I couldn’t have been more proud of both of my boys !!

Heat 2 now for Jack, and thankfully no roll overs. There was a decent bingle on the first lap though. That sure juggled the order up. Jack came out unscathed, but shuffled all the way back to 12th. Over the next few laps, he managed to work his way back towards the front. More impatience by a couple of drivers saw him gain a couple more places. He then made a nice pass on the next driver in line to claim that spot. During all of the kerfuffle, one of the drivers passed another kart while in an area displaying a yellow flag (not permitted for safety reasons) and was given a penalty after the race. This promoted Jack to a well done 8th.

Due to his DNF in heat 2, Sam would start on the outside of Casey once again, and now trailed him in points for the meet.Sam finally got a great start and led into the first 2 turns. Casey’s driving has come a long way and he showed how much in this race. He refused to let Sam pull away and stayed with him the whole race. It was great to watch. Their lap times were virtually identical, with only a couple of hundredths between them. Sam couldn’t pull away, and Casey couldn’t find a way around. Sam held on for the win. Casey a mere 0.1 behind.

For heat 3 Jack started in 9th. He dropped to 12th on the first lap, but it was just a bit of being in the wrong place for him. He put his head down and tried to make up the lost ground. Only problem with that was, the drivers in front weren’t to keen on giving up their positions. 😆 He was at the back of a 3 kart pack all fighting for 10th place. Whenever he was in a good enough position to have a go to move forward, the kart in front of him (Yamuna) had the same idea. As the race unfolded, this little pack caught up to another driver, making for a 4 way battle. Not far behind Jack was another kart, just close enough to pounce should Jack, or any of the others make a mistake. Jack did make a small mistake, and lost a position, but was able to make it back up before the end of the lap. He came home 12th. He could have been higher, but I was pleased with the result. Anytime he has to battle, he has fun and learns so much.

Now for the finals. Sam would start off of pole with Casey outside of him. One of the KA4 P plate drivers decided to start from behind 4SS. Casey got a great start, as did the P plate driver. She got in between Casey and Sam. Whoever won this race would win the race meet, as there was only 1 point separating the 2 drivers. A win gets 0 points and 2nd gets 2 points. Sam was on 3 points, Casey on 4. Lowest total points wins, just like golf. 😉 On lap 2 the P plate driver made a move on Casey at the kink. It was the worst possible place for him, as it forced him wide and had to get out of the throttle. Sam followed her through and took advantage. He now had the lead. Now followed 10 more laps of watching these 2 fight it out. Casey would get very close, but just couldn’t find that little bit extra to get past. It was nail-biting stuff. To add a bit more of excitement into this enthralling battle, the KA4 leaders were coming up to lap the pair. Sam and Casey were able to not interfere with the KA4 race, and they didn’t really have much of an affect on the 4SS race. Sam held on to the chequered flag, just. Casey tried really hard to out drag Sam to the line from pub corner, but fell an agonizing 0.1 seconds short. Either driver could have won the race, and both deserved it. Well done !!

Jack was up next. He would start 11th and didn’t get the best start. By the time he had gotten through Cossor Corner (turn 3) he had lost a couple of positions. The driver just in front of Jack made a mistake and caught the kurb at new pub, causing Jack to get a good run up to Kaos. Jack pulled to the inside and got the position back under brakes. A couple of laps later another driver did the same thing to Jack, only difference was Jack didn’t make a mistake. the other driver just got a great run on Jack. Jack held on, and a couple laps later Jack tried to return the favour at kaos. The other driver let Jack through, but turned in later and performed a beautiful undercut on Jack. Jack lost some momentum though. He was caught and passed at the kink and into pit corner. A small loss of momentum can really hurt. Jack fought back, but just couldn’t get through. He finished a credible 12th. Not great, but he didn’t give up and was giving his all, but we just weren’t there this weekend. Overall we didn’t have the pace to finish any higher than 12th, which is where he was classified at the end.

Overall I am pleased with the weekend. All I can ever ask of them is to do their best and to never give up, and they both did that. I am grateful to have 2 drivers who when the chips are down, they help. Not just themselves but others. This year has been an amazing one for us. We’ve not only had our very first race win, but our first round win, a lap record (that has since been beaten) and a class championship as well. Jack has set new personal bests, and his race-craft has improved incredibly. Watch out if I can ever get the kart underneath him to work properly.

I want to thank the Warwick Kart club, the officials and volunteers who make this all happen. They do an amazing job !!! A special note here to thank Brett Uhlmann who stepped in and climbed into the lights tower for the afternoon. Awesome job Brett thank you !!!

Thanks to ArcPoint Industries for supporting our drivers this year, the trolley’s still look amazing !!! If you need any metal fabrication, welding, powder-coating please give Matt and Adam a call, or send them a message. Help support those who support the grass-roots karters !!

Thanks to Norm Trost at Sweet Tune Engines for Jack’s engine, and for all of your support and advice this year.

That’s all for now, next race will be our Christmas meet. It’s a non-championship fun race. That will be followed by the awards presentation. See you all soon.

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