THE Fab Racing British Championship Sixth round was hosted by Lydd Karting in Kent. With only three race meetings left in the calendar and valuable points left up for grabs, all three YRF Juniors were in the hunt.
Charlie Atkins brought his race face along to Lydd, sitting eighth in the Mini GP50 championship on his Metrakit and third in the Junior 4.2 A class aboard his DMR prepared Polini Minimoto. This round will play a vital role in his championship position.
Fridays practise session were going to be valuable to Charlie as he had only rode this track once before. In the afternoon sessions aboard his DMR Polini, Charlie was not looking forward to going out after being told to take it easy whilst bedding in clutch’s for the rest of the weekend. Going slow is not in this talented young man’s make up so he replied “this doesn’t feel right dad, can’t I just go for it”. After his bedding in laps Charlie was back at the pointy end of the timing sheets and with only a few minor problems with the clutch that were swiftly rectified, all was set for Saturday’s qualifying.
Saturday’s sessions got underway and at the end of Qualifying for the Mini GP50 class Charlie sat in sixth for race day. In the qualifying sessions aboard his DMR Polini in the Junior 4.2 A category, Charlie went out and blitzed the field to take pole and was the only rider to set a sub minute lap.
Sunday was race day and starting from sixth on the grid aboard his Metrakit in the Mini GP50 class, Charlie had some tough racing ahead of him. In race one after a hard fought battle Charlie finished in third. Race two saw Charlie collide with a backmarker and run off track, after rejoining he took eighth at the chequered flag. Race three was drama free and Charlie managed to cross the line in sixth, back in the pits he told his mechanic/father “I had no grip out there, so couldn’t really push”. Overall Charlie took third for the Mini Gp50 class, retaining eighth in the championship with 141 points.
In the Junior 4.2 A class it turned out to be a mixed bag of emotions for the youngster from Goole. In race one Charlie got the holeshot into the first corner and over the coming laps diced it out in the leading group of three until the red flag came out giving Charlie the win. In race two Charlie once again got the holeshot, but this time started to pull away from the leading gap giving him a considerable lead. However a couple of laps from the end Charlie started to indicate something was wrong and was eventually passed by two riders just before the finish line. Back in the pits Charlie explained “the bike just lost drive and wouldn’t pull like the first 4 laps”. A small blockage was found in the carburettor. Unable to make the grid in time for race three Charlie settled for second overall for the day, leaving him third in the championship on 281 points.
James Alderson unfortunately missed Fridays track time due to commitments at home, despite this he used Saturday’s practise sessions to gain as much knowledge of the track as possible. Riding in the Junior Production class this was James’ first visit to the Lydd circuit, so every second on track was vital. Grabbing his Polini GP6 by the horns, James started to get more and more comfortable and started putting in some fast lap times.
The Afternoons first qualifying session got underway and James started to lap really quickly from the off. Although James had never ridden the track before today, he was looking as if it were his home race which is testament to how much James has progressed as a racer this year. At the end of the first session James sat in pole position with one more session to go. The final qualifying session saw James slip back to third, but only half a second covered the top three.
In race one James stayed with the leading group of four and battled hard swapping and changing positions. Unfortunately James Polini didn’t have enough power as the other bikes on the straights and he would drop positions, however on the infield he would make up and regain positions. After a hard fought race and clocking the fastest lap, James crossed the line in fourth position.
Before race two the gearing was shortened on the Polini in an effort to make up more time on the infield sections. However as race two got under way it was apparent that James was noticeably slower on the straights. Despite this he held second place for the first three laps, once again swapping and changing on the infield. Again after another exciting race James took fourth at the flag.
Race 3 proved to be the same as the previous two with James getting a good start and holding second for a number of laps, and battling hard on the infield to make up what he had lost on the straights. Unlike the previous races however James managed to hold third position as the flag came out. With two fourths and a third under his belt this gave James third overall and a vital 42 points, moving up to sixth position in the championship with 170 points.
With a busy and challenging weekend out of the way, as well as a 720 mile round trip to contend with, James’ dad Stephen reflected “James really worked hard this weekend and there was some good racing, I couldn’t have asked for anything more especially when he missed the practise session on the Friday and didn’t have much sleep.”
Ross Turner was looking forward to this round as it was a track he knew and liked. Once again contending the Junior 4.2 A, Junior Production and Mini GP50 classes all in one weekend, it was going to be a very busy weekend for the Turner camp. Both practise and qualifying proved beneficial to young Ross, using an onboard camera provided by his father Simon to go over race lines, corner entries and exits to help the 8 year old understand the track a lot better.
Race day was upon them and with the Mini GP50 class race one got under way. Settling in to a steady rhythm and gradually building up pace, Ross started to provide some very smooth riding. Still getting to grips with the big bike he used his track time to gain knowledge about the bike and himself, he crossed the line in 11th position. In race two Ross got off to another good start, unfortunately disaster struck as Ross’ front wheel touched the rear of a passing rider and he fell heavily. With the young rider walking away with only a few bruises it was decided to pull him out of the third race.
In the Junior 4.2 A class Ross rode as if he hadn’t even crashed at all riding a superb race to finish 10th in race one. In race two Ross got off to a strong start and lapped consistently fast for the first five laps until he tucked the front wheel going under another rider. He managed to remount and take 19th place. Race three saw another good start from Ross and a lot of dicing between two other riders throughout. As the flag dropped Ross crossed the line in 12th giving him 11th overall and seventh in the championship.
In the Junior production class Ross rode two excellent races giving him two ninth places and personal best times, however the decision was made to withdraw him from the final race due to the two crashes he had earlier in the day. Ross took tenth overall which leaves him 11th in the championship.
After a very long and emotional day Ross’ father Simon had this to say about the days racing “I’m very proud of Ross this weekend. He’s shown some grit and determination, even though he was in pain. He’s spent the last few days showing his mates the collection of green blue bruises, which he now wears with pride.”
Photo’s courtesy of Rachel Bryden.