Last week we had a bit of field trip from work, where a whole load of us got to go karting at the nearby Aintree Racing Drivers? school. The weather was foul, though, with lashing rain meaning conditions were pretty challenging on track. For those out in the worst of it, I think it was more like jetski racing than karting.
The course was a good one, even with the standing water, as the corners flowed together nicely, and I?d love to go back there on a dry day to see what kind of times are possible. I managed to lap into the mid 1:08?s during my long stint in the two hour endurace race we did, but I was pipped for fastest lap by about half a second. I reckon I could have bettered my fastest if I?d just gone balls out, but I was mindful of the good work my team had put in before me and throwing away the first place I was in would have sent the fuck-wit-o-meter off of the scale! ;o)
By the end of the event I was aching, my forearms were pumped to the point of numbness, plus I was drenched and cold. But I loved every single lap of it, and was stoked for my team that we managed to win it with some great driving by all, and three excellent changeover pit stops.
That night I flinched my way through lap after lap in my sleep, and the next day I was still on a high despite the aches and pains. I?d forgotten just how much I love karting. I used to do a ton of it, back when Ade and I shared an office, as we?d go every Friday lunch time for a half hour blast at Scotkart in Clydebank, and I?d end up going on weekends, too, with my old friend Richard and his son Jason.
Since those heady days back in ?99, I?ve hardly been at all, save for a couple of trips to Scotkart when I?m back up in Scotland, and one fairly crap visit to a place in London where the karts were electric. So it was extra exhilarating to find that I still had a fair bit of speed in me after all this time. I let myself down on a few laps, admittedly, throwing it into quite a spin, but I was never in danger of leaving the course, which a few other folk managed in spectacular fashion.
I?m hopefull that a few of us will manage to get back up to the ARDS when it’s dry for another blast in the new year.