The Club's Results

Cuppers Karting, Lent Term 2003

1st & 3rd Multisport E-

4 man relay
First leg Martin Peck Second leg John Earl
Third leg John Rudge Fourth leg Jon Davies
Winners by 1 1/2 laps
First and Third entered a team in the inaugural Cuppers Karting competition last year and were delighted to walk away with an unexpected yet comfortable win. With the competition now entering its second year, however, it was clear from the outset that the stakes had been raised somewhat. A bullish Selwyn team, headed by the race organiser, Keith Collantine, were brandishing such punch lines as 'OBLIGATORY TRINITY BASHING' and 'wipe the floor...' doing little to conceal the determination with which the various University karting stars and others would be denying us the double.

Nevertheless, we approached the event with a quiet optimism. Our tactics, tried and tested last year and now honed to a new level of perfection would surely reward us with at least a chance of the podium. The team welcomed two new members; JPD and Dr Peck were joined by John Earl, whose countless hours of virtual race experience would surely bestow on him the same speed and consistency as Glass last year, and John Rudge, First and Third boatie turned Automobile Club President, claiming to be 'alright'. Conditions were again damp - further raising our hopes that a careful and consistent showing from all four team members would again give us every chance of overpowering the often stunning but occasionally erratic performance of the race favourites.

In the half hour qualifying we soon posted a time worthy of 2nd place, but decided to let rookie John Earl practice for most of the latter part of the session - during which time a series of fast laps from several other teams put us down to 8th on the grid. A hitherto confident John Rudge seemed increasingly nervous and so Dr Peck was promoted from 3rd to 1st leg of the two hour race to attempt a repeat of JMG's fine performance last year. MCP was the model of consistency, driving carefully past the inevitable series of stationary vehicles and increasing in speed as his confidence and mastery of the circuit increased. However, it soon became clear that his efforts were woefully inadequate; despite gradually reducing his lap times from 68 to 65 seconds (within 1 second of the fastest lap of the race so far), he only climbed to third or fourth place and was lapped by Selwyn, the race leaders. With 30 minutes elapsed he was duly called in and rolled into the pits on cue - a marked improvement on his abysmal pit stop strategy of last year. Nevertheless, hopes were high that Mr Earl would improve our placing against the undoubtedly weaker 2nd men (and women) of our opponents.

JWE's performance was soon cause for concern. He did not appear to be travelling all that quickly, instead resembling an elderly lady with a supermarket trolley. Plugging on with determination but little else he did successfully avoid major incident - choosing instead to brake sharply every now and again to allow the next car to pass. A crash 20 minutes into his stint left him looking very shaky and it was not much longer before JPD suggested we should "get him out of there". Despite lapping some 10 to 15 seconds slower than Peck, we had somehow remained in 3rd, leaving our hopes resting on John 'unknown quantity' Rudge instead. Mr Rudge performed well, soon reducing his consistent lap times to around 69 seconds. We were not making up ground on the leading Selwyn team, but neither were they extending their lead - now hovering at just less than one lap.

With 40 minutes remaining, it was time to unleash our secret weapon. Last year its awesome power had not been fully utilised, but this time around we were lying in 3rd with a great deal still to do. In red with bright white stripes, a gleaming white helmet and resembling to some extent JPD, it was deployed, and with devastating effect. Merely 5 minutes later Selwyn and hitherto 2nd placed Churchill emerged from their final pit stops to find themselves demoted and some 20 seconds adrift - and Trinity's kart number 1 heading the leader board.

An occasionally glimpse, a flash of red, and white, powering effortlessly through droves of hapless amateurs as if they weren't even there (no mean feat). A 63 second lap. A chequered flag. A rousing cheer from the pit lane. A comfortable win by one and a half laps.

And Champagne. [by the webmaster]
Sadly the grandmother with shopping cart description is all too accurate. I could really have used some time driving where I didn't have to worry about coming off prior to having to race. Oh well. (Dubya)
All in all, awesome fun and a good effort all round. Rah. Rah. (Martin)

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