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1999 Braid Challenge - 14 August 1999 - Milton Keynes

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1999 Braid Challenge #6

This event, organised (Thank you, Sean) by Sean Conboy at Braid, was held on the Daytona Milton Keynes National track, which, at 1.3 km, is about 80% of the International circuit. This track has a lap record of 54.42 seconds, a record achieved during this very race by a team exotically called Number Twos, about whom I could discover nothing! They weren't from Braid, nor from Syntegra, at any rate.

This time, we drew lots for the team members of the Blues and the Fugitives.

So it was: Norwegian Blues -

  • Gary Denny
  • Joe (who's that behind me?) Czirbesz
  • (Skid) Mark Neale

Gary set off first. He's very fast right now, and only had 3 laps longer than 60 seconds during his session of about 50 minutes, at the end of which the Blues were in the lead. He also had several sub-56 second laps, and succeeded in lapping Gil of the Fugitives!

After the first refuelling stop, Joe took over the driving, continued the good work, and had, for Joe, an uneventful session, though he was much tormented by Nathan of the Fugitives who was trying to unlap himself, and spent much of his drive looking over his shoulder, and steering, seemingly, by memory.

Refuel time again, and Mark took over. Shortly afterwards, he was black-flagged together with The Norwegian Blues and The Number Twos, for speeding under a full-course yellow. Their joint contention that they had slowed to half speed is not borne out by the lap-charts, which indicate they were running at three-quarters speed or more!

However, because the penalised parties were 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the race at the time, the Black Flag made no difference to their placings.

Mark pulled out all the stops in the remainder of his session, but was unable to improve on second place, despite achieving the team's best time of 55.72 secs. There was much traffic to plough through, which didn't help!

The Blues finished with an average speed, including two refuelling stops and a black flag penalty, of 75.4 km/hr, covering 189.63 km in 2.5 hours.

The Fugitives

  • Gil Williamson
  • Nathan Vosloo
  • John Farr

Gil took the first session, finishing his 50 minutes in 5th place, having been lapped by Gary. His best time was 57.11, 1.4 seconds slower than Gary Denny's best. Not an auspicious start.

Refuelling time, before Nathan took over with a scorching session that knocked spots off the rest of the field. His best lap was 55.01, and, looking at the lap charts, I can see only one over 60 second lap, and many, many 55.1 - 55.2 second times.

Towards the end of Nathan's session, though, he was still behind the Norwegian Blues and just ahead of the Number Twos. Gil took a Scott Braun decision at this point, and skipped the second refuel, saving nearly two laps on the track.

This ploy put the Fugitives in first place with John Farr in the driving seat. Gil reasoned that with twin-engined karts, if the worst happened, there would always be one engine to coast the kart back to the pits, and though we would not then win, we might still make 3rd place.

Euphoria was short-lived when the black flag came out, but, after the penalty, The Fugitives were still in first place, because The Blues and The Twos had been booked as well.

John then put in a number of scorching 55-56 second laps, his best being 55.49. Now 3 laps up on the opposition, John coasted to victory, allowing aggressive backmarkers to overtake him, rather than get into a dog-fight, though John's coasting times were as good as Gil's best!

The Fugitives finished with an average speed, including one refuelling stop, one driver change, and a black flag penalty, of 77 km/hr, covering 193.38 km in 2.5 hours.

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