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Last stand at Aldershot? - 13 Oct 2003 - Aldershot

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Last stand at Aldershot? #1
Gil looking cheerful for a change

Last stand at Aldershot? #2
Newcomer Mike - Personal best performance. And the best case of red-eye I've ever seen!

Last stand at Aldershot? #3
Mark de Brun, fast, aggressive performance

Last stand at Aldershot? #4
Martin, tall, thin and the quickest in the team

Last stand at Aldershot? #5

Last stand at Aldershot? #6

This may be our last race at Aldershot. The track is scheduled to close at the end of October 2003.

We came second, four laps behind Bog's Dollocks and fifteen laps ahead of Rio's Sample. Only Bog's and the Fugitives were really in the race, and some of the other teams were extremely inexperienced. There were many silly crashes and more black flags than I've ever seen.

In practice, we turned in a very satisfactory time in the kart, so, after recent experiences, we decided not to tempt fate by changing it. Our time was 30.91 to Bog's 30.42. Half a second. We should have seen that as a sign.

Gil chased off after the rolling start, just three karts behind Bog's, lapping the whole field (except Bog's) at least five times in his session, though Bog's lapped us on the changeover.

Mike took over, eventually turning in sub 31 second laps, and holding Bog's off to a large extent. Towards the end of his session, Mike was trailing Bog's by two and three-quarter laps.

After the fuelling session, which was characterised by Bog's getting a free ride during a race stoppage, we'd dropped the other quarter lap, and were three laps behind with Mark at the wheel. By the end of his session, due to some terrible bad luck with traffic, we'd lost another lap on Bog's but had pulled up another three laps on the rest of the field. The "traffic" incident was typical of the night. Mark was overtaking a slow kart on the outside of the down ramp, when she decided to go into the pits without raising a warning hand, and turned straight across him. Then the marshalls didn't notice until our team members attracted their attention. Result: loss of a lap and a half in that one incident. Mark demonstrated that he was equal to the situation by unlapping himself a few laps later.

By this time, it was noticeable that Bog's top speed was greater than ours, although we were generally better in traffic. Bog's undoubtedly had a better kart on the night, and kept getting lucky breaks.

Martin's session was an excellent display of fast driving. He was the fastest of the Fugitives, turning in many sub 30 second laps. He pulled up a lap on the leader, but gave it back when he rammed a barrier and then used a foot to disengage himself in full view of the marshalls. Black Flag.... Martin! Only cheat when you can't be seen! Still, by that time our fate was sealed. We were coming second, pretty well whatever happened. Over his session, Martin lost no ground on the leaders and picked up seven laps on third place Rio's.

Pity, really. These second place cheap tin medals aren't as nice as the winners' cheap tin trophies.

Congratulations, too, to race controller Phil, who conducted a pretty fair contest without rancour in the face of considerable provocation.

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