Emily Linscott – Karting update

Emily at Buckmore Park at the head of the pack – Photo Credit to Paul BabingtonEmily went into round 5 at Buckmore in 7th place in the Championship, mainly due to a mechanical failure in one of the early rounds and getting caught up in someone else’s accident at another, costing her to miss out on valuable championship points.


She saw Buckmore as an opportunity to gain some ground back on the leaders, even though she’d only driven the full circuit just once before in these karts, as she was quick in Saturday’s practice sessions, so was aiming for a good qualifying run and then some solid results from each of her three races.

If practice had gone exceptionally well, qualifying was the complete opposite. Having completed her out-lap, she then slowed to an early halt with no power and had to sit out the whole of the session on the side-line. It turned out to be a chain issue, which had jumped off the sprocket, meaning she started 26th of the 27 drivers.

Heat 1: From the 13th row back (so far back she was actually around the last bend), Emily had a plan, which was pretty much the only thing she could do to get anywhere near she wanted and deserved to be, but it was going to be risky. From the lights out, she immediately went into the centre of the pack, overtaking three drivers with some forceful driving. Her decision was to go wide on the long first right hander as she was expecting there to be contact on the inside at the apex…and so it was, three drivers collided causing others to slow near the incident, whilst Emily said, “thank you very much” and took the widest, longest but most efficient route around the outside of the pack, once again using her ‘don’t-mess-with-me, I’m on a mission’ style. The crowd loved what she did and the stands were buzzing with her overtaking prowess. Work wasn’t done yet though, as they approached the first hairpin, she was having no one take her place away from her as she braked super late and managed to get her kart into the apex safely and out again without contact. By the half way mark of the first lap, she had somehow managed to make it up to 13th place from 26th on the grid. Very impressive indeed, but now she had to get her head down and catch the next batch of drivers. A couple of laps later she was up with the next pack of drivers and challenging for position. She managed to get past one driver but it took a whole lap as he defended quite hard, slowing them both down in the process. Once past she had more ground to make up again before she got on to the others. 2 laps later she was fighting and she wasted no time in getting through and into 11th place on the road. The last lap had her fighting all the way for 10th, which she took with a stunning move on the difficult negative camber uphill corner called Garda, where she threw her kart into the apex very late, her opponent immediately switching back to the inside on the exit but Emily now forcing her kart to do things it wasn’t happy to do by running the inside kerbs heavily and holding the other driver out, making him drive the long way around her. 26th to 10th place on the line was an impressive drive indeed and we now had a happy girl again, one that now started to realise just how good she actually is.

Heat 2: Starting in 10th place, 5TH row, she knew she had the pace to get a good result, but it wasn’t going to be easy as she was up with the other top drivers in the championship now, and they’re all very good and very tough on track.

Another good start allowed Emily to take one place into turn one and another under brakes into the first hairpin. Now up to 8th she powered on, pushing 7th hard, making him look everywhere but forward, but she too was coming under close scrutiny from her pursuers, so she had to be clever not to leave herself vulnerable when she went for an overtake, it would have to be clean and decisive.

For 5 laps they circulated together as a pack of 9 karts, all nose to tail, each holding station well and leaving little opportunity, but they had now broken clear of the rest of the class, so there’s was likely going to be some shenanigans on the last few laps. Emily was first to move as she went for a cool move on the fast downhill right hand kink; she lined herself up out of hairpin two, came through the left kink slightly wide to gain the right line for an overtake on the blind right kink before the drop, right in front of the main grandstand. Most of the spectators winced but she pulled it off cleanly and was now up to 7th place. She set about catching 6th place by setting a new fastest lap of the race and hauling herself on the rear bumper of her friend and teammate for the day, James Black. Emily and her kart were clearly a force to reckon with and her exit speed out of the difficult Garda corner made her uphill speed marginally better than James’s. As the tow caught up to the 5th place driver, James went for a move inside at the fast right hander of turn one. With Emily stuck to his rear bumper, she was able to help push him through as the pair went through as a train. This was the last lap now and she had to do something to special. The two had now caught 4th place but he was defending everywhere. They weren’t’ going to get through unless he made a serious mistake. On the final run up the hill, he decided to tangle with 4the 3rd place driver, which put him slightly off line, slowing him down enough for James to make a move. As James went for an overtake up the hill and across the finish line to take the chequered flag, Emily pushed his bumper (called bump drafting) and managed to get James through into 4th and with Emily now alongside the other driver, but she just missed out on 5th place by 6/1000th of a second. Fantastic racing by all the front runners, with Emily posting the fastest lap of the race and 2 of the 3 fastest sectors too.

Emily airborne – Photo Credit to Paul Babington Emily in her new YRDA Race suit

 

 

 

The A Final: With two amazing drives under her belt, this race was even more important as it pays double points, so a good result here would make the day a good one.

Starting 6th in the final, she started well and got in the mix immediately. The front eight drivers worked together and cleared off from the rest of the field, as the train of karts snaked its way around the track at high speed, no one able to make a an overtake that would stick, at least for the first few laps anyway. The fight was now on, with 4 of the top 7 drivers in the championship all in the front group, there was a lot at stake. The front three swapped about a little and the rest of the leading pack attempted various manoeuvres to outwit one and other, but they largely remained in their respective positions. It was all very tight. Emily knew where she was quicker than the driver directly ahead, so she built her plan. Coming out of the notorious Garda corner at the bottom of the circuit, on the second to last lap, she got a great exit and built her speed, drafting James Black up the hill. She was ready for him to go defensive but he didn’t, leaving the door open for Emily to attack up the inside at turn one. She left it late, parked her kart alongside into the turn and that was the pass completed. She focused on not leaving the door open herself for the remainder of the lap as well as trying to get into 4th place too but there was too little time to or opportunity to gain another place. She took 5th place in the final with fastest sectors once again.

Her weekend’s position change went from 26th to 5th overall and a decent points haul putting her into 5th in the championship standings too.

Plenty of positives from this weekend, and on to Bayford Meadows next weekend.

Bayford Meadows – Rnd 6

The weather was pleasant, some sun and a bit of breeze but otherwise perfect conditions for racing, although the track was a bit ‘green’ to start with at there’d been a torrential downpour the day before, washing away any rubber laid down on the track.

Qualifying was a bit of an odd time for all concerned. Emily went top early on then dropped down the order as others found their feel. The top drivers were up and down the leader board like yoyo’s but things go back to some semblance of order towards the end of the session. Emily qualified 8th, which she wasn’t too pleased with. The kart was checked over and set-up changed to help her speed and overtaking for the heats.

They used a 3-heat system this weekend due to the number of entries, which meant that there were three heats in total; groups A & B, A & C and B & C
And the finals determined by their respective points haul as normal.

Heat 1: Emily starting in 7th place. She and the front pack got off the line well and held position into turn 1. You could tell Emily’s pace throughout the race seemed slower than she would normally be, unable to mount significant challenges, albeit she did manage to gain one place to finish 6th. Once again, the kart was checked over for obvious signs as to why she was off her normal pace by almost 0.8s.

Heat 2: Emily started 8th in this one. Once again, her race pace didn’t match her normal times and she was having to drive defensively for the entire race. She was able to make a move on a couple of drivers but also lost out to a couple too, so she finished where she started, in 8th place.

In the awning Emily’s feedback was one of frustration. She couldn’t put her finger on the problem so we opted to change a few things for the final.

The A Final: Starting in 8th on the grid, she knew she had to find something to get good points, but it was going to be tough. At the start, she held position but gained a position through a collision further up the field. She immediately challenged the next driver and gained 6th place at turn two as she drove neatly underneath her opponent. A couple of laps later she was through at turn one on her next kart, but all the time being harassed by two other drivers. She did lose position at turn one a couple of times but retook the place on the switchback. Emily overtook Jono Dalton for 5th place and then gapped him, as the two drivers behind her also dealt him the same blow. A small battle broke out between Emily and Harvey Roffe but it was won by Emily as Harvey got caught up with another driver trying to overtake him. It looked like she could get a 5th place from the final, but by now she was having to drive defensively but it wasn’t all done yet. Leon Clarke had been moving up the order too and was challenging Emily for 5th place. She drove as defensively as she could but mad a small mistake into turn one and Leon pounced. She had a good hard go back into turn two and three but was thwarted by Leon as they touched, slowing her a little and losing ground. At the line, she finished 6th but all in all, not too bad considering she just didn’t have the pace in the kart this weekend and had to drive a lot more defensively that she would normally. We managed to find a little bit more, or Emily did, but she still ended the day just over half a second off her normal pace, but we think we’ve fund the problem, but only time will tell.

Emily’s remains 5th in the title hunt but the gap to 3rd and 4th has closed a little. Back to Bayford again in 4 weeks’ time for Rnd 7. Let’s hope we can work out what was holding her back.

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