It was round 4 of the Wera Tools British Kart Championship for 14 year old Alfie Garford last weekend at the fantastic Whilton Mill circuit near Daventry. Alfie Headed into the weekend after a successful round 3, to close the gap on the championship lead.
Great practice sessions at the start of the weekend gave Alfie confidence going into Qualifying that he would be able to mount a challenge on his competitors. And a great qualy it was, netting a front row in P2.
He would start from here for heats 1 and 2. Both heats would see him struggle with pace in the latter stages of the race as the sun baked the glorious track and ultimately cooking Alfie’s tyres. He finished 2nd and 6th respectively, and although the results looked ok, the kart was not on pace to mount a challenge for the wins.
Big setup changes over night were made after debrief and data analysis to try to get the kart to work in the hot conditions. The Pre-final would see Alfie start in P4. The kart looked competitive all the way through and he crossed the line in 2nd place but unfortunately a in race 5 second penalty was given out after an aggressive overtake, which demoted Alfie to 7th where he would then start for the main final.
So… Grid 7 for the 15minute main final, and a kart that now looked good in the 2nd half of the race. Alfie quickly got up to 4th place after a great opening lap. This group of 4 would slowly pull away from the rest of the field for the duration of the race. Half race distance saw Alfie to control of the race out in front, but not for long as his main championship rival also wanted to lead. Over the next 5 to 6 laps they not only swapped positions but also paint work as well, in a hard but fair scrap for the lead. With 2 minutes to go 3rd place also wanted in on the action and made his move on Alfie’s rival. This fortunately gave Alfie just a few kart lengths breathing space, and with a kart now setup for strength at the end, there was no way he was getting caught, and he romped home to his first senior win of the year!
With similar points scored throughout the weekend for Alfie and his rival they both go into the final round in a fortnights time with it all still to play for.