I think the best way to describe this one was redemption. The BMKR Winter Series Round 2 was held on the 19th February 2023, with testing on the Saturday. Following on from the experience of 2023 BMKR Winter Series Round 1, we decided to run again with Ambition Motorsport.
We started Saturday with minimal changes to the kart again, with focus being on the squishy bit in the seat. The coaching was done by Rob and worked well for Riley. The day started out setting a new PB and the times kept tumbling, until the drizzle for the last two sessions. With the help of Ambition we got the kart set up dialled in a little more ready for the Sunday.
For qualifying, we let the Rookie Juniors go out first before following them out. This allowed them to get clear and reduced the risk of tripping over them. Times throughout qualifying were reasonably consistent, and a best of 49.81 saw him finish 12th overall and 2nd in class.
For the heat, the Junior Libre (Mini Max 2022) class was put at the back of the grid. It took a little while for the racing to get going though. After a 3rd false start the drivers were stopped and spoken to. Once the racing was underway, it was clear something wasn’t right. Through the middle hairpins it appeared the grip was not there. Riley came off the track saying he couldn’t brake for the corners. Despite this, a fastest lap time of 50.33 and some good driving saw him keep 2nd in class, 11th overall.
The pre-final saw the grid form in the finishing order from the heat. This left 3 juniors behind the Libre’s. With a new set of brake pads now fitted, and the juniors behind, a slightly hesitant start saw him drop a place. This wasn’t for long though and Riley re-gained 2nd in class on lap3. Now used to the new brakes, Riley settled in to a routine and managed to keep 2nd in class with his best time of 49.99.
After the disappointment at 2023 Red Lodge Karting Club 2000 Round 2, and 2023 BMKR Winter Series Round 1, we reassured Riley it was just like any other race. For the final, Riley lined up 14th on the grid. On the first corner, one of the juniors spun, Riley went to the left, someone else went to the right and managed to overtake. Dropping to nearly 1 second behind, this seemed to bring out determination in his driving. Hunting down at a rate of knots, on lap 6 he took the place back, putting in multiple laps in the 49s. With a best time of 49.7, 2nd in class and 12th overall it would be a fantastic final.
This result felt a little bit like redemption for previous events where 2nd was lost. Once again, the support provided by Ambition Motorsport was excellent, both to the squishy bit in the seat and on the metal bits. Up to now, the development and learning was focused on Riley, now it’s time to focus on Dad and the metal bits. The improvement has been phenomenal. We’re both thankful and grateful for the opportunity that Ambition have given us.
Thank you as always to our sponsors helping make this happen.
Paul Babington is the official photographer based at Bayford Meadows. (Facebook Page)