Mixed Fortunes at Whilton for 3DR!
Thursday, 26 June 2008 13:06
A difficult weekend was in store for the team at Whilton for the 6th round of the championship. With Dominic looking to add to his impressive tally of results over the past fortnight, and Will Blackwell Chambers looking to improve his competitiveness dramatically after training sessions in the week, results were expected. New Minimax drive, Jorgen Tveit was also to spend his first full weekend running under the 3DR banner.

‘I think today will probably prove pointless as far as the race day is concerned, as the weather for tomorrow is forecast to be dry. We will use the day to run through our wet tyres with Dominic, and work hard with both Will and Jorgen. We know where Will needs to improve, so we can go straight to work with him, whilst we need to evaluate Jorgen’s driving. Today will be mainly be used as preparation for when the wet weather inevitably creeps in over our summer!’ Team Manager, Tom Smith.

Fresh off the back of two victories at Kimbolton and Shenington, Dominic dominated the days wet testing. The anticipated test programme was completed, and the day rendered a success.

After Will’s first wet outing with the team at last month’s Whilton meeting, a massive improvement was needed. Midweek training had been previously carried out with Will, and his confidence was a lot higher. New wets were used for the day’s test, which saw his lap times drop significantly compared to last month. A huge success for Will saw him lapping with regular frontrunners from the Stars of Tomorrow national series. By the end of the day confidence was high, and a massive leap in Will’s confidence and ability had been seen.

Jorgen too had an impressive day on Saturday. The team spent the day preparing his equipment to their meticulous standards, and using setup previously learnt from their experience to aid the minimax driver. By the end of the day, Jorgen had been fastest in 3 of the 6 sessions, vying for the top spot with regular M Sport Zanardi team driver Bonham.

As predicted, Sunday morning saw sunshine and wind, in sharp contrast to the rain on Saturday. A hard day was ahead for the team, trying to evaluate Jorgen’s driving skills whilst building on Wills, and looking for a win with Dominic.

The first heats were all dry, and Dominic stamped his authority on the meeting winning from grid 5 by 4 seconds. A solid 4th from 17th on the grid showed his determination in the seat right now. A 6th in heat 3 after a coming together on the opening lap with another competitor cemented 3rd on the grid for Dominic’s final. Pole would belong to former seeded national driver Danny Payne, with Alex Sharper (once Formula A frontrunner) on the outside of the front row.

‘We have done quite well so far today, with the changeable conditions etc. If it wasn’t for the coming together in the 3rd heat then i would have been on pole, but nothing is lost coming from grid 3. The team have worked well and the kart feels good. I am ready for a tough race, but feel confident that I have a great chance of coming ut on top,’ Team driver Dominic Russell.

After midweek training with Will Blackwell-Chambers, some progress was expected. Struggling with overtaking would still prove to be a massive issue for Will, although improvements have definitely been made. An unsuccessful half move saw him crash out of heat one and come home in 25th. However, after a swift talking to and repair on his kart, he drove doggedly to hold on to 5th place in heat 2, his best ever heat result! With 2 laps to go he was catching the front group, but a lack of experience meant that he had to sit in behind them. Heat 3 saw a pretty steady effort into 15th place from grid 22.

‘I think Will has definitely made an improvement over the past month. It is just time and experience that is needed with his racecraft. He does make a lot of half moves, which will inevitably culminate in quite a bit of crashing. However, all drivers must go through this stage, and we are happy that we have pushed Will forward recently. The pace that he possesses can be good, as heat 2 illustrated. Will will be on grid 13 for the final, which will be one of his highest grid slots at Whilton Mill ever. Well done!’ Tom Smith

New driver Tveit struggled in all 3 heats on Sunday. His pace was worthy of the frontrunners, showing that he had a good kart underneath him, and that he definitely does possess some potential. Unfortunately some rather over-aggressive driving meant that he crashed out of 2 heats, recovering to mid-field finishing positions each time. He managed 2nd in Heat 1, only to be docked 5 places for a false start after the race. Miraculously, Jorgen would start on grid 6.

The first final was for Junior Rotax. A good start saw Will slot into 12th place. His pace was equal to that of the frontrunners. He unfortunately got impatient when he couldn’t pass the midfield drivers, and a slightly overzealous move saw him collide with another driver. This saw an early end to his race.

Jorgen was on grid 6 for his final. With the pace to win, and a rejuvenated determination pushed on him by the team, he took to the track. A good start saw him move up to 4th on lap one. A move for 3rd was made on lap 2 that coincided with the leader receiving a disqualification from the race with a broken bumper. Setting his sights on the new race leader, he quickly made the move at the hairpin. With his head down Jorgen was proving to be very hard to stay with, gradually building a lead of over 1 second by lap 9. Then disaster struck. An incident involving 2 different karts on lap 1 was unrightfully blamed on the 12 year old driver. A black flag was issued and his race was over. The team believed the decision made by the clerk of the course was totally wrong, and are extremely disappointed for Tveit.

Dominic’s race was, as usual one of the last finals! Taking the start, he quickly drove away from the field with pole sitter, Payne, leaving Sharper to battle for 3rd. By half way through the 12 minute race, it was obvious that the kart seemed to be struggling off the corner. A valiant effort by Dominic saw him post the equal fastest time throughout the race, but he could only finish on the bumper of eventual race winner Payne. 2nd was a disappointment for the team after the two last successes. In scrutineering, the problem was quickly found. Binding brakes had caused Dominic to bog down off the slower corners, which stopped him being able to make a move on Payne.

‘I’m quite disappointed that I couldn’t take victory today. On lap 1 I hit the right hand kerb on turn 2 which i think dislodged the brake disc, forcing the pads to bind for the whole race. 2nd is ok though, and we have a busy schedule over the next month, so we have to look forward.’ Dominic Russell.

All in all an ok weekend for the team. Dominic has scored good point in the club championship, and definite improvements have been made with Will. We now know what areas to work on with Jorgen, and we will be starting his training at Forest Edge in 2 weekends. Watch this space!

For any information on the team, please drop us an e-mail or phone Don/Tom in the office
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