This year has taught us a hell of allot, as an engineer by trade I assumed kids karting couldn't be hard. You know what they say about assuming!!! Ioan's first race weekend saw him coming 2nd, just 0.60sec behind the winner. I assumed the engine was a good one and I was happy to leave it at that. A few weeks later we found ourselves in a Pandemic and in a lock down. Eventually we were being allowed to use a track in West Wales, although beneficial and giving Ioan critical seat time, it took all the life out of his engine. Competitive racing returned for Ioan's second race weekend, everything was going well but Ioan's times were poor. He went from being 0.5sec behind the leader to nearly 2-3sec? Ioan was really frustrated and complained his kart was slowing on the corners, but why?
The carburettor was stripped and deep cleaned and fuel was remixed and out he went again for Heat 2, same result, 2-3sec slower than the leader? Ioan finished the day in 4th but still best novice. After speaking to the fathers at the track it was evident my engines required a professional rebuild. A visit to Hereford to a well respected engine builder saw us with an engine with some very good outputs. We couldn't wait for round 3 to see the results on the track. Again we struggled in Saturday practice day while we put some hours and heat cycles through the engine but Sunday saw use again fighting with the leader. Ioan finally finished the day in second and won a heat. We were bouncing, all along I was complacent to the importance of a good engine!!!
THEN, along came the second lockdown of Welsh regions and with it an end to the 2020 South Wales IKR karting Season.
We have committed to entering the BKC Championship next year which will see us travelling to the UK's most famous karting circuits and two European rounds. We will also attempt to enter the MSUK bambino championship should funds allow.
Unfortunately to remain competitive, there is the cost of maintaining and purchasing of the equipment. To date, as a family, we have committed close to £8000 but have been lucky that I had a redundancy package to fund us.
Ioan's current frame is coming up to 4 years old so we will look to purchase a new frame, it will give us geometry adjustments that we don't currently have, along with 2 new tagged engines.
If funding struggles we will compete with our current setup and hope Ioan's talent will carry him to consistent results.
To Ioan, he thoroughly enjoys meeting new friends and enjoys the karting. He goes on an emotional rollercoaster every time we go racing, but on the drive home he talks about how he loved karting and racing his friends, but he can't wait to get home and stick the F1 on the TV. He could talk a glass eye to sleep about not 'if' but 'when' he will be a F1 driver and how he wants to match Lewis Hamilton. Lewis is his idol and dreams of the day where he can race like him, it is his everything.
- Rhodri Llewellyn
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