Bank Holiday Bad Weather Frustrates Dixon On Car Racing Debut



28/03/08

Kent teenager James Dixon got his car racing career off to a frustrating and disappointing start at Brands Hatch on Bank Holiday Monday. The Candy Carriers-backed driver had to battle freezing temperatures and falling snow over the course of the meeting, leaving him struggling for grip and top results.

In the opening qualifying session, James managed to claim an impressive sixth place on the grid, as snow fell on the track. However, he knew that there was more time to come and for the second session, he and the team decided to gamble on a half wet/half dry car set-up.

The decision looked like paying off as the session got underway, with James and his team-mate locking out the front row early on. But, with just a few minutes left to run, a dry line started to appear around the circuit, which allowed several of his rivals to get a clear run, dropping him down to 11th place, just three-tenths of a second away from pole position.

"That session was really frustrating for me," admitted James afterwards. "We took the gamble and it looked like it was going to pay off for us. But, that's racing and we were so close on times, it could have gone either way with the weather."

The first of the two races gave more frustration to the former karting star, with a series of red-flags halting the race as drivers struggled in the cold and wet conditions. A poor start by James dropped him down the order, but he managed to get back up to fourth on the opening lap only for the race to be stopped. In what was meant to be a 20-lap race, the results were declared after four laps, following yet another race stoppage, giving James ninth on his debut.

In the second race, another poor start meant he had plenty of work to do over the course of the race. However, further stoppages meant that once again the race distance was shortened, this time to five laps and a 16th place finish for James was not a representation of his hard work and speed in pre-season testing.

"It was a nightmare start to my car racing career," said James. "I couldn't believe the amount of red flags and race stoppages. I know there are a few areas I need to work on. It was my first ever standing start in a racing car, so I need to practice those. I had a really good final test at Brands Hatch a few weeks ago and was really hoping to get a solid result here too."

"I'm going to go to Rockingham for the next two races and aim to get my season off to a proper start there though. The pace is in me and the car, I just had didn't get the luck at Brands," he added.

James will next be in action in three weeks time, at the Rockingham circuit in Northamptonshire on the weekend 19/20 April.

Ref: JD0803

Harvey Claims Third In British 'O' Plate Meeting


01/04/08

Bassingham kart racer, Jack Harvey took another podium result at the weekend as he took third place in the KF2 British Open Championship 'O' Plate meeting at the Three Sisters circuit near Wigan on Sunday.

The Newark Steel-backed racer has already started his European campaign. However, a handful of UK outings are on the cards for the current European KF3 champion and as a test for him and his Birel chassis the Wigan event was a great way to make a return to British soil.

"It was another good weekend for me," said Jack. "I hadn't driven the kart in UK specification since the end of the Winter Series and with the weather and track temperature playing a big part in racing it was a good chance to get some more miles under me," he added.

Over the course of the weekend Jack and his team tried several set-ups and were always at the sharp end of the grid. However, a few small issues kept him from finding a perfect balance and he was unable to push as hard as normal when it came down to the final on Sunday afternoon. Despite a great drive, the 14-year-old had to settle for yet another podium result, rather than victory.

"It would have been nice to have won the event and been able to run with the 'O' plate during the season," said Jack. "Having the plate is like being the benchmark for the class in the UK. We had work to do to try the kart on the UK tyres and we made a few changes that didn't work for us. But, we know what did and what didn't work, so it was a good weekend from that perspective."

"Obviously every time I go out I want to win, but this weekend was also important for me and the team to get more set-up work done before we approach the UK races over the course of the year."

"It was great to be on front-running form without being able to push as hard as I would have liked though, it puts me in a great position for the opening round of the MSA Super One Championship back at Three Sisters in two weeks time," he added.

Ref: JHKF20807