EBC-equipped rising kart racer secures best position yet in national karting series after strong driving in Fulbeck finale

Date: 21-22/09/2019
Track Conditions: Sunny/wet, 17°C
Location: Fulbeck, Lincolnshire

Heat 1
Grid: 4th
One minute the weather was sunny and dry, the next light or heavy rain. As the first heat of the day drew closer, the rain started to fall lightly. The track was damp; not dry enough for slicks but not really wet enough for wets, so we put intermediate tyres on the kart.

I lined up 4th on the grid and held my position. The kart felt good and I was keeping with the lead three, the four of us gapping the rest of the field by 3.2 seconds. Unfortunately as the track dried the kart was struggling to get traction and I was unable to keep the pace, and with three laps to go the field caught me. With the kart really struggling in the drying conditions I lost two places on the last lap. We finished in 6th.

Heat 2
Grid: 6th
The track had dried by heat two. We were on slicks as it was cool with some dampness to the air. On the formation laps I put as much heat in the tyres and brakes as I could and off the start I held 6th place. After one lap the rain came and as we were on slicks we struggled for grip.

Karts were sliding off the circuit and drifting off the racing line. I had to take avoiding action and near enough stop. I lost a position, but the kart felt great. I got a good drive from the last corner, ran down the straight side-by-side with the kart in front and out-braked him into the first corner. With three laps to go I had caught the battle for 4th and I was in 7th. The following lap I overtook number five coming out of the first corner then got by another kart putting me up to 5th.

On the penultimate lap I was side by side with the 4th position driver coming out of the first corner. Going into the slight right kink before the bus stop I gained the position putting me into 4th place which is where we finished.

Marcus Hudson at NFK round 1

Heat 3
Grid: 13th
The rain had been falling heavily since heat two but it turned to a light rain as heat three draw closer. I lined up 13th on the grid.

Going into the first corner three karts went into each other and I negotiated around them moving me up to 10th. During the rest of the first lap I managed to overtake another four karts moving me up to 6th place. On the second lap I passed another kart down the start/finish straight and by the third lap was up to 4th.

I had so much more grip than the others in the wet conditions, we had set the kart up perfectly. I got another good drive from the last corner and went down the straight neck-and-neck with the 3rd position driver. I out-braked him into the first corner, and moved him wide in the corner making the pass up into a podium position.

I could see the lead battle up ahead as I exited the last corner, they were then entering the first corner, which was a lead of 6.8 seconds. I was now on lap four and felt very confident in the kart and myself. Six laps later I had closed the gap to the lead battle and was touching their rear bumpers.

On the last lap going into turn 4 the driver in second place made a mistake and I went around him on the outside taking 2nd and across the line I was right behind the leader, wishing we had one more lap to race.

After heat three, the rain was intermittently falling, sometimes heavy and sometimes light. The circuit would be dry then wet again so it was difficult to decide which tyres we needed to be on for the final.

I decided to make my decision as late as possible as the weather was changing so much. As they called up the 250cc karts to the dummy grid we put the slicks on and I thought that if it did rain when we are out there then I would just have to deal with it. As we got ready for the final on the dummy grid we had all decided to be on the dry tyres. Although there were heavy black clouds approaching, the circuit was dry for the moment.

With our three very good heats we sat 2nd on the grid. Going into the first corner I was on the outside and lost four places. It started to rain after four laps and on lap eight going into the boot complex, the kart behind slammed into me pushing me off resulting in the train of drivers passing me. When I re-joined the race I was hit again, dropping me to 9th.

I was frustrated as I had clearly just been taken out by the driver behind and anyone could do that, but to overtake without hitting takes skill. Later in the race I had a go at the kart in front going into the first corner but couldn’t make it stick. A lap later I got a good drive off the first corner and got by. With two laps left I caught the driver that had taken me out earlier and coming off the first corner I was running beside him. I moved over slightly and overtook him as the circuit narrowed slightly. We finished the final in 7th place.

Final Thoughts

We had a brilliant race in heat three, going from 13th on the grid to a 2nd-place podium finish. I felt confident in the kart all weekend which was great.

The championship standings going into the final round we sat 9th after a poor round five at Rissington. But with great results in the heats and the final we finished 6th in the championship for 2019: our best finish to the British Championship in our three seasons competing. The presentation is at the Silverstone Wing on 1 December.

A huge thanks to all my sponsors for a successful 2019 season: Maxview, Silkolene, Listers BMW, Foras, Charmed Interiors, EBC Brakes, Bearts of Stowbridge, HairStyles, Carter Haulage and PRO-S UK Ltd.

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