Oakenhurst is proud to sponsor Matt Pearce and Dave Burns. They both started their karting season at the beginning of this month and Dave Burns has written a race report to keep you up-to-date on his progress this season.

It’s been a long wait, but finally the season is underway again! Clay Pigeon Karting Track was sunny and showed no signs of becoming a wet track day. Practice day was on Saturday (6th April), during which Dave was focusing on running his engine in for the first two sessions after a full rebuild in the off-season. After deciding on a baseline set up for the track (using data from last year), Dave was able to use the Free Practice (FP) sessions to adjust the kart to get the best performance out of it.

The new karts are a different weight to the older model which, when coupled with the 1kg increase in overall weight for Seniors, meant it took some tweaking to get right. Also meaning the karts ended up on weighing scales after every FP session to make the necessary adjustments. Throughout the sessions, Dave’s lap times gradually got quicker with minor tweaks to the kart set up.

On race day (Sunday 7th April) the weather had changed so that it was colder, meaning the track was cooler compared to what it had been during all 5 FP sessions. Qualifying was very close between everyone and left small margin for error. Dave posted a time of 35.491 which placed him in 15th on the starting grid with only 1 second between 1st place and 19th place during the final qualifying session.

During the Heat Dave progressed from 15th to 12th by the second lap and was battling in the mid pack. On lap 8 Dave was pushed wide with some contact by another driver which caused him to fall back to 17th place. Then making up one more position Dave finished in 16th. The pre-final saw Dave having an unfortunate start into the first corner causing the rear wheels to lift off the ground and eventually spun out, putting Dave in 21st place out of 22. Working hard to close the gap in front, Dave managed to get back into 19th, leaving a lot of work to do in the final Grand Prix.

Dave started the final race and worked through the back markers, making up 4 places and found himself in 15th position after 5 laps. The challenge now was to catch the rest of the battling mid pack and make up some more places. With only 6 minutes to go, another driver made contact with Dave in the chicane and spun Dave out. The contact was noticed by the marshals and the other driver was given a 4 place penalty, but Dave was still left in 19th place after the incident with an 8 second gap to close to 18th.

With the other drivers penalty included, Dave crossed the line in 18th after a tough day including multiple spins throughout the day. We would like to thank our sponsors Oakenhurst Aircraft Services and Viking Precision Engineers for all your support thus far.

Round 2 will be in Glan Y Gors on the 11th & 12th of May.