Oakenhurst is proud to sponsor Matt Pearce in his karting season. His second race weekend of the season was on the 11th & 12th of May and he has written a race report to keep you up-to-date on his progress this season.
The Glan Y Gors circuit is situated in North Wales near Snowdonia which means unpredictable weather conditions and consequentially, an interesting race. It’s one of the longest karting tracks in the country with incline corners and fast straights and is often referred to as the Spa of karting.
Saturday’s (11 May) test day was welcomed by fantastic sun shine, allowing the team not to worry about wet weather testing and could focus on a dry set up. The main concern was to ensure the previous rounds engine issue was fixed, which Matt confirmed, so they could focus on setting the kart up. Matt wanted to optimise the kart for the long straight so that overtaking was easier and sacrifice the slow sections as its naturally harder to overtake. Matt started to post some competitive lap times but felt there was more to gain. The team made adjustments, but to no improvement. As the day went on, the tyres had worn too much to make a competitive time, so the team set up the kart to the fastest set up they thought was best for the race and the kart pass scrutineering without issue.
For the first time, timed qualifying will only apply for 4 of the championship rounds. In the other 4 rounds, the starting position of the first 3 heats of the day will be randomly generated by a computer. Giving each driver a chance to start in varying positions throughout the grid. The results from the 3 races overall will decide your starting position in the final race.
On race day (Sunday 12 May), the computer decided that Matt would start Heat 1 on pole. Pole position was a gift that allowed Matt to create a gap behind him and finish in 1st place, however the tyres has started to go off the pace towards the end of the race, so a few tweaks were needed before Heat 2.
In Heat 2, Matt was starting in 8th, putting him in the middle of the grid and some less experienced drivers at the front. Matt got a good start and was up to 4th within the first lap. After a big mid pack battle with Matt dropping down to 7th at one point he finally crossed the line in 3rd place. A good result after a hard-fought race. However, the leader was then disqualified for being under weight, so Matt got promoted to 2nd!
Heat 3 saw Matt starting in 20th, last place. This would make it hard to keep an average of high position finishes for the final. Matt had a great start to the race and work his way through the pack. Using the track to his advantage, he crossed the line in 7th having overtaken 13 drivers.
After having finished 1st, 2nd, and 7th in the heats, Matt would be starting in 2nd for the final with his championship rival starting next to him in 1st. In the heats, Matt had reported that the tyres were starting to overheat towards the end, naturally slowing him down. The team played with tyre pressure all day, with the final being a longer race, it was important to get the pressure correct.
The race started and Matt had a good start and was keeping close with the race leader. After a few laps the pair started to pull away from the pack, which was Matts intention to secure 2nd before attempting to overtake the lead. The pair were evenly matched for pace until Matt’s tyres, as before, started to overheat, creating a gap between Matt and the leader. Even after pushing the leader all the way, Matt didn’t have the grip to make an overtake attempt stick, and crossed the line in 2nd place.
Post race, Matt said “I am very happy with all the results today in all four races. It’s a shame I couldn’t challenge Sam for the win at the end, but more importantly I have closed the gap in the championship to Sam by todays solid results. As ever my team did an incredible job today to turn the kart around from a mid-pack to a podium finishing kart after a dull Saturdays practice day.”
“I would also like to thank my sponsor Oakenhurst Aircraft Services Ltd for their continued support. It was great to have them here to see me on the podium and share the success together”.
The next race weekend was on 8th & 9th June at Shennington in Banbury, from which we will be posting about Matt’s result and his race report soon.
Keep up-to-date with Matt’s progress here, on our LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or FaceBook page, or search Daniel Ricciardo Series on Facebook. Follow DM racing on Instagram to see the team’s progress this year.