I’d always laughed at the idea of doing Super One for a whole host of reasons, cost being the main one but also the time commitment and frankly ability. If I look back at 2015 we had taken a really laid back approach to karting, only competing in 6 race meetings, a few practices and 1:1 coaching sessions. It had been a really enjoyable year with a ‘take it or leave it’ approach that had been refreshing and good for our father/son relationship. Costs had been low, commitment minimal but of course, with so little track time in our new Junior TKM class, we hadn’t exactly been winning races! Meanwhile a good friend of ours had been doing Super One that year in Cadets and so we heard all about the big teams, big bucks, big pressure and the very large numbers of practices and races required to be competitive.
So with all this in mind why on earth have we chosen to do Super One this year !!
It started with our joining in the last round of the 2015 TKM Southern Championship at Buckmore Park where we found ourselves up against the likes of Abbi Pulling, Sam Fowler, Ross Deal and Bradley White, all strong Super One drivers. In the latter heats and final we found ourselves surprisingly close to their pace (in the final Alex had a best laptime just 0.24sec off Abbi).
However, it was really Abbi and her dad repeatedly telling us we had the pace and really should do Super One that made us, for the first time just begin to consider it. The other person I’m happy to blame is Tim Wilson (TWMotorsport). We were under Tim’s awning at Buckmore and it was the combination of Tim and coach Will Van-E‘s input that saw Alex make such a huge improvement over the weekend. They were also of the view that Super One would be a good move as, apart from anything else, it would put him amongst faster drivers that would in turn really bring him on.
Of course pace isn’t everything. Aside from costs (back to that in a minute) I wasn’t sure if Alex or I really would want to have the pressure of S1 with all the race dates, practices, travel etc. I’d made plenty of mechanical errors over the last few years from tiredness, not being on the ball and this certainly played on my mind.
Without doubt the changes to TKM in Super One helped with the decision. Whilst other classes have a Friday practice requiring drivers to travel up on the Thursday, TKM in Super One had this removed from all but the last round making the whole thing far more realistic for us. Alex would only need a few days off school over the course of the year (for the further away tracks) and I wouldn’t need to take too many days holiday just for karting. The other big one was the compulsory reuse of the previous round’s race tyres as the next round’s practice ones. I’d heard about the number of new tyres being used in some other classes over the course of each round and, well, this just wasn’t an option for us. Finally some generous contributions from grandparents made the whole thing just about affordable.
So the final question was whether Alex really wanted to do it. I left this with him for a few months to mull over and in the end he decided, yes 🙂
Ok, costs are manageable, Alex wants to do Super One and we ought to be competitive. For me its a chance to create some great memories that we will both treasure. As with the previous year, we will try and remember why we are doing this – to enjoy ourselves whatever the outcome.