The Barbers fielded a team of five for this year’s Go Kart Challenge, driving 2 karts. And we won! We had intended for Kart 1 to be made up of three Lees, being my brother David (frequent rower in the cutter), my son Oli (the cox for the cutter) and myself. Sadly Oli got called away to a Sea Cadet rowing completion at the last minute, leaving David and me to fly the flag for the Barbers. The second kart was manned by Fiona Caren and Phil Mitchell (Freemen) and Dylan Evans (spouse of Freeman). Last year had been a learning experience, with team mates who were not really known to each other and we therefore got a result to match (20th and 22nd out of 24). This year we took a more scientific approach and matched drivers with each other as best we could. Also, everyone was under strict instructions to practice, practice, practice!
On the day, the Glovers showed up with their own race overalls, hats and cheerleaders (sort of) and looked as though they didn’t really expect much competition. They had some very young drivers weighing a good 20 or 30 kgs less than us oldies. The Glovers qualified ahead of us, putting Barbers 1 in third position on the grid at the start. Within a lap David was in second place and maintained that position throughout his first stint at the wheel. By the end of the race we were in 1st place!
Barbers 2 qualified fifteenth of the sixteen teams, so had some work to do. Slowly they worked their way up, although until the fuel stops were complete it was not easy to see the progress they were making. Dylan completed the first stint and by the time Phil took over they were in 10th and a good solid drive moved them up to 8th, Fiona was next and when she handed back to Phil they were up to 7th and were in a very close tussle with the International Bankers and Paviers 2. With some good driving they kept the Bankers behind them but could not manage to catch the Paviers. Everyone was putting in similar lap times which was the key to their climb up the places.
The end result was a 1st and 7th place for the Barbers after some amazingly competitive driving—which was great fun! The only problem that we have now is to defend our results next year, which we are led to believe will be on a street circuit in the City.