TW Steel DMAX Championship Round 2 : The James Hunt Method

Many of you will know that once a month I take part in the traveling spectacle that is the TW Steel DMAX Championship. Much like F1, or so I like to imagine, the event moves to a different track in a different part of the country each month. Around 100 karters, marshals and spectators arrive to take their part in what is known for being the fastest "arrive-and-drive" championship in the UK. Now it might not be quite as big an event as a Grand Prix but for the people involved it is an amazing season of racing and every race day is a very big deal.

When I agreed to put my hat in the ring this season I was not really prepared for how full-on the racing would be, the first round in Milton Keynes was quite a culture shock. So as I prepared for the second round I was relishing the thought of racing again at the same time as buying jumbo packs of clean pants in readiness. Karting is fast, it is scary when you are going quick enough to be competitive and with 20 people on a rolling grid it can be a very intense experience. Round 2 just happened to be at the one circuit I actually knew, so I wasn’t glued to YouTube every spare minute of the month trying to learn a track I had never raced on, which was nice!

The official round 2...round up

Training

For round 1 I wanted to try and be as near to minimum race weight as possible, and for the Light Heats that was just 70kgs fully kitted up. The great thing about the DMAX championships is that it is done in weight classes so there is no moaning from the heavier people being at a disadvantage...they have their own race. I actually came in a kilo under weight and had to carry a lead block around with me in round 1 so for round 2 I basically ate more. I also did a fair bit less exercise, not really on purpose, it was just a month when I had no time, and the result...well let’s just say after a bottle of water I hit the 70kg mark on the nose!

Ready or Not...

This cavalier attitude to my race preparation got me thinking a great deal about how people prepare. I have a good friend who races motorbikes and for the entire season he barely drinks, he works out all the time, does yoga and probably drinks that yellow stuff in tins. This commitment to the cause certainly had an effect on my preparation for round 1 and many people spend a great deal of time getting race fit. I suppose it depends on the level of racing but the pre-season and pre-race training is actually great fun, and it somehow immerses you in racing even when you are not on track. Immersion or not, round 2 was ready whether I was or not so I decided to take things a step further after looking at some old James Hunt photos.

The Breakfast of Champions

Yep, you guessed it. But before we get to that bit, rather than staying away from a drink or two I decided to relax and have a couple of glasses of a rather nice French white wine the night before. I am not saying I was hammered, I am not even saying I was drunk, but I was relaxed and this was a good thing. I wasn’t nervous, I slept well and I was not constantly thinking about if I was going to come last. I don’t actually know what tipple Mr Hunt normally poured down his caviar hole but I do know he wasn’t shy of a drink. That was the night before, when the morning came I took on another famous Hunt racing tip and without going into too much detail had a brilliant “breakfast”, again, not too sure on the details of how James engaged in such things but the result was hopefully the same.

The Race

First impressions on arriving at Daytona Sandown were all very positive. I felt relaxed; I greeted a few familiar faces from round 1 and struck up some conversations. For the most part, Round 1 I was basically standing around on my own wondering where to go next so this was a big improvement. When it came to practice I felt much more comfortable in the kart, and I got in some decent laps, and the same happened during the heats. This is not a blow by blow account of each race, there is a video for that but each heat I did I felt better and better. I actually overtook some other people, and they were not stuck in the tyre wall at the time. I also started having some great racing with the other back markers, it was like our own Marussia, Caterham, Sauber battle and by god it was fun!


Some of the highs and lows from round 2

The Result

Well, it was wet and I love the wet. I was relaxed and confident, I was slightly fatter and slightly less healthy but I did better! I finished in 17th and now place 14th overall in the championship. What does this tell you? Well it probably tells you people always do better on a track they know, or you could just, and only just, put it down to a little bit of the spirit of James Hunt.
TW Steel DMAX Championship Round 2 : The James Hunt Method TW Steel DMAX Championship Round 2 : The James Hunt Method Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, April 09, 2015 Rating: 5

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