ASHBOURNE kart racer Sam Randon was left to reflect on what might have been despite a storming race that saw him battle back from last place to finish fifth in the final round of the Edgars Hyundai SuperOne British Karting Championship.
Strength of character helped the teenager work through one of the most frustrating weekends of his racing career, as a succession of mechanical gremlins confounded his attempts to put his stamp on the Shenington circuit in Oxfordshire last weekend.
Randon refused to be beaten by the equipment, but the young racer had every reason to be downhearted as he prepared for the final in an unfamiliar last place.
"We blew up both of our engines on Saturday morning and only managed a handful of qualifying laps," he said.
“Then it wouldn’t start for the Sunday warm up, and stopped again ontrack in the pre-final before the race had even begun.” The most crucial race of the weekend, the finishing positions of the prefinal set the grid for the final, so the JCB Academy student found himself starting at the back.
Father and mechanic Neil said: “The KGP class is more sophisticated and certainly more fragile than we are used to.
“The frustration was that when the equipment worked we were quick.
“Despite being only his third KGP race weekend, Sam felt this was winnable.” During the 15 minute final, the young racer stormed through the pack to finish fifth, setting a new lap record in the process.
“I really enjoyed the final, the kart felt great and we were flying. I’m obviously pleased we got a result today, but without the problems I could have won this event,” said Sam The final will be broadcast on Motors TV, on October 22 at 6.50pm.
THE previous week, in only his third event as a senior, Randon made an early return to the podium at Shenington as he competed in the SKRC club meeting.
Against a full grid including all the top national drivers, Randon competed in the Senior TKM class for the first time due to his chosen KGP class being unable to field a grid at this meeting.
He said: “We had a dreadful practice day running the KGP class with a succession of engine problems, the day was wasted and we learnt very little.
“We only registered to race in the Senior TKM class to get some track time on the Sunday and really did not expect a result against such a quality grid.
“Although a lot slower than the KGP class, Senior TKM is very competitive and the racing is incredibly close.” Qualifying sixth on the grid for the final after the three heats, the young racer would have been satisfied with a top five finish, but within three laps he was leading, breaking away from the chasing pack.
“I had a good start and my tyres came on quickly,” he said. “But Shenington has long straights and the aerodynamic tow has a huge impact here.
“It was impossible to break the tow and by midway my advantage had all but gone.” Despite losing his lead to the eventual winner, Randon held on to take a comfortable second place and his first senior podium.