Back in August 2007, Alex lined up at Shenington Kart Club for his first kart race. Now thirteen years later, Alex was back at Shenington to race a senior X30 kart after not having raced a kart for over seven years.
With COVID-19 affecting everybody’s lives in many different ways, Alex’s racing has also been dramatically affected. Never one to just sit back and do nothing, and to keep race-ready, he created a successful online racing series through his Sports Management company - Vertex - using the iRacing platform.
However, you cannot beat the thrill of getting back on a track! So when the chance came to get back in a kart, Alex jumped at the opportunity to join Jack Dex Racing in one of their MS X30 Senior karts, at a track he knows very well.
With kart racing having to run over single days behind locked doors now due to COVID, it was very different from Alex’s last visit to Shenington.
Three heats and a final was all the time Alex had to relearn the track and get a feel for the kart and set up. A third-place start in the first heat saw Alex finish a creditable fifth place amongst a field of very experienced karters.
Two further strong races in the other two heats saw Alex claim a sixth-place start in the final, not bad for somebody who had not raced a kart for seven years and never raced a senior X30.
Just to spice up the final, the dry conditions of the heats was replaced by rain and a very damp track. This gave Alex another challenge to understand the wet tyres and grip levels on the warm-up lap as there was no wet practice.
With the damp conditions, the rolling lap was run much slower than usual by the lead karts. As the lights changed to start the race, the slow speed resulted in the engine on Alex’s kart oiling up and, as the field accelerated away, he went backwards as he tried to “weaken” the carb to clear the engine.
Instead of going into the first corner in the lead group, he reached the first corner at the back of the pack. With the rain still falling, Alex used all his race craft and skills to claw his way back through the field and, as the chequered flag fell after fourteen laps, he crossed the line in ninth of the twenty-three drivers.
“It was great fun going back to Shenington where I first started racing thirteen years ago. Having driven cars for so long, you forget how quickly everything happens in a kart and that you have to attack as soon as the race starts. Now that I've got back into karting mode, it would be great to do a few more races, as it's a great way to keep sharp and to keep fit,” commented Alex.