Waddington’s Welsh Win
RAF Waddington’s Karting Team made the best possible comeback in the 2nd Round of the RAFMSA Inter-Service Karting Championship at Llandow in South Wales, beating the other Stations convincingly during the 2 ½ hour Endurance Race on the 9th June.
The disappointment of retiring early from our home race at Fulbeck had spurred the team on during the long 7 week wait to get back on the track. #51 Nimrod had had its engines sent away for tuning which made a massive difference. Nimrod was handed to the inexperienced team of Senior Aircraftsmen Gaz Roberts, Jase Casson Tom Pollard and Paul Cree, all of whom were making their debut at this level. The Nimrod team did a great job, qualifying 26th on a grid of 32 other karts from 7 other Stations including 2 Army teams and 9 privateers.
However it was #50 Vulcan that made all the waves in the paddock. Vulcan is the Clubs latest purchase, made possible with a kind donation from Nuffield Trust (and collected en-route to Wales via the M25!) The Vulcan team, Flight Lieutenant Marcus “Ramrod” Ramsden (arguably one of the best kart drivers in the military), Chief Technician Andy Rendall, Corporal Tim Johnson and Senior Aircraftsman Technician Chris Broadwith used the Friday practice to set up the new kart in very changeable conditions. In qualifying, Marcus managed to squeeze every last drop of speed from Vulcan and put her in 7th place on the grid.
Gaz and Marcus led their teams into one of the largest fields for this event. An early spin for Gaz put Nimrod at the back of the field but some brilliant over takes during his 40 min drive saw Nimrod back up to 25th. Nearer the front, Marcus was picking his moments and had Vulcan up to 3rd.
The 1st round of pit stops were event free, Tim and Jase both put in steady consistent laps with Tim maintaining the gap over the other Service teams. With Vulcan running 5th and Nimrod running 24th, Chris and Tom took over after a refuel. Once again consistent fast laps were the key to keeping the rival stations at arms length, with Tom achieving Nimrod’s fastest lap of the weekend.
With the sun setting, the track cooling and the karts already completing over 100 laps, the final 40 minute drives were taken by Andy and Paul. With the karts getting harder to control in the corners both drivers did well with only a few minor spins each. Nimrod finished 23rd overall and 14th out of the Service teams and Vulcan brought home the gold, finishing 7th overall but 1st out of the Service teams.
The team next race in 3 weeks at Little Rissington near Oxford, hopeful of more trophies and points to try and claim the overall Inter-Service Championship over the 5 race season.
Senior Aircraftsman Technician Broadwith