KARTER Lewis Murray had an eventful two days at Rowrah circuit in Cumbria at the weekend.
It was the 14-year-old from Harrogate’s first weekend in a new kart, and he struggled in Saturday’s testing with fuel contamination which lost him power down the straights.
Out of the six Saturday test sessions he completed, only one allowed him to drive the kart on his limits, and meant his opposition were five proper tests ahead of him.
Sunday dawned wet because of overnight rain, and Lewis’s mechanic had to change the kart’s set-up to make it suitable for the conditions.
Lewis finished the heat in sixth, a slightly disappointting result given he had been targeting a top four place.
In the second heat, he struggled with grip and finished fifth.
After a conversation with his father Adrian, Lewis adjusted the kart’s ride height.
This produced the desired control and he wrapped up fourth place in the third heat.
After lunch, it was time for the final.
A drying track meant slick tyres were looking a likely option for the final.
After a track walk during the lunch break, Lewis went out on worn-out wets.
There were still damp places on the corners, and starting in sixth, Lewis pinned his hopes on a top-four finish.
But the first corner turned out to be an eventful one, as Lewis found himself pushed on to the outside of the track and down to seventh place.
He got himself back up to fifth by the end of the first lap, and then up to fourth going into the fourth lap.
On the seventh lap, Lewis lost grip and headed sideways into a corner which cost him time and a drop down to fifth.
But he refused to give up and pushed hard for fourth place.
He finally caught up with the fourth-placed kart going into the final lap.
Putting the driver under a lot of pressure, he was still in fifth place going into the final corner of the race and knew it would take something special to secure fourth spot.
He went for a lunge on the inside and it paid off.
Lewis crossed the line 0.2 seconds in front of fifth place.
It was an impressive performance given the new kart and some tough conditions.
Lewis would like to thank Keith Swales and everyone at S&B Utilities, David Wyrill and staff at Platinum Print for their support.