Champions on top at Red Lodge
Way back in 2005 when I was just a mere driver and not the immensely professional, award winning journalist I am today (that’s sarcasm by the way), I won the inters championship with IMSD Racing. We didn’t realise we’d won it until about two hours after the race, and only after some Archimedes level mental arithmetic. We informed our main rivals of their defeat the following day. They were most surprised and spent the next few hours working it out themselves before grudgingly congratulating us. I think our championship win was mentioned in the race report but back then they weren’t usually published until two weeks after a race, not two days.
It was much the same when I won the open championship in 2009 and 2011. It wasn’t until the following day before I figured out I’d won. I was happy. I don’t think anyone else cared.
So a belated congratulations to JK Rolling who won the inters championship. Sorry I didn’t mention your epic win last month but you have all driven brilliantly this year and I’m sure Formula 1 teams will come knocking soon.
Anyway, onwards and sideways to Red Lodge. This month I’ve been told I’m not allowed to use the words “pot”, “hunter” or “ringer” in case I inadvertently offend someone and have to fake another apology. And on the subject of up tight things, the tight and twisty Red Lodge circuit played host to the penultimate round of the championship. With only four teams competing in the intermediate class, it was always going to be a struggle to come up with anything sensible to write.
Wrapping up the championship seemed to have eased the pressure on JK Rolling and they secured pole position. It may have been that they had their pot hunter ringer driver (damn it) back at the helm. I’m not sure. DDMM Barnstormers were where they always are (second), RG Racing third and Wisper fourth. They are in a battle for fourth in the championship with RG so it was imperative they beat them today.
With all four teams evenly spread throughout the grid, they all pretty much maintained their position round the first lap. Wisper made it up to third at RG’s expense on lap two and JK Rolling’s lap four pit stop briefly demoted them to fourth. However, once the first pit window had closed, they were not only back in the lead but were running third overall. It’s generally what happens when an intermediate team has a pot hunting ringer driving for them (oh bugger, that’s two strikes).
JK Rolling maintained their position at the front in the early stages and, by lap 30, were already nearly a lap ahead of RG Racing. DDMM Barnstormers were right on the tail of second place but quite a long way ahead of Wisper.
JK Rolling almost suffered a setback when they picked up a black flag for multiple contact warnings. Such was their advantage they still emerged with a substantial lead over RG Racing. Freddie Morris was once again driving superbly, despite struggling with a kart that appeared to be slightly off the pace of the mid field runners.
DDMM Barnstormers were running well and looked like adding to their vast collection of second place trophies. RG Racing were third but falling further behind. Still, they had a good lead over Wisper and would almost certainly have been guaranteed a podium finish of they could just keep going. That’s certainly the logic I would have used…
Anyway, a certain member of RG Racing’s team (who is certainly not a pot hunting ringer and shall remain nameless for legal reasons) opted to change their kart. A brave move given their class position. Unfortunately, they weren’t permitted to swap and, as well as losing time in the change, they were subsequently handed a black flag for an unauthorised change. This dropped them to the back and out of contention for a podium.
Back at the front and the recently crowned champions JK Rolling took their first win since round five. DDMM Barnstormers once again finished second and it was great to see Wisper on the podium for the third time this season (and ironically Ian Wilson was one of my team mates back in 2005. Nice job, old boy and to your boy). A great shame for RG Racing to miss out after another credible performance by Freddie Morris but sadly fourth place out of four was all they could come away with.