There may have been just 13 of us on the track driving Go Karts, and I might have finished very nearly last, but what a marvellous afternoon of Karting it turned out to be.
Having not been Karting at QLeisure for about 8 years I arrived early and went for a sneak look at the track and facilities. I was amazed at the improvements and upgrading of the whole complex there, and as for the track itself, it was immaculate, in the same manner as the driving surfaces at Silverstone or Brands Hatch I imagine. Lloyd, who runs the business, told me that money was spent and the track renewed in summer 2018. I must say it was obvious that they have worked very hard to improve all aspects of the site, which is very picturesque, well ordered and well maintained.
We signed in, listened to the safety video and some words of advice before grabbing some gloves and a balaclava. Then we struggled into a driving suit (some struggled more than others!) and headed for the pits, where we were given a helmet and a car number. The cars were fired up, we each got aboard and the signal was given for us to go. What a thrill it is to be so low to the ground and to be going so fast around very tight bends. I was thankful that it was dry – as it was I was slower than just about everyone and feeling every month of my 86 years. Most of the younger boy racers were lapping me with regularity before 5 minutes was up but I was enjoying the ride.
After a very quick 15 minutes of full on racing we saw the chequered flag and slowly pulled into the pits. It was a truly exhilarating experience to drive those small cars and my thanks go to Lloyd and his family for letting us have a go on the circuit. I am certain that they all enjoyed it.
At the end, on the podium in 1st place for the fastest lap was Paul Padgham of PDP Services in an astonishing 44.27 seconds. Second was Ed Thomson of Newman Thomson in 45.4 and third was James Newbery of Netsense in 45.7. Mark Sharman of HPC was 4th fastest. Nicola Pont, of Abcom, won the women’s race in a canter. She was not only 1st, but also the only woman there on the day, which was very disappointing.
For those of you who missed the chance, it was a big miss and you should take up the next opportunity which comes your way. And of course, QLeisure is perfect for corporate events, team bonding sessions and company outings. A great afternoon was had by all.