Follow Jack on the track

Over the coming months GrassRoots will bring you the diary of Evening Star sponsored Jack Partridge, a 10 year-old go-karter who is racing his debut season in the British Super One Championships.

Over the coming months GrassRoots will bring you the diary of Evening Star sponsored Jack Partridge, a 10 year-old go-karter who is racing his debut season in the British Super One Championships.

The diary, written by his father and coach Danny Partridge, kicks off this week with a report of round one from Beccles, Suffolk.

Thursday

The van gets packed with all the equipment required for the weekend. Jack has recently secured a deal with a race team to operate from their awning which means that compressors, generators and lighting can be left behind to lighten the load. It's amazing the amount of tools, spare tyres, wheels and many other parts that is needed to ensure this operation runs smoothly.

Friday

06:00am: Jack says this feels like a lay in as Ellough Park is a local circuit and he is used to getting up a lot earlier to travel. With the van prepared the night before, it's a matter of running through final checks to ensure nothing gets left behind.

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07:30am: We arrive at the circuit and it is a sea of caravans, motor homes, flags and some very expensive cars. This is probably the moment that it hits the team that we are now racing in the big league.

We meet up with the guys who are letting us use their awning and begin to unpack all the equipment.

The spare engine is being run today so that the race engine can be rested, this has already been prepared and bolted onto the kart but a final check is to be made.

10:00am: The first of the practice sessions begins and Jack ventures out onto a dry circuit on slick tyres to put in a few laps. The weather forecast is not good for the weekend so the more running we can get on slicks in these conditions the better in case we do have a dry spell on race day.

2:00pm: After a morning of everyone getting settled in the times on the circuit start to tumble.

Being Jack's first season in the championship the team were realistic in that it would be a success to finish all the races, while to finish in the top half of the series would be amazing.

Jack did not hang about though and in his favourite conditions of light rain he put in some blistering laps.

6:00pm: A fantastic day draws to a close with both the kart and driver in one piece. The kart is put to bed in the team truck, tools are loaded in the van and we set off for some tea and an early night.

Saturday

12:00pm: “If your going to go off, aim for something soft!” That is about all the advice that I can offer Jack at the race track as he seems to have outgrown my talents.

2:30pm: At the Super One Championship you have to run both controlled fuel and tyres. This means that you can only use a particular batch of fuel that is supplied by ELF and tyres that are supplied by the promoters.

When you pick them up you have to draw for your tyres so that there are no arguments as to drivers picking a good set. Once the draw was done we could fit the tyres and get them scrubbed in.

4:30pm: Jack would also need a new set of wet tyres for the next day's races and they needed bedding in also. Jack was adamant he was not coming in after three laps to change tyres, but eventually we managed him to reluctantly agree that was the best thing to do.

Sunday

9:00am: We had arrived at the circuit a couple of hours earlier and all the talk was about the weather. We were due for some snow but would it come, the weather is never correct.......is it?

It was and it hammered down. Thankfully the temperature was above freezing and the snow was not laying but just making the track wet.

10:00am: After just one of three practise laps, Jack pulls into the pits and complained that he couldn't see. His visor had been completely covered in snow and ice but it was a quick wipe over and he was straight back out to complete the session.

11:30am: After being drawn at random for pole position Jack felt that he could hold on to a win if he made the first bend in the lead.

Everything started well and Jack led going into lap two, however by turn three disaster struck. By the end of the lap Jack was down to fifth and the team could hear the engine mis-firing.

Jack was limping round the track and at one time attempted to pull into the pits but the team waved him on. Karts were dropping like flies and if Jack could keep the kart going then at least he would pick up some points and not come last.

Back at the paddock we realised that the air filter was drenched and a guard was quickly manufactured to deflect water from the engine to stop the problem happening again.

1:00pm: As we were then getting ready to go to the grid for heat two an announcement came over the tanoy that the meeting had been abandoned.

The snow had not let up and the circuit had been deemed dangerous by the officials. We had not known but whilst in the paddock there had been a serious accident on track and this had forced the hand of the officials to call the meeting off on safety grounds.

It was total disappointment for Jack but safety has to come first in these events. The championship is now to be run now over five rounds with the best four to count.

For more information on Jack visit: www.jackpartridge.blogspot.com. J.P Racing is sponsored by: The Evening Star, GW Garages, BFC Foods, Anglia Karting - Fastline Racewear, RJM Body Repairs, All UK Signs and Doug Wade Insurance.

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