On July 9-10th two teams made an attempt at the outdoors world karting record over a 24 hour period. In association with Dino Karts the attempt took place at Teesside Karting Track in Middlesbrough. The current record is held by Simon Nicholson and Alan Churchyard set on 2021st September 2007. The circuit is considered to be the longest and fastest karting track in the world today.
The two teams were;
Blue Lizard Racing: Alan Churchyard, Alan Wilshire, Simon Nicholson and PKP factory driver Jessica Hawkins.
Kart Force: Steve Shine, Martyn Compton, Ricky Fergusson and Mark Allen
Kartforce project was set up to provide injured troops the possibility to experience racing. Using a new hand control was developed to this end. Two of the four kartforce drivers had never driven competition karts prior to the record attempt and the remaining two had only raced them once before a week earlier.
Tech support was provided by PKP Motorsport and Dino Karts throughout the record attempt. All karts used in the record attempt were running on Evans Waterless Engine Coolant, except the karts used by Kart Force which were air cooled. The karts held up really well and the coolant worked a treat.
“We were astonished by how much cooler the kart ran with the waterless coolant and this enabled us to push much harder during the dry weather. The engine temperature never moved at all. For the first 17 hours we ran absolutely flat out which had not been possible when we were using water. It was a good test of the coolant under extreme conditions. Our engine temperature was a good 10 degrees lower than normal and never moved throughout the event.”
Simon Nicholson, Blue Lizard Racing.
The start was delayed from 9 am to 12 noon due to heavy rain, so for the first few hours all the drivers had to race in wets before changing over to slicks when the track started to dry out. By half way they had notched up 1,425 laps, 25 less than the existing record holders
During the attempt both teams had to contend with the dreadful weather that some parts of the UK experienced, they had to endure 9 hours of heavy rain, which slowed down the drivers speed and contributed to the Blue Lizard Racing team being 100 laps short of the current record at the end. With seven hours left the rain came back and the karts had to be changed into wets, which slowed down the lap times considerably making the record attempt harder to achieve.
The Kart Force team did manage to set a new world record for the greatest distance in 24hrs outdoors (team) with hand controls. The team of 4 drivers all of whom are injured soldiers managed to clock up a total of 2660 laps and a distance of 1888.6 miles to set a new world record. They were 168.1 km short of the record set by the current holders, who set the record in faster more powerful karts in dry conditions.
Blue Lizard team were just 63km short of the record having covered 1993km, prior to the rain arriving in later stages of the record attempt they were ahead of schedule and looked set to break the current record. Alas the rain slowed down the competitors and made driving difficult which meant the record unfortunately slipped away from them.
“If not hadn't been for the rain in the last 7 hours our lap tracker indicated that we would have beaten the current record of 2056km by 250km.” Simon Nicholson
Both teams are planning another attempt to break the record next year.