X30 ‘O’ Plate at PF International | 2nd & 3rd June
Last weekend Joseph took part in the in the inaugural X30 ‘O’ plate competition. With the tag line ‘be the best, be the first, make history’ he was keen to do just that. Observant followers of Joseph’s career will have spotted that in his previous two outings he’s been unable to challenge for the lead, something he – and his supporters – have become concerned about. Prior to the ‘O’ Plate weekend, testing at Rowrah circuit in Cumbria got to the bottom of this: a faulty engine. With engine demons exorcised, anticipation for the weekend was high.
The race entry was limited to 60 participants, however guest drivers would also be on track as part of the TVKC summer championship. Practice began on Saturday morning and it was quickly evident that normal service had been resumed, with Joseph posting the fastest time. On to qualifying and he remained at the sharp end, finishing 6th, just 0.62 of a second behind the leader.
In the first heat Joseph would line up way back in 24th place and by the end of lap 1 that place was now 26th, due to avoiding trouble into the first corner. Staying out of trouble for the rest of the heat meant crossing the finishing line in 21st, but once penalties had been distributed this changed to a 16th place finish.
The second heat was a much happier affair, this time starting in 10th place and again, avoiding trouble in the opening led to dropping a few places then quickly winning them back. Continuing to pick off drivers delivered a 5th place finish, collecting the fastest lap along the way.
These results produced a starting position of 10th for the final – not ideal but manageable.
Joseph held his nerve and made up a place right off the start and by lap 3 he had made up another and was making a charge for the next runner. His pace was impressive and by lap 8 he was up into 3rd with only one second separating the top three runners. He continued to attack for 2nd place and in the next lap got it, but with the front runner enjoying a gap of a whole second Joseph had his work cut out to catch him. But, catch him he did, with outstanding skill and some of the best driving ever witnessed from Joseph he closed the gap over the next 3 laps.
Lap 13 is where he made his successful move to take 1st place and with only 4 laps to go and a pace that looked unstoppable, it looked as though the prestigious ‘O’ plate was all but his.
However the fairytale ending was not to be, with a train of karters behind him, a brief stray off the racing line forced him to rejoin the train of karts down in 10th place. He battled back to 7th but ran out of laps to get any further up the grid. The helmet stayed on following the race – always a tell-tale sign that Joseph is not happy with his race.
Close ‘but no cigar’ as they say.
Joseph will head to Kimbolton this weekend for round 3 of the Little Green Man Series. He currently sits 2nd in the championship standings and is looking to improve on this with his return to a fighting pace.