IAME Winter Cup – Valencia, Spain
Following a successful 2018 campaign, Team Taylor now has its sights firmly set on Europe for the 2019 season. First up in the European calendar was the prestigious and always highly-competitive, IAME Winter Cup, held at the Lucas Guerrero Internacional Circuit in Valencia, Spain.
Now in its 3rd year, the idea behind the event was to give IAME drivers worldwide, the opportunity to initiate some serious winter preparation in the warmer climate of Spain, culminating in a race event where drivers can prepare themselves for the 2019 Euro Series and other X30 National events around the world.
The close season has been a hive of activity in the Taylor camp, coming off the back of a long-overdue victory in the LGM series, Joseph was the target of a number of leading teams, all eager to co-opt a proven winner into their line-up. Ultimately, the decision was made to go with Coles Racing, who offered a full UK season combined with competing in the Winter Cup, plus the four rounds of the IAME Euro Series, racing in Belgium, France, Italy and Germany. The season will finish up at the IAME World Finals at Le Mans, scene of the legendary 24 Hour sports car race.
With a new kart under him – Coles use Tonykarts, it took a bit longer than usual to catch the sharp end of the grid. Hard work and various adjustments throughout Friday and Saturday’s practice and qualifying heats culminated in a 17th place start for Sunday’s Pre-Final. With an initial grid of 59 participants, this was certainly no disaster, however not a position reflective of Joseph’s talent.
With the kart finally set-up to suit young Taylor, it was time to show the IAME world what he could do. And that’s just what he did – rocketing off the start he was in 9th place by lap 2 and showing no signs of stopping there. His overtaking masterclass continued as he picked off kart after kart to finish an impressive 4th, 13 places higher than his starting position.
With the Pre-final showing just what he could do, excitement within the Coles team for the final was high. Another strong start put Joseph up into 1st place by lap 2 – a position he held for the next 3 laps. But with the karts behind giving each other a tow, they were soon hot on his heels. Positions would swap continuously over the next few laps with Joseph taking the lead several times.
The penultimate lap would find Joseph chasing down the leader – Oliver Bearman – with the commentator calling it a battle to the finish between the two.
In the final lap Joseph saw his opportunity and took it – diving down the inside at the hairpin, the move was bold and resulted in both karts leaving the track. Bearman was able to rejoin in the lead and although Joseph returned to the track in 2nd he was now vulnerable. Unable to carry enough speed as he completed the chicane he was pushed to the outside line for the following corner dropping down to 5th, the position he would cross the line in. After the inevitable post-race penalties were dished out, this would move Joseph up one position to 4th, left wondering if he had made the right decision to go for the gap.
Our thoughts are best summed up by racing legend Ayrton Senna – “if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver”.