XTREMELY CLOSE FOR ALEX IN X30
CRG Factory Driver Alex Quinn took the trip to the annual Kartmasters British Kart Grand Prix hosted at the PF International Circuit in Lincolnshire. Alex would be competing in the Junior X30 class onboard his CRG equipment.
Despite his inexperience in Junior X30 and first time to race in this class, Alex was on pace during the practise sessions leading up to the main event. However a significant loss of power was noticed before qualifying and with little to no time left to nullify the problem, Alex struggled with a lack of power down the long straights at PFI.
This left Alex 27th overall in the qualifying classification heading into the Friday qualifying heats.
The first heat was a great fightback through the field, a notorious strength of Alex this season, as he rose from his grid position of 18th up to 4th at the flag. Alex made maximum use of all his race craft and opportunities to come through the pack despite being over half a second off the pace due to the engine problems.
However disaster struck in his second heat. After being knocked off to the back at the start, Alex managed to start coming back through the field until lap 6 when he was forced to retire from the race with his steering column and track rod bent significantly.
After the DNF in the second heat and overall suffering from engine issues, Alex ended up 21st at the interim classification at the end of Friday.
Into Saturday, sadly the troubles continued, meaning a swap of engines was required for Alex ahead of timed qualifying.
However it seemed that the tide was beginning to turn, as Alex was back on the pace, setting brilliant times in the second and third sectors of the track finishing the session 5th overall, just 0.1s off the fastest time in his session.
When the two sessions were combined, Alex ended up 8th overall, meaning he would start his third heat from 6th on the grid. After cementing himself in 5th position during the heat, back came his gremlins as it appeared that rear contact had damaged the exhaust assembly, causing him into an early retirement on lap 6.
After two retirements in his first three heats, Alex had it all to do in his final heat to avoid the B Final. Alex duly obliged as he fought his way up from 5th on the grid into the lead. Just across the start/finish line on the penultimate lap, some confusion appeared as a marshal crossed the track at the first corner just in front of Alex and the charging driver right behind, Alex coincidentally lifted off, allowing the opportunity to the driver behind who got a run on Alex and overtook him. Despite piling on huge pressure, Alex ended up 2nd at the flag.
After a lengthy wait to determine his final starting position after all the heats, Alex was classified as 22nd on the grid, avoiding the B Final. The day had seen an upturn in fortune pace wise, although there was still a lot of work to do.
Finals day arrived, starting from row 11, Alex had to get as high up as possible ready for the Grand Prix Grand Final. Alex got his head down from the start and rose through the pack lap after lap reaching 5th place after a mix of opportunistic overtaking and shear bravery.
By lap 12, Alex was in the fight for the lead in the close pack. When attempting to switch back overtake, contact in front slowed the pack resulting in Alex momentarily riding up the rear wheel of the driver ahead. Luckily no harm was done bar some momentum which saw Alex lose a position.
In the final lap Alex set the second fastest lap of the race and closed right back on the lead group at the chequered flag, finishing 6th.
The Grand Final saw Alex start on the unfavoured outside, he maintained position at the start and latched onto the leading group until some loading dropped him down two positions. Over the remaining laps Alex rose back up to 5th position with the leaders in sight after again setting the second fastest lap of the race.
On lap 11 the top 5 were separated by 7 tenths of a second. As they went into the chicane all bunched up, a driver ahead was forced wide off line and when he re-joined the racing line, collected Alex, putting him out of the race.
"It’s a shame not to get on the podium like we did the last two years, but I was really close. On Sunday we had amazing pace and just got unlucky with the final really. Had that not happened I think we would have come home with at least some silverware."
- alex quinn
It was a sad end to a spirited performance by Alex as he fought back from a really difficult opening couple of days, to sadly not be rewarded when a podium was in his grasp.
Racing back at home was a perfect chance to showcase all of Alex’s dedicated sponsors, who were proudly plastered over Alex’s kart. All of us at Alex Quinn Racing would like to thank you all for your continued support!
A special thanks goes to Keiran Crawley at M-Sport Karting for the awning space and especially to James Mills of JM Racing for the support in fixing Alex’s engine problems.
Onto the closing stages of the season, Alex will be preparing to finish the Rotax Euro Challenge season at Genk, where he is currently 3rd overall in the championship going into the final round.
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HEAT 1 - 4TH
HEAT 2 - DNF
HEAT 3 - DNF
HEAT 4 - 2ND
PRE-FINAL - 6TH
FINAL - DNF