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Henry's second practice at Shenington
I’d been looking forward to taking Henry back to Shenington. He was last there in November and came home with the novice cup, so it’d been a while and I wasn’t really expecting great things to start with.
We arrived at 7:45 to see our teammates, #39 waiting by closed gates. After a few minutes the gatekeeper arrived - mercifully minus the key master - and the gate was opened, but we decided to pit in the A pits for a change. We had freshly-bled brakes (the brake fluid was black again - I’ll have to order new seals I think), and the kart was as per Dunkeswell with Will, albeit with 10 extra kilos of lead).
Henry went on a track walk with #39’s dad—it was good to see everyone still on speaking terms given the battle of Will vs #39 and #15 last time—and off they went.
And he spun into Bruno, and he spun into Café. It was dry, but cold, so I’d left the kart medium/medium and I thought that - together with a lack of confidence and too much trying - was likely the problem. Realistically I don’t know how much difference ride height actually makes, but it was something he wasn’t used to and - having seen him come back in tears with times that wouldn’t worry the novices - I figured a change would help, whether or not it would actually help, if you know what I mean.
It did help, and on the second session was was 2s quicker. Braking far too heavily into Café, Henry actually caused a little accident with teammate #34 behind him. He’d braked heavily the previous lap and it was probably easily anticipated that he’d to it again the following lap—which he did, but #34 didn’t think so and so it was a little spin-o-rams for him and the kids behind. It’s obviously easy to anticipate these things if you’re an adult on the sidelines, less so if you’re 8 in a kart doing 30mph I suppose.
He had it sussed by lunchtime and was actually quickest of the Hondas then. He’d turned it around by relaxing. Henry tends to be a little too up tight sometimes.
His teammates, #15 and #39 had spent the morning having great fun. They were loading each other up down the straights and learning to work together. That made them quickest, and it may be that Will suffers for it next race, but they were having a great laugh. Henry was keeping up with them in the final sessions, though and seemed - to my biased eyes - pretty impressive, given he’s not been there 8 months or so.
Henry will be competing with Will in the Superprix in July, so long as things come together (like getting him something to drive in it). We can look forward to that I think!