Crawley gains ground to snatch second in standings with consistent showing on ‘home’ turf
18.07.2010: Having claimed a brilliant breakthrough Junior Max class triumph at national level the previous time out, Harry Crawley’s ultra-consistent form in the hotly-fought Super 1 Series in 2010 has seen the highly-rated young Dartford karting star move to within
Having claimed a brilliant breakthrough Junior Max class triumph at national level the previous time out, Harry Crawley’s ultra-consistent form in the hotly-fought Super 1 Series in 2010 has seen the highly-rated young Dartford karting star move to within just one spot of the lead in the title standings following another brace of front-running performances on ‘home’ turf at Buckmore Park.
Whilst the Kent circuit is effectively Harry’s local track and one around which he boasts a solid record – finishing ninth there in Super 1 at Mini Max level in 2009 despite grappling with engine woes – it is palpably not one that he greatly enjoys, and having not competed there since last year, he acknowledged that he had some re-learning and re-acclimatising to do.
“It’s definitely not one of my favourite circuits,” confessed the Hawley-based hotshot. “I actually think it’s one of the worst on the calendar, and I was just looking forward to getting it over and done with. It’s quite fast and the tightest track in the country, and last year at Buckmore some drivers even went over the barriers – they’re very close around there, which makes it really dangerous.
“It didn’t take too long to get used to it all again, but I hadn’t been out in the kart for a couple of weeks, so it took me one or two sessions to get back into the groove – and when I did, I was really fast. Unfortunately, in qualifying the kart wasn’t quite right and I didn’t get a couple of the corners quite right either – and all of that could have added up to a top three position, I reckon. I’m sure that was on the cards if I’d only got everything together, but it was still encouraging that the pace was there, so it was just a case of getting it all sorted in time for the heat races.”
Lining up 13th amongst the 49-strong Junior Max field – the indisputable crème de la crème of homegrown talent – was somewhat misleading, as in actual fact Harry was only half a second shy of the benchmark and less than two tenths adrift of fourth place. That placed him seventh on the grid for both of his heats, which would yield a mixed bag of fortunes.
“In heat one I got a good start up to fourth, but then into the first hairpin someone behind braked too late and hit me, sending the back of my kart up in the air and spinning me round,” the 13-year-old recalled. “That left me last, but I got my head down and fought my way back through to 13th, which wasn’t too bad in the circumstances, even if it could obviously have been a lot better but for the disappointment on the first lap. My lap times were good even coming through the traffic, so we knew the pace was there again.
“In the second heat I got another good start and jumped up to third, but then my kart didn’t come on until halfway through the race and I dropped down to eighth. By the time it came on, the pack in front of me had pulled away by about two seconds, so I had to work hard to catch them. Sixth was a decent result in the end.”
Setting very competitive lap times on both occasions – in heat two, indeed, posting a quickest effort a scant eight hundredths off the best of the race – Harry’s confidence regarding his prospects was confirmed in the opening final, when from 15th on the grid he made a lightning-fast getaway and demonstrated his raw speed and impressive racecraft to superb effect to take the chequered flag an excellent fifth.
The Wilmington Grammar School for Boys pupil then went on to match that result in the second final later in the day, setting fastest lap for good measure this time and coming within a hair’s breadth of snatching fourth place at the line as he contended ‘just one more lap and I’d have got him’.
Still, with the leading two drivers in the standings going into the weekend not scoring well and Harry’s supreme consistency remaining firmly intact – as the only competitor to have finished inside the top seven in all eight finals of the campaign to-date – the outcome means he will head into the last three meetings on the schedule at Larkhall in Scotland, Shenington in Oxfordshire and Three Sisters close to Wigan very much in the hunt.
“I think consistency will prove to be quite important come the end of the season, so I want to keep finishing consistently in the top five every single time and stay right up there in the in the standings,” the Evolution Racing ace concluded. “I’m extremely chuffed with being second at the moment given it’s my first year in Junior Max – I had simply been hoping for the top ten back at the start of the year, and certainly hadn’t expected to be so high up in the British Championship so early on in my Junior Max career.
“The last time I raced at Larkhall in Super 1, I finished second, and I’ve been pretty quick there during testing, so I think I’ve got a good chance when we go back. I was fairly strong in testing at Shenington last year too, but I’ve only had one club meeting at Wigan before, so that will be quite a learning curve, particularly with it being such a fast track – I’ll have to get used to all the lines properly during practice. I think it will all hook up in the end, though, and be an exciting climax to the season. I want to finish inside the top three overall – and I’m confident I can.”
To keep up-to-date with Harry’s latest career news and results, please visit: www.harrycrawley.co.uk
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