Karting is finally upon us. There is potential for legends to be made and champions to fall.
Almost a month after our 3rd birthday, we will be celebrating with the CoinCorner Grand Prix up at Jurby racetrack. I am told that last year there was a ferocious showdown between Phil and Liam for the top spot on the podium, a showdown eventually won by Liam. However, the victory was rife with controversy as there have been allegations thrown around that Liam had the fastest kart, and this year a plan has been put in place to ensure that karts are selected randomly so no shenanigans can take place.
Chat in the office would lead you to assume that the battle for 1st will boil down to the same two racers, but there is every possibility a dark horse could come from nowhere to cause an upset. Below is a breakdown of each of the competitors and their past experience, but past experience will count for nothing when behind the wheel.
Last year's champion, Liam must be considered the favourite to regain his title yet again in 2017. Although there were rumours of controversy surrounding his maiden CoinCorner karting victory, confidence is still high and he truly believes that nobody will stop him from repeating as champion this year. With confidence comes complacency though. Will Liam get complacent and underestimate his competition, getting the top spot on the podium ripped from his grasp? Or will his confidence prove warranted as he goes home #1 for the 2nd year in a row?
Last year's runner up, Phil is hoping to go one better this year and take the crown of CoinCorner's fastest karter from Liam's head and put it on his own. Phil is the most determined of the racers, he has been eating healthily for weeks to ensure he is in peak physical condition for the race and wants to taste success this year to fix the heartbreak he felt last time around. A self-confessed disregard for his own safety when behind the wheel of a go-kart plays in his favour. One thing is for sure, we are in for another tasty battle between the two favourites.
Danny has been keeping relatively hush-hush regarding his karting capabilities. Aside from a few witty remarks about his tactics and past experiences, we really don't know much about Danny's karting past. The sense of the unknown could perhaps be Danny's main advantage, if nobody knows how much of a threat he is then he may be ignored come race time. If that is the case, there is a chance that an upset is on the cards as he sneaks his way to the top of the standings, shocking the world as he goes.
Due to Molly being on maternity leave to take care of Charlie, the bitcoin baby, there is very little that I can say about her chances. From what I understand though, she is competitive. You can guarantee that from start to finish Molly will be doing all in her power to win. Hyper-competitive and active (she is always trying to get the team to do things like prom runs and Tough Mann), Molly is an outsider only because she isn't in the office to talk up her abilities. I wouldn't be at all surprised if she was stood at the top of the podium come race day.
Joel hasn't really said much about his karting skills. A sprinter off the karting track, he knows a thing or two about speed. There has been one or two mentions about his past experience where he performed adequately on an 'icy surface', so take from that what you will. Is the icy surface a rouse to hide the fact he isn't at the standard to worry the favourites? Or maybe it is the truth and come race day, with a dry surface Joel will manage to reach the heights he couldn't in his past and find himself atop the podium, looking down on the rest of his colleagues.
Rachael has spent the last couple of weeks diffusing any comments that she will be a dark horse in this race. She claims to of never been to Jurby race track which leaves her at a disadvantage, but I am half expecting her to turn up and dominate. When she finishes with the best lap time it'll become evident that she is a seasoned karter who was luring everyone else into a false sense of security. Or maybe she really does feel like she isn't a threat. We already know her tactic though as she said, and I quote, "I don't know anything about racing lines, but I can floor it when I need to'. Everyone else best stay out of her way.
Charlie is another unknown for me. He hasn't said much about his abilities while in the office, although for some reason I do recall very vaguely a passing comment about his lack of skills. I'm not sure if I believe that though, something about him resonates within me as someone who is sneakily good at things like this. The kind of guy you don't see as a threat at the starting grid, but then you see him hurtling past you later on in the race. Watch this space.
I can guarantee you right now that if one person definitely won't be celebrating a glorious victory it's me. I have been karting once when I was younger and I don't remember myself being very good. Things will have to fall perfectly into my hands for me to come away as the victor. I am thinking I will be more of a disruptor, focusing my efforts on causing problems for other racers and being too unpredictably bad for people to risk overtaking.
Here's to a good race. The stage is set for Liam to lose his title, but will it happen? Feel free to comment below and tell us who you think is going to win this year.