I approached the WBG away-day to Lydd Go Karting with a degree of trepidation. It was Friday afternoon. The end of the working week. The petrol-heads among us would be looking to let off steam.
Would anyone get hurt?
Even worse, would anybody break their shift-knob or – much more worrying – would anyone’s crank put a hole in their big end?
Trying to put these anxious thoughts to one side, I coaxed down my crash helmet over my head. A tight fit, I wished I’d removed my earrings first. Dashing to the gig from work, I’d also forgotten to bring my trainers: my four-inch wedges were not ideal.
As I put the pedal to the metal, the roar was deafening. I couldn’t work out whether it emanated from machines or testosterone.
I juddered on to the track, hugging the left kerb. As I ventured onto no-man’s land, car after car cut me up from the inside. Surely that’s not cricket. But then I suppose anything goes in car racing.
Boy-racer-extraordinaire Byrt, no stranger to hot lapping, and no mean figure in his biking leathers either, was quickly in pole position, which he maintained throughout. Not far behind him, however, were those gear-heads Barton, Green, Jenner, Thorpe and Parmar (to mention a few) hammering down. The ladies kept up a dignified convoy at the end, with myself coming in at the rear – I didn’t want to spoil anybody’s thunder by showing off my top end power.
Unfortunately, the race was not without incident: one over-keen karter – a bit too trigger-happy with his throttle, if you ask me – couldn’t help indulging in a spot of early apexing, and at one stage I saw one of the pit lizards feverishly waving the Yellow Flag.
God knows how much rubber was burned on Friday afternoon by the Wealden Business Group, but at least we are all still intact and there was no blow-up.
A blow-out, however, was on the menu. After the race, we adjourned to the Pilot for fish and chips washed down with a well-earned tipple.