Doyle's Drivers Part Of Climatrol's 9th Place In 24-Hour Race

press release

Doyle’s Racing Kartsport drivers 18yo Brendan Nelson and 22yo James Greenwood finished 9th overall as part of the 6 driver line-up at Climatrol Air Conditioning Enduro Karting Team for the 24 hour race at Ipswich Kart Club’s Willowbank Raceway.

Above: The 9pm, 700km pit stop for the Climatrol team
pic - Michael Anderson

After qualifying 3rd fastest on Sunday morning with a 58.2 second lap around the 1.08 Klm track, the Climatrol Racing Team were positioned in the front end of the grid for the Le Mans style start.  The Team got away to a fantastic start and lead the race for the first part of what was likely to be a 1,400klm race over 24 hours.

Coming up to the 3 hour mark, the first of the Team’s mechanical breakdowns occurred when one of the two exhaust headers and pipes broke.  Able to repair the Kart and resume racing relatively quickly, the Climatrol drivers only went down a few laps.  Already lapping up to a second a lap quicker at times, the Team spent the next 10 hours fighting their way back into 4th place and contention for the race victory.

During one of James driving stints at 11pm another exhaust broke on the Twin GX200 Honda powered Climatrol machine.  Again the Team was able to repair the Kart and resume racing, although the time in the garage would devastatingly drop them to 11th in the 20 Kart field.

Above: James Greenwood at the wheel
pic - Michael Anderson

Over the next 4 hours the Team demonstrated its strength of pace and willpower by clawing back 6 positions and making up lost laps to be in 5th place. 

Throughout the early hours of Monday morning the temporary fixes in the Pit Garage with limited equipment would again plague the Team.  A broken engine mount found earlier in the night and unable to be fixed securely, would also cause one of the motors to vibrate loose, throwing off the drive chain on a regular basis toward the closing stages of the race.  Showing strength of character and a determination to finish the gruelling event, the Team kept repairing the damage and sending its drivers back out to bank valuable laps.
When the chequered flag finally unfurled at 9am, exactly 24hours and nearly 1,445 Klm after the start, the Climatrol Air Conditioning Enduro Karting Team proudly crossed the Finish Line in 9th place overall, 73 laps behind the winners.  The dogged effort to persist had paid an ultimate Top 10 finish dividend.

“It was a hard but terrific experience,” said Brendan Nelson. “About 12 hours in and during my third stint behind the wheel I could feel blisters coming up on my hands.  We’re usually only in the seat for between 10 to 15 minutes at a time in our Sprint Kart racing and we might only get 6 races in a weekend.  Doing 1 hour sessions every 4 to 6 hours in a 24 hour enduro like this meant that I effectively did more laps in one day than what I’d usually do over 4 weeks of Sprint racing.”

“Having Brendan and Jamie Newnham join our regular Climatrol driver line up of Aaron, Michael, Stephen and I was a great mix,” said James Greenwood. “We certainly had the racing pace of the Sprint boys and the enduro experience of our own Team.  If the mechanical gremlins hadn’t crept in, I’m sure that the Climatrol Team would have been a definite podium finisher.  It’s not to be, but we’ll be back better and stronger in 2011 when the 24 hour race is held in Nanango.”

ProKart Endurance Karting, the promoter of the 24 hour race announced late last week that the 2011 24 hour endurance race would be held at Nanango in the South Burnett region of Queensland, on weekend of June 12-13, 2011.