Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Its not the winning, its the taking Kart! (Damn you Winners!)

Northern Vicky is due to leave us (from work - not from the planet, although sometimes we do wonder) so rather than having a stereotypical IBM leaving do, she arranged a gokarting night out. I've never done this, however, I was still able to drive, unlike Rich, who was the source of most of the jokes for the night (he doesnt have a licence, car or the ability to drive), but I was quite looking forward to it. Vicky had originally divided the teams up into groups of mates, I was originally with Rich, Johno (had a glint of insanity in his eyes lastnight), his lass, and someone else who I dont think anyone can rememeber. Wynne managed to get hold of the plans, and, in my opinion, designed a winning formulea claiming to be "splitting the girls and the fat blokes around the teams". Thankfully for me, there was a slightly larger bloke in our new team - Wahoo - I'm not an IBM Fatty!!
Anyhooo, after some rather disturbing and depressing news (good luck Sarah) about 20 mins before we got there, I was determined to have a great time, get us a trophy, and hit the pub as quickly as possible. One of the disadvantages of doing a night like this, then hitting the pub, is lack of food, which results in people getting very drunk, very quickly - but luckily no one was drinking at the track (that we're aware of).

We were given our protective outfits, Rich and I looked like painting decorators - while Fursal looked like a Teletubbie, and then given an introduction and education video - giving pointers such as :-
  • That hot engine behind you - dont put your hands on it
  • Don't get out the kart while the race is going on unless you're in the pits
  • Don't press the break and the accelerator peddles at the same time
  • Zulu's, 100s and 1000s of em & Don't shoot to you see the whites of their eyes
  • 1st rule of Kart Club, you dont talk about Kart Club
After ignoring all the instructions due to laughter, we headed out for our 15 mins practice run, where we lost one of our team members. I decided to put some IBM management around the team, made sure that we all understood the rules of the team, tactics, who was doing what, and ensuring we had someone flagging for a pitt stop. After 5 mins of looking for the missing guy, turns out he's having a nice little spin on the track - while we're still trying to work out simple stuff. Anytime someone crashed into the barrier, they halt the race by showing red lights all over the gaff, which confused a few people, but also puts other people at an advantage if they are about to over take you, and someone else around the course has a crash.

Anyhoo, after faffing around, remembering the rules and regulations, we're 4th to start, quickling hitting 2nd spot, then disaster, one of our guys get told to return to the pits - for having his helmet not completely closed (the video told us not too). I raced to the car, getting checked over by the lovely northern vicky, then get into the Kart, only to be told to return to the pits for my helmet not being done up. In this siutation, whenever you get told to return to the pits, you get 3 laps deducted - so of course, we're being lapped while we're in the pits faffing around - plus these random ones they are taking off. At this point we're something like 9 laps down, and no real way of getting back into the race. We started to catch up, then again, my turn - and I made sure that my helmet was tied up - only to be told to return to the pits for the same reason. The bloke checked it, apologised and said he'd give me a lap back - er thanks - wasting my time, and my teams time!!!
Anyhow, insert loads of time, Rich feeling sick after flying around corners at high G-Forces (not the Battle of the Planets here boss), Vicky deciding she can get around tight corners without breaking EVER, and JT & Wynne's tactics paying off and winning by about 10 laps - we came last, by a long way.

Vicky, still trying to take tight corners without breaking, and VK Blue in hand. [ source : Rich Headworth. ]
We returned to Leamington, and hit the Jug and Jester - after the bad news, I decided to get drunk quickly, so picked up a bottle of white wine to myself and started to sink that. People started to regroup in the beer garden, and loads of female IT students looked pretty nice (not due to the wine) and we had a good old chinwag. The students went to Sugar, the older more responsible people went to TJs - I went home to slip into my wine based coma.

The final placings were:

1st - JT, Wynne, Emily, Keely, Blunty

2nd - Fursal, Jermaine, Tobes, Rich, Louise

3rd - Dave, John'O, Alys, Shaun, Sophie

4th - Edith, Baxter, JP, Mike, Rich

5th - Vicky, Wayne, Steve, Will, Neil

Good Lucky Vicky, You're humour and personality will be missed, along with your crisp sandwiches.

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