Having raced competitively since 2013 Oscar Targett is making waves in the motorsport community. His already impressive wrap sheet has seen him cut his teeth in the Australian Micro Max Championship and work his way through a number of Australian Karting competitions to compete in the sport’s top level KZ2.
Practice: Consisted of 6 practice sessions to get back into the groove along with some setup changes. 4 of these sessions were rain effected. With no experience at all driving KZ in wet conditions this was good for myself and the team to gain a better understanding on how to extract the most performance. We learnt a lot, but it looked as if it was going to be dry for the race. In the 2 dry sessions I was very competitive running inside the top 10.
Qualifying: Whilst heading to the grid for qualifying the officials of the event did not allow all the drivers and karts onto the grid before the beginning of the session. This forced me to miss the first 2 minutes of the 6 minute session. With the track only just being dry and still very cold with very little rubber on the surface I needed as many laps in qualifying as possible. Even with this incident I qualified 7th in my group and 14th overall (72 drivers). With a fair chance to actual complete the entire session and team and I believe this result could have been much further towards the front.
Heat Races: H1: P12 Struggled for pace in this race. The track conditions were completely different to anything I have driven. It was also a condition the team hadn’t dealt with often H2: P9 Once again we struggled for pace. I raced hard and managed to hold position. H3: P16 Gaining 2 spots off the start it looked like this race was going to be our up shift in form, but it was very much the opposite. With no grip and an overall lack of pace, this left both myself and the team very confused with what direction to take next. The encouraging part was we made another final and have improved massively in qualifying.
Prefinal: P24-P18 Long discussions with the team resulted in making some big changes to the kart for this race. The changes to the chassis very much improved the driveability and speed of the kart. We also decided to save the 4 new tyres that we had available until the final. This placed us in a very powerful position starting the final as the overwhelming majority of my competitors had already used their tyres.
Final: P18-P22 If it had stayed dry a top 10 result or even better was 100% on for this race. The rain unpredictably fell & forced us onto the wet tyres. This being my first KZ race in the rain and my first karting race in the rain in over 2 years the result was not as bad as it appears. Early in the race I lost position learning the conditions and the race craft required in the rain. Once I had sorted this out, I was consistently within the top 8 fastest on track. In the last couple of laps I was setting purple sectors.
Overall: Whilst we didn’t obtain the result we wanted, expected or deserved it was very beneficial learning about the wet conditions. The next race is the 1st round of the European Championship in Belgium and it rains almost every time that a race is held there. Gaining the experience in the wet was definitely worth not getting the desired result from this weekend. Qualifying was once again improved and was even a strong point of our weekend. We experienced lots of positives and negatives but both myself and the team believe we are in for a strong showing for the following races. Being the official FIA Sanctioned events, they are the most prestigious and challenging races in the karting world and right up there with the most prestigious and challenging races in global motorsport.