From The Drivers: Jonny Walker
From The Drivers:
#1 - Whatís the story...? Awning glory!
British and European KF1 star Jonathan
Walker has joined UK Karting as its new columnist. Over the course of the
season, heís going to be bringing his unique insight of life in the paddock and
on what itís like to go up against the likes of Mark Litchfield, Chris Rogers,
Marco Ardigo and Davide ForeÖ.
ĎThe new season is almost here and itís going to be interesting to see if the established teams and drivers can be knocked off their respective perches.
Iím staying with AMT racing in England and PDB for my European campaign. After a successful 2007, Iím looking to build on the foundations we put down and go even better this year. Iíve been with Ash (Ashley Todd of AMT) for 6 years and heís brought me from Juniors up into the KF classes, so weíve got a great working relationship. Gordon Finlaysonís also helped me for the past 10 years, so for me, itís great to be carrying on with people Iíve got great relationships with.
Last year was my first with Peter de Bruijnís outfit - but it went so well, it just seemed obvious to re-sign with him. He doesnít put any pressure on me, but has all the experience and knowledge of what it takes to win. Afterall, heís a former world champion himself and has won the World Championship with Oli Oakes, the European Championship with (his son) Nick in 2004 and again in 2005, and with Michael Christensen. The atmosphere in the PDB awning is very good and everyone enjoys a laugh in the evenings, away from the track.
Someone asked me the other day if Iím excited about this season and I really am. Itís my second year in KF1, and after taking 2nd in my first race of 2008 (in the 3rd round of the Winter Series at PFI on 20 January), Iím confident that I can go well at home and abroad. Iíd like to finish in the Super 1 top 3 - anything less would be a disaster Ė and in Europe, Iím aiming to be in the top ten of the WSK, European and World Championships.
If youíve ever wondered how racing in Europe compares with S1 Ė well, itís 100 times harder! Especially when thereís 3Ē of rubber down, itís over 35 degrees centigrade and youíre up against the best racers in the world. In European KF2 the driving is quite rough but in KF1 thereís a bit more respect and the drivers are smoother. You tend to let someone past if theyíre quicker through a particular part of the circuit, and then attack them where youíre faster Ė rather than just block them, full-stop.
The hardest guys to race internationally against are Fore, Gary Catt and Ardigo - whilst at home Litchfield and Rogers are the benchmarks. If you make a mistake in front of any one of those guys, theyíll punish you for it.
Gary Catt and I are quite good pals and we often have a bit of a joke before we go out - but whatever happens on the track, happens. Thankfully, weíve not run into each other and I hope it stays that way. But I guess, itís like the starts - you never quite know whatís going to happen or when itís going to happen but when it does, itís always exciting.
My next race will be the final round of the ABKC Winter Series at Rowrah on March 9, if you can, please do come along and shout for me! And donít forget to visit my new website www.jonathanwalkerracing.com.
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