2020 Trofeo Vega - Rounds 3 and 4, Château-Gaillard, France, 26-27th September 2020


19 drivers in the X30 Junior category were at Château-Gaillard over the last weekend of September, amongst them Roy Shaw. 


Friday 25th September 2020




Roy had good speed throughout the day, and was again optimistic for the race weekend.

2020 Vega Trofeo, Château Gaillard Album
2020 Vega Trofeo, Château Gaillard Album

First race day, Saturday 26th September

2020 Trofeo Vega - Round 3, Château-Gaillard, Ain, France, 26th September 2020


19 drivers in the X30 Junior category were at Château-Gaillard over the last weekend of September, amongst them Roy Shaw. 


Saturday 26th September 2020




Roy was 4th on a mostly dry track.




Roy made a reasonable start from 4th on the grid, and came round to finish the lap still in 4th place, although there had been some overtaking. In the 2nd lap Roy set fastest lap, but going into the 3rd lap the pace of his kart began to drop, in hindsight probably a foretaste of the setup and tyre pressure isses which were to come, and he fell back from the lead group. On the 4th lap he and another driver overtook the 3rd placed kart, but Roy's lack of pace meant that the other driver got past him, leaving him still in 4th place where he finished at the end of the 12 laps.

Final, 14h20


The final was fully wet, which would normally be advantageous for Roy. Starting from 4th place on the outside, a messy start (on the 3rd attempt) held Roy up and cost him places. However, that was the least of his problems, because his tyres were impossible to bring up to temperature, it seemed that the pressures had been set way too low. He was at least 2 seconds off his normal pace, and the kart was almost undrivable. By the end of the 12 laps he had dropped back to 11th place, 40 seconds behind the leaders. 


Disappointing, but as the saying goes, smile, things could be worse...

2020 Trofeo Vega - Round 4, Château-Gaillard, Ain, France, 27th September 2020


19 drivers in the X30 Junior category were at Château-Gaillard over the last weekend of September, amongst them Roy Shaw. 


Sunday 27th September 2020




Roy's Sunday started reasonably, his mechanic Seb had rebuilt the kart overnight with full wet settings, although lacking the special knowledge of the LeClerc chassis (a black painted version of the BirelART chassis) for which we were reliant on the team. Also, the conditions meant a first outing for the Vega W6 rain tyres, replacing previous years' W5 wets, and it transpired that the team had not got to grips (in every sense) with them. The short qualifying session (6 minutes) was in full wet conditions, and although Roy had some reasonable speed early on, one of his competitors performed a blocking manoeuvre which cost both of them time, and Roy had to back off and try again on the last lap. By then his kart had lost speed compared to the others, and he ended qualifying down in 5th, more than a second and a half off the pace.




In wet conditions, Roy lost a place off the start down to 6th, but started to make up places straight afterwards and by the end of the 1st lap was up to 4th. However, there was already a worrying lack of pace, from the setup and tyre pressure settings.  On the 8th of 10 laps he was pushed back to 5th place, which he held until he crossed the line.




The final was full wet, and the team took a gamble by changing the setup and sending Roy out with high tyre pressures. The out lap felt great, and after a reasonable start he made 2 overtakes up to 3rd at the end of lap 1. However, as he came onto the main straight for the 2nd lap his rear tyres had already overheated and were spinning as he applied the power. Roy was more than 2 seconds off the pace, and had dropped back to 6th place by the end of the 3rd lap. Still he showed his determination and driving ability in the wet by drifting the corners to master the oversteer. By the end of lap 4 there was a queue of 8 karts which he was holding back. Gradually they began to find their way past, and at the start of the 11th lap of 12 Roy was in 8th place when one of his competitors spun into him in frustration, and hit Roy's sidepod sufficiently hard to break Roy's chain. In a way it was a relief that he was no longer exposed to being on the end of a more severe accident.


Smile, they said, it could be worse. So we did our best to smile behind our COVID masks, and do you know they were right! We had smiled through the pain, and it did get worse!!


That non-finish put him down into 5th place in the championship at the end of the 3rd and 4th rounds, and yet still just in reach of 3rd.


The final 5th round is at Vesoul, 17-18th October.

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