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3rd March 2008

Southdowns Go-Karting Team

Team Southdowns - Andrew Ayling, Russell Ayling and Joe Stempien

Team Southdowns race to success

The Southdowns Sports Desk is delighted to report on the recent success of fledgling go-karting ensemble 'Team Southdowns'.

Despite very little practice, less than glamorous racing overalls, some diabolical race control and last minute driver line-up dramas, Team Southdowns shocked everyone, including themselves by, delivering an outstanding result in their international race debut.

The inaugural Waeco Dometic NEC Show Race Night was hosted at Team Raceway, Birmingham by the newly amalgamated Dometic and Waco companies.

>>Click here for a report on this merger from our Industry correspondent

Despite some opening lap tussles with other front runners including regular Team Dometic hot-shoes Jason Dalton and Annabel Haydon, Southdowns driver Joe Stempien managed to show show some great early promise.

Team Dometic front-runner, Annabel Hayden sporting the latest in triple layer Nomex racing overalls

Team Dometic front-runner, Annabel Hayden sporting the latest in triple layer Nomex racing overalls

However their super start was followed by a couple of tangles with Team Burstner, lead from the front by Ian Knowles and brought up at the rear by Steve Phillips, which left our boys with some work to do.

On track troubles were not helped by some very poor race control from the pit lane director. Left waiting to exit whilst the nameless official went of the get a cup off tea, turn his bike around, and chat up one of Team Dometic's more glamorous drivers, Southdowns driver Russell Ayling lost what seemed like minutes waiting for the pit lane lights to go green.

On track dramas were only to be expected as as Team Southdowns had already overcome last minute team selection dramas early in the evening. When faced with the last minute withdrawal of team leader Michael Ayling, who was reported as saying "I'm a bit tired and I fancy a nice cup of tea and a lie down". Southdowns had to negotiate fast to secure the services of another talented driver. Some very shrewd negotiation led to the much talked about coup securing the services of one of the only professional drivers within Lear Jet flight times of the circuit.

eam Burstner lead from the back by Team Principal Steve Phillips.

Team Burstner lead from the back by Team Principal Steve Phillips.

Luckily Karl, who wished not to disclose his surname for tax reasons, was able to step in to help our boys to their success. Karl who had already faced a tough driving challenge earlier that evening was truly a driving professional.

 "The go-kart is a lot lighter than the vehicles I'm used to driving but I'm very pleased with my performance tonight. When you've been in this game as long as me it's not often you learn something new, but being part of the tight-night Team Southdowns has really opened my eyes. I think my passengers are in for some excitement when I get back to the day job tomorrow".

This reporter for one, hopes its not to long until we are reporting on even greater success for Team Southdowns.