The Finns And Their Kin’s Enjoy The Life In Pit Number 10

In the
hilly terrain in tourist resort Pattaya hinterland is a lot about the sport.
Next to Siam Country Golf Club, and here at the Bira Circuit, comes this story
most to act on the eight Finns and their families, which have created a
“hole in one. 
    “Here
at the Bira are eight of us who share the expenses of pit number 10.”
explains Jukka Koivistoinen, who has driven go-karts about 10 years, of which
he has eight years had its own kart. 
    Jukka
continues: 
    “Each
of us pays 2500 baht rental fee per month. However, in addition to paying for
the combined workshop and garage on the ground floor and living in, we have the
right to use the go-kart track free of charge. And if we did not have this
solid pit, then we should also rent a pit tent every time”.
    10 minutes
later Jukka and his mate Tommi from Pit 10 have another race heat. Jukka won
the first heat, and there is much to indicate that it will go the same way in
the second of three heats on Sunday in Formula B class. 
    The light
go-kart including driver weighs about 170 kg and has engine with about 35 horse
power.
    The hired
mechanic push the trolley with the go-kart out to the pit lane, but when he is
ready to put the kart down Jukka gladly helps to lift the light vehicle
down. 
    Behind the
two are Tommi and his mechanic doing the same process.
    At the
starting grid both drivers are located in the centre of the field which has18
karts in total. It is because we are running two classes, Formula A and B at
the same race heat and Formula A karts are faster, so they start in the front.
It may seem a bit confusing to a guest like me, but race is a version of
organized chaos. 
    But at the
second heat Jukka must quickly accept that Tommi with a much more expensive and
more vulnerable engine is faster.
    And no matter
how much Jukka tries, like “Avis Try harder”, it is still not enough
and Tommi takes pole position in their class for the final heat.
    After the
heat officials check the karts and once Jukka’s kart is on the park ferme, he
walks to blackboard, where the results are already in place.
    “Why
do I drive so slowly”, pronounce the Finn. 

    Part of the
answer, is given when we are back to Pit 10. 

    “We
use handicap system as on the golf course. If I get to the podium, I have to
add for the next race few extra kilos to my kart. We can as a maximum add a
handicap of 6 kilograms, and that is what I’m driving with now, “explains
Jukka. 
    A little
later, we are upstairs. 
    Close to
the window sits a couple. They have chosen to watch go-kart race such a little
up from, and in Aircon. No sun and sweat on the forehead there. A number of
wardrobe create is made up along the wall which is furthest from the stairs. In
the middle of the room is a table filled with food bought at the nearest
market, plates and cutlery, and a lot of drinks. 
    At the very
back of the room there are two field beds. In the one nearest to the TV, is a
boy and enjoying him self’s playing computer games. A third Finnish go-kart
driver, Lauri Kallio, sit and have it as nice as we now can have, when you have
bent some ribs in motorcycle accident and have been forced to call tenders for
this weekends race. On the whole, place is quieter than usual in Pit 10 because
at least 2 / 3 of the “residents” are on holiday in Finland. 
    Down on the
ground floor are several go-karts parked close to the wall furthest from the
race track. And in the middle of this combination of a garage and a workshop is
Tommi Ijas preparing his kart for the final heat. He is well, his face lights
up happy, and it is fully understandable. 

    “I
have won the day’s second heat and will start on the pole to the final. We
shall see how it goes in the final, “explains the Finn, who has been
involved in karting for three years. He is very much in his hobby. 
    “You must
have a hobby when you are in Thailand.
If you do not choose a hobby, you get one anyway. And it will be the hobby,
which does not fit particularly well to a daily work, bar hopping, “says
Tommi and smiles. 
    All
together in Thailand
he participates in 10 races a year, while Jukka Koivistoinen participate all 18
races, because he is also involved international races.
    Jukka is in
the front of the pit and talking with his mechanic and try to find good set up
and way to go faster. The first two heats the experienced kart racer been
referred to a safe place as number two. The leader after two heats is Tommi,
who Jukka even got into the sport. So, one might say that the Finnish family
father has made his own bed. 
    When I ask
for the two runners explains Jukka me the rules on disability. The better you
are driving, the more one becomes disabled. 
Jukka does racing so effectively, that he has “won” six extra
kilos, which he must carry on his kart around. 

    While Jukka
is talking with his mechanic, his wife Jai is nursing him with drink and a cold
towel to clean his sweaty face. She surely has more time to her husband than
she usually has. Their 7 year old son Jay is on holiday in Finland.
Normally, the boy joins the entire family excursion, which kart events clearly
are. Jay had his own kart last year, and it’s waiting for him in Pit 10.
    It is time
for today’s final heat, and it is a repeat, with Tommi as the winner, and Jukka
as a safe number two. 
    While I
follow Jukka and Tommi this afternoon, I discover that part of the fast sport
it is also to be patient and wait. 
    How were
the races and price awarding ceremonies organized? Precisely, because True
Cable TV has sent racing live throughout the afternoon. The winners even
sprayed champagne as we usually see it on TV. 

    But even
waiting can be nice, if you are surrounded by good friends and acquaintances.
Jukka and Tommi really enjoyed them self’s. 

    And they
will certainly also do again when the next series will take place in
Saraburi-Thailand, starting Saturday August 16, 2008.

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