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Once in a Lifetime | In a kart for 24 hours and 1700 km. Lloyd de Boltz-Miller’s crazy record

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IN A KART FOR 24 HOURS AND 1700 KM. LLOYD DE BOLTZ-MILLER’S CRAZY RECORD

15 October 2018
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Racing alone for 24 hours, as fast as you can in order to cover more than 1700 km in a kart and be part of history. Is that possible? Lloyd de Boltz-Miller answered yes. And he made it a reality

A record is never achieved by chance. Let alone if it is a crazy one like racing alone for 24 hours in a go-kart. Lloyd de Boltz-Miller knows that only too well, given the tenacity and the years it took to complete his "pursuit". As early as 2009, proper preparation and a will of steel allowed the British driver to set the European record and, in 2010, the World record. Too bad that, the following year, another unscrupulous kart driver, American Trey Shannon, emulated the endeavour and managed to "steal" the record.
Hence the decision to take it back. Perhaps even by raising the bar to the point of discouraging future, new attempts.

Enough suspense, let's immediately look at how it ended: 1,081 miles (1,740 km) covered in 23 hours and 22 minutes: a new Guinness World Record! An incredible result, born of extensive preparation and planning in which nothing was left to chance.

It takes him 2 years to get ready for D-Day (5 October 2013), rallying up top-notch partners like CRG (who supplies the kart), IAME (for the engine) and the driver development program of the Strakka Racing team (2013 champion in Le Mans) for technical support, preparation, and race strategy. The perfect stage is guaranteed by the prestigious PFI Circuit in Brandon. And the good cause to raise funds for takes the name of Cancer Research UK, an organization dear to Lloyd’s heart. The two years were also used to overcome certain issues that arose in the meantime.

Lloyd explains: “The reason it took 2 years is because I got seriously injured three times: first I broke my shoulder skiing, then I dropped a dumbell on my hand at the gym and smashed my fingers and 2 months before my record race I had a car accident. Besides all the physical theraphy I did for rehab, we did an intensive training camp in Thailand to condition the body in high temperatures: 3 sessions a day (swimming and running) for 15 days in 40°C! After that Strakka Performance had me train in Oxford University’s athletic department for months. Then, the final weeks we did full days of track tests to get our race strategy down and fine-tune the material.” It’s the eve of the event, Lloyd reviews the strategy one last time: the goal is to “smash” the record set by his friend Trey (845 miles), aiming for the 1000 mark.

Too bad that there is a certain Howard Kayman who claims having done 1054 miles (1696 km) in 2012. And nobody in Guinness is picking up the phone. So, just to play it safe, Lloyd and the boys decide to take the alleged record for good. Except this raises the bar: laps of 34 seconds max (on the PFI short circuit, counter-clockwise) and pit-stops under 4 minutes. Lloyd’s best test lap is 30 seconds sharp: this means having to “sprint the whole thing!”

On October 5th, at 5:00 pm, he is ready to go, but the PFI Direction pushes the start back by a couple of hours and Lloyd has to replace adrenaline with serenity. At 7:30 pm the challenge finally begins. In the dark. The track has something magical about it at dusk. And perhaps this magic aura causes interference, because the radio intercom fails immediately. This means having to communicate the old-fashioned way: gestures and signs. The first glitch comes on the 4th lap: the water bottle support snaps and Lloyd slides through the last corner (the first on track, but he is racing in the opposite direction). It’s not a big deal, though, because the CRG kart holds perfectly even at low temperatures, tires (Kenda Komet) stand a double stint (they get changed every other stop) and the IAME engine is just flawless.
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