I was at CIK round 3 at Pucka on the weekend helping my old mate Simo bang around in TAG Heavy. Simo had a weekend to forget, unfortunately, but a couple of his Harrington Doyle team-mates did something which struck a chord with me.
There had been some tyre issues in the heat races of KF2, with some MG Yellows blistering and delaminating (personally, I think it's to be expected that you'll have tyre temperature issues if you pump a set of open-grade sticky tyres up to a rumoured 18psi, but maybe that's just me). In any event, the organisers decided to allow everyone to use one extra brand new tyre, on top of their usual allocation of eight (two full sets).
The usual tactic for tyres in CIK is "one set for qualifying through to final one, one set for final two". They hand out a blue plate for the second final, so that tends to be the one you want to win, which is the primary motivator of the most common tactic, I suppose. Having an extra tyre, however, complicated things. The obvious idea was to take an extra rear tyre, and use it on the outside (the right, when running anti-clockwise), which was what basically everyone in the field did.
The Harrington Doyle pair of Jarryd Ebzery and Scott Sorensen decided to be different. They ran a full new set for final one, and the extra outside rear for final two. The logic was pretty straightforward. Imbalanced tyres - in terms of grip - can create an imbalanced kart. They figured throwing one new tyre in with a set that had done two qualifying sessions and three heats could create quite an imbalance. Not so, adding a new rear tyre to a set that had only done a single final.
You could see the results in final one, easily. Scott nailed the setup, and the new tyres took him to a commanding lead in the first ten laps. He looked set for an easy victory. Unfortunately, his rear axle came loose and he ended up without the result he deserved, but it was still bold decision, and one which probably should have paid off.
I've seen similar bold decisions before - Dean Foster once took slicks to the grid for a qualifying session which was slowly drying (and to which literally everyone else brought wets) and took pole position on the last lap. I think there's a valid argument to say that sometimes, you should do something unlike what everyone else is doing - if only because no-one else is doing it!
I guess I'm saying - go forth, be bold.
If nothing else, it makes things more exciting :)