On the first day of our double header weekend, about 16 drivers showed up which was a record for this season so far. But because only 4-7 of the drivers are actually competitive I ended up racing the same people. Because this event has a lot of publicity, a new (non championship contender) named Janis was racing in our team in Juniors.
Consistently fast in practice, I was confident about the qualifying. Although I was relatively alone in the qualy, my teammate Lachlan was fallowing me and managed to pole it by 3 tenths over the whole grid. I ended up in 4th but knowingly that I could perform my time consistently while everyone else did their time only once.
Filled with anxiety I was awaiting the lights to go out for our first heat. But after getting a bad start, then overtaking those people again, I was in 4th once again right behind Shihab, a competitive driver. On the last lap he was defending with all his might, and I was unable to pass him. But by the last corner I had a good run on him and was right behind his bumper as he defended. Of course he break tested me, and my bumper dropped down making me start 3rd last. And OF COURSE Shihab only gets a 3 second penalty putting him in 6th for the Pre-Final.
The weird thing is that I wasn’t nervous at all coming into the Pre-Final because the stakes were not as high for me at the back, but still needed to finish as high up the order as possible to get points. So after a few great lunges and lap times, I was in 5th stuck behind Hambda another competitive driver. But managed to pass her a lap later, which wasn’t beneficial because Shihab had gotten away, making me unable catch and pass him in time before the chequered flag.
But things were really tense for the Final as I am not at the back anymore. The track was silent, no words spoken in the Pre-Grid, and everyone was sitting in their karts awaiting the GO sign. This time I was pumped and remembered to get a good start. With that I was able to tuck in behind Jasin and follow him for a few laps with an angry train (not catching up) just behind us. But around the third lap I noticed that Shihab was getting away and I was not doing myself a favor staying behind him. So at the last corner I went for a clean-fast move for us not to loose to much time on Shihab. But since I was faster in just half a lap I pulled away. I kind of feel bad because I “threw him to the wolves” and the pack ate him up, spitting him out in almost last. Once again it was Shihab. I caught up to him in a matter of 2 laps, lapping at nine-tenths quicker than him (which was amazing). Time was running out when I saw the last lap board which indicated him to defend immediately, as a lot of thoughts ran through my head. Should I pass him which may be dangerous, weighing my circumstances? Will it end the same? Will there be enough time? Will there even be a gap? All this thoughts ran through my head while driver, which led me to tucking behind him and letting him get P2. I chose this because it was like, not winning a battle (race) winning the war (championship).
Overall was really promising from my pace to my attitude for the day to come!
The second day followed with a different circuit. Round ten seconds faster, this race was the one to watch.
Maintaining good pace in qualifying, finishing in 3rd. He gap from 1st to 5th was only one tenth, meaning that no one will be able to pull away from speed alone.
Comfortably starting in third, I finished in third with no places being changed at all, the .2 gaps between ourselves stayed that way throughout the race. But Pre Final is what really counts as it adds points to your championship. So with higher stakes, we were all a bit nervous.
One thing I kept in mind is that Tehmur who started 2nd has nothing to lose as he is not in the championship. So from the first corner he dove across he track aggressively and bounced on Shihab (race leader) promoting me to second. As I was chasing down Shihab for the entirety of the race my teammate Lachlan who was a bit down the road was overtaken for 3rd place which was not a good sign for the final. But I was unable to overtake Shihab as I was not close enough the entire race (gap was .1)!
The stakes got even bigger when I was starting in second for the final when my rival was first.
As the lights went out I was aggressive, putting myself in 3rd (because I started on the outside) comfortably waiting behind Tehmur to pass Shihab so that I could too.
Unexpectedly, Tehmur passed Shihab in a quick corner, disallowing me to overtake too…
But a few laps later Shihab went for a lunge and made contact with the leader which compromised his run out of the corner. Since I was going faster I bumped Tehmur ahead of Shihab as Lachlan bumped me. Smartly, we all stayed in our positions for the last lap, while Shihab tried to pas Lachlan but couldn’t.
I was proud of my performance and of the others (apart from Shihab) because we all drove smart allowing no tears (apart from Shihab)…