Today ended up being a little different than scheduled. I only ran 26 laps because the endurance race was cancelled due to the lack of teams to make it worth while. Although I did not have the amount of seat time I wanted I still had a blast and made the most of the time I did have. We showed up just in time for the drivers meeting but got lucky when they announced the line up and the chonda class was scheduled to go out sixth of the seven classes. This added time allowed us to really get the kart ready for qualifying.
We got the kart ready to go and had a friend we met at the Teas Lonestar Grand Prix show up and help us out. Mind you, he has raced Formula Renault 1.6, 2.0, and 3.5 over in Europe. I would go on a limb to say he probably knows what he is doing so I will take all the help and advice I can from him.
I got lined up on the grid near the back because I knew my kart would be a little slower than the rest due to the engine being old and having next to zero horsepower, torque, or compression. We headed out on track and going into the first turn I experienced something I have never felt before on the first turn of the first lap, grip! I knew right away my one saving grace would be my ability to go barreling through the turns quite a bit faster than the other drivers. I was focused on feeling out the kart more than beating anyone because this was the first time on North Texas Kartway since November. Out of the five karts in Chonda Light I managed to run a time good enough to be third which lined me up right behind Jarret who got his first career pole. (Way to go Jarret!!) Yaani-Mai qualified second, I wound up in third, fourth was Phylicia, and Larry rounded out the class in fifth.
We got back to the pits and decided we needed to change the axle gear to get a little more RPM’s down the straights and upon pulling the chain found out the axle sprocket was chewed up big time. We were changing out sprockets so we did not worry about the sprocket itself but really fought to figure out what was causing the problems. After a few minutes of confusion we came to the conclusion the chain is causing the problems due to foreign material in the links. This was our first race since the LSGP so we were out of most of our parts, chains included. Without a new change to switch to we had to get the sprocket lined up perfectly and ensure we do not tear up the new sprocket more than we have to.
Lined up behind Jarret for the pre-final I was not sure of how he was going to lead the field down so I kept my distance until it was go time. To my surprise, Jarret did an excellent job leading the field to the green and got the race going really well. Into turn one everyone kept there distance but that did not last long as I pulled up next to Yaani-Mai and we made slight contact which bent her side pod up but did not affect the handling. She kept in the gas going into two and I laid off a little because it was only the pre-final and I was unsure of how she was going to react to the contact. Yaani-Mai pulled away from me and began her pursuit towards Jarret but I had competition now going into turn seven. I was driving my regular line and all of a sudden Phylicia flies down inside me later than she should have and washed way up the track which allowed me to get back around her. I was ahead for the next couple of turns but once we got back to turn two she was back trying to pass me. Going through the chicane I saw Yaani-Mai on the side of the track. Unsure of what happened I just put it behind me and knew I was now in second. That did not last long though as the other driver pulled up under me once again going into seven and not wanting to get myself taken out I went ahead and just gave her the position. Exiting seven I had another driver from a different class blow past me but was not worried since he was not in my class. Everything stayed calm the rest of the lap but going by the start/finish line there were red flags and yellow flags being waved frantically. A few drivers got into each other and wiped out big time.
After the red flag we got back racing and I had my eyes set on second place once again. I had to start behind the driver from the other class that passed me but was not going to give up even though I was a full second slower each lap from the rest of my class. The driver in front of me passed Phylicia which threw her off a bit and allowed me to pull right up to her bumper going down the back straightaway. I still remembered her dive bombing me twice so I made sure to set things straight by dive bombing her into seven. That maybe was not the smartest move but my tires stuck and I held it through the corner and got the position. With only three laps to go in the session I held on and just ran my race and ended up finishing second which put me on the outside of row one for the final along side Jarret.
Not much happened during the break so I will jump straight to the final. I started on the outside but could not keep up with Jarret at the start. I ended up falling into third right away but passed Phylicia in turn three. I held her off for a couple of laps but she blew past me going down the back straight. I would stay in third the rest of the race and bring home 185 points to start off the year.
Although I only wanted to run the endurance race, I am glad my dad got me in the seat for the points race and really proud of our finish even though it is not where I wanted to finish but we will be back in a few weeks and hopefully have a strong motor that will get us up front.