In a field of 30, the rookie driver moved up the timing sheets into the top 20 with a 19th fastest time by the end of the second and last free practice session. Things were looking up and the driver also felt he knew where to find more time for qualifying.
So on with the race tires for qualifying, right? This is the point where the signs began to point to something being amiss in the alignment of the stars. The “newer” race tires had been mislabeled on loading for travel. This meant that the wrong tires were registered for the race, and also the wrong tires were mounted for qualifying. This became immediately apparent as The Kid recorded his first flying lap. He was visibly struggling for rear grip, and his times suffered badly for it. Instead of moving up the field for qualifying, he dropped down, even though his driving was improving with every lap that went.
Coming into parc fermé after the session the time sheets showed 23rd, and a 0.6s slower fastest lap than in FP2. The team had let the little man down. He took it on the chin and kept his head held high. He was no stranger to having to fight his way up the field.
As it was the Final itself started out in a dream scenario. The team’s closest rivals in the championship were either behind on the starting grid, or only just ahead. At the start there were several incidents that Deven managed to navigate cleanly through and he found himself in 20th spot after lap one was complete. Crucially those close rivals had been part of those opening incidents and this left Deven with the opportunity to make up some vital ground in the points standings where he was 6th going into the day.
Now, with two slower karts ahead of him after the jumbling at the start, he duly began to hunt them down and was closing fast. He had fully caught them up on lap 3 of 16, and it looked an inevitability that he would sail past them and go on to finish well up in the midfield and close out his season in fine style.
But then the worst that could happen, happened. The two karts ahead were fighting their own fight, part of the reason Deven was able to catch them up as quickly as he did. Going into the quick back side zigzag section of the track, The Kid had just come up right on the back of the karts ahead, planning to follow them through and then pass on the short little start finish straight that came after, maybe even getting both of them at the same time.
However, the kart ahead had no idea Deven was there, and tried an ill advised move of its own, getting into the side of the 18th placed kart and spinning out only millimeters in front of The Grabko GP machine.
Deven had absolutely no chance whatsoever. He was into the back and up over the top of the spun ‘round kart before he could even blink. It was race over, points gone, and series position lost, all in the blink of an eye.
True heartbreak for the young man, who sportingly cheered on the rest of the field from the racing steward post for a lap or two until he dejectedly sat himself down, head sunk into his hands and pondered what could have been.
Luckily the racing machine suffered no real damage, just simple bodywork. Deven drove it home into parc fermé after the checkered flag had gone, and after weighing in and being met by the mechanic team, the tears he had been holding in started to flow freely. They didn’t stop for a good long while after either.
It was no way to end the fight in the KCV series, and definitely not the way to end the season, and so it was decided by the team, which had initially not planned on making the final round in Lidköping the following week, that their plans needed to change in order to fight for that all important spot in the series championship, and give our driver a chance at redemption.
So The final round of the KCV series in back on the calendar and we will see you all next week for the real final race of the season, with hopefully a better and slightly more satisfying end to our rookie year in racing.
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