DAY TWO - SKCC ROUND 3:
Sprint Race 2 - 14 laps - P17
There was no way that he could repeat the performance from the first sprint race. It was simply too much to ask for a ten year old mentally and physically, right? It was the third long day in a row of hard racing, waking up early to make it to the track, dealing with all the disappointment and frustration of the past two days. However, the boost of that powerful first sprint performance had given Deven a renewed energy and will, and the resolute fist bump he gave his race mechanic on the pre-grid said it all. Again he managed to get an incredible and clean start, This time “only” managing 3 places up by the end of the first lap. Now in 23rd, he needed to get on his horse. He did. He took two more spots on lap two and again showed good composure and race intelligence to secure his overtakes to discourage any counterattacking before moving on to the next racers ahead. Another pass on lap 4. 2 more passes on lap 5. One more on lap 8 and he was 17th and still had 6 laps to go. He put in his fastest laps of the race on laps 9 and 10 and caught up to the next group on lap 11 when his pace fell off a few tenths of a second. It seemed he was losing on the straights slightly, and lacked the little oomph to quite close up on the group ahead. 17th was the end result. Another mega drive from the young driver, another sprint race up 9 positions. It was all you could possibly have asked of him and more. P17 on the starting grid for the Final was the outcome of the sprint races, and the was now suddenly all to play for. Could a miracle top 10 still be on the cards?
Final - 19 laps - Started P17 - Finished P15
There was tentative positivity in the team pit area leading up to this race. It was sunny and warm and it seemed that Deven’s sheer force of will had allowed the entire team to overcome the challenges they had faced during the weekend. He was comfortable with the chassis and the setup, and only looking forward to seeing hpow far up the field he could finish, as opposed to looking back. He knew he was still well out of place on the grid. For the team this was still something new, but expectations were slowly being shifted up the grid as Deven continued to show his accelerated development curve. Out on the pre-grid for the race, all team were preparing for the final. Deven’s race mechanic set about prepping the engine for a test start before setting the machine down on the ground in the grid position. It was more difficult to get going than it had been during the day, but fired up well enough after a bit of extra churning of the start motor. Down on the asphalt it went. 5 minutes later the cone at the front of the pre-grid was removed indicating the drivers to start their engines. It wouldn’t turn over. The race mechanic bent down and tried to help. Give it more gas. Nothing. Pop off the fuel line and clear the carburetor of fuel. Try again. Nothing. Won’t turn over. Panic started to ensue in both mechanic and driver. The rest of the karts rumbled out onto the track for the formation lap. Try again. Nothing. Remove air intake. Spray engine starter into the carburetor. Race mechanics from other teams sprint over to help. It is not fun watching other teams not get out for the start either. What a community of racers. Someone has an 18V RC battery. Startmotor fires triple as fast. Engine start up. But the formation lap is almost over. Is it too late? NO - the race officials have indicated an additional formation lap! Engine sputtering. Dies. Hurry, attached the air intake again. scramble to reattached the normal start battery. Fire it up. It starts. The field is all the way down the back straight. Go go go!! Deven makes it out and even is able to take his normal place on the starting grid as the karts rumble down the last “s” complex before the start finish line for the rolling start. He is there. he made it and will get to race.
And race he did. Somehow keeping his cool during the whole engine start ordeal, he had really gotten the start down here at this track. He knew exactly what to do and executed yet again. He made up 4 places at the start once more, crossing the line for the first lap all the way up to P13. It looked like it was on. Already on lap 2, though the data was showing something not quite right. Not enough fuel was getting to the engine at any RPM, so Deven was losing 2-3 tenths in pace due to carburetor issues. It was the same issue that had almost prevented him from starting the race in the first place. It meant he had to start defending from the second lap of the race as opposed to focusing ahead as he had been able to do during the sprint races. On lap 3 he was forced to concede a place back to 14th. He held pace well enough but the two behind him were gaining ever so slightly, and on lap 8 he lost another spot. This time though, sheer determination kept him in touch with those ahead, and he was in a yo-yo battle back and forth the rest of the race. This also caused a slow down in outright pace though, and allowed a few drivers behind to close in. In a chaotic last lap battle between 5 racers, Deven was briefly up in 13th place again in the last turn 7-8 combo but had to place his kart awkwardly to get there and didn't get the drive needed out of turn 8. He was consequently beaten in a drag race to the final corner turn 9 and had to settle for 15th spot as he crossed the finish line in his cripple machine for the final time as the checkered flag came out.
What a weekend. Seriously the highs and lows of what can be going to the races. Disastrous qualifying and feature final circumstances that sandwiched amazing sprint race performances by Deven. The team just weren’t able to put the whole puzzle together to make one of the race days a success. Here is what the team had to say about the weekend:
The Team would like to thank its sponsors and partners, without whom we wouldn’t be able to compete at all:
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