The track was so wet that there was standing water in several key braking areas of the track, and fresh rain tires would allow for much better braking traction. Unfortunately this was not available to our little warrior, and he had to make due with what he had.
He fought on valiantly, but could only manage a 12th position in qualifying. Things got worse as well, as a start motor casing failure caused a delay in the pre-grid and thus the #14 GrabkoGP machine ended up a half lap behind on the formation lap. The race stewards made the decision to start the race in any case and not take an extra formation lap to allow the kart to catch up to the pack. Then mysteriously the black and white flag was shown on our next lap around the track in last place, with the start finish steward motioning our driver into the pit, which he duly followed, thus ending his race before it even started.
In the aftermath the Race Director made a visit to the team tent, apologizing for the miscommunication, noting that the wrong information was forwarded on to the on-track official, resulting in both the wrong flag being shown to the driver as well as the wrong gesturing to enter the pit.
It was heartening for the whole team to see his fighting spirit, and having taken himself up those 4 positions, he was doing well defending from behind as a couple of those who had spun out earlier were catching up and putting on the pressure.
He was even gaining on the 11th and 10th placed karts ahead when the 10th placed racer lost it in the final hairpin, and the 11th placed driver only several meters ahead of Deven was forced to make evasive maneuvers. He managed to keep himself pointing in the right direction, but right into the line Deven had chosen to take.
Thus he was forced to make a last second correction out to the wide side of the track and lost so much time that even though he went around the spun out kart successfully, he ended up a net 13th as the 2 karts chasing him behind were able to slither by with more time to react and take the much preferred inside line.
Then to add insult to injury, the original spinner was able to catch up Deven and pass him on the second to last lap, meaning that in the end he took the checkered flag in 14th as he crossed the start/finish line for the last time.
It was a bit of a let down given how hard he had fought and worked himself into a decent position.
The Kid was open about his challenges on the day. “I am really disappointed with 14th today, but I just didn’t feel as comfortable in the rain as some of these other guys, and I just couldn’t seem to get the same kind of grip as the other guys out there either. I was basically on ice skates, man! Afraid I was going to lose it and spin out on almost every corner. It was a real fight today just to bring the kart home every session!”
Chief Mechanic, Dan was equally keen to let his feelings be known. “Yeah, our tent broke apart during setup this morning, we had a start motor casing explode on the pre-grid for the first Sprint, we had a miscommunication from the race officials, and we didn’t even have the proper equipment for the conditions today. We still somehow came home with a bit of hardware. Go figure! That is racing sometimes.”
This being the penultimate race of the season for the team, with next week being the 4th round of the KCV series in Skövde! Deven still lies in 6th spot in the KCV championship standings after this round, so there is everything to race for in the final race of the season.
Don’t miss it! Support #grassrootsracing, Join the Journey and support GrabkoGP!