Qualifying | 10 min | P34
The teams woes, however, just continued. Deven could not get the kart to behave as he wanted, and he was unable to extract the best from it. So far off the pace that it felt like getting into the midfield even was going to be a pipe dream. There was nothing the team could do as they watched on. The optimal setup had been definitively determined with the help of Intrepid and LK Racing, so all there was to do was will our young racing driver on. It just wasn’t on the cards today. a 4th from bottom result in a field of 38 was by far the worst result of the year in a clean qualifying session.
Sprint Race 1 | 12 Laps | P23 —> P20
Deven has always shown better race pace than practice or qualifying, a key issue that needs to be worked on going forward, but also something that gives him strength as the race day progresses. At least in this regard, he was able to continue in the same vein as earlier in the year.
After a very crowded start he picked his way through the field as best he could making an overtake and staying out of trouble to finish the race up 3 positions to P20.
At least it was up the field rather than down it.
Sprint Race 2 | 12 Laps | P23 —> P20
The 2nd qualifying sprint was very similar to the first. Deven’s now iconic storming starts were not on display today as the track layout was just too twisty and congested to be able to carry the kind of momentum needed, and he was forced to tow the line rather than attack freely. This made his life all that much harder, as lacking real pace, he would have to really dig deep to make any headway.
With no incidents in this sprint, he was forced to make more than a couple of overtakes and maintain them in order to move up any spots. Credit where it is due, he fought hard and made his way up to P20 again, and with that performance was able to move himself up 3 grid positions for the start of the feature final on a day when it wasn’t even clear that the team would be able to qualify for the final.
This reflects the level of the lack of performance from the team on display, that after all the pace and raciness on display the first half of the season, flashbacks of rookie season worrying about making the feature final had crept back in to both team and driver.
Feature Final | 16 Laps | P31 —> P28
Three seemed to be the number of the day for the team, as again it was that same number of places that Deven was able to move himself up from his start position.
He made a very good initial start, avoiding any incidents and pushing himself through a few positions, but at turn 3 he ran into a traffic jam and basically had to stop the kart completely as he was sandwiched in on the inside and he lost all the spots he had gained, crossing the line after the first lap in the same position he had started in. He then got caught up in several battles that he eventually won by getting by but also which cost him as other racers were able to take advantage and slip through. It was a zero sum game for the first 3rd of the race before he finally got some free track to pick up his pace in and then he drove the best laps of the day, setting daily personal best times several laps in a row.
This was quickly halted though as, now in P28, he caught up to the next pair of battling racers. It is here that his race died. He got past the first kart relatively easily after catching the pair to get to P27, but it was the #58 that put a stop to Deven’s advance through the field. Deven was clearly quicker, but they were able to defend stoutly, putting their kart in all the right places to make it very difficult for Deven, in addition to some dodgy maneuvers that never got noticed by the stewards.
Our man missed a couple of opportunities to get by that probably in hindsight should have been taken, and with only a few laps to go a previously off track driver who had been further up the field earlier in the race caught back up to the pair. It was a typical kart racing situation in the end. Deven couldn’t make the pass ahead, and then on the final lap the driver behind took advantage of a passing attempt not completed and took Deven as well as the #58 ahead.
Deven crossed the line in P28, for the second time running in the SKCC series, and this time due purely to lack of pace and not taking advantage of opportunities presented to him during the final.
In the aftermath of the overtly disappointing weekend it would be easy to second guess yourself on both a team and a driver level. But then reflection is made on past results and triumphs during the season. Both team and driver know that they are capable of better and challenging for top honors. It is a matter of self belief and execution, and the will to rise again and take up the fight again.
That is exactly what we are going to do, as it is already time for the penultimate round of the Kart Cup West series in just a couple of days time, and we will be back to take up the fight once again!
Grabko GP would like to thank its sponsors and partners, without whom we wouldn’t be able to compete at all:
Improx Customs | Profil #461 | The Techno Creatives | Dumpling X Sweden | Elevate: Bespoke IoT Platforms | Weret: Surf Watches from Sweden
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