Hey everyone! Alex here again, here to give you guys a little update on my first ever ECKC weekend!
Where to start – Well, first of all, it was definitely cool to be a part of a race event that was that big! You can watch all the races you want on TV, but you don’t get the feel for a bigger weekend, until you’re actually in it! Not to say it was overwhelming for me, which it wasn’t. This is what I’ve been training for, so to me, it was just another event at the track, trying to extract the maximum from the kart, and myself.
Now another aspect, which was one of the highlights for me – lot’s of driving! Got up to the track on Wednesday to do some practice, especially since I was on a new kart for the weekend, thanks to VSR! I have to say, despite the result of the weekend (which we’ll get to later), it was fun being able to do five straight days of driving. Though, to be honest, the long days, plus driving makes you a little tired!
On the practice days, Wednesday to Friday, I was definitely confident in our pace. We had good times, the balance of the kart felt pretty good, and I was able to keep a consistently high pace throughout a run, which bodes well when the Finals are around 12-15 laps. As the days went on though, the track obviously rubbered in, but it didn’t start to affect balance until Saturday…the day where you put your money where your mouth is! So they say.
Saturday came around, and it started off okay. Wasn’t too far off the pace, but definitely would’ve liked to have been further up. Apparently the theme of the weekend was “chaotic”, and unfortunately I got involved in a little bumper on wheel action, which eventually developed a flat, ending in my retirement from the race. This meant my day was done, as only the top 17 from the two groups in Briggs Senior would make it to the final – the number of entrants was over 40! What really sucks is watching the final as a spectator for your class, knowing you should be mixing it up with the guys who are out on track.
Hoping for a better result, Sunday came around, and unfortunately, we just didn’t have the pace come Sunday. We didn’t nail the setup down, and it affected us the whole day. The kart felt the best for our pre-final, but unfortunately, again, I was involved in a dust up, ending in someone…traversing…over my rear bumper/tire/air filter, which seriously affected my lap time. The balance of the kart went from the best it had felt since Friday (on the warm up laps, since those were the only laps I had with everything together!), to I can barely hold on it’s so loose! Apparently my bumper had come a little detached due to the contact. What can you do.
Finals time. Due to my finishing position in the pre-final of 9th (was up to 6th and catching the leaders in my group in pre-final), I started 18th. The final was a little hectic at times, but after a few laps, me and my drafting partner Zach Boam were starting to hunt down the leaders ahead of us. At this point I was three spots up from my starting position, trying to snag some more positions. I’m not very content with 15th place (LOL). Eventually, the last lap came, and Zach and myself had a decent battle going into turn 4. I held him off on the outside (I had some practice from the first hairpin at 401 over the winter Zach! haha), and eventually was able to nab three more spots (two due to an incident that happened ahead of me, and one more at turn 9) leading me to finish 12th.
All in all, it was a weekend of mixed emotions for me. I loved how much driving I was able to do, but the results were frustrating for sure. Would I rather be doing anything else, no matter what happens on track? NAH FAM, IT WAS LIT! (I have to appeal to the younger readers out here *thumbs up emoji*).
Thanks for reading guys, and we’ll see you at ICAR for round 2!
Alex Da Silva