Well to start off, this weekend didn’t go as planned.
I set off on Tuesday night to Moncton to get a 2-hour head start on my 13-hour drive to Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. After a good night sleep we were off and the long haul had begun. The drive passed by slowly but not after too long we had arrived at our hotel for a quick minute to check in and drop off our bags, then we were off to the track to unload our gear and get ready for Thursday’s practice. As we arrived at the track on Wednesday evening I couldn’t wait any longer to get on track, so we slipped in the last two practice sessions of the day.
Thursday got messy with some rain in the forecast, but this was good practice for Saturday as we were expecting rain for that day. I struggled with trying to adapt to the wet track but by the end of the day I was feeling a little more comfortable going into Saturday.
Friday’s practice was good, we didn’t have much rain throughout the day so it was smooth sailing, we had some pretty good practices setting down some realistic times and getting some good drafts in! After a good day of practice we left the track and headed to the village that night for supper and luge with some good friends!
After a good nights rest we woke up to some messy rain, but thankfully by the end of our morning practices the rain was done and the track was beginning to dry up. As qualifying drew closer all the nervous feelings came back. I don’t know what it is about qualifying that makes me so nervous. But as I entered on grid with a good crew setting myself up for what was supposed to be a successful session I felt better. When we all entered the track and got sorted out I felt comfortable, ready to push for some quick laps. But as I go to put down my first lap time my motor-mount came loose, causing my chain to fall off ending my session and unfortunately putting me last (21st) to start all three heats.
Hoping my luck would turn around I headed to grid for my first heat, starting last was definitely going to be a set back for me but I tried to look at the positive side of things and make the most out of the situation. After finishing 17th in the first heat we then noticed I had lost my oil cap resulting in me losing just about all my oil in that session. As I put everything behind me and got ready for my next heat I was honestly a little nervous because of my last two sessions but I was ready to focus and do what I was there to do. After putting my all into the heat I finished 11th. I wasn’t upset with 11th because of where I had to start from but I knew that I was better than just 11th. The third heat was initially planned that day but after running out of time it was decided to race the final heat Sunday morning.
The weekend flew by before I knew it, and it was already Sunday morning. After a very productive track walk with a teammate I was feeling more comfortable going into my last heat. I headed to the grid but I still got that little nervous feeling coming back, it’s just difficult starting from dead last, never knowing what the drivers in front of you are going to do. After what I thought was a decent heat I finished 10th, putting me 11th to start the finals.
Getting ready for my first final I knew I needed to concentrate on moving my way up. So as I got focused out on track I had moved my way up to third, it was last lap and I only had 5 corners to go. But then a move from behind me was made and not only did I fall back to fourth but sadly I fell back to fifth place. After getting off track I then got the news that I had been given a three-position penalty for an accidental mistake causing my friend to be put off track.
The next final was a mess for me, a lot of impatient drivers making some risky moves caused me to fall off track, costing me that race. But after a major set back to 19th place there was a red flag ending the race. After going back to the lap before the red flag and after some penalties to other drivers I placed ninth in the second final.
Overall this weekend didn’t go as planned but on the positive side of things starting last really gave me a great opportunity to learn where I can pass on the track. I definitely hope that my luck at this track will change in time for Canadian Nationals. I’ve learned some really helpful skills here that will prepare me better for Nationals and I made some new friends this weekend and memories that will last a lifetime.
That’s all for now!
-Kelsey Hann #607