1,312km, just me, my dad and the open road.
After leaving my house in Nova Scotia at 5:00AM, all that stood between me and being on track at Goodwood was sixteen hours of driving. The drive was long as usual, my first away race drive always feels ten times longer than all the others, just waiting to see all my friends who I haven’t seen since last season.
After a long drive with lots of anticipation we had finally reached Goodwood Kartways in Toronto, Ontario on Thursday afternoon, just in time to catch some open practice time! With this being my first time ever at Goodwood, my first session took some time to figure out the track, but by the end of the day I was getting used it.
Friday’s practice went well, it was a beautiful day outside and the more I practiced the faster I got. As I began picking up speed I was able to work with some fellow junior drivers out on the track, finding a good potential group for qualifying.
As the weekend flew by Saturday morning came so quick, I was quite nervous for the race day because practicing on the new track was one thing but being able to race on it was another. The practice session went well that day, the kart was working well on the quite hot day. As qualifying got closer and closer I just kept getting more anxious about it all.
After a phone call with my coach I was feeling better about qualifying. As I entered the grid some nerves came back but once I entered the track it all went away. On grid before qualifying some technical difficulties went on with the clutch causing me to freak out a little right before going on track. With a lack of focus and some clutch issues I ended up qualifying 17th, and so I had my work cut out for the pre-final.
After qualifying was over and done with I felt more calm for the pre-final, as I headed to grid I knew what had to be done all I had to was go out there and drive, drive, drive. As I entered the track among the rest of my group I had a good start placing me in a good position to get to work. With just about two laps to go in the pre-final I was feeling confident in 9th place, but as I went in for a pass on a driver he didn’t see me and just followed his line which cut down where I was looking to pass. This put me launching over his kart (watch the video below), catching my seat on his back tire and sending me catapulting through the air.
After I landed back down on track I made it about 3/4ths around the track before I had to stop due to the karts condition and the pains in my neck. As the race came to an end they brought the medics out to me and they made a decision to send me to the hospital to make sure everything was alright. Shortly after arriving at the hospital I was checked out by some very helpful doctors and nurses and then within an hour I was back at the track able to watch my feature race from the sidelines.
My kart had some damage done to it after the landing but it was all fixed up by Sunday morning.
Sunday was a new day for me, a fresh start for a successful race day. Once again I got quite nervous for qualifying but I knew I had to put that all behind me as it was important that I qualified in a good position. I ended up qualifying third but sadly due to a penalty I received I was forced to start 10th.
After a bit of a rough pre-final I sat 12th starting the final. As I entered the track for my last race I felt pretty good out there, ready for whatever was thrown at me. After multiple restarts and a little contact with another kart we were finally racing. I worked my way up a little to ninth and missed out on a couple of opportunity’s to pass other drivers but ended up finishing ninth.
Overall I learned so much this weekend and have good plans for the rest of the ECKC series. I would really like to thank all of the officials, paramedics, nurses and doctors who helped me this weekend and took care of me when I was down. You all really came together for me and acted like my family for me, I am really thankful that we have such an amazing team behind our races. Can’t wait to see everyone at ICAR, it should be exciting!
That’s all for now!
– Kelsey Hann
The video, which has reached well over 1,000,000 views world wide and gained the attention of many trending news websites.