In the afterglow of round 9 of the Championship, Grabko Grand Prix came into this week's test on a high. Driver and team were justifiably proud that all the hard work and preparation they put in, as well as the learning and driving technics they experimented with, had paid off with a high quality performance, personal best lap times, and a best ever race result.
Everyone in the team was well aware, however, that their work was not done. They had fought hard to get into the position they were in, but even after everything they accomplished, were 1 point worse off in there chase for 5th overall in the Championship. The team needed to do everything they could to see it through to the end.
With that in mind, we decided to change it up a bit this week. Instead of doing a reconnaissance run, the team would go directly into two qualifying simulations. The idea was to train Dan mentally, get him able to turn on race mode in his brain immediately, without any warm up.
Track officials assigned the team kart 2 for both sessions, a well known overall good package with a stable and predictable chassis, and solid pedal feel on both the brakes and under acceleration. Grabko got straight to work, getting down in the 35 second range on his second flying lap, never to go higher than a 35.758 for the entire session.
Dan reported in that the kart felt good, and that he was going to try a few different techniques under the final double hairpin section of the track. Whatever he did seemed to work, putting in several 35.5XX and 35.4XX laps in succession before going back up to 35.6XX times. Getting instructions from his engineer over the radio, Dan adjusted slightly in turns 5 and 6 from lap 6, and reaped the rewards, putting in a best time of 35.269 and staying in the 35.3XX and 35.2XX range for most of the remaining 6 laps of the session.
For the second run, Dan attempted different braking techniques on the first turn 2 hairpin, with the effect that his overall times suffered slightly, losing 2-3 tenths per lap. However, when he got the order to lay the hammar down on his final two laps, he duly delivered, putting in another solid time of 35.293.
The testing complete, The Grabko Grand Prix driver was more than content with the day's work, saying in an interview afterwards, "Yeah, it felt great today. We tried something different by just diving in and going for it right away, and it made me focus in a different way than I normally do when we run our regular program. After the last race, we know we are still in with a chance to achieve the ambitious goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the season, and you know I really don't want to let the team down. They've worked even harder than I have behind the scenes to get here, so there is nothing I would like more than to bring home 5th spot for them."
Another productive session for the team, and another great week of doing what we love here at Grabko Grand Prix! As always we want to thank you, our great fans, for all your support! We feed off the positive energy, so keep it coming! Support #GrassRootsRacing, support Grabko Grand Prix!
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