The team went into today's testing session hoping to put the frustrations of last week's outing behind them. Everything was looking good for a nice clean set of runs. The track was very open due to a late change in scheduling so Dan was going to have the circuit all to himself.
Stewards assigned kart 18 for the recon laps. This machine is know for its consistency and top speed, so the team were looking forward to feeling out the track with a known quantity. The track surface had just been cleaned, and the team were the vary first out on it for the day, so to say it was virgin is an understatement. There was absolutely zero rubber on track. Dan reported over the radio that it was like driving on glass, and that he had never felt the circuit so slippery. Nevertheless, he was able to get in several decent laps towards the end of the run due to the kart being consistent and predictable, allowing him to come to grips with it about 7 laps in. At the end of the session, he had clocked a best time of 35.718.
This weeks testing went back to basics for the team. After a really productive outing last week, focus returned to scouting out the characteristics of the different racing machines.
The team requested untried karts for this week's sessions, and the Gokartcentralen track officials were happy to cooperate. Kart 9 was nominated for the reconnaissance run, and driver Dan Grabko got straight to work, pumping in mid 35 second lap times from the get go. The kart seemed to be a very well balanced package, with little to no undue under or over steer, and good pedal feel in both the brakes and accelerator.
Another week, another seven days of preparation for the next round of the Championship here at Grabko Grand Prix. With last week’s race simulation best time of 35.309 the team came to the circuit in good humour. With the progress made, today’s session was zeroed in on chasing ghosts. Driver Dan Grabko’s ghost, to be specific.
The team loaded up the telemetry from last week’s testing session and told Dan to simply match it as closely as he possibly could. It was meant to be another exercise in concentration and focus, and it started right from the recon outing.
After a race where, even though the team matched its best ever result for the 3rd time running, the collective feeling was one of a wasted chance to finish higher up both in qualifying and the race. So, understandably, the mood in the entire squad during today’s test session could be best described as...focused.
This was especially true for Dan, who was disappointed at having lost his cool during the middle stint of the race. He came to today’s session determined to work on the mental part of his craft. Track officials assigned the team kart 8 for the customary reconnaissance run. Despite slower traffic on track, Grabko set about putting the kart through its paces, and giving good technical feedback on its behaviour.
With only 3 races to go and so many close battles in the championship, tensions were high going into the build up to qualifying. To almost the entire paddock’s surprise, EB Karting decided to recall their championship leading driver, Erkin Bour, from his planned engagement in another series in order to defend their position in the West Coast’s premier electric karting series, Gokartcentralen’s Open GP Championship. This was to be the first setback of the evening for Lilleman Racing, and unbeknownst to them, not the last.