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.
For the next run, normally a qualifying or race simulation, the team needed Dan to up the pace by about four tenths. This increases the difficulty exponentially as the driver is now required to pace at near the limit in a controlled manner. Dan struggled more during this run, finding the target time only in the final few laps. Kart 14 suffered initially from a very sensitive accelerator in the beginning of the run, causing snap oversteer on corner exits, and Dan didn’t trust the kart as he needed to until about halfway through the 13 lap run.
Initial problems aside, however, both team and driver both took the drilling session seriously, brushed off initial frustrations, and got down to business. Best time recorded was 35.336 and average time excluding the out lap and 1st flying lap was 35.480, 0.171 seconds, or less than two tenths off the target of 35.309.
After the session, Dan talked to local press about the change in approach. He said, “I really think we just needed to take a step back after the last race and take stick of where we are and where we want to go. With only two rounds of the Championship to go, the team is right on target with its goals for the season, and the fact we were all collectively disappointed with a 7th place finish last time out says a lot about how far we’ve come in such a short time. Today was great. It was fun. Chasing my own ghost the whole time, these kinds of practice sessions are all about team and driver development, and I think I learned a lot today. Not just about the circuit and the karts, but about myself as well. In racing, that’s just as important as anything else.”
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