This week’s testing session was to be the last before the 8th round of the Championship, as the team goes on a much needed and much appreciated 5 day Easter Break from Easter Sunday.
As such it was imperative that good data was collected and the driver produced a good consistent runs. All in all it was a positive session, but track conditions on the day dictated misrepresentative lap times.
Most of the teams have already gone on Easter Break, so the team went out with virtually the first machines on track for the day. This meant the circuit was not rubbered in at all and tires were cold. Dan was going to have to do all the hard work himself trying to wear in the track on his reconnaissance run to prepare as best as possible for the race simulation scheduled to follow.
Track officials assigned kart 10 for the recon run. Dan concentrated on breaking in hard to the apexes, laying down racing line grip as he went. Reports coming in from the radio indicated firm feel and early engagement on the brake pedal, with neutral throttle response and average acceleration to top speed. Kart 10’s chassis setup was fairly neutral as well with a slight tendency for understeer. Overall little to complain about.
With over half the session lost to attempting to rubber in the racing line, Grabko only had a chance to go for a lap time near the end of the session, not surprisingly unable to get into the 35’s, with a best time of 36.168 when the red lights came on to end the session.
After a very quick debrief, we were right back out on track again, this time with Kart 2. Unlike kart 10, the chassis wanted to oversteer slightly as the back would get loose through turns 3 and 9. The biggest adjustments, though, had to be made with braking. “Spirited” radio chatter on the out lap confirmed very late and slushy brake engagement, necessitating earlier braking points. Dan was immediately frustrated that he probably wouldn’t be able to go for a representative fast time. Luckily for him though, those brakes warmed up and began working for him about halfway through the run, and he was able to push a bit harder. The time jumps illustrate when the brakes came into their own.
Nevertheless, cold tires combined with a clean, fresh track did the team no favours in the search for lap times. Despite this, Dan was able to produce a long string of consistent laps and took the opportunity to experiment with slightly different approaches to the technical final section of the track, working different entries to into the double hairpins of turns 9 and 10.
In the end, it was a decent race simulation with 26 laps completed and a respectable fastest lap of 35.754 considering the conditions. Had most of the teams not gone on an earlier Easter Break, there would have been the opportunity for a lot more rubber to be laid down and significantly faster lap times to be recorded.
So in the end a satisfactory test day, where invaluable data was collected and many laps under our belts. Now, with 2 weeks to go until the race and no more track time in between, Grabko Grand Prix wishes all our awesome fans a Happy Easter holiday, and we’ll see you at the track on April 4th for the 8th round of the Open GP Electric Gokart Championship, hosted by Gokartcentralen!