Full update time.
Yesterday was round 4 of the 2KCup all the way down in Taupo. We raced on the short version of the track (track 2 for those in the know) that meant there was no long straight to catch your breath.
Saturday there was a chance to get some practice in but we couldn’t make it so straight away I felt at a disadvantage. I was also put in the fast group for qualifying which as I expected meant I was getting overtaken constantly. It’s been a long time since I have driven the Red Dragon in anger and I was noticeably out of practice in the qualify. It also didn’t help that my left mirror was at a terrible angle so if anyone came up that side I had to carefully step aside not really knowing where they were.
In the end my qualifying time was crap and it put me 18th on the third grid.
The crap feeling of being slow wasn’t helped at the start of the race. I got a couple of spots but didn’t have the speed I was expecting to move forward quicker. The more the that passed the faster I was getting as I got back into the grove of controlling the Red Dragon and learnt to push through the unfamiliar chicane. I got progressively faster and caught the group in front and had a good battle with three other cars over a number of laps. Passing and getting passed, it was awesome fun racing. In the end I got past that group and got away from them to finish 12th.
The second race was a reverse grid where I was surprisingly in 12th on the grid. It was a staggered start so when I took off there was only 3 cars directly in front of me. Dad had been telling me to give it heaps round the first corner, so I did. Into the first corner I was second out of our group (so 10th) but went in way hot and locked up and got a bit sideways. Didn’t let that slow me down though and didn’t lose a spot. Being a reverse grid the cars in front of me were slower. I spent many laps thoroughly enjoying catching and overtaking them until I was up to second. I spent what felt like an eternity trying everything to catch the front guy but the gap was closing only very slowly. One of the faster cars caught up from behind and got past only to have his engine crap out and drop oil in front of me for over a lap. Not wanting a repeat of my last oil incident I backed off a little. After the broken car hit the pits I resumed the attack but again not catching at a fast enough rate.
Right near the end another of the faster cars from the back began to catch me. He was a lot faster and it wasn’t long before I was praying to see the last lap board in to hope of holding him up long enough. It was a relief to see the board but the fight was really on for the last lap. It had been half an hour but I was still giving it everything, sweating up a storm, desperate to hold on. He caught up through the new chicane and onto the back straight was right on my date, while I screamed at lap traffic in front to get out of the way. He didn’t and I had to slow through the last few corners. Through the last corner and the car behind pulls up next to me. We race down to the line side by side, the Red Dragon perhaps a nose ahead, but crossing the line I was gutted. Not because the race wasn’t awesome, because it definitely was the best thing ever, but because the transponder (timing thingy) is in the boot.
I missed out on second by 1 TENTH of a second because the transponder was at the back and not the front.
I can’t complain though, it was an awesome race day and absolutely amazing to finish on the podium.
Full update time.