I left my house just before noon on Friday to head down to the track and pick up our credentials and for a mandatory drivers’ meeting. Once we got to the track we went to our designated pit area where we kept our karts and made sure everything was still there. Then I went for a track walk and I learned a lot about the track and where I could make up time. After the drivers’ meeting we put our tires on rims and worked on our karts for a bit. After heading home, we looked up the weather and found out it was going to rain the next day.
We had to wake up pretty early to get to the track because we were only allowed to cross from 7am to 7:15am. Once we got to the track, we filled our kart up with enough gas to last for the whole day. We had to make sure we brought everything we needed because once we crossed the Indy track, we could not come back. I recalled it was going to rain so we brought a set of rain tires. My main objective was to learn the track. We didn’t have to worry about gearing because we were running a spec gear, which made it a lot easier to focus on learning the track. Just as we were about to go onto the track it started to rain and we quickly changed our tires to rains. My first impression of the track was that it was really tight and narrow, especially in the rain. Also, the track consisted of almost all left-hand turns and because there was no rubber on the track surface we could easily run the dry line. After a couple more rain practices it was time for qualifying.
From the first session we changed the jetting and some factors that would make the kart handle better. As we were getting ready for qualifying the sun peaked out of the clouds and the track started to dry so we watched to see how the other karts were handling and if it was a good choice to go to slicks. As a dry line appeared we decided to switch to slicks, and so did everybody else. This was our first time out in the dry on this new track and we did not know how it would feel. And to make matters worse, a couple of inches off the dry line the track was still very wet and slippery. I was just getting up to speed and I had a good gap until the kart in front when a driver put a wheel wrong and went onto the water and crashed. The next lap a driver did not notice the yellow flag and he collected the kart that was already into the wall, which caused a red flag. This caused me to lose my gap from the kart in front. Once we got going again we only had three minutes left in qualifying and I could not get a fast lap in because I was stuck in traffic, so I had to settle with third place.
Because of strict time restrictions we did not have a Prefinal; we only had a warm-up and our Final. Luckily it was dry on race day so we could make some changes that could help me out. In morning warm-up the kart felt good and I had the second-fastest time, so I was happy with the kart. For the Final the temperature was starting to warm up so before the race we made one last jetting and tire pressure change. The first start I made it up to second but it got waved off because of a crash behind us. The second start didn’t go as well, so I remained in third. As the race went on we were dodging crashed karts and lapping traffic. It was testing our abilities to make smart descions and stay on track. On about the fifth lap there was an incident between first and second place causing first place to be spun out. We were bumper-to-bumper most of the race. The change we made to the jetting was actually my handicap and though I could gain in the corners, I would bog down out of the last corner and I didn’t have the speed to get by Kyle. I considered making a move, but I did not have enough on Kyle and I didn’t want to sacrifice a good result. Also, third place was not very far behind and a pass on the tight track would have allowed third to catch up and potentially make a move on me. I finished second. I learned from my mistakes and I know what I could have done to set up the kart better in the Final. Overall, I am pleased with my results and I would like to thank my Dad and George for getting my kart ready, and my Aunty Margret and my Uncle Rob for supporting me. I would also like to thank my Mom for helping me.