Alas, the final round of Eastern Canadian Karting Championship and Coupe de Quebec has come to an end. My last race weekend of the season was definitely one to remember. We went into this event preparing to attack the changes that awaited us: different team, a new kart feel and setup, unfamiliar weather and coaching in a new light. For me, this event started a week early accompanied by Nonstop Racing.
5:00AM, the Sunday prior to the event, I left my house from the boonies of Nova Scotia for the first leg of my trek – Halifax Airport. I boarded my first flight of the day at around 8:00AM. Within the blink of an eye and a brief nap I had landed in Ottawa, where I met with my new mechanic, coach and team manager Che Smith. We left the airport and commenced the haul to Mont Tremblant, Quebec. After a few short hours of continuous driving we pulled into the track and got unloaded. It was my first racing endeavor without my dad, but his voice in my head was definitely still there. The day was mainly devoted to seat time with minor changes made to the kart. The objective was to focus on my line and to train my brain. I flew home that night, mentally preparing myself for the weekend to come.
“…For the first time during the entire season, I felt like one with the kart.”
Thursday rolled along and the dreaded wait ended. We started our driving Thursday morning and arrived in Tremblant that night. I was on track Friday. From morning to the end of the day, I had picked up a second-and-a-half. We made some extreme changes to the kart, which made me feel far more united with the chassis than I had before. For the first time during the entire season, I felt like one with the kart. The times continued to ameliorate as the weekend went on. However, I learned things about the chassis behavior that was difficult to counteract such as the flexibility and binding through certain turns. Position wise, the weekend went rather well, nothing to write home about however (haha, the irony). I placed consistent 9th/10ths all weekend until the last final on Sunday, courtesy of torrential downpour paired with my lack of experience in rain.
All-in-all, it was a great weekend. It cleared things up as far as politics and decisions to make within the karting realm. Nonstop Racing was a treat to work with and I am very thankful to have had the chance to do this race with them. The team is extremely accommodating and strong in one-on-one driver training. There is no venue comparable to Mont Tremblant either – pair all of that with friends and family, nothing like it.
It’s a bittersweet feeling, I am upset that I won’t be on track during this long winter, but the excitement for an awesomely insane 2015 season cancels the sadness out. There are so many new things and experiences to come for the 614 crew next year; I can’t wait to share the stories with you all. Some things are decided, and others are not. It’s a mix of the both that fuels me. I’ve learned in racing, that you cannot peg ANYTHING and often enough, expecting the unexpected is the most accurate train of thought to follow. I’ll be heading into the 2015 season with a whole new mind set, new (to me) races, a jump of team, and only time will fill in the rest of the grey areas. Just shy of a few weeks and I am already bursting for next year.
Special thanks to Nonstop Racing, Che Smith, Jamie Bolton, Abby Bolton and most importantly my Dad and (this one is for you, Che) Mum.
-#614, Graci Young