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TalkToTheHelmet: The Greatest Time of the Year – Part II

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TalkToTheHelmet: The Greatest Time of the Year – Part II

The 2014 ASN Canada FIA Canadian Karting Championships was the best time of my entire life, I honestly don’t know where to start. The amount I learned during these 10 days is equal to no amount of schooling. I learned a lot about racing, but largely about life. Within a constant surround of karting, family, teammates and friends, you soak up so much knowledge and come to realization of so many things that it is truly unbelievable. Mont Tremblant’s small community and joyous atmosphere shows through in every aspect, there is NOTHING like a sunset over the lake in Tremblant.


Photo by: Cody Schindel/CKN

Anyhow, I’ll start off with my racing experience. We unloaded fast, dedicating our practice days to feeling out the ways of the track, hardly making adjustments. It was instant love as I set tires on the track with the reverse configuration, I hope I am able to race in this direction again, would rate it a complete 10/10. Certain turns challenged the driver’s ability, and the long straightaways test that ability of the mechanic. It is definitely a track built for a team with a solid foundation, those are the ones that will shine and separate themselves from the others. First turn, although many may disagree, I thought was great for starts. Odd coming from myself, who lost 3 drivers and my tie rods to turn one. It was a semi-smooth turn and although certain accidents did occur it was easily the best turn one I have ever raced. The only issue was the outside-inside line dive, but it’s racing and it isn’t the turn’s fault.

I was feeling strong going into the heats after a not so good qualifying session, however battling some mechanical issues in heat 1 forced me to start 22nd in the second heat. I drove my way up to 12th in the second heat and 14th in the third. Final rolled around and it didn’t go quite as well as anticipated, there was a major crash first turn ahead of me first turn, taking 3 of our drivers out of the running and my tie rods. There was a red flag with restart, I wasn’t feeling near as strong off the restart however. I quickly went backwards and was showing times that weren’t near what my norm was, I started noticing that the kart would plow much more than it had previously but I continued racing. I attempted a pass through a tight turn and failed, riding over the curb and forcing me into a t-bone with the opposing kart. My apologies to that driver, I should’ve turned in later and avoided that mishap.

Apart from the races themselves, I want to talk about the feeling on the grid. I experienced something to an extremity which I thought I never could. My heart was beating faster then normal and the butterflies were creeping up. It kept getting more and more intense, to the point of me being a movement away from puking. That was pretty cool though, as nasty as it sounds it also felt great. You feel it in your heart, you know you’re meant to be there.


The feeling on the grid is almost indescribable for Graci Young (Photo by: Cody Schindel/CKN)

Now for the off-track experience. I was going into the whole Nationals deal wondering how it would turn out. Multiple families from PSL Moncton into a condo, most of whom I had not frequently spoken to. It was pretty daunting at first – soon to realize that I would discover some of my best friends in the entire world. Leaving them was like sending your sibling off to University that is hours, provinces, or longer away. Dispersed over the maritimes and a portion of Québec, meeting up isn’t easy, but all of this wait just pumps me up even more for the years to come and more memories to make. Also, parental bonding time is a wonderful part of Nationals. You start to realize how much your parents do for you to even participate in these events. Although there is a lot of jumble and high-paced evenings, the odd night you catch with your old man (or woman) eating dinner are priceless. Jokes being made, talking about the day/week, discussing racing improvements or strengths, or taking a break from it all, it is simply a wonderful moment.

Nationals this year gave me an everlasting happiness and a new outlook on things to bring home with me. I learned to live in the moment, not dwell and ponder over things because you’ll most likely regret not doing them, on or off track. I learned to always express appreciation to your folks which in most cases double as your mechanic, no matter how many times a bolt comes loose. I learned that although you should live in the moment, that patience is a virtue – wait for the right time to pass, or in life’s case, act upon whatever tickles your fancy. I learned that sometimes people that you don’t even engage yourself with normally could secretly be your best friend waiting to happen and that you should take any chance you get and grab any opportunity life hands you. Within that, take the opportunity of meeting everybody you can, find their knowledge, open yourself up. Don’t close yourself in and ultimately don’t limit yourself – limits only define what you think you are unable to achieve.

Make everyday worth revving,
Fab5+W for life
-#614, Graci Young


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