Since I started karting, my dad had been telling me that very soon I will be faster than him. At the time I thought it was impossible but with practice I realize that it is possible.
We went to LeMans Karting on daddy’s birthday (also the day of the LeMans 24-hour race). Dad let me wore his GoPro on my helmet to record my driving. I did some great laptimes and was instantly faster than dad! I finished the day with a personal best of 21.573 seconds. However during the day we had two big shunts: the first one I caught dad at the tight chicane as he was sliding wide. I tried to pass him on the inside of turn 9 (the final corner) under full throttle, but I ended up hitting the inside barrier and got airborne when dad turned into the apex. The impact shook me a little bit but I was OK. With a clear track in front of me I managed to get a few clean laps. The second incident happened when dad got very close behind me and I lifted and tried to let him pass before turn 3 (a slow corner), but dad was carrying a lot of speed and slide into me, hit my back bumper, and spun into the barrier just before turn 3. The yellow flag was out and I slowed down on the back straight after turn 4 as dad was being helped by the track workers (Dad told me afterwards that we paid for our sessions so I should keep on going but go carefully). By the end of the day I was so tired that I thought that I couldn’t improve anymore. Turned out I was wrong; I got a lot of good laps and my fastest was the second last lap of the final session. Dad told me that I gave him a good birthday and Fathers’ Day present, that he was very proud to be beaten by me. He did tell me that he will go faster next time to try to revenge this loss.
Of course this is not dad’s only birthday present. Dad had already got himself a set of upgraded engine mounts for June; mom felted him a stunning painting of his car; and Coco made some awesome decorations for daddy’s birthday cake.
Dad had free runs left for his birthday so we went back to LeMans Karting next week for more track time. We reviewed my videos and discussed how we can pass each other cleanly by lightly tapping on the rear bumper without spinning out. At the track we immediately ran under 22 seconds and dad easily won the first race with me in second place (out of 5 racers). The next session was lead-and-follow with my dad, we spent the whole session tailing each other, tapping when ready to make a pass. The plan worked brilliantly without incident and I was slightly faster with a 21.467s, and dad was just 0.052s slower. Tight race! The final session was maximum time attack because we were on opposite sides of the track. I did an amazing 21.403 and dad was behind by 0.143. After the sessions ended, we got our race sheets and it was funny that we beat two “F1” racers nicknamed LH44 & SV1 🙂
After our sessions we talked to one of the pros who showed us the correct racing line and the some key points to a fast lap. He was very honest and told us that he can share his secrets to us since we will not be his competition 😦 . Afterwards, we stayed and watched the Eldora Heats (Two qualifying sessions with 12 laps, 1 warm-up race with 18 laps, and the main race with 25 laps).
My next goal is to lap under 21 seconds, this way we will be competitive against the big boys! Watch out!