Drove down to Calspeed on Friday to get a day of testing and practice into the books before Round 3 of the Tri-C Championship on Saturday Race Day. Luca continues to get faster with every outing – the seat time is proving invaluable and this track is really helping him develop his race craft.
My mechanical acumen, on the other hand is a work in progress. We lost a couple of hours of practice in the morning as I struggled to change the gearing on Luca’s kart for a better match to the needs of this new track configuration. I was super frustrated at my inability to complete something so basic. I even threatened to drive back home at one point (it was never going to happen of course) but I did anyway. We finally got the kart back on track just in time as a large number of LO206 senior competitors were out practicing. Luca was going to have some fun.
His weight advantage helped him cut through the field, although, as you would expect, the seniors did not make it easy for him. This is why we are here. Great practice sessions. After a tough day pushing hard, we retired to the hotel exhausted and excited for Race Day. We had no idea what to expect except that the competition would be fierce. Tomorrow would really be the first time that Luca tests himself against the other drivers on a dry surface. It should be interesting to see what we learn and whether he is able to hold his own against an experienced field.
Waiting to go out for morning warm up session before qualification. It’s a full field. It’s exciting. Luca is calm.
Watching him navigate this new environment, I see a young man preparing himself for the race ahead. He is quietly introspect, telling me later that this helps bring his focus into the moment. When he on track racing, he doesn’t want to think about what just happened or to guess what’s going to happen. He told me that he puts himself in the moment so that he is fully aware of what is happening around him in order to push to the furthest edge his search for the fastest line. All the while, alert and ready for every possibility. I find his description fascinating as it reflects on many of the techniques of Eastern religious heritage which he appears to acquire intuitively through his racing.
It’s a form of meditation. Truly fascinating.
Luca, out of the blocks, was fastest in warm-up. I was stunned! He qualified 3rd on the grid. He came in 3rd in Heat 1, 5th in Heat 2 and a solid 4th place in the main event. Luca raced his heart out. He really impressed me and I told him so.
As for me, I believe that our lack of knowledge of the track contributed significantly to the wrong decisions I took on the gearing. It cost him straight line speed resulting in his inability to keep up with the leaders. Saying that …
Wow! What a performance kiddo … well done Luca. Very proud of you.
A quick pit stop before hopping onto the freeway to Las Vegas.