K1GP Round 3 – GVA Cup
It’s been some hectic days, to get some “seat time” for writing.
I got myself enrolled in the K1GP Round 3 – GVA Cup. This was held in Extreme Circuit, Shenzhen. One of the most popular karting circuit in the Southern China region, with a National A License. This will be the 4th time I’m racing at this circuit. The thing was I was going against drivers with exceptional caliber, with 10 years of experience at the wheel, just hope I’ll do sufficiently well in the race.
The weather was hot, with temperature hovering about 36-38 degrees, with a clear sky, the sun was upon us. Arriving early on the Sunday, most racers already had a day of practice on the Saturday, I got straight into my racing suit and test out the seating position and ballast, get the racing briefing out the way, and we’re on for the first test session which was only 3 laps.
The kart was healthy’ish, but as the tires were relatively low grade whilst everyone had yesterday to open the tire up, I was pretty much sliding all over the place. The qualifying was very awkward, we can only head out for 3 laps to do our flying lap, so 1st lap to warm tires, 2nd and 3rd are the flying lap already. I manage to qualify 5th.
Heat 1, rolling start, I was a bit late on the start, and got myself into a not so favorable situation, in the pack at 6th place. Following the head pack, I was able to pick off 2 place on the 1st lap as the others are a bit more cautious with tire on the out lap. Up to 4th, the battle in front was quite aggressive, bumper to bumper action, I manage to pull in a bit of distance as the fight their ground.
At one of the hairpin, the 3rd and 4th runner had a minor bump, slowing both of them down, I capitalize at the corner exit inner line, and just got enough space to take lead in the mild right hander and into the chicane where I made it stick. I was at the time a bit of distance from the 2nd place runner. Following with a bit of distance, I have to drive like I was doing qualifying, perfect in and out lap. Slowly I spotted 2 place where I could gain on her. The more obvious area was the chicane, as my line allows me to maximize the throttle opening time, and a double apex where there are track space to temper with. I got close bumper to bumper leading into the complex as we enter the double apex, I jump into the inner line to catch a late in, late out braking and line. As we ran side by side, I was at the advantageous line on the 2nd apex, and took second place. To catch the front runner was too little too late. As we crosses the finish line I started from 5th, dropped to 7th and get back up to 2nd place.
Heat 2, was very quiet, as we all had a very balanced races, the leader was out in front, while I was running in 2nd, the distance as near the same over the whole 12 lap race, well at least I was keeping up with a National Open Class Champion, with 10 years experience.
In the Final, I had a relatively good start on 2nd position, but as the 1st corner was a right hander, I had not much choice (apart from crashing into the driver at the inner line) but to squeeze into 3rd place, I give my credit to the good use of strategy of the 3rd position racer.
As I follow the front 2, on lap 3, on the same double apex, I took 2nd place with the late in, late out maneuver, but as we parallel ran, he was able to pull back into the inner line while the rear grip of my kart squeeze me off the line. We kept going and eventually finished at the same position as the 1st lap. A good racer don’t make mistake, this is a total reflection in this race.
A big thank you to K1GP and GV (Grand Vitoria) Chester Lam and Jacky Lin for the organization, see you all next time.