The weather forcast for the day was expected to have rain, in which is a condition that I have been looking forward to for sometime. With the weather condition, my usual "weight advantage" was now working against me, but nevertheless, looked forward for the best and went ahead. Due to my podium finishes from my last race, I would need to carry handicapped "weights" towards my final qualifying position.
For this race, I picked kart no. 13.
The qualify session went very smoothlly besides lacking some high end speed, otherwise the kart was pretty balance throughout the drive, this was especially apparent when the track was drying during the session and with another group before us which have also helped dried the track, showing a clean dry path. Betting on the engine could still go further, tiny adjustments were made to the carburetor to see if I can feel the kart going further, but without any significant gain. At the end of the session, not hoping much for a good position due to engine performance, I came to a surpise to be informed that I qualified 1st for the session, it was indeed a very good start.
With the CKK special ordering rule, i was grided 5th position for this heat. The weather was still dry until the start of the race start where a light drizzle started to develop. On race started, I kept my position by until I got into turn two, where I slowed down a bit too much to prevent a possible spin out due to insufficient tire temperature where i have dropped to 7th. I continued the race where I have gain to 6th shortly after upon turn 8. With more confidence on the grip of my tires, I increased my pace to challenge for a better position, then I gained 2 position to 4th near the end of second lap. Looking forward to challenging 3rd position, I have maintain my pace and slowly closing in to the 3rd position. In the mean time, the drizzle began to increase and I knew I needed to finish this fast. Due to the increasing dampness of the track by the drizzle, the performance of the 3rd kart began to slowed down probably due to lost of traction, and finally on turn 8 of lap 6, 3rd kart went off line, opening the door for me to pass and took the 3rd position. I felt that I was also loosing traction as I continued to drive as fast as I could with the drizzle continue to increased. With much luck, I have finished the heat with a respectable 3rd.
The light drizzle that started on Heat 2 became heavy drizzle as the race progress from previous races along with other CKK class races. My kart were having problems during the start up at the pit, therefore I needed to catch up with the pack before the race start. Unfortunately I spun during my catch up lap leading to an even bigger gap in between the starting pack. The race started without me joing at my starting position, therefore I started the race dead last. The kart's performance was completely opposite in comparison when it was dry. I tried making adjustment to my driving style to adapt the condition, which improves only a little. As I was trying to stay on track, I saw others are also having the same problems as the rain got heavier, being lighter, in this race, is definitely a disadvantage. Trying to be stable without any incident, I ended the race with an 8th.
The rain stopped during races that took place in between Heat 2 and the final race. Looking forward to a good finish due to the drying weather, with a final starting position of the 5th on the grid after added handicapped weight. Having a good finish was quite promising for a good finish until the rain started to drop again while we were preparing to start at the pit. Rain condition were heavy drizzle, therefore the track condition was very slippery. As mentioned before, CKK karts also only runs on dry slick tires, and with the karts performance under wet, I aimed to maintain my position and bring the kart back home safely for the finish.
Race started after our usual 2 laps warmup/formation lap, a small traffic incident from the 4th car caused me to be blocked with others causing me to lost my 5th position down to 7th position. Knowing that my peformance would not be as well as expected under wet, I struggled to maintain pace with the passing karts. Understanding other drivers would most likely be under the same condition as me, therefore keeping pace was actually not that big of a problem. There were a few times where I have made attempts to increase my pace and almost lost my position due to slippery conditions. Challenges began whenever there was an overtaking opportunity, where I could not be tempted to over take unless my opponent made a definite mistake. One of the front runner had a broken chain and his kart retired from the race with another front runner spun out on turn 6 on his first lap and made me gained to 5th position. Luckily another driver made a mistake by turning in too late on turn 9 of lap 3, making the driver in front and me further gained to 3rd and 4th position respectively.
Near the end of lap three before the second last turn, kart 22, who was infront of me made a mistake and I gained a passing pace on him where I had a very good opportunity. I took the pass on the last turn of lap three but at the same time I was passed by kart 5 from behind therefore I was still on 4th after my passing effort. I continued to struggle to gain more pace, but the pace of kart 5 was too quick for me as I failed to keep up, I decided that I should concentrate and bring the kart back home safely and with 8 laps to go, it was a hard fight. A small incident took place on turn 8 of lap 9, kart No. 29 made an attempt to madk a pass on me but out braked himself and spun infront of me but I was lucky enough to avoid a potential accident.
The adrenaline of making a fine line between fast and safety made each lap I passed felt like a million years.
No further incident occured until the end of the race where although I finished 4th, I was 1 lap slower than the first car, therefore all drivers behind me finished the race on our "last lap".
Press play on the video above and enjoy the show, see you all next race on April 28th, 2013 at Shajing Xtreme Speedway!