|September 13, 2011 News
|Factory Pilot: Gary Carlton - An American in Europe - CIK-FIA World Cup Genk Report
|For 2011, American karting star Gary Carlton will be the lead driver for the Chiesa Corse operation in the KZ1 category aboard factory-prepared Zanardi/IAME package. eKartingNews.com has partnered with Gary to help produce segments over the course of his time as a new factory driver. Working with him on forum blogs, race-event journals, photos, video footage and more, viewers will be able to see first-hand what it is to be a factory driver for one of the top European teams in karting.
To follow his progress throughout the season, visit the official EKN Gary Carlton Page in the Features section.
Carlton traveled to Genk, Belgium for the CIK-FIA World Cup event for the KZ1 category on the Circuit Horensbergdam. After a year of tough luck on track, Carlton and the Chiesa Corse squad put together the best results of the year to finish 12th in the main event.
| Broken glass on the CRG van on the way to Genk|
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
The day started a little frantic inside of my apartment inside the CRG Factory in Desenzano. For some reason, my alarm did not go off on my phone and Luca Tilloca (Factory CRG Driver) woke me up and told me the van was leaving to head up to Belgium for the World Cup. I quickly woke and jumped into the shower and then got dressed. I think I set a new record for myself of getting ready and as I threw my bags inside the very packed van, I was trying to make sure I did not forget anything really important. I checked if I had my helmet, passport, money, phone..... what was I forgetting. Well, if I did forget anything, it was too late because right as the door shut, we headed on down the road.
The trip would be 1200 kilometers up to Genk so it would be a whole day spent inside the van. The van was completely full of people, parts, bags and anything else you can imagine. We drove about an hour until we stopped for breakfast and a coffee. It was already quite warm and without any air conditioning (broke the week before), it was not going to be a very comfortable ride. But I will say the drive up to Genk produces some very scenic views. We would pass up through Austria, then go through almost all of Germany, go maybe 15 kilometers through Holland, and then arrive in Genk, Belgium.
Going through the mountains in Austria is really something to see. I have been to several places in the World and going through the Austrian mountains has to be one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Once we got through Austria, we stopped and had a quick bite to eat. We actually stopped at a Burger King and this would be only the second time all season that I have eaten at a fast food restaurant. When I lived in the States, fast food was always in my diet, especially with all the traveling I did. Here in Europe, it is not on every street corner like back home. To be honest, I did not even enjoy the meal and I felt a bit sick after eating the chicken sandwich. But for those who might be wondering, yes it tastes just like it does back home, which to me is a bit scary.
Once in Germany, we really started to make some time. Not every highway, or what they call the Autobahn, has a free speed limit. They have certain sections that are free but you do have to be careful, especially when you come up to a controlled area to slow back down. In the free parts of the Autobahn, we were flat out trying to get everything out of the van. Luca Tilloca is now the official record holder at 193kph (119.92 mph) going down hill with a small draft. I was a bit bummed because I had held the record for some time at 190kph. We all concluded it was the slight draft he got off the Audi A6 in front of him. While driving through Germany, some of the things that really stood out were how many nuclear plants there are. We must have passed at least 4 of them. Now that might not seem like a lot for American standards but thinking that Germany is probably only the size of Texas, to me it seemed like a lot. And those were the ones that we only saw off the Autobahn. Think how many more they have that we did not see! Germany better hope they never run out of water!
Another thing that was a bit surprising is having to pay to use the bathrooms in Germany. At every service station, you have to pay 70 cents to go inside and use the bathroom. With the conversion that adds up to be around one US dollar to use a public bathroom. I had never seen that before and we all came to the conclusion that the price was much too high, so we all ended doing our business outside or some us hopping over the railing to use a toilet if needed. One thing that will always stand out in my mind was the price difference in bottled water in Germany. Where in Italy for a normal sized bottle of water you will pay around 50 cents, you will pay 2 Euro in Germany. When the check out girl rung me up for 2 bottles of water and told me 4.50 Euros, I had wondered if she had charged me for something other than the water. I do not know why they seem so proud of the water that they sell it for almost triple the cost of the water in Italy. It was clear and tasted exactly the same as any other water.
| There is nothing CRG tape can't fix|
We were just about to go through our very short stint in Holland and heard a huge smash in the rear of the van. No one had hit us but you could hear the sound of glass cracking. I took a quick look back and noticed that one of the rear windows was smashed. We quickly pulled over and had a look. It was concluded that a rock must have been thrown up by a truck or something and hit the window with enough force to shatter it. Nothing a little roll of CRG tape would not fix, right? After a quick tape job, we were back on the road. Once through Holland we were in Belgium and it was only about 50 kilometers north until we finally had made it to Genk. After being in that packed van for 12 hours, we all were very happy to arrive.
Once at the track, I unloaded my bags and went to find where I was going to be pitted for the weekend. I did not have to walk far as I noticed my mechanic Blaz standing outside the CRG Holland tent and then saw one of my karts sitting inside. We would be pitting with them this weekend, due to the fact that they also deal with the Zanardi brand. Nyck De Vries has his own tent and with me as the only other driver from Chiesa Corse/Zanardi driving in this race, it would be easier to pit with them. After meeting everyone under the CRG Holland tent, Blaz and I looked over the one kart and I was informed the other one was arriving with the IAME van. During the test that we had done the week before, Dino had decided to make a new chassis for this race to test and was on its way to the track. We did not have to wait long for the IAME boys and once they parked their van, we unloaded our stuff and my new kart. Dino showed me the small differences and after talking with him, I was really excited to get to drive it the next day. Once everything was in place, we all piled into the rental car and headed to dinner.
We found a very nice Italian restaurant in the center of Genk and had a great dinner. The town of Genk is very nice with some really neat bars, restaurants and hotels. It is a very clean town and had a very international feel to it. At the restaurant we ate at, all the employees could speak Italian along with their native languages of Dutch and French. Along with that, most of them could speak perfect English as well. It was not uncommon to find people that could speak 5 languages in this town. Belgium is a very small country surrounded by many different countries, so having to be able to speak many different languages is a must.
Once at the hotel, we had a small problem getting checked in as the front counter worker seemed to have lost our hotel reservation in the computer. But after a quick check of everything, we got all checked in and headed up to the room. It would be Dino, Blaz and I all in the same room and I was lucky enough to get the pullout coach while Dino and Blaz had to share a double bed. It is a bit strange here in Europe when you stay in double due to the fact sometimes it is just a big bed, and not two separate ones. After a quick shower, I slipped into bed and knocked out for the night.
| The track in Genk|
Thursday, September 1, 2011
We met up with the IAME boys for breakfast and got caught up on what we had new on both the chassis and engine. For some reason, I was really hungry and I kept eating and eating. I have noticed I eat much more during race weekends then in years past. I have no idea why to be honest, but everyone was teasing me about my three croissants, fruit and yogurt that I had on my plate. People always say I look to skinny so I donít think I have to worry about eating too much at this stage in my life which I feel very lucky for.
Once at the track, the first order of business was the driver's briefing. It was just like all the other ones where they tell us that they will be watching closely and that they have cameras everywhere. Also, in all the CIK-FIA races, they mount Go-Pro cameras on everyone's kart so they can review your race if needed. It is just like any other driver's briefing in every form of motorsport. The officials talk and think everyone is listening, but we all know none of the drivers are. The one thing I do notice in all the driver's briefings that we have had over this year is there are small groups that always seem to sit by each other. I prefer to always sit by myself and not show too much friendship to the others. I am there to race, not make friends.
Once back under the tent, I gave Blaz a hand mounting the engine onto the new chassis. After a quick check of the pedals and steering wheel position, the kart was ready to go. We warmed it up on the stand and check the carburetion to make sure everything was in order. Once everything was ready, I threw on my driverís suit and we headed to the grid. The first session was completely free and you could run whatever you please with tires, engines, and chassis. We would use the session more as a shake down for the new kart and seat in the new brakes. The session went on without any problems other than the track was extremely slick.
Once back at the pit, we dismounted the tires and got both karts and engines ready for the Scrutinizing Checks. In all the CIK-FIA events, you are only allowed to use two chassis and two engines. For tires, they give you two sets to manage how you please. Once they check over the kart, they put a bar code sticker on the chassis and engines with all the info inside their computer. And for the ones that are thinking you could take the sticker of and place it on another, theyíre a one time stick and self destruct when you pull them off. It is a really neat system to be honest with the bar code scanners and everything. Iím sure it is not very cheap either. Once we made our way thru the line in the order of your kart number, which makes it go much quicker, we headed back to the tent and got ready for the first official Free Practice of the event. Once the new Dunlop DES compound tires were all mounted up, we headed to the hospitality trailer for lunch. At this race, a bunch of teams got together and hired a hospitality trailer to cater food during the weekend. Being Nyck and I where the only two driver from Chiesa Corse, we were joined by the CRG, Maranello, and Formula K teams. I have to say it was really nice to be able to get great food and not have to wait in the lines at the track restaurant.
After a solid lunch we headed out for our first Free Practice. As we only get two sets of tires for all the six-20 minute Free Practice sessions during the weekend, the plan was to do very little running the first session. Most would think two sets of tires would be all you need for only six sessions, but with the Dunlop DES compound you can ruin your tires very, very quickly. The DES compound is very soft and the track surface in Genk can be very hard on your tires, so the driver has to very careful with his/her pace. The first session the track would not have much rubber, so a driver can really destroy a set of tires in only one session. Our plan was to do two warm up laps and two flying laps and call it a session. Since the session was 20 minutes long, we waited until the last 5 minutes before we headed out on track. Everything went as planned and I did my two flying laps. It was the very first time I had driven on the Dunlop DES compound tires and to be honest, I was not that impressed with their performance for being a soft tire. But one thing that stood out was how balanced the new chassis felt with the standard out of the box set-up. Once back under the tent, I was quick to say I was really happy with the changes we had made from the test and it added a little extra excitement going into the weekend.
With one more Free Practice left for the day, we planned on testing a few carbs during the session. We waited out the first 5 minutes of the session to save a little bit of the tires. Once out on track, I did two laps to warm-up the engine and then started pushing. On my first flying lap ,we experienced a technical problem that forced me to have to stop on track. It was not a huge set back being that we still had four more sessions the next day before Qualifying Practice.
Back under the tent Blaz took off the engine and brought it over to the IAME van where it would rest for the night. I cleaned up the chassis and finished up the stickers on the second kart. After we headed to Parc Ferme to mount up the tires for the Qualifying Practice and mix up the fuel, I was not really tired at the end of the day since I had only done two flying laps during the day. After a chat with Gigi (IAME Engine tuner), we slipped the kart covers on and headed out for dinner.
Again we went to the center of Genk but to a different restaurant this time because the one from the night before was closed. Once in the center of the town, we stumbled upon some live music and a bunch of people hanging out in the town square. It was pretty cool getting to see a small taste of what Genk has to offer. I thought the town of Genk was really cool. After another solid dinner we headed back to the hotel to rest up for the next day, which would be the busiest of the weekend.
| Genk, Belgium is a very diverse and enjoyable location|
Friday, September 2, 2011
Knowing it would be a hectic busy day, I made sure I ate a big breakfast just in case we had to skip out on lunch. Usually in the CIK-FIA races, there is a long enough lunch break but I just wanted to make sure I wouldn't suffer too much if we missed it. Once at the track it was business as usual. I headed to the IAME van to pick up the engine and mounted it up on the kart. The day would see us having four 20 minute Free Practice sessions and then an 8 minute Qualifying Practice session at the end of the day.
The Free Practice sessions went so-so. We were able to carry a lot of tests with different carb settings and other various things with the engine. The balance of the chassis felt quite good with used tires which made me feel really confident for the race. We tried a few different set-ups with the kart and it seemed to be very good with the "out of the box" set-up. We had a few technical problems through out the day that lost us some laps during the day, but things were going more or less like they have gone all year. We still lacked speed to the front runners, but our pace seemed better than most races before. I was very optimistic going into the Qualifying Practice in having a decent result.
After all the Free Practice session, we headed to Parc Ferme to mount up the new tires for the ever important Qualifying practice. The Qualifying session is only 8 minutes long and you cannot come into the pits to make changes. If you have to come in during the session, your session is finished so you really have to have your stuff in order and ready to go. We waited out the first two minutes of the session just like everyone else and then once everyone pushed out we came out with them. I did two laps to warm-up the tires and engine and then started pushing. I could tell after the first two laps our pace was not the best and knew I had to push really hard the last minute and a half to try and improve my time. I was able to go a little quicker, but at the sessions end I knew that the time we had posted would put us far down the grid. Once back under the tent, I saw the results and we had Qualified in the 31st position. I was really disappointed with the result but luckily we had three heats to make up some ground. Even though Qualifying Practice is very important, it is not the end of the World if you do not do well. I remember Alessandro Manetti qualifying Pole Position for the World Cup in 2008 and not even making the Final due to all his problems in the heat races.
After a quick clean of the karts and outrival checks, I headed over to the IAME van to hang out. Other than driving I have a big passion when it comes to kart engines and most particularly the KZ engines. After working for Reine Persson of Swedetech Racing Engines for so many years, I always like just hanging out in engine shops. I find myself a lot just hanging in the IAME van watching the guys work. Iím sure I get annoying at times because I'm always asking questions and getting in their way, but I canít help myself. Having an engine apart on the bench and telling me not to touch is like setting a piece of unwrapped candy on a table and telling a kid not to eat it.
Even though I was really disappointed with our Qualifying result, I was still really excited for the Qualifying Heats. It would be the first time I had ever raced on the track in Genk and from what I gathered from Nyck, it is not the easiest place to pass on. I though to myself, if I could gain at least three positions each race we would have a shot starting the Pre-Final inside the top 20. After a quick dinner I went to bed early knowing that the next day would be real workout.
| Inside the CRG Holland tent for the CIK-FIA KZ1 World Cup|
Saturday, September 3, 2011
The Morning Warm-Up went well as we took most of the session running in an engine. Everything felt as it should and it seemed just as we got back to the tent, we headed right back to Parc Ferme to get ready for out first Qualifying Heat. While inside the Parc Ferme, Blaz mounted the tires on the chassis and I did my normal feel of the clutch adjustment. I know the easiest place to gain or even lose places is on the start so it like to make sure I get it just right every time.
I would start from the 16th position for the first heat. I tried to watch the race before ours to see what the best position is to be in for the first corner. After a quick study from the race before, it was not clear at all as to where I needed to be. It defiantly looked like the mid pack guys had to be really rough in trying to find their place. Once we pushed off, I did my normal thing with warming the tires and the brakes. Once I took my grid position, it was not long until the starting lights came on. I had a small issue with the clutch and did not get a very good start. I was actually very lucky that the guy behind gave me a huge push from the back that kept me from losing any positions. Genk is not the easiest place to pass on with the KZ karts due to the much narrower lines that you can take, so I knew the first lap would be very important. I was able to make up a few spots in the first few corners and was running in the 9th position. I was shuffled back the last few laps to 11th and stayed there until the races end.
Once back under the tent we made some changes to the carb setting and also changed out the seat. There was a nice break for lunch so we were able to carry out all the work and still be able to sit down and have a calm lunch. I have noticed being here in Europe I take lunch time a bit more seriously. I remember in most cases you just have a sandwich at the track and really do stop working but here I try to actually have a relaxing lunch time where I can sit down and eat. The food from the hospitality truck was once again top notch and with a very happy and full belly I headed back to the tent to get ready for the second heat.
I would start once again from the 16th position and this time able to get a good launch of the line and pick a few spots coming into the first corner. I had a great opening few corners and seemed to be in the right place at the right time. The only problem I had was the clutch was slipping coming out of the corners and I would lose a lot of time on the straights. I tried my best to fight off everybody but there was not much I could do and I started slipping back. There was some luck on our side as a few drivers crashed out during the race helping us get up to the 13th position.
It was not long until we had to be back in Parc Ferme for the final heat race so we had to make quick work of getting everything ready. I was happy with the balance of the chassis so we did not make any changes. For the engine, we had to change out the whole clutch and also Gigi made some major changes to the top end. We headed to Parc Ferme and mounted everything up. I was happy to see our tire wear was quite good compared to the others. With this in mind, I could push really hard knowing that this would be the last race with this rubber and not have to worry about saving them. This heat, I would start on the inside row from the 15th position and again I was able to nail the start to pick up a few spots in the first couple laps. I was feeling really good about finally getting through all the first laps without getting hit, run off track, ran over and other stupid things that had been happening to us all year. I was sitting in the 10th position with 5 laps to go where I experienced a technical problem that forced me to stop on track. I was a bit bummed knowing that we seemed like we could reached the goal in starting inside the top 20 with the technical problems we had. And knowing that you had to qualify for the Finals based on the Qualifying Heats, I was a bit scared that I did not qualify.
Once back under the tent, I quickly got undressed and made my way over to the results board. I was happy to find out I had qualified for the Finals. I would start the Pre-Final of the 2011 World Cup form the 28th position. After we cleaned up the kart and did all our normal checks, we started getting the other chassis for the rain. The forecast for Sunday was for rain so we knew we would have to have two karts completely ready to go. Once both karts were all set, we headed off to eat and get some rest. During dinner, I was telling Blaz and Dino that I have never successfully finished the Final on the CIK-FIA World Cup. Both times I was making my way up thought the pack very quickly and both times I had the engine seize. We were all laughing and poking fun with Gigi that we did not want this streak to continue. Poor Gigi has caught a lot flack this year.
| Carlton on course to a 12th place finish at the CIK-FIA KZ1 World Cup|
(Photo: Chris Walker - kartpix.net)
Sunday, September 4, 2011
When we all woke from our phone alarms going, everyone raced to the window to see what the weather looked like outside. Although it was wet outside, it was not raining but you could sense there was more rain coming by how dense the clouds were. After our breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and headed to the track. When we arrived at the track, I noticed they had blocked half the street for parking cars. I thought it was a bit odd that they needed that much space for parking but then Dino said that there were expecting a lot of people for the race.
Once we got under the tent, Blaz started building up both chassis with engines and I headed to Parc Ferme to mount up my rain tires. The track was damp but it was not raining and if no rain came down before the Warm-Up session, the track would be dry enough for slicks. We had both karts ready to go for the Warm-Up and the weather seemed stable, so we headed up to the grid with the dry weather kart. The Warm-Up went well as most of it was spent running in the engine. We had very little time until the start of the Pre-Final, so we started getting both karts ready and then the skies opened in a big way. A huge down pour came over the track and the on-track action was postponed for 30 minutes due to the heavy rain. We were really lucky we did not get caught outside like some of the KZ2 drivers under our tent did. They all came back soaking wet from head to toe.
The rain cleared up rather quickly and by the time we had to make our way to Parc Ferme, the sun started to break through the clouds. The track was still quite wet as we rolled out on track. I took my 28th starting position on the grid knowing the first laps were going to be rough. Everyone knows this race is coming down to the wire and what is at stake. With the added rain, everyone has a chance to win. I was able to get a great start and pick up many positions coming into the first corner. As always, there was a lot of bumping and banging coming into the first couple corners but I was able to make out unharmed and further up the order than I could have ever hoped for. My pace was very good and I was able to pick off many drivers in the opening laps with steady progress until I came up on a Formula K driver that really needs to get his head checked out before he comes and races again. I made a simple pass on the driver that had a little side to side contact due to me getting on the wet paint on the inside curb. We both did not loose time and I was fully along side him when we touched so normally any professional driver would think nothing of what happened. But this contact must have displeased him so he decided to run into the back of me in the corner. Okay I can understand one time to let me know but for two laps in almost every single corner, he continued to hit me. While all this was going on, he was only slowing both of us down and letting the others pull away.
Starting the third lap of this driver continuing to ram by back bumper, he finally pushed me wide enough for him to re-pass me. With him on the inside and me on the outside, I was able to do the classic over-under move and get back inside of him on the back straight. Now what I did I am not proud of and to be honest, I'm probably making myself out to be a dirty driver, but sometimes people need to learn a lesson the hard way. Once along side the driver, I swung wide and side-slammed the driver right off the track. Like I said, it was dirty and unprofessional and something I'm not proud of, but I had enough of this guy trying to ruin my race. After all the chaos, I found myself running 13th but my rear tires were starting to build to much heat. As the race went on, my pace started to decrease rapidly. We had set the tire pressure too high and with the track drying faster than we had expected, we started paying the price. By the races end, I had fallen back to 16th. All in all, it was a good step forward picking up 12 positions in what could have been a loss like most other drivers.
Once back under the tent, the sun was out and the call for all the drivers to the make their way to the grid for the Driversí Presentation. Once I got off my rain suit, I changed into a clean (or somewhat because I used the day before) and quickly cleaned off my helmet. I put on my favorite shoes and headed off to the grid. Now the last time we had the Driver's Presentation, I was very unlucky with the quality of the girl holding my flag so I was hopeful to not have a repeat. As I walked down the line, I finally found my girl holding the American flag. All I can say is that she was very fit for her job. But the only problem was she was holding two flags. I asked her why she had two and she said because I was the only person from my country and I had to share her with another driver that was also only alone. Iím not one to share a beautiful girl, so when the other driver arrived I told him to hold his own flag and the girl was coming with me. She was a very nice girl and I quite enjoyed my conversation with her even with all the Italian drivers trying to poke fun at me. I think they were just jealous I had a beautiful girl all to myself. After all the fun and games, it was back to business and I headed over to the hospitality trailer to get some food.
After a light lunch, I headed back to the tent but that was not an easy task. I have only seen it maybe once or twice in my karting career but the pits were absolutely full of people. And when I mean full, it was completely full. People were having trouble getting their karts into Parc Ferme because all the traffic. The organizers for the race must have done on heck of a job promoting the race. I learned after they had a VIP seating area with private catering and the whole nine yards. Who ever organized this race did one heck of a job and was able to get at least a couple thousand spectators to the event. Now, I have no idea if people were charged at the gate or if they had to get wrist bands for insurance, but I donít think its so strict like in the US and makes it a little easier to get people thru the gates. However, they did it was amazing seeing so many people show up to watch a kart race.
As we made our way through the crowds, we finally made it to Parc Ferme and mounted up four brand new Dunlop DES slicks. Blaz set the pressures as I balanced the front tires. Once everything was set the call was made to place the karts on the front straight in our grid positions with all the pretty girls in the center. It was amazing looking around the track to see there was not one single space along the fence open as it was completely full of people with the grandstand completely over loader with people on top of that. The biggest race of the year was about to start and we had our highest starting grid position of the year. The World Cup is a one shot, go for broke, now or never style of race and I was ready to go to all out war to get a good result.
When the lights went out, I got another great jump and was in good position coming into the first corner. As we entered the second corner, I saw a small opening to the inside and I took it. Coming out of the next corner, I was able to position myself again on the inside and picked up another few spots. By the end of the first lap I had went from 16th to 9th in what was one of my better opening laps of the event. It was an all out brawl throughout the whole field. After a few laps, things started to settle down. I was passed by one driver coming into the last corner and he ran wide so I darted to the inside. As I darted inside, he came across my front end to defend and I popped up in the air and rode the back of the driver for the first half of the straight. I unfortunately lost a few spots when I came down but I was still inside the top ten. As the race wore on, our pace was just not as good as the lead drivers. I did my best to defend in the parts of the track were we lacked speed but with the amount of laps to go, it was only a matter of time before the drivers found a way by. It was a long race and having to be in defense mode from the very first laps makes it even seem longer. When I saw the last lap board, I knew I was going to finish my first World Cup and I was able to cross the line one last time, ending up in the 12th position. It was our best finish of the year in the most competitive race I have ever been apart of. Once at the scales, I could see Blaz was pleased with the result and it was good to see him smiling.
Once back under the tent, Dino told me I had a good race and that I got the absolute maximum out of what I had. After hearing that, I was really pleased with my result knowing I gave it my all and more the entire race. It was a good end to a long weekend that started off really rough. As always, we never gave up and pushed until the very end and we finally had some luck swing our way by staying out of trouble when we most needed to. Dino and Blaz left early to catch their flight and I headed over to Nyckís tent to lend a hand loading up his van. Once he was all loaded up, Nyck's mechanic Tom, himself and I hoped in the van I started our drive down to Italy. With the second to last round of the KF1 World Championship only a week away, they were driving directly to Italy and were nice enough to let me ride along and drop me off in Desenzano. It was a much more comfortable ride with them since they had air conditioning and with Nyck being so small, a lot more room than normal. We drove until about 11pm and decided to stop and get a hotel. It was funny that I did not feel very tired and it took me awhile to finally fall asleep.
Monday, September 4, 2011
We woke up early to get on the road as soon as possible. We still had a good 7 hours left of driving to go before we reached Desenzano and then they still had another 6 hours after that to get down to their final destination - Sarno, Italy. It was a great drive and I have to say I really enjoyed my time with Nyck and Tom. Tom is an extremely quite guy and never says much at all, but it was nice hear some of his background and how he started in karting. As for Nyck, some times I forget he is only 16 years old as he acts more mature than most of the people my age and is way more in tune with what goes on in the racing world than most will ever be. Things we found out during the trip was it will be near impossible for me to understand/speak Dutch, Nyck will not be winning any signing competitions in his lifetime and Tom might possibly be the most calm person on this planet. Time seemed to go but quite quick and before I knew it I was on my front door step to my apartment.
I dropped my bags on the floor and jumped on my bed and lied there for what seemed like an hour recalling all the events over the weekend. I was really satisfied how the Finals went and really could not have asked for much more in my situation. It will be a long break until Iím back in action being the next race on our books will be the WSK Final Cup at the end of October and then ending the year with my favorite race of the year in Las Vegas for the SKUSA SuperNationals. Thanks for reading everyone!
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Video of the KZ1 Final in Genk