When Rick and Danny finished their morning catch up it was nearly 9am, although the majority of their morning talk was about Tracey and not about work neither of them felt too guilty about having such a slow start to the day. Apparently neither did anyone else given that no one interrupted their chat with work related issues. Although in reality the chances anyone, without eaves dropping, would know that Danny and Rick weren’t talking shop was fairly slim given that the main point of issue around the car since Sunday’s race was the suspension and the suspension components which were supplied by the Rick’s family’s company.

“So what’s happening today? Are you just going to rip the suspension out and replace it?” Danny asked.

“Well yeah but not immediately. I’ve teed it up with Dave, we’re leaving everything in place until Dad arrives with whoever he’s bringing, we will then run the sim and let them see for themselves what we’ve found.”

Danny knew that the simulation data alone was enough to prove there was an issue there but leaving everything in place while there weren’t under time constraints may give Rick’s dad and his engineers a better chance to see why the problem was occurring.

“We’re not going to get a test day with the car before the Parkville,” the next race meet, “so time’s not an issue. And I guess we can run your solution as a temporary fix for us if your Dad can’t figure out a complete fix for it.”

“To be honest I’m not sure he’s going to make a permanent fix, unless they find something else I haven’t. Going by the data it’s all related to the tension of the mounts. There is no safety issue warranting a recall. The parts aren’t failing, they just aren’t working 100%.” Rick took a breath as he thought about the next thing he would say. “I wouldn’t mind betting they wont even send out a notification to the teams using the suspension because each car set up is so different.”

Danny knew where Rick was coming from, it wasn’t a case of his dad ignoring safety or giving the team Rick worked for an unfair advantage. The reason he possibly wouldn’t do anything is because each different technician could feasibly set up their cars differently and not see the same issue.

“At least seeing it in place will give him a chance to check it out as you found it.” Danny replied. “When’s the old man due?”

“About 10, you know what it’s like the further up the food chain you get the later you can get to work!”

Danny laughed. “Yeah. If he arrives earlier tell him to come and see me, I’ve gotta go at about 10.”

“Where are you off too? Brunch with Tracey?” Rick laughed and got up from his seat.

“Yeah, yeah! There’s an arsehole born every minute!” Danny said joking. “I’ve got media commitments until lunch time then after lunch I’ve got practice for the Pit.”

Rick knew what Danny was referring to when he spoke of the Pit, it was a charity race Danny competed in every year. A specialised offroad competition style race event around the open cut mine of a power station. While the majority of the circuit used the same tracks and roads that mine vehicles used there was some specialised areas where jumps had been set up to add and airborne factor to wow the spectators. It wasn’t the usual mode of vehicle Danny drove or the type of competition the team entered into but because it was a charity event and all takings from the gate went to local charities in the area Danny had never had any issues talking the team into providing him the support and the car to compete. Unlike the touring car championship where he was a number one contender in the offroad event Danny was just happy to finish and keep the truck on it’s wheels.

The event usually happened between the third and fourth round of the touring car championship but Danny always liked to get in as much practice as he could given the difference between his normal race car and the offroad truck. He obviously couldn’t practise on the open cut mine track but there was an offroad centre not far from the workshop that he was able to use.

Because track testing days throughout the year were numbered Danny also used the alternate racing events during the season as practise. Driving as many different four wheeled vehicles at race meetings that weren’t part of the touring car circuit as he could wasn’t the same as getting his own car out on a track, any tack, and putting in hours behind the wheel but it was within the regulations and helped him keep his racing eye in.

“I’ll send dad past here to say hi if he comes in before 10.” Rick said as he stepped up to the open door. “If not we’ll catch up with him one day soon. Maybe I’ll talk them into having a barbie for us, you know how much mum enjoys having us all around there.”

“No worries, Rick. Now why don’t you rack off and do some work for a change slack arse!”

“Hey, you know I was just joking about Tracey, don’t you?”

“Yeah I know mate. Trust me I wasn’t taking anything serious. In many ways I am treating it as a joke myself.”

In the brief moment of silence between the two men Danny almost thought he was ready to tell Rick what he couldn’t tell Tracey but Rick broke the silence before Danny had a chance even if he could talk his mind into it.

“Well as long as you know I’m here for you if you need anything. I may never condone what Tracey has done but I don’t hate her and if you need someone to talk to I’ll do my best to be unbiased.” Rick said honestly.

“Yeah thanks mate I understand.”

As Rick disappeared from Danny’s doorway Danny sat in his office chair and stared at his computer but he wasn’t taking any notice of what was on the screen, his mind was elsewhere. His mind was of course thinking of Tracey.

If he couldn’t admit to Rick, his friend of more than twenty years, what he’d done whilst Tracey was absent how could he ever hope to admit it to Tracey, or worse how could he ever hope to resolve what was between them.

Rather than think about it further and stress himself out more Danny gave up, left his office and headed over to the take away shop to grab himself the egg and bacon sandwich for an early morning tea snack since eating during press conferences was usually frowned upon. Interviews always made he feel exposed and uncomfortable but he knew he had to do it.

Previous Racing story here.