Friday lunch time and Danny’s first official warm up session for the race weekend had gone quite well. They’d been fast from the minute the car hit the track during practise on Thursday afternoon and with the telemetry they had from previous race meetings over the years of running the current car the entire team was hopeful the car would get faster as the weekend progressed.
With the first qualification starting at 2PM the team was feeling confident, there was still work to do and while many of the crew were analysing telemetry the mechanics were under the bonnet making a few adjustments based on what Danny had reported during practise but confidence was still high.
At the same time as the team were busy with the car Danny was sitting in the team trailer working on the simulator. With the advancing of computer technology over the past few years everything was becoming more computer orientated and where gaming simulators had once just been a toy they were now extremely useful training tools. Danny, like most of the drivers down pit lane, were able to load up exact replicas of the tracks they were racing on and practice in both race and solo set ups. The simulators became even more useful given the limited track time the teams were allowed each race weekend.
For Danny he liked the idea of using the simulators as a memory game, memorising where to change gears, what gears to change to and more importantly to ensure he knew where the racing lines were and where the fastest line through each corner was. Like most drivers Danny’s thoughts were along the lines of “if we can’t get more on track time, we’ll get time on the next best thing.”
After an hour of qualifying Danny had managed to get the car up to second position, it wasn’t ideal but considering on his fastest lap he’d missed the line coming into turn four and wiped off nearly ten kilometres per hour of his cornering speed it wasn’t bad. It wasn’t a huge mistake but with so many cars on the grid being so close to each other in times Danny was lucky to only lose pole position after his mistake.
The one saving grace for Danny and his drop from pole position was what they referred to as the “The Run For Pole”. On Saturday morning after a warm up session the ten fastest drivers from the Friday qualifying session would get to race one hot lap with the final starting positions for the first race, on Saturday afternoon, worked out by who was the fastest in “The Run For Pole.”
As Danny got out of the car in the pit garage and took off his helmet he was still some what annoyed with himself for his mistake in qualifying but there was little point dwelling on it too much, far better to think about redemption in the form of winning “The Run For Pole.”
“Well done Danny, good driving!” Rick said as Danny walked through the the pit garage towards he transporter where he would get his race suit off and begin his cool down.
“Yeah ‘cept for that fuck up in turn four.” Danny replied.
“Yeah shit happens, you still drove well. Good thing is we’ve got the car that can top “The Run” tomorrow.”
“Yeah true, those replaced suspension units are working great. Can’t wait to see how those new units your dad is talking about are going to preform in a few months. Don’t suppose he wants to give us a head’s up on them?”
Danny was joking, he knew that Rick’s father wouldn’t put the family company’s reputation at risk by offering the team his own son worked for an advanced trail of racing components. Even if the new parts were tested and proved not to offer an advantage the shit storm other teams could create was not something anyone was willing to risk.
“Yeah he’ll be happy to, providing you agree to take one of the tyres off the car for each race meeting!” Rick said with a laugh.
“At least I’d have an excuse for fucking up corners.” Danny changed the subject, it wasn’t that he was getting angry with himself or Rick he just didn’t want to dwell on his mistake too much, there would be plenty of time for that when he sat down with the rest of the team and analysed the data after dinner. “Does the data look as good as it feels?”
Danny constantly got updates for most parts of the car and the times he was preforming whilst racing but he’d also learnt that Rick was more honest with his assessments of the data. At times the team mechanics and team boss weren’t entirely forthcoming with all the information. Early on it was hidden from Danny to stop his temper from raging but as he came to grips with controlling that anger the team kept none important things, stuff that Danny himself couldn’t fix, from him.
At first when Danny found out it was happening he was annoyed but when he realised he could rely on Rick to give him the information he wanted and be honest about it he decided it was easier to let the ignorance slide and rely on his best mate to give him what he needed to know.
“Yeah the data does look good. Mechanics are fine, suspension is fine, aero is fine. There is a bit of fine tuning the boys will try tonight but you’ve got nothing to worry about.”
That was all Danny needed to know, he didn’t need to second guess Rick or question what he was saying he believed without question.
Parting company with Rick, Danny made his way into the cool down room, they still had plenty of stuff that needed doing before they sat down for dinner but cooling down after a heated session was as important as any of them and that was Danny’s first port of call.
Previous Racing Story here.