Danny crossed the finish line with his foot on the accelerator and doing more than two hundred and thirty kilometres per hour. Despite all his in car telemetry the one thing he didn’t have was a lap timer so he didn’t know how good his one lap race for pole position was. He did however know that his stuff up on the third last corner would have cost him valuable time.
None of the seven drivers before Danny’s run for pole had broken Fittzy’s new qualifying lap record and while his team had told him not to focus on the qualifying record, just to go fast, Danny couldn’t do that. Danny knew that to give himself and the team the best chance possible to take pole position he had to aim for the record and then make Fittzy work even harder to beat him.
The vehicle was less than a car length past the start finish line when Danny lifted his foot off the accelerator and allowed it to slow down.
“Good lap Danny,” Tommy’s voice came through the comms unit and into Danny’s ear.
“How did I do Tommy?” Danny asked.
“You did well!” came Tommy’s reply.
Danny’s speed was back down to below eighty kilometres per hour and he was negotiating through the first few corners. Tommy’s response had not filled him with the elation he had hoped.
“That screw up,” Danny was slowly learning his lesson not to swear over the comms unit, “on Murphey’s corner cost me didn’t it? How much? Where are am I sitting?”
If only Danny could have heard the commentary team on the television broadcast who were replaying his high speed lap for the viewers and praising every corner, every gear change and ever braking manoeuvrer.
“Yeah it cost us a bit.” Tommy knew better than to lead Danny on like he was doing but he also liked the idea of payback and he owed Danny a few.
“How much? Where am I sitting?” Danny replied into the comms unit.
“You’re in first.” Tommy replied.
“What? You’ve got to be shitting me? After that fuck up I’m still in first?”
Tommy didn’t comment on the curse word, hoping that if it no further mention of it was made the stewards also wouldn’t make anything of it since it should not have been broadcast on television.
“Yes mate, you’re in first with a new lap record, congratulations!”
Danny cheered then punched the steering wheel twice, not in anger, quiet the opposite he was happy and the punch was done out of pure elation. As he was celebration Danny took his eyes of the track for just a second and slightly overshot the corner at the end of the back straight, it wasn’t enough to cause any issues but it was enough for Tommy to comment.
“We’re happy too Danny but let’s bring it back straight and in one piece hey!”
Danny didn’t reply but he did decided to keep his celebration until he got back to the pit. There was still two cars to go, Jamie Davidson already on his warm up lap and Fittzy following after him, so there was still a chance he could lose the pole but beating the lap record, a lap record that Fittzy had done on his absolute best lap the day before was going to make that task harder.
By the time Danny had pulled his car into the pit, climbed out and got his helmet off Jamie was already running his hot lap. While Danny was met with congratulations by from most of the team two of his crew were watching the screens intently to see where on the grid Jamie was going to put his car.
Danny shook hands, got pats on the back, even got a few hugs as he removed whatever of his race suit he could, he might have only done one hot lap out there but the racing suit with all it’s fire proof underwear and safety gear still made him hot. By the time he stepped up to one of the large flat screen monitors to watch the last of Jamie’s lap he could see that while Jamie was setting a hot time he was still six tenths slower that Danny. It was a good sign, while nothing was impossible and Danny did stuff up the third last corner Jamie had to pull something magical to make six tenths in the last sector of the track.
When Jamie crossed the line still four tenths off Danny’s lap time the entire pit cheered and clapped, they knew Fittzy was still on the track and as desperate as ever to take the pole but Jamie not doing it gave Danny a definite front row start. Whether it was position one or position two was all down to Fittzy and what he could do with his car for just under two and a half kilometres.
Fittzy started out on a blinder, he came out of the last corner of his warm up lap without error and was on the gas so quickly his car looked like a rocket. For just over a minute Danny and his team stood at the monitors staring at the milliseconds tick away. For each sector of the track the telecast showed red or green lights to indicate whether he was faster or slower than Danny’s time, whether his time was a personal best and whether he was headed for a lap record.
By the end of the second sector it was a mixed bag for Danny because Fittzy had one green light and one red light. He had the fastest split time for sector one, but his sector two while a personal best was only good for second place.
When Fittzy hit the third sector marker he had two green lights and one red and he was clearly on track for pole. It had all come down to the final sector, the sector Danny made his error in. Danny and the team watched on nervously as Fittzy got closer to the end of his lap.
Rounding the last corner the timers were so close the naked eye could not split them, Fittzy powered towards the line, the screen would tell Danny and his team of the result before Fittzy himself would know, the looked on intently as the car got closer to the line.
Previous Racing story here.