While Danny had no complaints about the way the car was handling and the only fault he could pin point in the fast lap was his own mistake on the third last corner, the crew, with all the computer telemetry had a slightly different story to tell.
What the telemetry told them was not drastic or dire and would not have given them any great advantage to an already great lap but it had been flagged by the system as things they needed to be looked into.
The fuel system was using too much fuel at low revs. It was not something that adversely affected the car under race conditions but with the possibility of pace cars and caution laps, which were always a reasonable possibility at such a tight track, it could be an issue on race day when fuel usage was monitored down to the last drop.
The second problem they found was that the cool box was not drawing enough cold air over through the system to effectively keep the cool suit that Danny wore under his race suit suitably cool. During the hot lap for pole position Danny had not gotten hot enough inside the car to require the cold suit to kick in but it was something that needed it’s gremlins found before the race started.
Apart from those two little glitches, both which the team were confident they would have repaired quickly, the car was running great and the computer system was confirming it. Unlike many other race meetings where the pit crew would be working half the night to ensure the car was ready for the final practise session the following morning they’d actually be getting some sleep, or at the very least some down time.
It was a late dinner but Tracey and Danny had it together. It was nothing elaborate, a simple meal at the race track catered for by the team and offered to all the crew but Danny and Tracey were able to sit down together and alone without the interruption of others. Danny was sure some of the crew were avoiding the two of them because they still didn’t know how to deal with Tracey’s return, or what Danny thought of her return.
However the one thing that didn’t entirely sit well with him was that he knew some of the team were avoiding the two of them was because of the bad things Danny had said about his wife after she disappeared. Danny didn’t regret the thoughts he had at the time Tracey had disappeared without telling him where she had gone, but he did have some regrets about who he’d voiced those thoughts too. He had no intention of trying to rectify anyone’s thoughts, or telling them the truth about Tracey’s disappearance, because if there was one thing he learnt during counselling it was that the only person he needed to share marital information with was his wife and not anyone who would listen.
The only two people to come up and interrupt Danny and Tracey’s meal were Rick and Dave. They both came up at different times, Dave during the main course and Rick during the dessert. Dave’s visit was quick and to the point, his dislike for having wives or girl friends present during the race weekend obvious. Despite such thoughts he was a team manager and his main interest was the car and it’s driver. Rick on the other hand had a different agenda
Rick came over with the main intention of saying hello to Tracey and seeing how she was. Being Danny’s best and longest friend he and Danny had of course spoken on more than a few occasions. Rick was the only person Danny had chosen to share any information about Tracey’s return with, and his only intention was to see how the couple were doing at that time.
On race day each of the thirty six qualifying cars were able to take the track for one hour of practise. There was no limit to the number of laps each driver completed it was little more than a time allowed to the teams to fine tune any work they had done overnight and make any last minute adjustments to glitches that could only be discovered on the track.
Practise was often filled with fast laps as each driver pushed their cars and themselves to prepare for the afternoon race, but it was also filled with cars coming out of the pits on cold tyres after a pit stop for quick adjustments. However unlike under race conditions where drivers got themselves back onto the pace as quickly as possible, during practise it was not unusual for cars to remain off the pace for the majority of the lap. The down side of such actions was that often the slower cars got in the way of the faster cars. That was exactly what happened to Danny about twenty minutes into practise.
Danny had just completed his second hot lap, neither was hot enough to match his qualifying time but they were still good times and times that he and the team would be proud of during the race. He was exiting turn six, a fast paced left handed where the drivers hugged the inner ripple strip through the apex and slid wide on the exit to keep their speeds as high as possible for the long straight down to turn seven. Usually when a slower car was on the track they would stay in tight to the left hand side on both the entry and exit of the corner, off the racing line and out of the way.
However when Danny approached it Fittzy was not only going slow he was in half a car width into the fast lane. Danny put his foot on the brakes and slowed the car, because he wasn’t qualifying or racing for first he wasn’t as annoyed with Fittzy as he could have been but he still saw it as an arsehole move. But it was when Fittzy moved over pushing Danny, under brakes, towards the wall the Danny really swore.
Previous Racing story here.