After three months as a proud owner of my very own go-kart and three-week long break from my first race ever, countless excuses why don't I go to the Slovak Karting Cup, I decided to accept this challenge and come race in Dlhá, near Trnava, Slovakia.
We came to the area one day before the race (on Friday), later afternoon. The weather wasn’t at all ideal and if I think of all the other problems I had to deal with such as where and how to build my tent, where to register for the race and when should I report to the track, I actually did absolutely nothing productive in terms of getting ready for the race on this day. The problem was that it started raining first lightly, then heavily and then it was sunny again. Basically four seasons in one day kinda weather. Because time was precious and I didn't have any skills or any required tools, I didn't even think of changing my tires from dry to wet weather. I could easily find them in my friend Zolo Drugda’s tent (best regards), but that would take a long time and it will take a long time to do it. On top of that, I had an issue to understand notice from the organizers about when the smaller accompanying race of mechanics on rented go-karts will take place. Anyway, after this, I found myself on the track for maybe around 10 minutes. I didn't have any other choice but to clean my go-kart, secure my tent and go to the hotel. The next morning, the weather seemed very similar to the day before, actually, it was slightly worse. It was not a heavy rain with hailstorm but serious rain, and I was still a little bit nervous. We changed the tires for the wet conditions outside, we learned how to actually do it and it was time to go on the track. It was my very first experience ever to drive with this type of go-kart on the wet track and I can say that it is crazy fun! I just pushed the gas pedal a little bit more and immediately after I was "learning" how to do 360° spin. Because there were many racers and many categories (each category had 15 minutes for training) plus I lost one training due to having to change the tires and the settings, I was only able to catch one free training. After that, the qualifying round was nearing closer, but first, we had lunch and time for the organizer to speak to us and explain some rules and to remind u that we were there mainly to have fun. Even though I really enjoyed to ride in wet conditions, I was still praying for a race in dry conditions because I didn't want to be the one, who will make a bad move in the race because of my beginner only skills with go-karts and cause an accident.
My wish was fulfilled and between training and qualifying rounds, the sun came up, track dried up and I was starting to fully focus on doing my best. The result of the qualification was not that great, even though I had given it my all, I was on the eleventh position out of fourteen riders if we take into account joined categories KZ Junior plus KZ Masters, with a loss 2.249 seconds on the first racer. In my category, which is KZ Junior, I was on the eighth place from eleven riders. Still, it could be worse. After the stress from the imagination of the final rounds being raced in wet conditions had passed, the second shock came was that I'll be on my first start ever in SLOKAP and at the same time for the first time, I'll have start from the place. I tried this starting technique a few times on T1 Ring in Vechec, Slovakia and also during the training plus in the last lap in the qualifying, when we must go to the pits, but I still, wasn't feeling very confident.
Manual how to successfully do it was relatively easy. Keep RPM on 14 000 value, have the first gear with holding clutch, then continuously release the clutch and catch the ideal moment when the engine is starting getting power to the rear wheels. But it was not so easy as it may seem. This is something that is still at the top of my to-do a list of things I must improve. During the first final round we were driving 13 laps and in our small group at the end of the grid, it was very balanced. At the end of the final round, I was on the eleventh position (seventh position in my category KZ Junior), the same position from which I was starting with a massive loss of 45.637 seconds to the first rider and my fastest lap was 50.444 seconds. The second final round was a bit different. Us (the three drivers) at the end of the grid were fighting together and from the viewer's point of view, we were the most interesting part of the grid because we had a lot of overtakes while the others which were, basically, in the same position throughout the race. Unfortunately for me, the result of this round for me was way worse than the previous and I lost my position. So, I was in the thirteenth position, ninth position in my KZ Junior category. My loss to the first rider was about two seconds worse off as 47.010 seconds but I had better fastest lap which was 49.974 seconds. In the overall results, I was thirteenth from fourteen riders in total and in my KZ Junior category I was on the eighth position from nine riders overall. I would like to say a big thank you to my personal mechanic Dávid Balický, who helped me and has been supporting me throughout all my races. Thank you!
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