Jake In Japan: Day 4 Diary (Saturday)

  • Follow Jake's progress today on the CIK-FIA site HERE.

from Jake Spencer & Remo Racing

QUALIFYING - SATURDAY 19th May, 2012

I had an awesome day in Suzuka today. Despite not reaching my goals of qualifying in the top 10, I feel like I have improved my driving a lot since yesterday and have now closed the gap between myself and the leaders.
 
QUALIFYING
In qualifying this morning I did my best time (48.999) of the weekend which put me in 16th position for the heat races out of the 30 drivers. I was really pleased with the improvements we made to the kart over night, however it still had a little bit of mid corner slide which was hurting my exit speed on the slow corners.


Above: Over here the Flag Marshalls sweep the track after every race. This means that there is no rubber pick up/marbels on the track. They all wear helmets and overalls as protection while on the track
pic - Spencer/facebook

It is amazing how close the times are between all of the drivers. The gap between the Birel Factory Driver Kevin Rossel (who qualified on pole position) and myself was only .382 of a second. Adding to this, if I had been .05 of a second faster it would have put my inside the top ten for qualifying. In comparison to my factory Kosmic teammates who race for the team in Europe regularly, I was .2 of a second behind them. 
 
After qualifying the team engineer compared my data to my teammates. The data systems that the team use are amazing and have helped me improve my driving throughout the weekend dramatically. The data showed that I was losing .2 of a second to my teammates in turn 2 of the Suzuka circuit. My teammates were both accelerating / picking up the throttle a few metres earlier than me, which meant they had much more exit speed.  


Above: Going through data with the team engineer
pic - Spencer/facebook

HEAT 1
The first heat race was a disaster. Unfortunately I had a few issues with the carbie which caused me to break down during the roll around laps. Sometimes motorsport can be cruel!
 
HEAT 2
The second heat race was very eventful! Starting out of 16th position, it was absolute chaos. The Japanese and European drivers are much more aggressive in comparison to those in Australia. Twice during the first few laps I was forced to avoid other karts flying through the air as a result of contact with others!

Four laps into the race everyone started to settle down and get into a rhythm which gave me an opportunity to start making up a few positions and get a feel of how the kart was handling. I managed to pass a few karts before the end of the race and finished in 15th position. My lap times were encouraging, this time only .1 of a second slower than my factory Kosmic teammate Paolo Ippolito who won the race. 
  
Tomorrow I have my last heat race, followed by the pre final and a 25 lap final. As a result of my DNS in the first heat it means that I will have to start the pre final further down the order than what I would like. However, I feel like the changes we are making to the kart for tomorrow should help me find a little more time which will hopefully help me make my way through the field. 


pic - Spencer/facebook

I cannot say enough good things about the Kosmic Racing Department team and what they have done for me throughout the weekend. They run an awesome operation that is extremely professional. Looking after the six drivers in the team are six mechanics, a data engineer and the team manager who makes sure everything is running smoothly. Adding to this, the team hire two chefs at the track who work all day cooking fresh food for the Kosmic and Tony Kart teams.

It has been an amazing experience so far and I am really excited to take what I have learnt from the weekend and try it on my kart in Australia. 
 
I am hoping that tomorrow goes well.

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