November 2015 SKUSA Supernationals XIX, Las Vegas, USA
We arrived to Las Vegas Sunday 15th to adapt to the time difference and to have some fun, on Tuesday it was time to meet the team and set up the kart which was easy with a team like this! Stewart Willis and his crew are super professional and helped us with everything the whole weekend, a big thank you! The Benik kart was really easy to set up and fast right out of the box for Clara, also the Benik team deserves big thanks, they were amazing!
The TaG Cadet (Clara's category) had all practice sessions on the afternoon so we had plenty of time before lunch to keep the kart in the best possible way, cleaning, polishing and tuning wise! At an event like this you want to look as good as possible and as you can see in the pictures Clara did! Photos
First day of practice! We had four practice rounds the first day and at the last one transponders where mandatory, Clara was 22nd out of 44 in her group about a second off, but that was better than we expected, we had great fun and tried different gearing and rims to find a good set-up and Clara had fun learning the track that is built on a carpark. New for everybody and to be honest one of the best tracks we ever tried, so parking lot the week before and race track that host the biggest kart event in the world this week and back to car park the week after again, how cool isn't that?!
Second day of practice, after the last practice on Wednesday they slip the riders in two groups, the 44 fastest in group 1 and the rest in group 2 and Clara made it to the fastest group and was 35th out of 44 in the next session but only 1 second from the fastest time set! For the next session the team tried a few new things and the first two laps was ok, but then the engine lost all power.. So when we start to look for what it was, we discovered that it was a bolt for the throttle that had come loose.. Small things can happen on brand new karts, but the good thing is that it was easy to fix! Time for practice 7 and a new set of tires to see where we're at! She was 26th! 0,7 sec from the top, that was amazing! Only .4 of a second to be in the top 10 of the fastest kart drivers in the world!
After that we choose gears and put on the qualifying tires and got out for a very important qualifying practice, they let them out one by one so it shouldn't be a big mess but they were a bit slow so when Clara got out on track the first guys went by, it made her loose one important lap as she was going faster and faster but she was 28th out of 88! In a kart she never tried before! Way over our expectations! That means 7th row for the heats the next days!
A quick warm-up then time for the heat races! There was now four groups A, B, C and D (Clara's group) and first out was A vs. D, Clara did a good start but after only two laps she was put in the wall and came out last at 41th place but she did not give up that easy, every position counts and she knows it well, she drove herself up to 29th in only 12 laps. In her 2nd heat B vs. D she ended up 18th with less than a second to top 10, that's how close this race is!
Last heat race C vs. D! This was the decider, she had to do really good to make directly to the finals and Main event "Super Sunday" after the crash in the first heat and she did! She was 12th over the line after hard racing but the points wasn't on our side so she had to go to the LCQ (Last chance qualifier) with only one spot.. But Pole position here and she only had to be top six, but there was 44 other drivers that had nothing to lose either so I told her to play it as safe as possible, she was a bit too safe the opening laps and dropped to fifth but when she got heat in her tires she did the race of her life, passing the other drivers like it was the easiest thing in the world, going for 2nd spot and chasing down the leader the last lap! She finished 2nd but that was enough to make it!
Super Sunday, Main event! SKUSA Supernationals 19 XIX
The 44 best drivers in the world on one track! This is the big dream coming true!
I don't think many people in the paddock believed that when we showed up as under dogs! My only advice now was to have fun, we made it here and that was super huge! Clara looked at me and said - I can win it from here! That is the spirit of a true racer!!
But the luck was over.. There was a huge pile of drivers that wanted to take the corner at the same time at the same spot. There was simply nowhere for Clara to go so she tried to avoid them but got hit in the side while doing so, she was last out and a half lap after already. But she tried her best and did great lap times but the others were simply too far ahead.
But what a weekend! We'd never had this much fun before. Making new friends, had fun with old friends and to meet this team of wonderful, friendly people!
Thanks Stewart Willis for hooking us up with your friends and family! It's got to be the best team in the world! Thanks also Tony at Iame West USA and the best buddy of all Tom Kutcher for believing in Clara and being the best friend a man could ever ask for!
A big thanks to Team Kart Benik for helping us out with a super-fast kart and all your help, you know who you are!
What SKUSA does for karting is what the rest of the world should know and see, simply the best!!
And Danilo Rossi, the great 5 (FIVE!) times world champion, what a great man this is! Showing Clara with her super cool DR race suit for people and taking his time to talk for hours after the race, he is the man and I hope that we can keep this cooperation going for many years to come, we love the DR's!
Together with DR racing kart we'll be racing in Italy for a few races in 2016 all thanks to Danilo! See you soon buddy!
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