Last weekend Traxxis went to Szczecin, Poland to participate in the 8h night race at the Silver Hotel Gokart Center. Two teams entered, Traxxis WP with Peter Neefs and Ward Maenhout, and Traxxis VVV with drivers Stefan Verhofsté, Christophe Verhoeven and Kenny Verbinnen
A small recap of the weekend from Ward:
Because it’s pretty far away, we decided to combine the race with a short holiday in Poland, and we went a day early.
After a car trip of 7,5 hours on friday, Peter and me arrived at the Silver Hotel. The other Traxxis members were waiting for us together with Remigiusz Drzazga, the organizer of the race. He helped us find a place to stay for the first night (the second night we had a room available in the Silver hotel, which was included in the entry fee of the race).
We went to the center of Szczecin and after some phone calls of Remi, we found a nice apartment where we could stay the night. Since we were a day early, we had plenty of time to explore the local nightlife, and we went to discover the city. Remi gave us some suggestions as to where to go.
An hour or two later we arrived at the Rocker Club, ready to have a party.
And we passed the night partying until the morning 🙂
When the Rocker Club closed, we went to our apartment because we couldn’t find anything else open at 6 o’clock in the morning :p We made a small stop to eat something before we went to bed. Still plenty of time to get some sleep and prepare for the race, which would start at midnight on Saturday evening.
The next morning (actually only a mere 3 hours later) the sun woke us up. Starting the day quiet, we decided to explore the town, and hung out at the local shopping center. The waitress suggested us to drink a fresh orange juice. So we did, and we ate some pizza.
After this, we walked around in the mall to have a look at all the nice things they have in Poland.
Stefan got tired of walking, so we finally went to the race track to see what’s it all about. We decided to drive two heats to see how fast we were on the track. We could compare with some other guys that were also training some heats. We quickly got to know the track that’s rather easy. The karts were limited in top speed. So on the straight we were driving against the limiter, which was quite funny to experience. The five of us had about the same pace so we were confident for the race. We noticed that, although we maybe missed to set a top time, we had a good average.
During free practice of the race, Traxxis VVV got the 6th time, Traxxis WP got the 7th. Not too bad and after qualifying, Traxxis VVV got P4 and Traxxis WP P5 on the starting grid.
The start was clean, Kenny won one place, Peter kept position. The race went on without any troubles for both of our teams. Everybody drove good stints, except for me in my first stint. I had the best kart, but had some trouble with overtaking slower teams. Because of this, I couldn’t find my pace. I didn’t lose positions or time on the teams after us, but I should have gone faster with this kart. Traxxis VVV climbed up the pack, most of the race they drove top 3. Traxxis WP followed, driving mostly in P4 and P5 positions.
View this video below for an impression, where you can also see the Le Mans start, in which Kenny managed to gain a position:
At the end of the race we got informed that a team would get a lap back because of troubles with another kart during the race. This together with the bad luck of not having the best kart of race and having to finish in a kart that suddenly became slow also, Traxxis VVV finished 5th. For Traxxis WP, a podium place was still possible, but it would not be easy because we had to block a much faster P4 for about 25 minutes until the end of the race. Luckily, I stayed cool (I had some trouble with blocking in the past) and finished the race on 3th position with P4 immediatly after me.
Really bad luck for Traxxis VVV, who definitely deserved to get a podium place.
After the race we took some time to chat with Remi, have breakfast and then we went back to Belgium, where we arrived on sunday evening, tired but happy.
Some small details could go better in this race, such as making sure every team gets every kart. Next time we will enter this race again for sure (Traxxis WP even won a discount by finishing 3th).
Really looking forward to it!
Here you can read Peter Neefs’ personal view about the race, written in Dutch.