The people behind the PIKC (Polish Indoor Kart Championship) organized for the 2nd year the 8h Night Race in the very nice Silver Hotel & Gokart Center in Stettin/Szczecin (Poland).
As we, with Traxxis, participated last year with 2 teams (Traxxis WP (3rd place) and Traxxis VVV (5th place)), we were eager to go back to Poland for this race, but this time, to participate with 3 teams:
– Traxxis Goku (Ward Maenhout & Peter Neefs)
– Traxxis Gohan (Stefan Verhofsté & Bjorn Vermeulen)
– Traxxis Frieza (Nick Van Ostade & Christophe Verhoeven)
Teamnames inspired by Dragon Ball Z this time 🙂
As most of our drivers knew the track already, we only practiced for 2 sessions, just to get a feeling of the new karts (only Stefan and Christophe opted not to). For Bjorn Vermeulen it was his first time on the track, and this was already a good training session for him to get to know the track. Together in our sessions, the drivers of Formiko Racing Team participated (2nd place last year) and we noted that our team was up to speed to go for a podium!
13 teams in total at the start.
For the race, the organization decided to change the track a bit to make the race more interesting. In our team we saw that the adaptation was not too difficult, and fast laps were driven, especially by Traxxis Frieza and Traxxis Gohan. For Traxxis Goku (3rd place of last year), we saw that it was difficult to drive the fast laps that the other top teams were driving. However the team did not panic, as they knew that there is a bit of difference on the karts, and with all the fast drivers, the small details make a difference.
As the qualification was driven with the same karts, we saw that there were not much differences in comparison to the free practice. The results of the qualification was a 3rd, 4th and 9th place on the starting grid for the Traxxis teams, respectively Frieza, Gohan and Goku.
The race would start with a Le Mans start. The drivers that would start the race practiced their skills on running and jumping in the karts, to make a good start. Just 30s before the start of the race, the drivers were focused on the green flag. The green flag dropped, and the drivers ran to their karts.
Traxxis Goku made a very good start and climbed up with this from P9 to P7 in just 1 lap. Traxxis Gohan also made a good start, but unfortunately lost 1 position due to some hectic start at the first corners.
Traxxis Frieza could keep their 3rd place and move on with the race.
Every 33 minutes, kart changes took place. This is done to make the race fairer, as every team has to drive every kart. We saw that all our Traxxis drivers had a good speed, but we saw that 1 driver (Christophe Verhoeven) was really driving fast lap times! He was definitely one of the top 3 fastest drivers on the track that weekend!
Because of the great speed of all our drivers, we saw that the teams were climbing up or staying in the top part of the competitive field. And after 7 hours of racing, the gaps were still close. First and second position were set, this would be “The Dutch Value” or Traxxis Frieza. For the 3rd place, it was still a close battle between Team Poland, Traxxis Goku and Formiko Racing Team. Traxxis Gohan was also closeby, with also “Sunday Drivers” which were driving very fast!
In the last half hour of the race it became clear what the positions would be. The Dutch Value would win the race, but in the end, only with 16s in front of Traxxis Frieza, the 2nd place. Very close! The 3rd place went to Team Poland, followed by Traxxis Goku, also in the same lap. 5th place were the drivers of Formiko Racing Team, with also less than half a lap after Traxxis Goku. For the 6th place, Traxxis Gohan made a good effort, by passing the Sunday Drivers on 5 minutes until the end of the race, by a brilliant maneuver of Stefan Verhofsté! The rest of the competition was following on a couple of laps.
In the end, Traxxis made a good result, with a 2nd, 4th and 6th place in a very competitive field of drivers at the Silver hotel & Gokart center (fastest laptimes by almost all the teams were very close). It was, once again, a nice race, and a participation of Traxxis the next year is definitely an option!