The last several times I raced in Taiwan, I just don’t know why, but things didn’t work in my way and there was always a possibility of rain. So this time, Ai and I were determined to do well so Ai actually arrived a day earlier to prepare everything as I had a school fieldtrip in Hong Kong and could only arrive on the Friday night before the race.
Here is my race report:
When I landed in Taipei, it was raining! So we did not have anytime to test or practice. The next day, two rounds of 5 min controlled practice was held to seed the qualifying groups, I managed the fourth fastest lap time and made the last and fastest group. My car was not at its best but 3 rounds of qualifying started and we simply did not have much time to identify the issue. The problems got worst as the day went on and I could not finish a solid run due to something. At the end of 3 rounds, I was sitting in 19th out of 70 drivers, not so good. Track was open for practice and I decided to switch to my T-Car to see if it would work better. We swapped the motor to the T-Car and I did some laps and immediately felt a significant difference. My lap times were half a second faster and overall the car felt more normal. Day one was over; I was frustrated.
Day 2 (Sunday) had only 1 final qualifying round before the bump up rounds would start. I had my last chance to set a time that would qualify me directly into the top four of the A Main grid to avoid the bump ups. I decided to race with my T-Car and on the warm up laps, the car felt fine and I had a good run. I could have done 24 laps to match Shimo but was blocked by one car for several laps, almost causing me to not finish again. Anyway, qualified 2nd onto the A Main grid, I was a bit more relieved.
A 30-minute huge rainstorm interrupted the finals, but everyone helped to dry the track and we were able to continue racing. But due to daylight, the organizers decided to shorten the A Main final to 30 minutes.
Shimo and I had fun drying the track, we joked a lot and I pushed water onto his starting grid while my own was dried off completely, Shimo laughed his head off!
In the Finals, my strategy was to stay as close to Shimo and not let him pull away knowing I will need to pit first. We both had a clean start and started to pull away from the field and I stuck as close to him as possible.
What speed I gave up in the straights I made up in the corners and was able to keep pressure on him. But in lap 7, Shimo spun and I hit him. It was later determined he had a broken front belt which caused the spin. My body was a bit damaged so I called Ai to let him know I needed to come in to pit. Ai fixed the body and got me out fast and I kept my pace throughout the race. My Matrix tires worked great and overall I am happy with my driving. Crossed the finish line in first just ahead of Ako who is a very experienced Taiwan National Champion. This was a good win, I wished Shimo could have finished the race, I was hoping to battle with him. Ai’s pit stops were perfect!
I really like racing in Taiwan, I have made some good friends at the WB Racing Team and the track is really nice. Also, its great to see so many 1/8 drivers in Taiwan, I’ll definitely be back again!