Saturday, June 27, 2009

altech gt-challenge ‘09, round 4

Race report from Welkom.
by Pierre Martins

20 June, 2009:

Funny sport this, motor racing.

I’ve had so many obstacles thrown in my way in the build up to this weekend that at times I didn’t really know whether I was Arthur or Martha. Just a few days before I was flat-cat in bed with a bad case of flu. And then we had drama when the race car fell off the trailer when a tie-strap let go on the way to the race track. Luckily that happened as we pulled off from a stop street and not on the highway. Can you imagine the carnage if it had to happen at speed?

Anyway, I managed to jump through all the hoops that the bastard Murphy threw at me and came out tops in the end…

Race 1:

Phak200609005This one turned into a heated battle right from the start with youngster Dillon Miller in the lightweight little 911 RS. It was like a continuation of the Kyalami races, with me piling the pressure on in bucket loads and him blocking like there was no tomorrow. I wanted to break him and knew he’d crack sooner or later if I bullied him relentlessly, and sure enough, on lap four he missed a gear exiting turn three and over-revved that poor little flat six to high heavens.

After that the tell-tale puffs of blue-white smoke from his exhausts told me he wasn’t gonna last long, so I kept the pressure on and on the next lap his engine finally cried enough in cloud of white smoke whilst I continued with a wry smile on my dial to take a win in class E, evil bastard that I am…

Race 2:

Phak200609019 With Dillon gone and the closest class E competitor seven seconds off the pace, all I had to do was cruise to make this a double win in class E for the day. But no, that’s not me. I’m the kinda asshole who sometimes do stupid things like pushing hard for the sake of putting on a good show even when there is no pressure.

And so it turned out that there was a Ferrari F430 behind me on the grid for race two. Of course I had to see how long I could keep him behind me just for the hell of it, even though it was a class B car and I knew I had no chance of matching his straight-line speed…

Three laps into the race he was still there in my mirrors, but he came screaming past me down the back straight. That got me thinking about these bastards in their Ferraris. They just screwed Porsche in LeMans GT2 the weekend before and I would love to get one over on a proper race spec F430, so I decided right there that if he lifted for the super-fast double right-hander at the end of the Phakisa back straight, I was gonna re-take him. So when those little round brake lights lit up on the back of the Ferrari I just kept my right foot planted and took him around the outside, he-he-he.

My toes were curling! That move was the icing on the cake for me. He eventually powered past me and disappeared into the distance. I think he must have been relieved to get the hell away from me.

IMG_6908 After that I saw Peter Warton-Hood in his class C Porsche GT3 up ahead and managed to reel him in for a nibble at his heels, but he also caught a wake up, upped his pace and disappeared into the distance. And then it turned into a lonely race. Nobody to dice with. Nobody to catch. I was miles ahead of the next class E guy, so there was no reason to push either, but I kept pushing for the hell of it. It was one of those times when you find good rhythm, when you stay in the zone and dance with the car in pure enjoyment, come what may.

And that was that.

The weekend started off bad, but I managed to pull another double win in Class E to place myself comfortably ahead in my class and in the overall points standings, which means I’m currently leading the Altech GT Challenge in a heavy tank Porsche 928.

How about that? Good for a chuckle at least, eh?


No comments: