Recall that the grid for race 4 would be the reverse of the order in which race 3 was finished. So in race 4, the last point scoring car from race 3 would be starting at P1, second to the last starting at P2, etc.
Our second car had a technical issue in race 3 on Friday and we couldn’t sort it out in time before race 4 on Saturday.
The weather had looked gloomy all morning but a few minutes to the start of the race, the sky let loose and it began to rain. We quickly changed our air filter from the dry one that is routed through one of the front headlights to the conventional, under-the-hood one. We also made a few adjustments that restored the familiar performance of the #FLM95 car.
The start grid looked thus:
|Grid #||Driver||Team Name||Racing #|
|1||Daniel Oguonigho||Rage Motorsport||18|
|2||Aara Ikutegbe||Dark Matter Racing||07|
|3||Inyang Effiong||Outdoors Racing||66|
|4||Muyiwa Akintola||Rage Motorsport||08|
|5||Robson Omasheye||Fast Lane Racing||95|
|6||Jack Affara||Throttle Heads Racing||41|
Flag off, and away we went, quickly overtaking Dark Matter Racing #07 car and Outdoors racing #66 car before turn 1 (T1) to clinch P3. THR41 followed right behind us, overtaking our FLM95 car into T2 and snatching P3 from us. Both Rage Motorsport cars #18 and #08, ahead in P1 and P2 respectively, had contact out of T3 and somehow we managed to come out of the situation as P1.
New race order barely 45 seconds into the race in lap one was FLM95, THR41, RMS08, ORT66, DMR07. RMS18 was out of the race. It quickly became a 3-way battle as we defended our lead throughout lap 1 against THR41 and RMS08. Both cars behind our FLM95, hungry for the lead as a win for THR41 would mean they have the highest chance of winning the championship, and a win for RMS08 would be his first time on the top step of the podium.
The rain increased and in no time, the difficulties of racing in the wet started showing as cars were battling with grip through the turns. In lap 3, THR41 made a bold move on the outside of T10 into the front straight and took P1 from us. But as the rains showed no signs of slowing down, and the battle for P1 raged on, he spun coming out of same T10 in the next lap and we took back P1. We maintained our lead well up to lap 12.
Our driver described the race as spiritual, saying he felt a foreign entity take over him as he drove through the chicane and T5 and into the ever tricky T6. Then like cold water on a hot rod, he described feeling hesitation when accelerating out of T10 into the front straight, a strong right hander – an indication of a problem no racing driver wants to experience – low fuel or faulty fuel supply.
As we still have the stock fuel tank in the car, instead of a fuel cell, this is indicative of low fuel. The fuel would slush to the left side of the car on a hard right turn, temproratily starving the fuel pump and causing the car to stall. He had to go easy on the gas. He could’ve pitted in that lap for more fuel, but just couldn’t bring himself to give up the lead (the many emotions in racing).
THR41 overtook us out of T4 in that lap, then we pitted for more fuel in the next lap. Causing us to fall back to P4. The rains suddenly increased some more and the race had to be ended.
We finished this race P4 because we ran out of fuel. As the race leaders drove into the pitlane and started celebrating, our driver got out of his car and went into the field to confront his demons and let out all the pain from possibly losing not just the race, but the championship because of a measly fuel measurement error. He stood in the rain looking into the universe as THR41 did some victory donuts in the dirt in the rain. Our team crew couldn’t believe what had just happened. Race 4 was a real emotional roller coaster.
Results from Race 4, Driver Standings and Team standings after Race 4. Fast Lane Racing fell a total of 4 points behind the lead after this race weekend. In order to win the championship, we would have to win the last two races of the season and hope the current championship leader finishes 4th or worse in one of the remaining races. We will do our best and time will reveal what fate has in store for us in November.
Next up, the grand finale and final races for the 2019 RoadX season, Races 5 and 6 on November 30th and 31st respectively. The 2019 Biker’s Trophy 600cc and 1000cc races hold on 31st November as well.