Updated: Feb 9, 2020
After the immense joy - and in some ways sadness - of the Daytona 24 Hours, I thought we'd get a calm week, before building the hype back up for the ELMS race at Suzuka....but unfortunately (for some) were about to have another week of madness. Before I begin though, We must give bid our farewells to Kelson Penn - one of the earliest drivers in Kabort Motorsport - and a huge part of the team from the moment he started. He is moving on to an American Team called "T.C.R". T.C.R had an amazing debut with Kelson, finishing 6th in the Daytona 24 Hours, with many more results to come, but let's take a quick look back and some of my most memorable moments with Kelson: Kelson Penn - Kabort Motorsport - 16/7/2019 - 15/01/2020 Kelson originally joined us in July, mid-way through our inaugural season of VRS Endurance. Right from the get-go, he was a key member of our team, not only racing in the VRS Endurance round at Brands Hatch, but also competing in the 24 Hours of Spa Francorchamps which started on the same day.
The 24 Hours of Spa, wasn't only Kabort's first 24 Hour Race, but one of the most enjoyable races I have ever done...and still, to this day I remember Kelson saying
“I’d rather have a team mate who dreams of or pretends about having Ferrari Podiums than a team mate who keeps b****ing about us not being in the top five”
Kelson, along with the other two Americans on the team, did the ugly night-stints whilst I innocently slept. Despite the chaos with stints in the morning, he stayed incredibly calm throughout. Kelson is one of those drivers who's a real "mate" , one that you'd really want to meet up with in real life and have a pint at the local pub. Despite a short hiatus from endurance racing (due to the difficult time-zones) Kelson would return for another extremely memorable race - The Bathurst 1,000KM - bringing the Holden team of himself, me and Gas Cohen a solid 7th place. His last race for the team would be at Sebring - with fellow heroes Marco Marozzi and Tim Kasigkeit - both of which have also left Kabort. Special Events and Endurances a-like will be different without him, and I must wish him all the best with T.C.R, and I wish that he is happy and content with the team. By not having to wake up at 3:00am for a stint, I finally think he can reach his full potential, and secure some wins with them - because very occasionally Kelson and I would trade - or be close to trading lap-times, and having someone on the same rough "level" as myself was nice, as I felt I wasn't hindering the team. Whilst I am sad that he's left, for the time-zone issues that we had, he stayed for an awfully long time, and I truly appreciate that. Kelson will be remembered within the team, and hopefully his legacy stays as we look to the future. These past few weeks, we have been joined by a whole host of new drivers, and, given time, they too will plant memories into Kabort and Kabort's history... Kelson, It's been an absolute pleasure having you. Kelson Penn - Kabort Motorsport - 16/7/2019 - 15/01/2020 As I mentioned before about looking to the future, the looming Bathurst 12 Hours bought some new faces to our team, names such as: Andy Jones (5/01/2020) - Haven't given him too many mentions Samuel Swallow (15/01/2020), Bob Kern (16/01/2020), Chandler Rubeck (19/01/2020), Abdul Fattah (20/01/2020), Jonathan Kerns (26/01/2020), Jame Allen (26/01/2020), Brendan Hamilton (28/01/2020) all with a lot to prove. Unfortunately, you cannot have a rainbow without a little rain, and unfortunately, a few of the names above, left the team very early on. Samuel Swallow - 15/01/2020 - 28/01/2020 Sam messaged me with the following, Tuesday of this week
"Dude just a heads up, I think I may end up doing races with another team coming up, not all of them but some unless youd prefer me to leave the team fully an not do both"
Understandably, I was a little shocked and asked why, and he returned with
"Just mainly because the team is a bit relaxed for me, I want to be in the top 5..."
Which I perfectly understand, we don't enter a race expecting a win, we try and get it to the end, so I referred Sam to Eleven9 Motorsports - since they were slightly more competitive than ourselves, and despite not having any seats available at the time, it was getting the ball rolling, and showing him potential future options. Abdul Fattah - 20/01/2020 - 28/01/2020 Despite only being in the team for a week and a day, Abdul unfortunately had to leave us. He had friends that invited him into a racing team of him and his friends called "Ronin sim sport". Like the drivers before him - including the classic Ricky Styles (who remembers that fella?), Florian, and occasionally João Paulo - the power of friendship is something unbreakable - and I would never stop anyone from racing with their friends. I hope they all have a blast together. -- I haven't heard very much from Bob, but I'm incredibly excited to see him race! -- Carter Hutcherson - 30/12/2020 - 27/1/2020
"First off, I want to thank you for your time and attention for the past month and a half. With this being said, today, January 27th, 2020, I announce my resignation from KABORT Motorsports. KABORT was a great team to get back into the iRacing community with, a great group of individuals with some decent speed. However, my skill came back more quickly than I thought, posting the fastest times in my team at Daytona and Road America. I never want to be the best on my team, I always want to learn from faster individuals, and the main reason I am resigning is because of this fact.
I see it time to look elsewhere for individuals that push me, not whom can pace me I also believe the team has gotten too large. When I initially joined, it was a very tight group of individuals that I actually got to know, now, I don’t know 75% of the gents in the server. With my investment into a full Fanatec setup, a more competitive mindset and the aspirations of improving, these facts support my decision.
Robin, I want to thank you for your time, effort, and friendship the past two months. As to not cause any conflicts I will remove myself from the KABORT server to not take any setups you may use in the future. I do hope that we can hop into some hosted sessions sometime and blast around." Best of luck in College, I do hope we keep in contact. Sincerely, Hutch" ~ " As much as it pains to leave such great individuals, this is a gut feeling decision that I must make. Further, it's not that I am "the best", im sure there are actually faster hiding the in shadows, but even if the best are all on pace, then I will forever be "on pace". "
^ An absolutely beautiful resignation letter from Carter almost bought me to tears.
Carter had so much spirit and enthusiasm in so few days - and it was honestly so beautiful to see the team "spark" up for the first time in a little while, because Carter honestly bought so much joy - and a little light to the place - not that it was dark, but Carter had a special "charm" about him.
~ Carter originally joined us at the end of 2019 (30/01/2019), and bought the team together - especially Cheng, himself, Chandler (who'd join later), Rob and Justinas, Unfortunately joining to late to participate in the Road America round, Carter's debut came at the mind-boggling Daytona 24 Hours/Le Mans ELMS weekend. Not only was Carter in the only finishing car in the Daytona 24 Hours - scoring a top 20 finish despite all odds, he was also able to top it all off and finish the 6 hour Le Mans Endurance race in 10th place - scoring the first Top 10 finish of the season! Carter was a great lad, and I am sure the whole team will miss him as he moves on to better, bigger things. Carter Hutcherson - Kabort Motorsport - 30/12/2020 - 27/1/2020
But now it's time to think about the positives - Suzuka and Bathurst are coming up in the next few weeks...will we find some incredible talent? Will the drivers stay to see their 100 Day Anniversary? Stay tuned, it's exciting times. And all the best to those moving forward and starting a new chapter in their racing careers.