Updated: Sep 11
Good morning from a chilly England!
I hope you are well and everything is going well for you.
As they always say "there is no better time than the present" - so lets begin.
Saturday 20th August, 2022
My most recent blog finished on the 19th August, so let's begin where we left off.
I returned back home on the Isle Of Wight on the 8pm Ferry on the 19th August, after having a little look at an Iron Age Fort (no remains left).
The very next day, (Saturday 20th August), it was the 24 Hours Of Le Mans on iRacing...or well, it wasn't...
Since June 2020, The ACO and RFactor have been in a "serious relationship" - and, in so many words - prevented anyone else/any other games from hosting a Le Mans 24 Hours - or an event that portrays competing in the event.
This "relationship" has been signed for 10 years - so, we can all start partying in 2030.
In 2019, I made my endurance racing debut on the 15th June, in the 3hr VRS Endurance Series at Laguna Seca - Le Mans was on the 1st June that year.
In 2020, iRacing held the last ever "Official Le Mans 24 Hours" on their sim - I have no idea how I missed this debacle...but I did. Unfortunately, our car never finished.
Come 2021, iRacing found a loophole - and held the Le Mans 24 Hours as a series (a series of 24 Hour races), instead of a "stand-alone" Special Event. During this year, I didn't have the availability to compete.
2022 was my first crack at Le Mans since the series (the Global Endurance Series) was founded.
In terms of Special Events - My year - up to that point had been quite a challenging one - out of the five special events I had competed in, I had only finished two (ROAR Before The 24 and Spa 24 Hours).
Because it's not a Special Event, and it's been and gone (and landed in its home country), I shan't go into too much detail - as, yes, it was an incredible race - but the time has come and gone.
Le Mans 24 Hours, 2022
Due to "recent events", and the "status" of Le Mans (almost being lost), Kabort had a much smaller entry than it did in yesteryear - this year, (like last year), only two cars entering - Kabort Green and Kabort Yellow - one a piece for the GTE field and LMP2 field.
Green went on to start 15th and finish 18th, Yellow started in 11th (in class) and finished an impressive 7th. But this was not the whole story.
Somehow, mistake after mistake, we kept bouncing back - even after one of my worst stints in an endurance race, Lars and Dan both pulled the car back - and we were even on-course to finish P5 (in class), before Lars had a catastrophic throttle-jam.
I'll be the first to admit - me being completely choked up during the entire month up until that point didn't help matters in the slightest - but as they always say - we'll always be back bigger, better and stronger - and this (drive) certainly was redemption for the PearTree 3 disaster.
Monday 22nd August, 2022
Between stints the previous weekend, I had to make time to pack - I was a man on the move - and the very next day after The Global Endurance Series Race At Le Mans had finished, I was straight on a plane headed for a little Island - the proper race-driver life-style.
The Madeira family holiday of 2022 marked the first time I would board a plane in 4 years - the last time I did so, I was 17. A little crazy to think about.
So much had happened in that time, and whilst packing, I was a little baffled on WHAT to pack - clothes were easy - but entertainment? Other bits and bobs? No clue.
I guess I had grown up a SIGNIFICANT amount since I had last been on holiday - as instead of just dashing off and having fun, I was gripped by a sense of guilt. Guilt that I shouldn't be here - that I had done nothing to deserve this - or be on this "luxurious" family holiday on a Portuguese Island - somehow they could afford it and I was struggling to get triple digits in my bank account.
It was also the fact that we were a little "excluded" - we were up on the face of a hill/mountain - so it wasn't a five-minute stroll down to the beach, or five-minute stroll to the nearest activity - but that was okay, because we filled up every day doing something interesting and exciting.
I don't want to brag about every single day, so, here's a simple summary of my holiday to Cabo Girão (Madiera).
Monday (22nd August)
Left England, arrived in Madiera, landed on impressive airport (one of the smallest commercial runways in the world!)
After arriving, we'd pick up our hire car - Seat Ibiza and head to our holiday home.
On the first day, it was very much about arriving, getting settled in, and exploring our home and the "reception area"
For dinner, we had a lovely buffet.
Tuesday (23rd Aug.)
Day 2 started sunny - and we made the most of it before the clouds rolled in, going for both a swim and a quick game of ping-pong before some low(ish) clouds made it a bit chilly - we also did our big shop for the holiday. Played family game of Rummikub.
Wednesday (24th Aug.)
On Wednesday, we ventured out to the view-point just above our apartment complex - the cliffs were 589m above the Atlantic ocean - which set off every one of my "vertigo" alarm-bells ringing.
Wednesday was a pretty good day for me as I won the family: Mini Golf game AND Scrabble Game.
Thursday (25th Aug.)
On the 25th, it was my mum's 60th Birthday, so, another massive happy birthday to her - to celebrate we went for a walk with some absolutely INCREDIBLE views - and some adorable Lizards and some nice Lavada's
I also had a rather traditional Madeiran/Portuguese meal of Espetada - which is essentially meat (beef/steak) on a Skewer.
In less important news, it was also the day on which my girlfriend broke up with me in 2021, but I'm over it.
Friday (26th Aug.)
On the day that Bastille released his new album "Dreams Of The Past" and Banners released "Happier", we planned to go on a mountainous walk, but ended up getting distracted by a little beach, hidden by the mountainous roads, fairly high up.
We'd end up spending the day at "Prainha Beach" (or in Portuguese: Praia da Prainha).
It was a beautiful, sandy beach - and one I had been longing for - with a surprising tide (coming in quite far!)
My mum coaxed me into the Atlantic. A fear of open water, not being able to touch the ground and the fact it wasn't QUITE as warm as the med. meant...this COULD have been more enjoyable, but I'm not complaining.
I'm not sure if it was only the tide-line, but whilst the top-layer was sandy, underneath was littered with rocks - which made digging/making a foot-spa a little challenging.
Saturday (27th Aug.)
On Saturday, we headed to Pico do Arieiro for a mountainous drive through the clouds - although, admittedly, it probably would have been wiser to leave earlier to arrive there before the clouds did - as they did obscure the view.
According to a rather accurate altimeter app, we reached hieghts of 1700 meters - higher than the tallest point in England! (Ben Nevis)
Sunday (28th Aug.)
On our penultimate day, we had a bit of a lazy day and I watched the Belgian Grand Prix - which was pretty interesting.
Monday (29th Aug.)
I always wanted to get a picture of Funchal during the night - the little city lights from high above - but I always forgot, was too tired, or didn't have time to.
On Monday, I woke up at 5am (you'll never see me write that again!), packed the rest of my belongings and had a little walk around the apartment complex, getting good views of the city during the night.
As it got lighter, I headed to a nice view point and watched as the colours in the sky turned from black, to navy blue, to a beautiful pallet of yellows, oranges and hints of red. It was almost magical.
Before I headed back to my house - I decided to see if I could get any higher by taking some stairs - approaching the top of these stairs it became rather overgrown and upon getting closer, a dog started to bark.
I didn't know if the dog was chained up or how securely.
Granted, I was a young adult, in all black with nothing but a phone-flashlight (not shady at all) - and dogs can sense fear - and I was already a bit "on-edge" walking up the stairs - so if the dog says no, so be it - I'd already pushed my comfort zone by climbing those stairs.
Somehow, when I arrived back at my house, my parents told me that there was about 10 minutes before breakfast (considering we had to also walk up to where breakfast was being served) - had I watched the full sunrise - (plus then walking up the stairs) - I would have certainly caused some stress!
After a quick breakfast, we'd jump into the car with all of our stuff and head back to the airport - the car needed to be returned early - as presumably, someone else wanted it!
This blog is already getting a bit lengthy, so I'll probably call it here, and continue in another.