Updated: Jan 26, 2020
After a short briefing recapping the main points of the regulations on the day before, Saturday 28th December started off like any other day. I woke up, I had breakfast, and got mentally ready for the race. I never practiced this much for a race before, and after the disappointment in the Race For Mental Health, I was excited to see how this one was going to go. The majority of the team practiced their arses off too. The session went from an open practice straight into qualifying and this is finally where problems began to rise. John wasn't present. John was meant to be starting the race. We heard nothing until the whole event was over. He had been involved in a horrific accident work involving a faulty forklift. (one side's hydraulics failed, tipping the forklift its side, injuring John, who had to spend the rest of the day - and the start of his stint in hospital with a (mild) concussion and had a back which was "a bit fucked" (in his words). It could have been so much worse, and I'm glad that he escaped with so few injuries. We then summoned Marcelo (who was one of the only ones in the Voice Chat at the time) to do qualifying. Unfortunately it wasn't the greatest session for Kabort, and we lined up 7th and 8th in Class - 24th and 25th total. But this was Nordschliefe we were talking about and anything could happen, so I was looking forward for the adventure that lay ahead. For Kabort Korea, it was Jaehan's job to qualify for the team, and despite not going as planned, it was nice seeing the two cars on the same row of the grid together.
Mete requested he tested the setup, just so that he get a fine feel of the setup and how it drove. On the formation lap (led by 3 BMW M8's for each class, driven by real people) I was getting all philosophical - in 24 hours time not all these cars will be here, I won't see some liveries any more...Some liveries on cars will be destroyed, put in the garage never to be seen again, but now everyone's here and everyone's looking stunning. Off the line Marcelo did exactly what we asked...kept the car clean, kept up with the pack had no incident points, concentrated and even obeyed blue flags....I genuinely thought at that point everything was going too well. Marcelo is staying...he can drive a difficult car at a difficult track in difficult conditions. He is Kabort - and Kabort is him.
He did a double stint - exactly what John would've done - and was as good as the first. I honestly think he's the second coming of Marco Marozzi, but I may be speaking too soon. As quickly as it started, his stint finished and he jumped out, having put us in a comfortable position. After this, Mete got in. From 27th place, we fell to 30th, weather we were going to pick it up after everyone else pitted, or weather the pit-stop and opening lap after the pit-stop itself was slow I was unsure. Before I go on, I'd like to say that Mete warned me not to put him during the night. It was roughly 6 or 7pm at this point - in all of the practice sessions I had done, it had always been sunset/early evening. Now it was rather dark.
He emerged from the pits, locked up, and despite a few comments, he cracked on... The first lap, he had a few odd lines, bumped into the barrier lightly, and spun....but coming straight out of the pits on a very difficult nordschliefe track, it's incredibly difficult and he tried his hardest, and that's all I ask of my drivers.
After a few minor incidents throughout his stint, he went wide at Aremberg and accidentally tapped a TCR, he then towed the car from here.
We were awarded a stop/go penalty due to the contact Upon leaving the pits, I have a flag in the top right hand corner - saying I have to pit for repairs, already having a stop-go, I thought this would go away upon leaving the pits for the second time - but it didn't. After driving another lap, and the crew chief warning I would be disqualified if I didn't pit - it still stayed...I wasn't disqualified either. This could only be removed by admins.
This same glitch happend during the Race For Mental Health. I don't know what it was, but I could not focus or drive for shit, and this wasn't the only thing distracting me... the car was pitch black, weather my and my bedroom lights were on, or the landing(upstairs area between all bedrooms) lights were on or something else. the contrast which I could see out of the corner of my eye was incredibly distracting......so I pulled over safely, and shut the door, and turned off the lights. Later my dad comes in again, with a torch, my night sight/concentration is ruined (again) I'm all over the place...these light distractions, and Mete talking to me, and during my stint and me not being able to respond (I later found out that I had my microphone half way between mute and normal) and GT3's finding any way past us meant that my stint was a shitshow. When I finally got out of the car (due to a penalty from pushing a car a little bit off) and read the comments on discord they weren't the most pleasant - they were certainly true, but not pleasant to read. I didn't give enough room for a Mercedes and got a penalty for it. Fair enough.
After a bit of trouble in my stint, and a headache brewing, I decided to box the car. Me and Mete then both decided to retire the car due to the low position and number of laps we had done.
Following this, Mete as well as one of our biggest and faster drivers Marco Marozzi announced their retirements from the team - Mete quickly scooping up an offer from another team after the Nurburgring 24 hours, and Marco informing me that he turned down an offer from a very large (experienced) team, because he saw potential in Kabort Motorsport. Unfortunately, in that time (between the offer and now) Kabort didn't grow or improve as he wanted it to - which I completely understand and accept. He too has now joined the much more organised (and faster) Eleven9 Motorsports Car. But I'm not bothered, we're Toro Rosso, and they're Red Bull - without us they would have never met, but without them Ex-Kabort driver's could never flourish and extend their arms out. Next week is Road Atlanta, and with a few new faces around Kabort Motorsport, I'm excited to see as to what happens...we definitely need some luck. This week has already gone to a slightly better start as we have welcomed Canadian driver Carter Hutcherson. See you next time. Robin.