It’s still winter. There’s snow all around the race track and ice on the inside of turn one. Not what anyone expected for ‘spring training’. The turnout at Goodwood is tiny. No more than a dozen hardcore racers enter the gates at 9:00 am.
Intrepid kart #12 waits in the garage, its kart stand frozen to the ground. The garage still has evidence of last years occupants, and their dreams of racing glory. Rookie orientation day is going ahead as planned, and Big Daniel DiLeo is preaching the gospel of karting to a new bunch of racers. As the rookies take to the track, Daniel watches in disbelief as no less than 4 karts spin off track on Lap 1.
Was Daniel this green last year?
Daniel and fellow racer Anthony Garafaolo are both making the jump to Briggs SR in 2018. It’s going to be a new challenge.
Even experienced drivers found the conditions treacherous. With the temperature at 4C, there was no just no grip. But when the sound of a competitor pulling up behind reaches a racer’s ears, he knows it’s time to put his foot down. Take the corner flat out…it’ll hold.
The sound of a kart hitting the wall sends a shock through the paddock. Every parent looks to see if it’s their kid. Drivers step out of their wrecked karts, assuring anyone who approaches them “I’m fine.” even if they’re hurting. , Sometimes, it just doesn’t stick going into turn 1.
At 8:00 am, Daniel and Chris met up with James Treadwell, last year’s team principal at VRS. James insisted that Daniel not run. There was nothing to gain on a day like this. Nothing to learn. Yet not 6 hours later, Daniel is preparing for his 3rd and final run of the day. The sun is out. the track is warming up. It’s rubbering in. It’ll stick.
Daniel sets the 6th fastest time. He improves from a 46.462 second lap down to a 44.634 by the end of the day. But the steering rack is bent, and an eye bolt is broken, thanks to aggressively hitting the curbs. At turn 1. Flat out.