I’m not sure where to begin, but let’s just say: this was the worst weekend in my racing career so far.
I arrived on Monday night before the race weekend in Zolder. Tuesday I had to work in the Skylimit Events office and I was hanging out in the paddock observing how workers were assembling the VIP tents.
On Wednesday afternoon we had the parade and briefing at the town hall of Heusden-Zolder. I always like to attend the parade before the race, because you got to see and chat with all the different teams and friends you are not able to meet during the race.
After a very relaxing Wednesday the day of the free practices and qualifying has finally come. Thursday was a really busy day, FP1, FP2, pre-quali, superpole and night practice were scheduled.
We were the fastest in FP2 and pre-quali. After pre-quali every car needed to do 1 flying lap in the Superpole session. The cars started in reversed order of the pre-quali result. My team mate, Robert van den Berg did a 1:43.482 which meant P3 in our class.
Night practice has started. Every driver needed to do at least 2 timed laps to be qualified for the race. I did 2 timed laps in the dark, one of them in full course yellow (60km/h). My team mate, Robert took over the car. He also did a few laps, but something went wrong with the car. Big white smoke came out of the exhaust when the car entered back to the pit lane.
The first thought was that the car has turbo issues, but soon it turned out that the engine had a failure. The team worked hard the whole Friday to resolve the problem, but when they started the car again on Friday night, water came out of the car and the engine (Subaru 2.0l turbo) had a crack. That part (see on the second photo below) is a custom made part for the car and there was no possibility to fix/change it.
I was supposed to drive the warm up on Saturday morning, but when I woke up I got the message: “Kata, you don’t have to be there for the warm up at 9:05.”
I am really gutted that I couldn’t race the highlight of the season.
I really hope that next year will be my year and that I can participate on the 24 Hours of Zolder.
Next race: Belcar, American Festival Circuit Zolder, 5-6 October 2019