I have said it before, and I will say it again, this is the hardest race to do well at! This time they aren’t watering, which is awesome, but instead the track is very difficult!
I did very average again (7th-20th remember?). I qualified 11th, so in the A in E-Buggy, 22nd so B in Truck, and 15th, so also B in Nitro Buggy. Even though I feel like both my car and my driving have improved, I still ended up in pretty much the same place as before. That sucks on paper, but I do feel like there has been some significant progress.
The biggest problem for me, is that I am not able to reach my potential in a 6min qualifier, after a 5-6h break, adjusting to the track with just 1 or 2 warm up laps. I just don’t seem to be able to do it. I do ok, but I can’t get in the groove and do my best. It’s not an excuse, this is reality. I bet you anything that unless I have some sort of problems, I will do better in the mains, because the B mains are 30min, and I will have time to adjust, and reach my potential. Really good drivers are on it within a lap or two. I can’t do that.
Having said that, the Black Edition is far better than the LV last year, the jumps at the front of the track didn’t cause me any problems, and I honestly felt like the car was better than me. I just need to focus on my driving. This makes me unusually confident for the mains, as the feeling is good. I’m really looking forward to the season now, as I know I am better than last year.
Now for some observations from buggy qualifying:
Ronnefalk showed why he is WC in the last qualifying round. Needing a good score to just make the main, he went out and TQed with the fastest time of the whole event. Before the last run he hasn’t looked all that great a single time, in any of the classes.
Battle is struggling big time, not managing to make 9 laps in any of his runs, and breaking in practice and qualifying rounds also. But he is a main driver, and now he will get a chance to bump a few times and find speed. Let’s see how it goes. Goes to show you how hard it is!
Tanner Stees was impressive with his new Xray ride and made the A.
There are quite a few drivers who have the speed to challenge for the win on Sunday, so it’s quite hard to predict who will end up being the ones racing for the win. Basically all of the top 8 can be contenders for the win in my opinion. I think the most probable outcome will be Tessmann, Rivkin and Maifield battling it out, with Tessmann and Maifield making it a two horse race towards the end. Cavalieri has been good here in the last years, and did his best in the last heat, so he could make it up there, as did Ronnefalk, but they will both need good starts I think, in order to get in the battle early. The other drivers in the top 8 are all fast, but I don’t see them keeping it together without mistakes for a main.