SKUSA SUPERNATS

The Supernats have been an amazing experience – the intensity is indescribable, the competition is fierce and the pace exhausting. It’s been an eventful 4 days with many ups & downs!

DAY 1

What a day!
Wet, no grip, an aggressive crowded field, intense pace – Luca was told to take it easy and learn the track, to find his marks and to keep out of trouble – it’s only practice. Some of the kids out there were driving under a red mist! There were some big offs. You have to run very close to the barriers to get the fastest times and they are intimidating at 65mph!
His best time was 50.78 on the last practice session about 1.5 seconds off the pace putting him around 36/52. His theoretical time for that session was 49.54 putting him 5/52, only 1.3/10th off the pace!
Today, he has to put it together. He knows he can do it. His body language driving yesterday was no where near the 100% I have seen him perform so this is encouraging. Luca should be able to push much harder today on new rubber and new knowledge of track. He has 2 practice sessions today followed by qualifying.
DAYS 2 & 3
It’s been a crazy couple of days. Luca’s learning curve has been steep and he is availing himself well, going from strength to strength. Yesterday he qualified 36th/52. He had engine troubles at the beginning and by the time he was up to speed, his hot lap was impeded by a slower driver and then he ran out of time. He will start the 3 heats 36th on the grid. Know that 3/10th of a second faster would have got him top 20 – it’s tight to say the least. And he knows he’s faster.
The aggregation of points from all 3 heats will decide where he starts on the grid for the main race.
Today we had Practice then Heats 1 & 2.
Practice – he had great pace coming in 18th/52 drawing a lot of attention as he was fastest of the 6 drivers under the tent.
Heat 1 – after a good start, he was hit from behind on lap 3 and had to retire. He was a DNF.
Heat 2 – he had a blistering start jumping 14 places by the end of the 1st lap. It was carnage out there with drivers going all out for position. Luca kept out of trouble and drove really hard. He got his fastest times about 4/10th of a second off the leading pace which was impressive. He executed a couple of fantastic overtaking manœuvres under intense pressure from behind. He crossed the finish line in 23rd but was bumped up to 20th due to DQs & penalties to other drivers. A very good drive considering the intensity of the racing.
He was the fastest & highest placed under the tent again. He is impressing. So much so that Terry Fullerton came up to him after the race to congratulate him and to ask on what needs to be done to the kart to make it perform better.
Tomorrow we have a warm up and Heat 3. Main race day is Sunday.
Luca is doing very well and punching above his weight. He is currently in the shower singing. Bed right after – we have an early start tomorrow

DAY 4

It looks like we are out of the Supernats and Super Sunday unless a miracle happens.

In Heat 3, Luca was hit by a kart that had spun on the straight. He had no where to go. He was ejected at high speed and thrown into the barriers – thankfully he is OK. Not a scratch on him but he is sore. The kart is dead, deceased, no longer of this world!

He was nearly taken out at the fastest part of the track 2 laps earlier and the race was stopped multiple times before his huge incident. To be honest, the race itself was like the scene from the chariot race in the 1936 movie Ben Hur … carnage! Luca’s expression below says it all. From such a high yesterday to the lowest of lows today. I’m really sad for him. What a shame …

UPDATE:
Luca’s mechanic, just texted me to say to get in early. They may have a solution to get Luca racing. The team is coming together to find a way to make it happen.
SUPER SUNDAY
Luca had a tremendous start jumping from 42nd to 27th in the first 11 laps. He was driving really well moving ip through the field. Then a following kart stepped on his bumper breaking the bolts leading to his premature retirement from the race. He looked gutted watching from the sidelines. He was up for a top 20 finish or better but then … that’s the Supernats!

We would like to thank Yesnick Racing, Luca’s mechanic Robert Perez who did an amazing job keeping Luca competitive, to the entire team that stepped up when it looked like we were done, Douglas Creesy for prepping the kart and to Charles Yesnick for making all this possible.

Super Sunday is done … now for some Thanksgiving R&R then it’s back to the track for training ahead of the start of the 2020 racing season. YES!!

The English drivers brought over by Terry Fullerton thought he raced really well – this is what his mechanic wrote on my FB timeline …
“This young man showed a lot of poise and determination despite all the adversity we faced.  I’m glad to be a part of this experience for him and it was a pleasure to be his spanner man for the week.  We would have been top 15 for sure given all the penalties assessed after the race.  Luca drove clean and hard all week.”
Yes. He was super unlucky but when he did drive … WOW! He was amazing to watch. People really took note.
That accident was huge and changed everything. He was thrown out at about 45mph over the 1st Set of barriers. The kart cartwheeled – destroyed. All that mattered was that he was ok. He didn’t even have a scratch!
The team rebuilt the kart so he could make the race then after, tore it down and took back all the parts they lent us. Tough to watch them break down the kart – all I saw was $$ signs float away 🤣🤣
Now it’s back to reality and I have to work out how to make the 2020 season happen