They Did It! A Podium Finish!
Well we can’t believe it ourselves, but this is the final race article of the 2013 season! Team G3 racer Matt Hale reports in after their fantastic race on Saturday.
The team was greeted by cold track temperatures and the sun had decided to make a move elsewhere. There was an air of excitement as it was the last race of an amazing season all coming to a climax at our home track Rye House, and it was tense.
The pressure we put on ourselves to finish on that podium all hinged on qualifying at the front of the grid. Barry was the first in the kart to get things warmed up during practice, followed by Stewart. It was then my turn to get behind the wheel for qualifying duties and I produced the season’s best – fifth place on the grid.
After a few rolling-up laps, the chequered flag dropped for an entertaining opening lap. I was able to make up three places, but after the first round of pit stops we found ourselves leading! Barry then had an excellent stint and held position before handing the reins over to Stewart who also kept the momentum going. Stewart comments: “I really felt the pressure going into my first stint as Barry and Matt had both produced theirs error-free, and I had to replicate that to keep us in the lead. The kart felt really good and so did my lines, that was until a shunt from behind sent me into a spin! Fortunately, I kept it on the track and got back up to race pace pretty quickly. Then I was just battling with the guys in second place, and pleasingly I managed to keep them there!”
After an hour I got back in the kart for the fourth stint and maintained the great position, however about halfway through I spun-out. Leading up to the incident I’d been feeling strong, but the drizzling rain had started to make the track greasy. I was pushing so hard to keep momentum, I was overtaking competitors on most corners but was caught out by a back-marker who cut across my racing line, resulting in the spin and a drop of two places. Soon afterwards, it was time to get Barry back in the kart: “The second half of the race was completely different from the first and was more about damage limitation due to the weather conditions. The signal from the pits was that 3rd place was ours and that we just needed to keep a cool head and bring it home.”
And that’s what we did. Stewart performed well and his final push for the chequered flag secured a third-place position and the first podium of the season!
This was a result that was a long time coming, especially after a run of fourth-place finishes. It was somewhat bitter-sweet knowing we’d come so close to a win, but we kept smiling and it wasn’t long before the much-desired silverware was in our hands. When we collected our 3rd place trophy, the reception from all of the other drivers was a pretty special moment, one we had been working towards all season!
This may be the last race report for 2013, but we will be reflecting on our season and the lessons we have learnt in a special post soon. We really appreciate all of your support so don’t forget to visit the G3 Pro Facebook page and follow them on Twitter!