The MKR team rolled into Burlington early Saturday morning under dark and rainy skies. The team debated whether to even unload to try to get any practice laps. Finally, the sun broke through later that afternoon and Jared took to the track to test out his new kart. He was pleased with the results. "It just goes where I need it to go." Jared said. After a few adjustments, the team felt good and confident for the chances on Sunday.
Sunday morning was a wet one. The skies let loose and the rain fell. There was no doubt that it would be a long day. Everyone pulled out the rain tires and the rest of their rain gear. Jared had only a few laps experience with this kart in general and never had he driven this kart or this track in the rain. Jared was overheard saying, "This track is always tough but in the rain, it has become a monster". To make matters worse, the teams shipment of rain tires did not arrive so Jared was forced to drive on warn out rain tires. In practice the kart was decent but was not quite fast enough to keep with the lead pack. Jared told his crew chief "I can really feel the tires just not sticking, I may as well have slick tires out there".
Jared started the first heat in forth place, determined by a random draw. But the problems continued for the driver of the #43 Tony Kart. His visor fogged up so bad that he did not see the green flag and he lost 2 positions before turn 2. He ran the whole race blind, periodically he managed to open his visor and give it a wipe which gave him a few seconds of vision only to lose it to more fog. At the end of ten laps, Jared crossed the line in 4th place.
Once again Jared started in 4th for the second heat. With some chassis adjustments and the vision problems fixed, Jared was more comfortable but again came home with another 4th place finish.
The feature consisted of 20 laps. Jared qualified 5th on the grid. He used the same strategy he used all day, race the track not the other karts. The strategy worked and he held third place for much of the race. Late in the race #45, Kyle Smith, tried a risky move on the inside of turn one. The 45 lost control and spun directly in front of Meade. The 43 somehow snaked do the inside and narrowly missed the spinning kart by a hair. With two laps to go, Jared really felt the old tires struggling to hold traction. And with two laps left, the kart slipped in turn three. Jared chased it up the track and managed to keep the kart off of the tire barrier but he was not able to keep the #5 of Rob MacLeod from taking his position. Meade brought the kart home with a 4th place finish, a very respectable result considering this is the teamís first outing with this kart and the extremely stiff competition.
We as a team would like to thank our sponsors:
Larry Hachey of National Leasing, Rothesay NB.
Lutz Longstaff, Barristers and solicitors Hampton N.B.
Higgins General Insurance Rothesay N.B.
Design Art Signs Saint John N.B.
Ultimate Auto Care Quispamsis, N.B.