Vietnam Challenge 2020
Q1 was up. I hit the track, and my car was feeling super dialled. Unfortunately got tangled up with a car over the rhythm section coming onto the straight which cost me some 8 seconds. Drove hard and worked back to within 2 seconds of Hara but ran out of time. Finished 2nd for this round.
Q2 & Q3 were similarly uneventful runs for me. Car feeling great both runs, just riddled with driving mistakes and plenty of hook ups with crashed cars and back markers. I would settle for 2nd in both of these rounds, making the TQ out of reach.
Q4 was ran on Sunday morning. I managed to finally have a clean run, taking the win by 9 seconds and setting the fastest overall time of the weekend. All my equipment was on point heading to the finals.
Finals time was quickly approaching. About 45 minutes prior to our practice session for the A main, we had some rain. This really affected the track because of the surface adhesive they had used, which was glue. We took a gamble for the final, looking at the conditions of the track and the coming weather, we mounted around 8 sets of tires including some super soft long wear Zipps.
Start of the final kicks off. Hara, I and Wataru getting a clean start. Hara making a small mistake over a jump allowed me to take the lead. I led for a few minutes, before subsequently making an identical mistake on the same section of track, giving Hara an advantage coming onto the front straight. I was positioning myself to take the inside line coming into the first corner of the straight, when suddenly it started to rain, sending both our cars running off the track into the fence!
Luckily, I managed to recover quickly with Hara right behind me. The next few laps were chaos as we all adjusted to the new conditions. Fortunately, my car was working well in the wet conditions, allowing me to make a clean break and build over a 25 second lead. They called the race 20 minutes in as the rain was only worsening. All the drivers voted to have the main result stand in a majority vote, resulting in me taking the win!
The track was super dialled. A fast, fun flowing circuit with medium grip from the glue.
Big congrats to Zac Ryan and Watura Takishiro for the podium finishes. Big shout out to Hara, who was an unfortunate to not have a finishing result reflecting his true pace. It was shaping up to be a good race before the rain.
Big thanks to the organizers in Vietnam for setting it all up and making us feel welcomed. We will be back again for the next one .
Mark and Aaron Stringer