Driver Diary - Kason Lau from Jr. to Sr.
ICP Cup Chilliwack Blog
This weekend was my first race in the Senior LO206 and TAG Senior, and I was excited and a little nervous to get started in Senior. I expected to be around mid-pack in both karts as I learn how to drive the karts with the extra power and weight. We arrived at the Greg Moore Raceway at around 6:30PM on Thursday evening. We then had dinner and set up our pit. After that I went to bed to rest for practice on Friday.
Friday practice began and I got my first try at the Senior class. It was very different to drive, as braking points and handling behaviors changed drastically from the Junior class. LO206 ended up being a bit slower than Junior, since Senior class runs more weight with the same amount of power, while TAG Senior was very similar on pace to TAG Junior 3. I ran well in both classes, quickly picking up the pace up to the front runners in my classes. At the end of the day, I was on pace with the front runners in LO206, but still about 6-7 tenths off in TAG.
Race 1 started off fairly well, as both karts ran nicely during practice. Qualifying went ok in TAG as I qualified 5th, but in LO206, I was a bit off the pace and qualified 6th. That was about where I expected to be before the weekend, as I thought I would be mid pack while I learn how the Senior kart behaves, as well as racing against different drivers.
TAG pre final went very well, as I got to 3rd place right away at the start. This happened because the outside lane got a poor start, allowing me to get into a great position. I was eventually able to pull away from the rest of the field, but was a bit off pace from the top 2 and ended the race in no-man's land.
LO206 also went well, as I had great battles while staying in the pack. I ended the race in 5th, which was a good position for the final.
For the TAG final, I held 3rd at the start and stayed there the entire race. However, I had some pressure for the first few laps. Once I built a gap, I conserved tires to make sure I had enough for tomorrow. The LO206 final went very well. It was a great battle all the way through the race, and I fell to 7th but moved back up to 4th. On the final lap, the driver in front went for a move on 2nd and I followed him through. With just one lap, I defended for the last lap since the driver in front also defended. That led to me taking 3rd and getting 2 podiums for my first 2 senior races! I was very surprised that I pulled it off, but I had good pace the entire day and was very happy for the great result!
Race 2 only had 1 practice in each kart, so I did not have much time to prepare for qualifying. However, TAG qualifying went well as I qualified in second place, but I was 6 tenths off the pace of pole. LO206 qualifying went great as I qualified pole position! However, I made a few mistakes in the prefinals.
Unfortunately, I did not get a good start in TAG and fell to 4th almost immediately, as my lane got a poor start. However, I quickly fought back up to 3rd place and stayed there for the remainder of the race. In LO206, I got an average start, but the driver in second got a great start and took the lead right away, I fell back through the race all the way back to 6th, but regained one position and finished 5th. Overall I made a few mistakes, but I took those as learning for the finals.
The final TAG race started and another driver got aggressive and got a pass on me during lap 1. However, I put some pressure on the other driver and they made a critical mistake soon after. I took that opportunity to capitalize and push on to try and reach second. Others soon crashed and retired behind me giving me an opportunity to chase for second. I started about 3-4 seconds behind and through the race pushed to attempt to close the gap. I got it down to around 1 second, but the driver ahead put in some fast laps towards the end of the race and the gap remained steady. I finished the race 3rd, and prepared for the LO206 race.
I ran a very good race in LO206 for the first few laps, as I gained positions and moved up to 3rd place. However, a driver behind misjudged his braking point and rammed into my rear heading into a corner. On the exit of that corner, we unfortunately tangled and hopped over each other’s wheel, ending my race and collecting some other drivers. Unfortunately, that ended my race, as well as my chances at a podium finish.
Overall, it was a solid weekend with 3 podium finishes as well as a pole position in LO206. It was a great result for my debut weekend in the Senior classes. Although I made a few mistakes, I had good learning and had fun learning the new karts and racing wheel to wheel with the other drivers. My next race will be round 9-10 of the ICP at SIMA, which I am very excited for. In conclusion, it was a great weekend with great results, and I am excited to continue on my senior venture.