“There’s always a first time for everything.”
My three day Formula 4 test with Kiwi Motorsports, took place at Buttonwillow Raceway Park. The days started out early in the morning and went late into the evening.
Day 1 started out meeting the whole Kiwi motorsports crew; Garry, Teena and Ryan, which was a huge pleasure. We then moved onto seat fitting – the best part of the day. You get to put all your gear on and sit in the car on a bean bag consistency seat. You get to arrange the right feeling and sit there for an hour or so, until all the air is fully out of the bag filled will beads. Seems fun right? Then you get to wait another 4 hours or so, to fully create the seat. You then cut it out with a heat knife and see if the seat works well and if it’s nice, comfortable fit.
Day 2 came along and I got to finally drive the car and see if I liked it! Getting into the car was a crazy feeling like, “Yay, I finally get to get in the car. I’ve waited so long.” The biggest worry I had wasn’t even getting out on track, it was just starting the car and getting it moving. The clutch was definitely one of my struggles, but later on I realized how easy it actually is. Anyway, as I left the pits, I literally lost my breath. The car was vibrating so much that I had to really think about my breathing and breath slower, but once I got into 2nd gear, I was good to go. I knew that, in the first few sessions, I wouldn’t have the fastest laps. I just thought to myself that I needed to absorb all the knowledge and information given to me and put it into my driving. This was a new track for me, so I needed to just learn the track. Surprisingly, that didn’t take as long as I thought – only one session. The rest of the day I was trying to do everything my coaches told me to do. After every session we went back to the garage and watched video and went over the data, which helped me see where I was losing and gaining time.
The final day came faster then I thought. I knew I needed to get a fast lap time, because my driving was great, and I only had to make up a couple of tenths, here and there. The first session was really just warming up. On the second session I got my fastest lap, and I was only 2 seconds behind one of the fastest guys there. The next session we put new tires on and I really thought we would go faster, but we matched my best time. So, that was kind of disappointing. Sometimes new tires aren’t always fastest on some tracks – especially Buttonwillow. The track changes so much, because of how dusty it is. Overall though, I was really happy how the last day went. It was a huge improvement from the first day and I took almost 4 seconds off, just by thinking about the track overnight, and also relaxing.
This was a huge step for me – from karts to a Formula 4 car – and I’m going to keep stepping up this long ladder, and do whatever I have to do to become the best.
A HUGE thank you to Kiwi motorsports (Garry, Teena and Ryan), for the great experience and car preparation! Thanks to Danny Kok and Melanie Paterson for the coaching and support. I don’t know where I would be without them. Also, the biggest thanks goes to my parents. I wouldn’t be anywhere without them and their amazing support.
“Be yourself, but always your better self.”