March 27th – 28th 2010, Jesolo, Italy. I was invited to race with the Kayak Sunglasess ladies team in Jesolo, Italy. We had eight girls in the team: Alice Piccola Bordignon; Annalisa Cardani; Angela; Elena Missaglia; Fabienne Lanz; Laura Chizzoni; Sonia Rizzello; Stefy Grassetto

There were thirty30 teams in total with an average of 7 /8 drivers per team so it was going to be a very busy race.

After practice I was quite confident that I could be on pace and the kart felt very different to what im used to driving but it was a great experience nonetheless.

The qualifying session for only ten minutes, took place on Saturday and is called “Super Pole”; everybody is on the track at the same time. The Kayak team manager decided that I would do the Super Pole. I got a very good start and managed to slipstream which was a bonus as these karts are quite slow compared to my race kart and they are very heavy, so every little help counts. I was in 2nd position for most of the qualifying and took pole in the very last lap with a time of 59.99 seconds.

The race started at 15:00. And Alice started the race for the KAYAK ladies Racing team. They have a Le Mans style start where all the drivers stand on the opposite side of the track to the kart on the starting line. When the race steward blows the whistle, all drivers run to their karts and the race starts. We were in the dice for the lead for that whole stint, then it was my turn. The stints are 30 minutes long and a driver is allowed no more than 14 stints for the whole race. I must have done about 11 stints in total after the 24 hours, I was quite exhausted.

My main aim was to stay out of accidents and penalties as this could cost a lot of time and positions for the team. I also wanted to have a good pace whilst overtaking as I discovered that the kart took a long time to get up to speed if caught up in traffic.

The hairiest stint was the one at 2 o’clock in the morning, there was quite a bit of fog and visibility was not so good. At that time we were lying in 5th position. I caught up about 20 seconds to position 4. The driver was about 20 meters ahead of me and I had two drivers to overlap and then I could race him to take the 4th position back for the team. The one driver I was lapping decided to go defensive, he slammed on the brakes and spun. I swerved strongly to avoid him, but his kart rolled backwards and tagged my kart on the rear wheel. I then got forced off the track but managed to keep the kart in control and rallied it back onto the track. I lost the time I had gained and more to position 4. I then went to bed to rest for a while.

I started my stints again from about 8 o’clock in the morning and went every 3rd or 4th time to try and make up some time. Every time I drove, I beat my fastest lap time and in my last stint I did the quickest time in the team 59:2s. Overall we finished the race and Alice brought the kart home in 6th position. I had an amazing experience and would like to thank KAYAK Sports Sunglasses for inviting me to participate, and to the KAYAK team for their superb effort, great sportsmanship and team spirit.

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