Apr 26th-After her trip to the Bahrain Formula One GP, Fabienne flew direct toFrancewithBahrain’s Batelco Team to take part in the 24hr Kart Endurance Race at RKC Track in Cergy Pontois.
It was the first time Fabienne had seen the RKC track and the format of the race would be 12hrs clockwise and 12hrs anti-clockwise so it was crucial to get accustomed to the track during the 10 minute test session as quickly as possible.
The forecast for the entire 24hrs was torrential rain but the karters were offered one dry hour right at the end of the race.
During the Friday before the race day the Batelco team (Alban Varutti ; Mohammed Mattar; Ramez Azzam; Paul Chatinay) took time to absorb some of the scenery aroundParis, visiting theEiffelTowerand Notre Dame not forgetting the famous Arc de Triomphe and its amazing roundabout with few road rules.
During Saturday’s wet practice and qualifying team member Alban Verutti put the kart on pole for the race out of a grid of 42karts.
Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Jean – Eric Vergne, who is from Cergy Pontois, visited the karters and started the race.
Each driver had to complete stints of 2 hours which took its toll sapping every inch of energy from the kart team.
Fabienne had never endured such a long stint and was first to take the reigns at 1am on Sunday morning on the cold and soaked track whilst the team were fighting for the lead with CER Team.
Struggling to find any grip, and racing on slick tyres, Fabienne took her next stint at 9am on Saturday morning. Just then the heavens opened up like a monsoon causing quite a few hair raising moments as she veered off track with little visibility.
Ramez Azzam drove the last stint and one hour from the end of the race, maintaining the second place overall the track started drying out. Only 45 minutes from the end, drama hit the race with a final twist. Whilst fighting closely with the leaders, the Batelco teams kart broke down in the last corner of the track, and so a replacement kart was found.
When all seamed lost for the win, the leading CER team also suffered a kart failure, this brought out the safety car giving Batelco team sufficient time to make up ground to take the lead and finally win the race.