25 January, 2014 – Round one of South Africa Regional Championships at Vereeniging
Summer thunderstorms are very common in the Highveld area in Gauteng. So having limited practice sessions in the dry as it poured down on Friday’s practice, gave Fabienne a big challenge for Saturday.
Soon after returning home from her flyaway Dubai race on Monday 20th January, Fabienne did not have much time for any testing and so took each session one at a time on Saturday.
Qualifying went like clock-work as she found a good open track in front of her to lay down good laptimes and put it on Pole with a 47:42 seconds. The kart was handling good and the engine was performing very well. Fabienne her team tweaked a little as the track was changing quite a bit as all the grip had been washed away on the Friday afternoon from the thunderstorm.
“I am still trying to grasp how fantastic heat one went down for us. From the moment the lights went out, I just put my foot down and kept going forward,” exclaimed Fabienne.
Building a comfortable lead, Fabienne was in her zone and won the first heat of the season with relative ease with a 3m55 second lead crossing the finish line.
The kart’s handling had changed quite during the heat but Fabienne debated whether to change anything from the set-up she had seemed to be working, although in the scorching heat of 50°c on track, the kart’s were uncharacteristic to their normal handling.
Heat 2 saw a jump start and Fabienne fell back to 3rd position. She did not even wait a second and took no prisoners as she dove passed Ewan Taylor into 2nd place at the end of the back straight. She then went onto chasing Bradley Liebenberg whom she overtook into the last corner in lap 3 of the race. She then found her own zone again and built up yet another lead and won the 2nd heat by 2m4 seconds.
For the last heat, the team decided to make a small change, which didn’t work out in her favour.Fabienne kept her cool as she had won the first 2 heats already and had no pressure to push so hard and settled for 2nd place gathering valuable data as she went.
Fabienne went on to win the day overall, another superb start to 2014 for the kart Champion.
“The support given to me at the race was once again awesome. I appreciate it so much and it fills me with joy to see people excited and happy for us showing the boys that the girls can win as well. Supporting Michael Schumacher on the day as well, Karters adorned bumper stickers saying “Get well Schumi” made by the NRKC kart club. It was an awesome vibe for us all to stand together and wish him well,” commented Fabienne.