X30 Euro at Mariembourg – Alfie Slater

X30 Euro at Mariembourg

Des fagnes mariembourg Belgium would be the start of Alfie’s first European championship and the first start to any major championship in Alfie’s career. As he arrived Wednesday morning he was shocked by the layout of the track and how many corners the circuit had after his track walk being nervous but excited Alfie was ready for the weekend.

As it was the iame euro series this meant that Alfie was in the mini x30 class which is very different to his kart in the uk because the x30 class has a lot more grip and a faster engine so not only did Alfie have the challenge of a technical track he has never seen before he also had the challenge of adjusting back to the kart he drove in Valencia one month ago. With this being said Alfie completed his first session naturally not making any fastest laps but equally not backing to to some of the challenges of the track and opposition that being all of 30 drivers on the grid. With only having one days testing and other competitors being there a whole weekend before Alfie was showing massive improvements getting better and better as the day went on finishing the day being only 1.5 seconds off the fastest time set by his brother Freddie.

Day one of the weekend was done and we was now on the second day which was only two practice sessions and qualifying for Alfie to try and close that 1.5 second gap as much as he could. The two practice sessions were interesting with Alfie showing better pace meant he was mixing it with the main pack on track but because of that not actually setting a good lap time but knowing he could if he had the right track position. Qualifying was approaching and Alfie had done everything he could in preparation with going intensely through data knowing where to improve. The team had a strategy for all the drivers what track position to have and who to go with as its only a 7 minute session meant you had to get it right, Alfie’s strategy was to go out at the front and try get good a good chase and a tow . The green flag dropped a few went out straight away including Alfie and most of the pack stayed behind a bit. after the first lap Alfie seemed in good track position with couple people in front to chase and some fast competitors behind a couple laps went past and Alfie put in a solid lap which put him p4 on the board whilst everyone else was still scrapping for good track position Alfie had already put in great banker lap. With the closing laps coming the excitement for Alfie’s mechanic Reece was growing because Alfie was still in p8 after everyone had put there laps in coming to the last lap fingers was crossed hoping he would stay in the position unfortunately he got overtaken by someone on the last lap and put him p12 overall which was still amazing exceeding any expectations by a mass amount. That being Alfie’s best qualifying performance to date

Finishing the Friday on a high Alfie had the heats to contend with on the Saturday from qualifying Alfie started 12th in all three heats. The first heat Alfie was understandably nervous being the highest he ahas qualified and the first time he would race against this grid of competitors. Alfie had a bad start to the first heats getting caught on the outside and dropping down to 21st after the bad start Alfie didn’t have the confidence and didn’t race to his full potential and finished 24th. The second heat was similar to the first got bit of a better start but didn’t quite have the fire we have seen before in him he got overtaken by a pack on one corner which bogged him down to 21st with a gap ahead of him not being able to catch them by the end of the race. The third and final heat Alfie showed what he can really do when he has confidence and gets onto the right mindset getting a better start and getting stuck in. he was battling hard for positions overtaking people if they overtook him and really driving well dropping a couple places through fighting for position Alfie still finished in at great 15th place out of 30.

The heats where finished and results was calculated putting Alfie in p18 after a rough couple heats but still being pleased with 18th out of 30 in the first race of the championship and being the first time at the track and not driving this class in over a month. Alfie was pumped on the grid for the pre-final ready to race how he did in the third heat as the green flag dropped for the start of the race Alfie was caught on the outside but not losing any spaces as he kept his foot on the accelerator. Everyone was still scrapping for positions Alfie included making some good overtaking manoeuvres until he tried going on the inside of a competitor and them clipping his front wheel causing him to crash off and retire from the race. A disappointing pre-final as this meant he would be starting dead last for the final. It was now time for the final all the perpetration from the last 3 days was for this Alfie was on p28 from the retirement of the pre-final, whatever the result from the the final Alfie’s performance was very good considering the lack of experience in the class and on track. He didn’t have the best start as he didn’t judge the speed across the line very well meaning he wasn’t quite on the back of the pack and actually crossed the line already a place behind but he wasn’t going to give up and slowly started catching the pack up and overtaking a few people in the pack ahead. Alfie had his confidence back and was up for the race overtaking in many different places and setting solid lap times. As he cleared the first little pack he was chasing down the next group taking a few laps he eventually got there and was fighting hard to get a few more places Alfie battled to the end eventually crossing the line in 22nd place. A impressive final for Alfie showing he can battle and he can mix it with the pack even with the little experience he has.

To conclude the first round of the iame euro series Alfie showed amazing potential for the future rounds and for the future of his career accomplishing good things in short amount of time, looking forward to the rest of the series Alfie is excited for the year to come. His next race is back to the uk for the last round of the TVKC winter series at PF International hopefully the confidence from the last race carries over and he has another solid result.

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