X30 Euro at Salbris – Alfie Slater

X30 Euro at Salbris

The last of the IAME X30 races took place in Salbris, France. Alfie was back in the driving seat and ready to give the final round his all. After enjoying a holiday break, Alfie did not take part in the testing phase which took place the weekend before, however he was eager to get up to speed and get familiar with the track.

Thursday and Friday’s practice showed some promise with Alfie being in the top ten. Some were in the gravel due to him pushing past the limit, but with each lap showing more confidence. As the qualifier was drawing closer, the pressure of getting the perfect lap and track position was on!
The track position was showing to be crucial for getting a good lap time so Alfie was focusing hard on achieving that.

The green lights went, and Alfie set off for the qualifying session. He was amongst the front pack and was ready to go with the fast drivers at the front. The first laps passed, and Alfie was top 15. Alfie was on his last lap and went green in the first and second sector, but unfortunately made a mistake in the last sector which meant he only managed to qualify 20th position but without that mistake would’ve put him in top 12.

From a disappointing qualifier Alfie would start 20th in all the heats trying his best to get top 10 in all. The first heat Alfie was determined to get to the top 12 and was well on his way as he drove all the way up to 11th. A collision in front of him at the start of the race that he couldn’t avoid, meant he had a dropped down nose cone which incurred a 5 second penalty, dropping him down to 17th position.
In the second heat Alfie yet again had great determination and drove from 20th and was making good moves to fight for 10th place. Unfortunately, another competitor closed the door on him too late and then caused them to crash into each other resulting in Alfie not finishing the race.
The third heat was in similar style as Alfie worked his way forward to 13th and made a move and got caught on the back of another competitor making him drop to 19th.

With the unlucky heats, Alfie was on 19th for the pre-final but with unexpected rain in the morning meant the warmup and pre-final were damp. As the conditions were constantly changing, it was tricky before the race to judge kart set ups. A confident Alfie didn’t let anything affect him and was ready for anything.
The lights went green and Alfie had a great start, jumping all the way up to 13th in the first lap. He was making some great overtaking moves battling his way through the field and setting best sector times, he made his way up to an amazing 4th position. Alfie held his own with the top competitors of the championship and was racing wheel to wheel until the very last lap.
As they battled Alfie’s slight lack of experience let him get overtaken and finished 6th. Nevertheless, one of Alfie’s best performances and showing what real potential he has competing against drivers who have many years more experience.

With a driver getting a penalty Alfie gained a place to 5th in the pre-final which then meant he was start 5th for the main final. This was the highest Alfie had ever started at a European final. Very understandably he was nervous before the start of the race and was just trying to concentrate on getting a clean start and staying at the front.
The lights went out and Alfie was on the inside for the first corner and then was very close to jumping into 3rd place, but a slight tap from behind meant he dropped a few places and was in 7th position.
He worked and pushed with a competitor helping them to get away from the rest of the pack. After a few laps a gap appeared, and Alfie quickly assessed the track and then went in for a move to 6th place. Skilfully manoeuvring up to 5th place, Alfie battled for the last few laps with a lot of back and forth eventually crossing the line in 6th place.
A very hard battle for the last few laps and then the last lap was a back and forth action and Alfie eventually crossed the line 6th place.

An astounding result for the young rookie in only his first season of racing. Finishing well within the top 10 of a European race and actually finishing 12th overall in the IAME X30 series was a fantastic achievement.

Alfie’s next race will be back to the UK for the first time in a while for the last round of the LGM championship held at Wigan, where he can continue his run of top 10 results.

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