"Jake managed to get up as high as 8th before the engine seized"
Click the day
(above) with team manager Olivier and my mechanic Alessandro
In the final heat race on the Sunday morning, I made a great start from 16th on the grid to get into the top 10 after a few corners. As the team was trying a few set up changes on my kart, I was hoping to have a clean race however mid way through the first lap there was a large crash ahead of me which led to the track being completely blocked. Unfortunately I could not avoid the collision and the kart suffered too much damage to continue the race.
As a result of a DNS, DNF and 15th in the three heat races, I started the pre final in 28th position. The pre final was a crazy race as it started to rain during the first few laps. I had a strong race and managed to finish 16th, which was then relegated up to 14th as a result of after race infringements.
The 24 lap final was my strongest race of the weekend. Starting out of 14th, I managed to get up to as high as 8th during the early part of the race. The racing was out of control, with the drivers from Japan in particular attempting passing moves from nearly four or five kart lengths behind the kart in front. They do not care if they make kart contact or lose contact with the leaders, all that they seem to care about is getting in front of the next kart!
They have all been coached and trained by teams such as CRG, Tony Kart, Kosmic and Birel from a young age and this is why they are so fast. Most of the Japanese drivers are supported by local car and tire manufacturers such as Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Bridgestone and Yokohama.
(Above) Here and I am speaking to Matt Solomon who was born in Geelong but now races overseas full time
There are many people who I must thank for making the trip to Japan possible:
- The Australian Karting Association who put up the prize money for me to race overseas after winning the 2011 CIK Championship
- Remo and Sabrina Luciani for helping me organise the drive with the Kosmic Racing Department, as well as their ongoing support
- Lee Hanatschek and Craig Denton who helped me organise all the required documents to race overseas including entry forms, international licences etc
- The Kosmic Racing Department for their help over the weekend
- Mum and Dad for flying to Japan and supporting me
Lap chart of the Final shows Jake had a great start and made it up to position 8 before the engine seized.
Tough day in Japan today. Struggling to get the kart set up around my height. Other drivers in the team would be pushing 5 foot haha :) ended up position 14 overall for today.
New tires saved for carby session tomorrow morning then we have qualifying (or kronos as they call it over here lol).
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Today was a really productive day for myself and the Kosmic Racing Department. When we arrived at the track, Oliver (Kosmic Team Manager) assigned all six team drivers with two brand new Vortex engines to use for the weekend. Alessandro (My Mechanic) and I fitted an engine each to both of my karts in preparation for the day.
Free Practice Session 1
The session was constructive as I had the chance to sit behind some of the local Japanese drivers and learn where the racing lines were on the track.
Free Practice Session 2
Free Practice Session 3
I ended up being around .40 of a second off my fastest team mate in the session who races for the team fulltime (Nick Nielsan). The kart suffered from a bit of mid-corner understeer which we will try and fix tomorrow. After the session the team engineer downloaded all the data from each kart and sat the drivers down and compared each other’s best laps to see where we could all improve.
DAY 1 back to top
The Kosmic Racing Department team and I arrived at the track this morning at around 11:00am. Upon arrival, there were around 20 kart sized boxes waiting in our pit area waiting for us to unload. Each box had come from the OTK (Tony Kart/Kosmic) factory in Italy. Inside the boxes were all the team’s karts, tents and spares for the weekend.
Once everything had been unloaded the mechanics started building the karts. In the Kosmic team there are six drivers – two are racing KF1 (Daiki Sasaki and Tereza Gromanova) and four are racing in KF2 (Paulo Ippolito, Nicklas Nielson, Tanaporn Nokkaew and myself).