MilesMaroney.com

Enjoying a few days before the racing began

 

Well, what a week… While it wasn’t the best weekend of racing for us, the whole experience of racing in Barbados and being among so many passionate motorsports fans was truly incredible all week long. It seemed like every person we talked to on the island at least knew of the race, and the majority of them were attending as well. Never would I have expected such a strong appreciation for motorsport from an island as small as Barbados, but I was blown away.

 

Alex and I with the local Wix distributors

 

As great as the island and everything was, time to touch on how the racing went over the weekend. We’re over a week removed from the event at this point so some of the initial bitterness is gone, but not entirely. I still 100% believe that we got robbed of results, and not just once. If there was a penalty I deserved, it was the one I got during Saturday’s final. It wasn’t intentional, and someone who had been racing with us all year wouldn’t have parked in the center of turn 1, but there was no way I was slowing down enough to stop and the contact was there. Fair enough, except it didn’t seem like it. The penalty that put us in the position to be starting that far back in the first place was complete bullshit, and I’ll stand by that pass as long as I live. For the somewhat deserved penalty, though, the call from the officials came literally before I could make it to the next corner. There was no chance for any human to have possibly reviewed it or for me to argue my side, and that’s what ticked me off on that one. It felt like they had their finger resting on the button just waiting for anything to be able to press it. After a stop and hold we fought back to end up 5th, our worst result of the year since the season opener at Fort Lauderdale.

 

Photo: Larry Chen

 

Now I’ll touch briefly on Sunday’s penalty in the final and be done with these once and for all. My only one of the day! But that’s probably only because I broke in heat 2 before I got near another car 😉 They said I got this one because I wasn’t all the way along side as we turned into the corner, or rather, when I was turned into as I was up the inside. I would make this move 100 of 100 times again if given the chance. We have all year, others have on me, and I have all my racing career without issue. Is there contact sometimes? Sure, when the proper room isn’t given by whoever is on the outside. Results vary, but when proper room is given (especially when the passing car is over 1.5 seconds quicker a lap), it’s a non issue and everyone continues racing and usually earns a “brilliant move” remark from whoever may be commentating. This time though, proper room wasn’t given. The outside car turned down and I was pushed further inside the corner into the barriers. “Fine enough, because this is rallycross” I thought, as we then drag raced into the next corner where I had the inside line and took the position before I drove away from the other car in a matter of a single corner. To reiterate here, there is no bad blood for this situation on the outside car, they just didn’t give room which sometimes people don’t. It’s a part of racing and you accept that the chance is there when you try to overtake a car as a racecar driver. The call that followed, though, was not. To quote just about everyone’s racing hero, Senna, on this one, “And if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver because we are competing, we are competing to win.” So on Sunday I went for a gap that clearly existed, and it had zero consequence to either driver other than a little dirt kicked up and perhaps a few tenths of a second slower on both our lap times. Nobody broke anything. The outside car was not forced off track. It was a racing incident of two cars fighting for the same spot on a racetrack. This penalty, to me, was the worst of the three because it was just salt in the wounds of Saturday. Every driver I came across at the end of the weekend was of the opinion that nothing I did justified the treatment I got on the oh so wonderful Bajan Island. So this is what it feels like to be systematically removed from a championship chase.

 

Photo: Larry Chen

 

Las Vegas, we’re coming for you… Expect a show.

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