January 26, 2014


GPVWC's favourite Dutch driver talks about 'time' ahead of the 2014 season


A concept created by us humans. We're the only ones that keep track of time. You've never seen a dog look at his watch, or a deer panicking because he missed a birthday. And when was the last time you've seen two cats arranging a meeting at three o'clock? Time helps us to keep rhythm in our live. Yet we always seem to never have enough of it, and spreading our time across our daily activities seems harder than it has to be. Like right now. I'm wasting time writing this why I could do many other things, like sleeping for example. For us racing people, time is of the utmost importance. In amounts we can't even keep track of without the assistance of a stopwatch. Tenths, hundreds, thousandths of a second can be the difference between first and second. It is an amazing thought. The difference between glory and failure is less than the blink of an eye. We do things where half a second is considered a lot. It's insane. The time I've spent on writing this article is a bout 5 minutes now. Not a whole lot you'd say. Imagine being 5 minutes behind in a race. You'd almost jump off a bridge because you couldn't bare the shame. Time is such a broad concept that no one really knows what to think of it. When you're bored, or you need to wait on someone/something, it feels like time is standing still. Yet when you're having fun, it feels like it tripled in speed. Yet in both cases, time ticked away at an even pace.

In racing, the less time you spent on anything, the better. No one wants slow laps, long pitstops or seemingly endless drifts. In the end we're all aiming for the number 1 spot. Though I must correct myself there. During the first pre-season test it seemed like there were a few under us that couldn't be bothered with getting P1. Yes I am looking at you Mr. Kaasa. Sandbagging is one thing, you were on a whole new level. Speaking of the test, boy oh boy wasn't that exciting?! I must say I was surprised at the amount of drivers that just couldn't be bothered to push. I thought I'd never see the day where our great champion Lukas Euler would be all the way down in 35th. To be fair, both Midnight Motorsport AND CSG were barely pushing the throttle. Coincidence? I think not. No doubt there is some grand scheme going on here. With Rainieri being the only top team driver that actually placed himself where he belongs, it opened a spotlight for anyone else to showcase what they have in store for us coming season. I was hoping for a bit of insight into who's doing what. But in the end, all of my assumed direct competitors were just going around, gathering R&D points, then get out of the car and leave again. Personally, it felt good to finally be first in something. And while the ego boost was welcome, I know I can't depend on it. This was nothing. Neither Midnight, nor Torrent or Hawkeye have shown what they're really capable of. If I learned anyhting from this test it is that I will not know the speed of anyone until we arrive in Melbourne. I think the same will happen in the next three tests. Drivers will show up, do their laps and rack up R&D points. Obviously the best thing to do, hiding your actual speed and still gaining from it. But somewhere it isn't as fun. Personally I had a blast doing my laps. With Carr-Smith around there is never a dull moment. I hope to see more of that in the next tests.

Also very entertaining. Polls have opened on who will be the driver/contructor champion. With Giuseppe Rainieri currently taking the lead for drivers champion, outscoring current champion Lukas Euler with 5 votes. While Rainieri is a great driver, and put on a masterclass in Supercup last year, I feel that people are underestimating Euler. You don't become a double Superleague World Champion by just luck. This man has some serious speed. No doubt that they will fight amongst each other for the title. I wonder how their team management will deal with this. Now they have two ridiciously fast guys in the same team. With no real number one driver. And while Alex (Cooper) is a great driver, it became appearant that Lukas was the driver Midnight was focussing on for the title. I can imagine some back and forth debating on who they will support. Or I'm completely wrong and they're completely free to race each other. No doubt in my mind that they will be fighting for the title. Midnight is absolutely the team to beat in 2014. Take a look at the contructors poll. With a whooping 60% of all the votes, Midnight is currently leading. They have a strong line up. Dangerous almost. They could push each other to the point where no one will be able to touch them. In my case, lets hope that doesn't happen. Moving on.

Nijo Racing. Oh boy. It is hard to talk about the team you're driving for in an unbiased way. But I do think we have a realistic shot at running for the title again. Last year was a great year for Nijo. Mainly due to Ruud (Heesterbeek) being at the front of the pack for the entire season. I feel like I contributed to it, but I've got to give the props to my team mate. This season however, I'm planning to be a better driver. The car feels good, and I'm pretty sure I can finally get that first Superleague podium. The team came a long way since it started and I'm sure that even in a field as competitive as this, we can turn up and get the results the team needs. Ruud especially showed he's capable of being at the front. For myself, this would be the year to prove my worth. Let us pray I will survive this field.

Torrent Motorsports. The big surprise of last year. No one expected a new team to be way up there with the top teams. The only reason they didn't get top spots in the first few races was because the car was heavily under developed. Jim Parisis and Petter Kaasa are two very talented drivers. Very few people could have taken that car and took it to the place where Jim and Petter took it. Now that TMo has the funds to build a good car from the start, I expect them to be right up there from Melbourne onwards. They are a serious threat to the success of any other team and should be treated as such. Melhuish knows how to run a team, that much became clear last year. Will he be able to run it as well, if not better than last year? Only time will tell. Just make sure to keep an eye on them.

To be continued....

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