GW x GTM Racing: Franciacorta Time Attack Rd.3 2018

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Day 2 of our weekend started out with a couple of morning sessions as a sort of warm-up before the Time Attack event in the afternoon. A few of us also fitted new tires to get that extra confidence and to allow us to push a little bit more during the timed event.

The Time Attack event is essentially 4 timed sessions of approximately 15-20 minutes in length, and the last 2 count towards the final standings. From these final standing 6 categories are created: Amateur, Expert and Pilot in 600cc and 1000cc classes. In our case we were all equipped with machines above 600cc so we would be taking part in the 1000cc class.

The timed sessions would give us the first opportunity to time some laps and understand our pace, as we didn’t have transponders all weekend. After the first 2 practice sessions we saw that we had some room for improvement.

The great thing about the Time Attack format is that despite it being almost the same as a normal track day, the sessions are approached in a very different manner; the traffic and space on track are closely monitored to provide a clean lap and you might only do 2 or 3 pushed laps to try and extract the most from the bike and yourself. The sense of competition is very much there despite there being no flag to flag racing.

The first official timed session went without issues. Our lap times in this session dropped drastically compared to the first 2 practice sessions, which showed we were taking things a bit more seriously when it counts.

Unfortunately someone dropped a large amount of oil before our 4th and last session. The organisers were adamant that everyone get a chance to complete the 2 official sessions, so after almost an hour delay we started out final session as it was approaching 7 PM. This gave us a unique opportunity to run at dusk; it was easily one of the most fun sessions I’ve ever had on track and I can honestly say that the headlights helped considerably as I’d only packed the tinted visor.

In the end I managed a 1:18.242, which is 5 seconds faster than my previous PB. Excluding the approximate 2 seconds difference between the old and new layout my lap times have improved around 3 seconds. I’m very happy with the progress that I’ve made this year.

A major battle ensued between Argy and Dio during the Time Attack and by the end they both ended with 1:20 second lap times, with Dio coming out marginally ahead. Argy managed a 1:20.8, which put him firmly in the 1000cc Expert class with an underpowered 750cc bike and Dio with an impressive 1:20.2.

Iwan managed to win the Amateur class with a 1:24, followed by Frankie.

Til next year!

What a glorious sunset!

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