Magazine | Editorial
Losing a 24-hour karting endurance championship by 6 seconds0%

24H ENDURANCE: LOSING BY JUST 6 SECONDS

Sleep, shower, get dressed, eat, work. Eat again and work again. Then enjoying some free time off, gym, aperitif, dinner, TV, sex for the lucky ones and back to bed. All within 24 hours.
An example of the routine which, with obvious and significant variations, marks the daily flow of time for many people.


Every now and then, however, it happens that someone takes the usual order of things, puts it on hold and turns rhythms and habits upside-down with a completely different routine, composed of briefings, shifts behind the steering wheel, time analysis, quick meals and minimum rest time available. All of this lived between the uncomfortable fiberglass seat of a kart and few square meters in the tent set up in the paddock.

They are called endurance races, crazy events that last from dawn to the following day dawn (24 hours) without stopping, in which there is not much time for anything other than a kart racing. Twenty-four consecutive hours spent chasing a victory that, perhaps, one year you will not win by 44 seconds. A small amount of time compared to the duration of the race. This is a difficult thing to swallow but which can also serve as a stimulus to train harder and rethink about the smallest of details of the strategy used. So, a year later, you go back to defy the laws of time, convinced that the mockery cannot repeat itself. Instead, 24 hours later, you discover that not only the past can come back, but that it can hurt even more. Because at the end of the race the result is the same as the year before, a silver medal, while the only thing that has changed is the gap difference in time: just 6 seconds. It is the time it takes for a sneeze, punching your steering wheel, an extra sip of water before the next driving shift. It is the fourteen thousand four hundredth part of those 86400 seconds that make up your last 24 hours spent in a kart.

Six ridiculous seconds denying you a victory that you have been pursuing since you made your debut at the Birel 24-hour event and attaining a seventeenth place finish. A seventeenth place which, with experience, became a fourth, then a fifth, then a second and then a second again. For 6 seconds, and it is not a pun.
That, then, those seconds did not really exist, that the timekeepers were confused, that the checkered flag was waved before the end of the race and that 8 hours of council chamber discussions did not change the verdict, are small details that have already been forgotten. Many years have passed since that cursed race and those who, today, go to read the order of arrival to see that the Kayak Racing team finished second. With a 6 second gap. Just the time for a sip of water…that went down the wrong way.

The Kayak Racing Team is a fierce and well-organized team of kart drivers specializing in endurance racing, very active (and winning) in the period between the first decade of the new millennium...the year 2000.

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JONATHAN THONON