As we started our weekend into Round 3 : Palm Beach I felt more comfortable than I had all season in the car. A good place to be, right? I finally felt like the car was beginning to work with my driving and not AGAINST it. The Team was also excited to come back to a track that we had been to a number of times before. As we got settled into our pit space, our team prepared for a track walk with the FD judges, I was particularly stoked for this! Being that it was the third round, our team was starting to get a feel for the intense schedule of FD events and that made it possible for me to have a clear head going into practice. We really had nothing to lose and I decided to give it my all, hoping to focus on what would be a great qualifying run for Friday’s competition. There I was, the first run of practice and things really started to take a turn for the better of this season. We were starting to drive and handle this car like we knew we could!
After practice was over and the driver’s meeting was attended, I knew if I laid down a run like yesterday’s practice we could surely qualify here at PBIR. So here we go…
What I had developed in practice would have been good enough, but did I join this series to be “good enough”? I am competing against 10 year veterans, drivers like Fredric Aasbø, who will not stop until they are consistently running the “perfect line” and that’s what I wanted to do. I knew that I could deliver that, the part of drifting that really feels challenging!
Anyone knows that with aiming for perfection you could possibly come up empty handed, but that was a gamble I was willing to take. On each qualifying run, while the judges watched, I had a hard time not giving 110%. The team and I truly felt the sting of the gamble that I took.
The difference between a perfect line and a zero was a matter of inches, in those inches I came into contact with an off-course marker. This would leave us as spectators for the weekend, forcing us to wait for New Jersey to continue our competition.
I learned something this round and in this competition. To show the world how we can perform, it is going to take incredible concentration and even more consistent skill. This, my friends, is why I will stay until I am a 10 year veteran, always searching for the “perfect line”. Now the journey continues, see you in Jersey. – Nate Hamilton