I started the season on the best vibes possible. Tess Rally, as in the Brașov Rally, welcomed us with an unusually fine weather, and this made me enjoy to the fullest the first few kilometres in the new formula, with Ioana as co-pilot and with Sean D’Or – my rally car.
It’s been a longer time than usual at the end of the rally without me publishing an article, because I literally didn’t know how to write about this experience. From the outside, nothing spectacular. Bu the truth is, I loved what a colleague of mine said, also a rookie in DACIA Cup – ‘I dedicate this rally to one person alone: me and only me.’ I think this is also valid for me, with the one difference that I also dedicate it to Ioana.
We’ve been two selfish women because we didn’t seek to impress anyone. We didn’t want to show off. We didn’t think of the competition. We participated for ourselves and the fact that we ended the rally with flying colours (as in, not last) is the award for our struggle with our own emotions throughout the 2 days of rallying. More than that, we even brought 4 points to the ProRally Team Brașov to which we belong and with them we ended up in the runner up position on the team’s podium at the end of the rally.
I think selfishness can come in handy when you get to do things for yourself, bending to your own will, not to someone else’s, or doing something imposed or impressing someone other than yourself. The true motivation you can always find within, not in what others say or think.
I heard left and right a lot of opinions: ‘you need more guts’, ‘you have to drive faster’, ‘be more decisive.’ I know that from a spectator’s point of view everything seems slower somehow and simpler than it is in the actual race car. What you can’t see from the outside is that those were the first few kilometres I drove for the first time after a break of one year and the first with Sean D’Or, who got the parts it needed at the very last minute. I had to get accustomed to each aspect: position behind the wheel, the dynamic of the car, the braking efficiency, changing gears in the new setup. All these while having the budget in the back of my head (or rather the lack thereof) and the desire to have the car as undamaged as possible to take it into the next event. Even more so, I drove the last stages with a broken buffer in the back, thing that brought us into the ‘stroll’ mode sooner than we would’ve wanted.
And this is just the technical part. So I can say that this time I drove exactly as I felt like, accepting that I have so much more to learn, and this will not happen overnight. I am a beginner in terms of race driving and I love it that I chose this challenge for nobody else in this world, except me. I am extremely grateful to all those close to me, supporting me and encouraging me, to those who have the patience to explain all sorts of things to me regarding driving and mechanics or share with me the insider information on racing.
Ioana and I make a wonderful team and we are excited to grow together and learn. We are ambitious, and we will fight every step of the way to increase our rhythm. However, this means that we will have to build up to be a strong crew in the race car: with each kilometre driven the trust in one another is intensified and we have started to define a coherent pace note style. We have a lot of improvements to do, less so in the humour and joy department. Which is essential. 🙂
Ah, yes, I almost forgot – it’s not only a good vibe that we have in the car, we also got a new gadget that will record us, just so you can see what it’s like in our car. And it will help us, because we can review the stages and analyse what we have to improve.