SKUSA – Utah – Alfie Slater

Coming off the first round of the LGM championship Alfie’s next adventure see himself 5000 miles away in the state of Utah for only his second time ever competing in America competing in the micro swift class. As the first test day approached Alfie was getting more excited the closer it got after a days set up Alfie and his brother Freddie set eyes on the track for the first time as they walked around the Utah Motorsports Campus. Both coming back bright eyed Alfie was focused and excited to get on the fast flowing track.

As the first day of testing arrived Alfie’s new kart being different from his euro and uk kart was ready and set from the day before, it being the first time out there competing we had to find some used tyres for the first few sessions. Having no experience with the new set up he was ready to hit the track with confidence.

The first session was as thought it would be just learning the track and getting used to the equipment he had but still impressing with how quick he was in control of the kart. After a few sessions we quickly realised that Alfie had some good pace against the front runners and with a few set up changes and things to improve on track we was in for a strong weekend. By the last practice session of the day Alfie put new tyres on and was fasted on track by a couple of tenths of a second, with the first test day finished we had high hopes for the weekend as Alfie’s pace looked strong.

How the racing is scheduled there are 2 meetings meaning there was warm up, qualifying, pre final and final on both Saturday and Sunday. After the practice sessions Alfie had one goal in mind to be on the front row for the Pre-Final, Alfie went out mid pack and worked his way through and ended up in a pack of 3 he put a solid Time in coming through the pack putting him 3rd but still looking like he was Improving. As he was closing on the last lap he was on his last lap of the session and looking better and better as he crossed chequered flag he suddenly just to the top of the timing screens going purple and faster overall.

Unfortunately with it being in America there are different rules about being tow with this said Alfie’s lap was disqualified to what they call bump-drafting and so was his other sending him to the actual back of the grid. After his penalty he was in the last row of the grid in 15th position with a lot of ground to make up and only having 10 laps to do so. Alfie had a good start jumping into 10th after the first lap Alfie was determined to not let the penalty get to him and make his weekend a disappointment, he stormed through the field setting fasted lap times and making some great overtaking moves he was in the zone showing one of he’s best performances to date coming to the last few laps he was sitting in 4th position and closing on third coming to the last lap it was unsure wether he was close enough to make a move for third place. Putting in a great last lap time he made a great last minute lunge at the hairpin who’s paid off! Making Alfie crossing the line in 3rd place start from the back.

Final was now approaching and Alfie’s confidence was through the roof after his great Pre-Final. He didn’t get the best start dropping him Down tho 5th place and trying to battle his way through he fought hard through to 3rd but kinda on his own with a gap in front and a gap behind with the group behind pushing and helping Each other go faster they eventually caught up and Alfie found him trying to defend for his 3rd place. A few laps defending hard a competitor tried a move on the inside also with another competitor trying to do it at the same time which was never going to work he ended up hitting Alfie off the track losing all his places and so much time. The team decided to call Alf in a few laps early as we only had one set of tyres throughout the weekend and was trying our best to save them.

A disappointing first day considering what pace we had and how we could have a good result but hopes still high for the next day to be able to do it over and try again

A couple of set up changes left us wondering if Alfie had the peak performance that he is he is always looking for at practice. The changes looked promising as he was p2 on the Board if the live timing.

The second day of qualifying Alfie tried a different approach just In case he had another accident penalty. He decided to go with the guy who had won the previous day at the back and try chase him down. Not having quite the pace he couldn’t get the optimum chase and didn’t achieve his time that would’ve put him pole but ended up 3rd at the least with not penalties so was in for a good Pre-Final race.

Alfie was on p3 for the start and was hoping he could get a good start and be ahead early on. Unfortunately with the kid on pole not getting the best start meant Alfie was stuck behind him and dropped down to 4th. After he over took for third the pack was pretty spread out and Alfie had lonely race just to bring in home over the line in 3rd place.

Alfie had another bad start struggling to get them right with the different engines not knowing when to put the foot down he ended up in 6th position and battling which meant the first 3 had got away from the rest of the pack. Alfie putting in good times and some great overtaking he ended making his way to 4th and then making the most of 2nd and 3rd place competitors scrabbling for position and overtaking them both and sitting in second position and pulling away from them but with still a big gap to the guy who was 1st. Alfie was solid in 3rd but with a competitor behind closing he was under pressure to up his pace which he did but not enough allowing him to catch up. It was a tense moment when he was on Alfie’s bumper as they knew it was the closing stages and 1st place had already got away but still both knowing a silly mistake would cost them both a podium finish. He overtook Alfie with him not really defending the place not wanting to make any unnecessary risks, Alfie decided to push for a couple of laps not letting him get away from him and as the final 2 laps came he decided to go for the move but coming short as his competitor blocked and swerved last minute causing Alfie to lose a bit of time and cementing his 3rd place.

It was a Great first podium for the young rising star for only the second time being in the micro swift category, one of Alfie’s best performance boosting Alfie’s confidence and showing what hard work he has put in over the last few months improving every time. Now hoping he has another great race he is next on to Italy castelletto for the next round of the euro series and being the first time Alfie will have the advantage to rest there the week before hopefully will get another solid result.