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Bested by the Elements

Posted on: June 21, 2024

In Categories: News & Updates

Formula 1 AWS Grand Prix of Canada
Montreal, QC
9 June 2024
IMSA Porsche Carrera Cup North America

When we say racing is a sport of extremes, we are usually referring to the on-track action — high speed straightaways, technical turns and daring passes. The joy of victory and the agony of defeat. Excitement, dejection and hope. These are the things that keep us coming back week after week, chasing a shot of adrenaline and a thumping heart.

But occasionally, a weekend comes along that reminds us that extremes are not confined to the track. When the skies opened up over Montreal during the Formula 1 AWS Grand Prix of Canada, it was clear that the elements would be in control. With extreme rain came extreme havoc, and the Racing to End Alzheimer’s team found itself right in the middle of it.

Momentum gained, momentum lost

Things looked good in practice for Mark Kvamme. After slicing the No. 43 Porsche easily through the class in the dress rehearsal laps, Mark entered qualifying with a healthy dose of earned confidence. It didn’t stick around long.

Sitting in 5th place on the first lap of qualifying, Kvamme set his sights on pole position. Before he had a chance to pick up any time, however, the Porsche’s rear brakes locked up and eventually caught fire in the pit box. The flame was quickly dealt with, but it proved devastating for Racing to End Alzheimer’s chances. Unable to put up a qualifying time, the No. 43 would start from the back of the pack in both races.

Little to work with

With angry, roiling skies telegraphing a downpour, Saturday’s race started under caution. When the cars were eventually let loose, Kvamme got to work. He picked up four overall spots and one in-class spot in short order. But the outburst was short lived.

With just over 30 minutes remaining, the course went under red-flag conditions so the cars could change into rain tires. That ate away most of the remaining race, and the field eventually finished under caution. The No. 43 never had the chance to move higher than 5th place.

Rain, rain, rain

Sunday’s race started the same as Saturday’s. Hopeful that the weather would provide a window, officials decided to kick off the race under caution again. Eventually, green flag conditions were called for all of four laps.

Doing what he could in that amount of time, Kvamme moved up six overall positions on the grid, ending up at 4th in class. Just as he was starting to gain momentum, however, a large crash damaged a pit lane protective barrier, forcing officials to checker the race early.

A bug and a windshield

Sometimes success can hinge on the most unexpected things. This weekend, it was temporarily malfunctioning brakes and rain. Next weekend, it will likely be something entirely different.

What remains constant is the push and pull of victory and defeat. No matter how good we are, it is unavoidable that we eventually find ourselves on the outside looking in, fluttering helplessly away from the proverbial windshield.

What keeps us going is the hope — and the confidence —  that next time will be different.

Here’s to better weather!