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A hard fight to the end

Malcolm not only had to fight against the other cars on the track, but had to fight his own car in the final race of the weekend. Qualifying started out well, with pole position against a few more powerful cars.

In the first race, Malcolm could do nothing but watch as Tor Krueger took off on the start in his more powerful tube-chassis car. He quickly realized that although he was faster in the corners, Malcolm could just not make up the 12 car-length lead Krueger would pull out each lap up the Andretti Straight. He just decided to run a clean, consistent race, and not risk the equipment.

For the final race on Sunday, just minutes before heading up to the pre-grid, the team noticed that one wheel was cracked. Had Malcolm gone on the track with that wheel, a major accident would most likely have taken place. A quick change was made to a spare wheel and tire. Just three corners into the final race, it looked as if good luck had finally shone on the Konica-Minolta driver. Krueger had an axle failure, and Malcolm quickly lept into the lead. He began to pull away from the Viper Competition Coupe behind him, but then began to lose ground due to that spare tire wearing out faster than expected. Malcolm was able to stay ahead, and keep a safe space between the cars for the majority of the race.

However, in the final few laps, exiting fast right-handers the car would lurch to the left. Malcolm immediately thought it was a puncture. He decided to stay out for one more lap to be sure before pulling into the pits and giving up the lead. Going into the next corner, the car suddenly felt normal again. Malcolm kept pushing, as the Viper got closer. The strange lurch happened twice more, with Malcolm saving the car from going off the track each time. On the final lap, coming out of the first corner, the Corvette lurched harder than before, and the car ran wide and put two wheels off the track. The Viper slipped past into the lead as Malcolm came back onto the track. There was nothing that could be done to catch the Viper at this point, and despite pushing hard for that last lap, the Corvette driver had to accept second place.

A post-race inspection of the car discovered a badly worn wheel bearing on the left-rear wheel. The wheel was moving out of alignment enough that the brake rotor was hitting the suspension, causing that wheel to be slowed down, thus causing the car to lurch to the left as Malcolm would apply the throttle in fast corners. The entire car was checked over by the technicians at Agostino Racing Engines in preparation for the next race in St-Felicien.

 

   
 

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