Judd Racing is running like a well-oiled machine with Kyle as the new boss and Elliott back in the driving seat, eager to prove to the world that his life-altering crash hasn’t left him mentally and physically broken.
So, Kyle and Elliott are on the road to a great life, until another incident on the race track brings back traumatic memories for the pair. This latest setback reignites Elliott’s insecurities and combined with damaging obstacles we’re left asking whether Elliott’s latest accident and a bunch of hotheadedness will keep our racing superstar from earning that coveted pole position?
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There’s nothing like the buzz of being away for the start of the season’s first race weekend. It’s the noise that I notice first; it maxes out my sound receptors in a way I’m no longer used to as cars are off loaded after their journey overseas, temporary offices, factories and homes are erected and everyone readies themselves for a grueling season ahead.
I feel the sound rumble through my body as engines kick start and trucks dispatch performance cars, the likes of which racing has never seen on foreign soil. Crews shout and laugh, excited to be back doing what we all love deep within our core.
But, it’s the smell that transports me back in time. The acrid fumes, the earthy morning dew, being back in the musky camper and on the road again, among the mingling smoke of evening fires and open-air cooking. My insides bubble away like a cauldron concocting a vibrant medicine. One that loads me with optimism.
It’s been three years since I’ve taken a car around the track in a race situation. The essence of who I am is alive again with the start of this weekend. Every single one of my senses is alive with possibility, not only that I will start to win races, but because in so doing, I’ll be me once more.
And it’s those smells that take me back to a time when I was winning and make those possibilities tangible.
My brain has processed the rapid-fire progression of events that got me here today. I know that the team is in place to support everything Judd Racing is striving for and, in turn, I’ve accepted that I don’t need to be at the top of the internal pyramid anymore. Kyle is in fact more than able, but now also ready, to handle whatever the business throws at him as our new, incredibly involved boss man, more commonly known as our Team Principal. And I’ve never been more confident than I am this weekend of jumping inside that cockpit with him on the pit wall, watching my back every step of the way.
Because, if I’m honest, which I’ve never been with anyone else, not even Kyle, that’s why I’ve taken my time to be back behind the wheel again. That accident was a nasty one, and of course, I defied the odds and walked again when everyone thought I’d struggle. But that’s who I am. As soon as I was told no, I knew my answer would be defiance.
No, the reason I didn’t want to get back in the car and careen around a slim strip of tarmac faster than any other person alive is because Kyle is the only person I trusted. The accident happened when he wasn’t doing his normal job and so in my mind, my car only broke and I only crashed and my legs only crumbled into a million pieces because Kyle wasn’t in his usual position and unable to look after me.
But now, Kyle is better placed than he’s ever been to guide me around that circuit, as fast and as safe as possible. The swirling in my stomach is not only from nerves. It’s from processing all the smells, all the sights and sounds, and all of my emotions, and coming out on top.