Friday is here. In the hour when our car should have been driving in the qualifier, it was still in the tent. But the staff who delivered breakfast for the mechanics working straight through the night were in for a surprise.
The piles of components and barren machine from last night had begun to take its proper shape again. The headlights for which we were told there were no spares, the suspension damaged in the crash, and the cracked fender covers were back in their original locations as if nothing happened. Brake parts delivered in the middle of the night as well as the massive number of other parts required for returning to the track had been installed. Everything but the roof and hood were still left in their bare carbon state, but this was leaps and bounds from the car’s condition at 5am where they could only secure 3 of the major components needed for the car.
The driver gets into the racing seat as usual, and the engine was fired up just a few minutes prior to the end of the qualifier. As the car was pushed out of the tent, an applause broke out from the crowd watching the work. The in-car camera staff got his job back, and started to prepare. The staff preparing food and hosting guests at the lounge searched for the car from above the pit road.
Though car 24 was not able to actually run a valid lap in qualifying, since the car was already in the top 10 in the ADAC qualifier held in April it was given a position in 30th place at the back of the top 30 group. As we monitored the screen in the lounge, position 30 appeared on screen. Our car was finally back in the game.
Today’s special in the lounge is beef curry, a dish made every year that is a favorite among our Japanese guests. The curry made by the Polyphony Staff has become famous among Japanese participants of the 24 hour race, and there are many visitors who eagerly await the completion of the curry!