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Last Lap

3 years ago

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Andrew Frankel | Ti co-founder


16 July 2021

They came out of the final corner almost together, two cigar tubes on wheels with just a gossamer-thin skin of aluminium between the drivers and the world ripping past their open face helmets. Having done this for the last fourteen laps, he now knew precisely how it would play. His V8 versus the red car’s V12. Torque versus power. His car lighter, stiffer and more slippery too. Over a lap of this infernal circuit, it should be quicker. But for 14 laps something had favoured the other car. And he knew what it was. It was being driven by a better driver.

Hell, he really shouldn’t even be here at all. He was good once, considered one of the brightest stars of the sport – ‘a future world champion’ as the press once rather breathlessly predicted. But then came the accident.

He still believed it was suspension breakage even if no one else did, but it scarcely mattered. He’d turned left where the track went right, the front of the car stopped against the earth bank, the rest did not and by the time the only photograph was taken – a perfect silhouette of the underside of a near vertical car with one arm flailing from its side – his feet were already in jigsaw pieces. Then it inverted, and while the flimsy looking roll bar actually did its job, it dug into the mud on top of the bank until the car came to rest partly on his head.

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