After some morning rain showers, participants took to a drying track in Gimli, Manitoba, to begin Rounds 3 & 4 of the Slingshot Racing Cup. Joining them was Kaitlyn Lawes who was part of Team Jennifer Jones' gold medal winning Canadian curling team in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
The Slingshot, a unique 3-wheeled roadster, has a 5 speed manual transmission so Lawes' first task of the day was to learn how to drive a stick shift. "I tried to learn one time many years ago but it didn't go very well..." said Lawes with a smile, "...hopefully today will be the day I learn".
After coming to grips with shifting gears it was time to venture around the race track and, with Richert coaching from the passenger seat, Lawes was able to quickly build speed and set some impressive lap times.
But it was her 2nd session driving on the race circuit that had everyone talking, including Richert, "Kaitlyn did an absolutely amazing job today. She learned how to drive a manual transmission earlier in the day without stalling the Slingshot even once, and now to see her post lap times that would make her competitive with some of our regular drivers is really phenomenal. I'm very impressed!"
Lawes then found herself climbing into the passenger seat of Richert's Slingshot as he started 4th before making his way up through the field and eventually on to win Round 3 of the Slingshot Racing Cup. Adam Crookes and Paul Thiessen finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.
"What an epic experience riding in the Slingshot today with David! I want to thank GORP for connecting us and helping to make this exciting event happen. And thanks again to David for being so patient in teaching this non standard driving curler how to race!!" - Kaitlyn Lawes
Richert also went on to win Round 4 later in the day followed closely by Adam Crookes and Kurt Enns. Full results available here: Slingshot Racing Cup Results
The next Slingshot Racing Cup event will take place on Wednesday, July 19.