Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Season’s Greetings from Bruce Brothers Racing and 2009 Season Review

NEWS – Bruce Brothers Racing hopes that you and your families had a Merry Christmas and we extend our best wishes for a Happy New Year.

MSOKC RACE NO. 11 – The 2009 Mid-State of Ohio Kart Club season ended on October 11, 2009, with a make-up race for the rained out Race No. 11. Peter’s position in the championship had already been decided, so he elected to attend an organizational meeting for a trip that he and Laura are taking to Peru in January with his soccer team. Conor’s position was less secure, so we put everything together one last time in 2009. The rained out race was a qualifying format event in the reverse direction at Circleville Raceway Park, so the make up was the same. Conor qualified fourth and finished third in the heat race. He started from the third position in the feature, made a pass for second on the first lap, and ran in second on the tail of the eventual winner to the finish. This easily secured his position in the championship.

2009 SEASON REVIEW – Both Peter and Conor moved up a class for the start of the 2009 MSOKC season – Peter from Briggs Sportsman to Yamaha Jr. SuperCan and Conor from Yamaha Jr. SuperCan to 80cc Shifter. Henry was away for the majority of the season finishing his first year and starting his second year at Brown University, but he did get to participate in two events over his summer break.

The move to Yamaha Jr. SuperCan was a big jump for Peter – nearly three times as much horsepower as he was used to. His lap times improved continuously as the season progressed, but so did those of his competitors in this highly competitive class. The highlight of the season for Peter was the Commercial Point Grand Prix, where he quickly came up to speed on this very fast street circuit and, after starting third in the feature event, went on to finish second after a close battle that went right down to the wire. Peter finished sixth in the MSOKC championship in this class, which was contested regularly by as many as 10 karts.

Conor’s move to the 80cc Shifter class was also a big jump (nearly twice as much horsepower), which included having to learn to shift gears and master standing starts. He managed a feature race win in only his second start in this highly competitive class. He also recorded second place finishes three times and numerous fastest laps of the race. His Commercial Point Grand Prix results were respectable considering he was in the only kart in this class without front brakes. Conor, who was by far the youngest participant in this class that was contested regularly by as many as 12 karts, finished third in the MSOKC championship.

Henry made only two starts in 2009, but made the best of both of them. He earned a pole position and recorded a feature race win in our Yamaha SuperCan kart in MSOKC Race No. 5 while Peter was away at camp. He and Peter shared this kart for the Commercial Point Grand Prix, and after a heat race incident that resulted in a 25th place starting position for the feature, he passed 17 karts on the way to an eighth place finish.

Peter will contest the Yamaha Jr. SuperCan class again in 2010 and Conor will contest the 80cc Shifter class again, although we have some updates planned for our 80cc Shifter kart (including the addition of front brakes). We have no specific plans for Henry in 2010, but I suspect he will again get to participate in several events. The MSOKC season begins on April 11, 2010, and the Commercial Point Grand Prix is August 14-15, 2010. In the mean time, the MSOKC season ending banquet, where trophies and prizes will be awarded, is January 9, 2010.

Bruce Brothers Racing would like to thank everyone who provided support and encouragement during the 2009 season and we look forward to continued success 2010.

Bill

p.s., Lap times, lap charts, and results for MSOKC Race No. 11 can be found at http://www.mylaps.com/results/showevent.jsp?id=484852

Thursday, October 8, 2009

MSOKC Race No. 12 – October 4, 2009 – Well Used YHCs

NEWS – Bruce Brothers Racing was back in action for Mid-State of Ohio Kart Club Race No. 12 at Circleville Raceway Park this past Sunday. Most everything was still ready to go from Race No. 11, which was postponed because of rain. Laura missed this event, as she was spending time with family in Kansas City. The weather was typical for central Ohio in October – cool and crisp in the morning with periods of clouds and warm sunshine in the afternoon.

PRACTICE – After a quick spin in Turn 2 on the first lap, Peter’s practice sessions went as planned. Conor complained about a lack of front-end grip in his second session. For the optional third session, we decided to replace his one-race-old Bridgestone YKC tires with some well-used Bridgestone YHCs. He was immediately 0.4 seconds per lap faster, so we decided to leave them on for the rest of the day.

YAMAHA JR. SUPERCAN – Peter started his first heat from pole position. He got a great start, but got pinched down on the exit of Turn 1, which resulted in a lazy spin. He somehow managed to avoid being collected by the rest of the field and rolled off the track backwards into the infield. He was high-centered, and when he got out to give himself a push, the engine died leaving him stranded. He got another great start from the rear in his second heat, gaining two positions in the process. He made a nice pass on Lap 2 and ran in fourth to the finish. There was a lot of confusion at the start of Peter’s feature race, where he was lined up in fifth. The head flagman was not happy with how fast the front row starters brought the field around. After several unsuccessful attempts to slow them down, he sent them back to the starting grid for a talking to. The pole sitter was quite angry, but should have known better. The penalty involved inverting the front two rows for the restart, which came off without a hitch on the first try. Peter maintained his position at the start but dropped to sixth on Lap 2. His lap times were up and down for the first few laps, after which they stabilized in the high 46-second range. He ran on the tail of the lead pack to the finish.

80cc SHIFTER – I’m always glad when the random draw for heat race starting positions has Conor in the front and the back instead of two in the middle. He can usually make up a few positions when starting from the back and stay towards the front when starting from the front. Such was the case on Sunday. Starting from the ninth position in his first heat race, Conor worked his way to fifth by the end of Lap 1. He got bottled up behind a slower kart for a few laps, but managed to get around on Lap 6 for a fourth place finish. From the outside of the front row in his second heat, Conor got a flyer of a start and was in the lead by the apex of Turn 1. He pulled out a bit of a gap over the next few laps but got reeled in at about mid distance. He got a little loose coming out of Turn 10 on Lap 6 but managed to hold his position and held on for the heat race win. A forth and a first earned Conor the second starting position for the feature. He made another flyer of a start, but had to back off and settle for second in the first turn. He latched onto the rear bumper of the lead kart and kept him honest for 10 long laps. Conor finished second but recorded the fastest lap of the race (44.822 seconds) along the way.

NEXT RACE – The make-up date for the rained out MSOKC Race No. 11 is next Sunday, October 11, 2009. The rained out race was a qualifying format event in the reverse direction at CRP, so the make up will be the same. Peter is pretty well fixed with his position in the championship, but Conor is hanging on to a slim margin for third place. We’re going to have to dig through our pile for another set of those well used YHCs for Conor…

Bill

p.s., Lap times, lap charts, and results can be found at http://www.mylaps.com/results/showevent.jsp?id=482508

MSOKC Race No. 12 – October 4, 2009

Here are come pictures from MSOKC Race No. 12 on October 4, 2009 (click to enlarge).















































Bill

Thursday, October 1, 2009

MSOKC Race No. 11 – September 20, 2009 – Rained Out

NEWS – Mid-State of Ohio Kart Club Race No. 11 was supposed to be another qualifying format event a week ago Sunday, but was interrupted by a slow and stead drizzle that began during the qualifying sessions. We had made a number of improvements in preparation for this event, including new axle bearings for both karts, and were looking forward to a competitive showing. Peter’s class managed to complete their qualifying session, but the drizzle came just prior to Conor’s qualifying session. Conor’s class was to be split into two groups for qualifying and, in an effort to take advantage of the driest conditions possible if it did start to drizzle, we lined him up to go out in the first group. We were trying to figure out how to nonchalantly move him back into the second group to take advantage of what would be a drying track if the drizzle were to stop when it was announced that the day’s activities would be called off., so this became a moot point. The make-up date for Race No. 11 is Sunday, October 11, 2009. In the mean time, MSOKC Race No. 12 is Sunday, October 4, 2009 at Circleville Raceway Park.

Bill

Saturday, September 19, 2009

MSOKC Race No. 10 – September 5, 2009 – Hog Roast!

NEWS – The annual Mid-State of Ohio Kart Club Race Hog Roast event was preceded by Race No. 10 a week ago Saturday. To allow plenty of time for food and fun in the evening, the race was a qualifying format event at CRP that followed the normal Sunday (non-night race) schedule. Peter attended a driving clinic the weekend before and logged a massive 84 laps in our Yamaha SuperCan kart. We also took this opportunity to do some back-to-back tire testing for Conor in our 8Occ shifter kart. Both Peter and Conor had new tires for Race No. 10 – Bridgestone YHCs for Peter and YKCs for Conor – and Conor had new extended front wheel hubs to help with his understeer problem.

PRACTICE – Conor went out during open practice to give his new hubs a try and to scuff in his new tires. Peter practiced initially on old tires before scuffing in his new tires in the second practice session. Conor was content with his set-up during his first class practice session and elected not to go out for his second session.

YAMAHA JR. SUPERCAN – The combination of new tires and applying what he learned during his driving clinic resulted in a new personal-best lap time for Peter during his qualifying session (46.449 seconds). Unfortunately, the other karts in his class have also been getting faster throughout the season and many of the slower karts have stopped coming, which resulted in a fifth place starting position (out of seven) for Peter. With the starting order determined by qualifying times, qualifying format races tend to be a follow-the leader affair. Except for a great start in his heat race, which netted him a promotion to fourth place for the first three laps in his heat race, that was exactly the case for Peter’s day. After finishing fifth in his heat race, he started and finished fifth in his feature race. He did manage to improve on his personal-best lap time in both his heat race and his feature, however (46.204 and 46.042, respectively). He is knocking on the door of a sub-46 second lap.

8Occ SHIFTER – Conor put a nice series of laps together during his three-lap qualifying session, which resulted in the third place starting position for his heat race (out of nine). He lost one position but gained another at the start. He dropped a position on Lap 3 and finished fourth. Conor got away reasonably well from the fourth position at the start of his feature race, but the kart that started in third jumped the start which impeded Conor’s progress somewhat and allowed the fifth place starter to get around Conor in Turn 1. The next 10 laps were frustrating for Conor. While he was quite a bit faster than the kart in front of him, he could not find a way to get by and finished fifth. Conor’s best lap time for the day was only 0.2 seconds slower that his personal best, so we seem to be going in the right direction on the new YKC tires.

NEXT RACE – The penultimate race of the season is another qualifying format event on Sunday, September 20, 2009 at Circleville Raceway Park. It is also a reverse direction event, which both boys seem to enjoy. The day prior to this (today!) is Conor’s 17th birthday. Happy Birthday Conor!

Bill

p.s., Lap times, lap charts, and results can be found at http://www.mylaps.com/results/showevent.jsp?id=468804.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ghetto Engineering

The braking performance on Conor’s 8Occ shifter kart has improved significantly since we installed a cooling duct fabricated in part from a piece of downspout (click to enlarge).

































Bill

Monday, August 31, 2009

MSOKC Race No. 9 – August 15, 2009 – Hot August Night

NEWS – Mid-State of Ohio Kart Club Race No. 9 was a Saturday night event under the lights at Circleville Raceway Park and another event that featured standing starts for all classes. Thank goodness that most of the activity took place after the hottest part of the day because it was hot – and humid. Many repairs were required prior to this event following the Commercial Point Grand Prix. The one repair I saved for the day before – installing a new spindle on our Yamaha SuperCan cart – is the only one that didn’t go well. The spindle I ordered had the wrong size bearing, so I straightened the old one out for the third time and reused it. We also devised and installed a brake cooling duct on our 8Occ shifter kart – using a piece of downspout that was left over from when we had new gutters put on the house…

PRACTICE – We arrived at the track a bit early for shake-down runs to test all of the repairs we made. Peter felt comfortable in his kart, but Conor complained of massive understeer in his – in spite of using Bridgestone YKC tires that are only one race old. We tried increasing tire pressure in his first class practice, which didn’t help. We have his front end as wide as it will go using his standard wheels, so we went narrower for his second class practice to see if that would help. It didn’t. For the last-chance practice prior to the driver’s meeting, we decided to try the front wheels, hubs, and tires from Peter’s kart, which allow the front end on Conor’s kart to be about an inch wider per side than with his own wheels. This was a massive improvement – partly because of the width and partly because Peter is still using Bridgestone YHC tires. We put Peter’s practice tires on the front of his kart, which felt fine to him, and decided to go with this swap and some heavily used YHC rears for Conor for the race.

YAMAHA JR. SUPERCAN – Peter started his first heat race from the third position (of six karts in his class). We obviously have a good clutch setup on this kart because, like Henry at the CPGP, Peter had good starts all day. He gained a position at the start and ran in third until Lap 4 (of 8) when he dropped one position. He held on to finish fourth. He also gained a position from third at the start of his second heat and ran in second until Turn 1 of the last lap. He had a wiggle coming out of the previous corner and the kart behind made an aggressive move up the inside from quite a ways back. The contact allowed two karts to get by, which resulted in another fourth place finish. The offending driver received a rolled black flag warning for the infraction. Peter made another great start in his feature but had another incident in Turn 1 of the first lap with the same kart. Peter had to recover from being completely sideways, which put him at the tail end of the field. Just as he was beginning to find his groove, he experienced a rare mechanical failure that put him out of the race – the same clutch that had provided him with such good starts all day lost the gear off of the drive basket.

8Occ SHIFTER – Conor started his first heat race from the fourth position (of seven karts in his class). He maintained his position at the start, made one pass on Lap 2, and another on Lap 3. He ran in second to the finish but, on the last lap, the lead kart lost an exhaust silencer and was disqualified, which gave the win to Conor. In his second heat race, Conor started fourth again but dropped a position on Lap 2. He caught up to the new fourth place kart on Lap 4 and followed closely for two laps. Conor was setting up for a pass when the kart in front slowed dramatically. Conor could not back off quickly enough and hit the other kart from behind. After another momentary airborne adventure, Conor landed hard on his right rear wheel, which bent a wheel and flattened the tire. A first and a last were good enough for a third place feature race starting position. He maintained his position at the start and set out after the second place kart. He got a good run through Turn 4 on Lap 7 (of 10) and made the pass in Turn 5. He then set out after the leader, and while he came up a bit short in the end, he did set the fastest lap of the race (44.733 seconds) in the process. In addition to the other changes we made, the downspout-based brake cooling duct seemed to help, too.

NEXT RACE – The annual MSOKC Hog Roast is Saturday, September 5, 2009. This event is preceded by MSOKC Race No. 10, which is a qualifying format event at CRP that follows the normal Sunday (non-night race) schedule. There will be plenty of food for all and all are welcome to attend. Laura will be taking Henry back to Providence for the start of his sophomore year at Brown University that weekend, so they will miss the fun (we'll miss them, too). In the mean time, Peter has attended a driving clinic given by a club member/racer/parent who is also a test driver for Honda Research and Development in Marysville, Ohio. Peter is looking forward to putting what he learned into practice. We also did some back-to-back tire testing with Conor that day and clawed back most of the time we lost when we switched from YHCs to YKCs. Peter’s clutch has been repaired and his new spindle has been installed, Conor will have new wheels and extended front hubs, and both boys will have new tires – YHCs for Peter and YKCs for Conor.

Bill

p.s., Lap times, lap charts, and results can be found at http://www.mylaps.com/results/showevent.jsp?id=461520.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Commercial Point Grand Prix of Karting – August 1-2, 2009 – Lots of Destruction, but Lots of Fun

NEWS – Always the highlight of our season, this year’s Commercial Point Grand Prix, which is a street race through the town of Commercial Point, Ohio, that benefits the Jackson Township Fireman's Association, did not disappoint (see pictures and video clip below). We are only running two karts this season, but we had three drivers for the CPGP. The schedule was such that Peter’s class was directly opposite a class in which Henry could compete in the same kart, so we offered him the opportunity and he gladly took us up on it. It would mean some extra work, however, and Peter agreed to share this responsibility with Henry (teamwork!). The minimum weight in our Yamaha SuperCan kart for Peter’s class is 305 lbs and 360 lbs for Henry’s class. Since Henry weighs only 10 lbs or so more than Peter, this meant adding or removing about 45 lbs of lead weight during each changeover. The gear ratio also needed to be changed to accommodate the weight difference. I was a bit apprehensive about this, and while this ended up going rather smoothly during the course of the weekend, there are always surprises at the CPGP that keep you on your toes. There is an open tire rule for the CPGP, so we elected to run the relatively sticky Vega SL4 tires we used last year on both karts. Our freshly rebuilt Yamaha SuperCan kart got a new clutch disk prior to this event and our 8Occ shifter kart got a gear change and some additional attentions to the rear axle that we hoped would further improve the braking performance. Since 2007, the CPGP has consisted of a six-turn street course lined with an incredible number of hay bales and 55-gallon plastic drums. The longest straightaway is 900 feet, on which the 8Occ shifter karts approach 75 mph at the entrance to Turn 1. The second of two practice sessions on Saturday morning determine starting positions for the Merchandise races on Saturday afternoon. Finishing positions from the Merchandise races determine starting positions for the Trophy races on Sunday. As in years past, there are also Pro races on Sunday, including one for Conor’s class, in which he was entered.

PRACTICE – Peter has never participated in the CPGP, so the first practice session on Saturday was his first experience on a street circuit. He seemed to catch on rather quickly. As he was making his way around a slower kart on about the third lap of practice, he went wide at the exit of Turn 1 the clipped a hay bale. While sitting sideways on the track, he was broadsided by another kart. Not only did he loose precious practice time, the collision resulted in a bent a front spindle, tie rod, and side pod (‘nerf’ bar) bracket. So, our first surprise for the weekend involved lots of pounding, straightening, and welding in order to get Henry out in time for his practice. Fortunately, practice sessions for both Conor and Henry went smoothly.

QUALIFYING – Peter was the first of our three to take to the track for the qualifying session. Peter’s lack of practice, and his apprehension after finding the hay bales, resulted in a disappointing tail-end qualifying position for his Merchandise race. Fortunately , there were only four karts in his class and he was only 0.1 second behind the third place kart. Before Henry’s session was called to the grid, the skies opened up and doused the track with water. Unlike our Mid-State of Ohio Kart Club races, the CPGP proceeds rain or shine. After a relatively long delay, Henry’s class was called to the grid under “wet” conditions, which means that treaded rain tires were required. Some of the competitors either didn’t have rain tires or elected not to go out in the rain. Fortunately, we have a set of old rain tires that I had mounted on spare rims in the event of such a surprise (there wasn’t supposed to be chance of rain until Sunday). Because of the number of karts entered in Henry’s class (28), it was split into two groups. Henry was in the first group and posted one of the faster qualifying times. The track was significantly drier for the second group, so Henry’s time ended up bring ninth fastest overall. The extra time that resulted from Henry’s class being split into two groups allowed us to get our rain tires onto Conor’s kart in plenty of time for his qualifying session. He received some advice from Henry and posted the third fastest qualifying time in his class. Because of the rain delay, and an extended delay that resulted from an incident with a corner worker being hit by a kart, the Merchandise races were postponed until Sunday morning.

YAMAHA JR. SUPERCAN – The postponement of the Merchandise races to Sunday morning meant that Peter would get even fewer much-needed practice laps. He responded nicely in his Merchandise race, however, by sticking with the pack, shaving over a second off of his qualifying time, and making a nice pass on Lap 5 (of 10) to finish third. Starting from third in his Trophy race, he maintained his position at the start and again latched onto the tail of the group in front of him. At one point, he actually recorded the fastest lap time of the race. As the result of the gear choice we had made and Peter’s ability to make himself aerodynamic when he needed to, he had a lot of speed at the end of the long straightaway. He used this to his advantage on Lap 12 (of 15) by going up the inside on the approach to Turn 1 and making the pass stick. Having made his way into the second position, and with the leader having checked out, Peter seemed to have backed off a bit. With his superior top speed, he had the third place kart covered in the best passing zone, and in spite of several passing attempts, Peter went on to finish a well-deserved second place.

YAMAHA SUPERCAN HEAVY – Henry got a great start from the ninth position in his Merchandise race. At the end of Lap 1, he had made his way up to the sixth position. On the exit of Turn 6 on Lap 3, it all went wrong, however. The kart in front of him clipped a hay bake and ricocheted into Henry’s path. Henry not only hit this kart, but also got hit hard by the kart behind him. This sent Henry into the hay bales himself. He was unable to continue and finished 25th. The damage included another bent spindle, a bent axle, and a destroyed rear bumper. Again, we were able to make the repairs with time to spare, but Henry was not looking forward to starting 25th for his Trophy race. I told him I'd give him a dollar if he finished in the top 10. Laura matched this offer. During the aborted first start of his Trophy race, he made a great start up the inside but got bumped as he crossed the starting line and took out the hay bale that the head flagman was standing on. He continued without delay and made up about six positions on the first lap. During the red flag period that followed, we realized that he had bent another axle – that replacement axle lasted an entire 40 feet before being bent! After gaining six positions at the start, Henry was disappointed about having to restart. This disappointment was short-lived however, as during the restart, he made up nine positions on the first lap. He was really hooked up because he made another pass on Lap 2, four more on Lap 3, two on Lap 4 and another on lap 8. This brought him up to the eighth position and clear of the majority of the field. There was a group of four karts in front of him, and while he caught up with them in the end, he ran out of time to pass. He ended up with the fifth fastest lap time of the race, which included some of the best racers in the Mid-West. With Henry’s eighth place finish, both Laura and I are now a dollar poorer.

8Occ SHIFTER – A third place starting position for Conor’s Merchandise race was a promising way to start his day on Sunday, but unfortunately he had difficulty getting off of the line and dropped to last in the process. He made up one position on the first lap and another on Lap 4. He caught up with the next kart on Lap 6. On Lap 8, he got a good run down the front straightaway and made the pass going into Turn 1. Unfortunately, he was carrying a bit too much speed and clipped a hay bale on the exit of Turn 1 – all three boys had now sampled the hay bales. Conor had his work cut out for him starting from the seventh position for his Trophy race. He got a great start however and made up two positions on the first lap. He pushed hard over the next few laps, recording the second fastest lap of the race. Conor made another pass on Lap 8, which resulted in a fourth place finish. The second fastest lap in his Trophy race was a promising sign for his Pro race. He maintained his fourth starting position at the start and immediately put pressure on the two karts in front of him. On lap 4, he brushed the hay bale on the inside of Turn 4, loosing two positions in the process. He made up one position on Lap 6 only to loose it again on Lap 7. He regained it again on Lap 8 and ran in fifth for the next 10 laps (of 20). During this time, he was much faster than the fourth place kart, but the lack of front brakes on his kart prevented him from making a pass in Turn 1. He would draw up along side down the front straightaway, only to have to brake earlier than the leading kart. Both benefited from the retirement of the second place kart on Lap 18, which moved Conor up to the fourth position. At the beginning of the last lap, Conor went into Turn 1 a bit deeper that he had been going. The kart in front responded by doing the same but got sideways in the process. I didn’t see this but was told that wheel-to-wheel contact sent Conor vertical for a moment to the point that you could see the whole kart above the hay bales. Conor made a last-ditch effort at the end of the last lap but came up about six inches short (0.025 seconds). Conor’s fourth place finish did earn him $50 in prize money, however.

NEXT RACE – In spite of all of the damage, a good time was had by all. Just about all of the damage has since been repaired in preparation for MSOKC Race No. 9 on August 16, 2009, which is another Saturday night race under the lights at Circleville Raceway Park.

Bill

p.s., Lap times, lap charts, and results can be found at http://www.mylaps.com/results/showevent.jsp?id=454508

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Video Clip from 2009 CPGP

Here is a video clip from the start of Henry's Trophy race on Sunday (courtesy of Julie Conlin - http://www.conlinss.com/css/). He Started 25th (of 28 karts) and is already up to 16th in Turn 1 (Kart No. 2H on the inside at about mid-pack - the camera pretty much follows him through Turn 1).

video

I just noticed that the guy in the black hat holding a water bottle is Dave Fisher - the dad of IndyCar driver Sarah (http://www.sarahfisher.com/). He had some nice things to say about the boys on Sunday.

Bill

Pictures from 2009 Commercial Point Grand Prix

Here are a few pictures from the 2009 Commercial Point Grand Prix of Karting (click to enlarge). The full race report will follow.









Peter prepares himself for qualifying on Saturday - before the rain.









Peter mixes it up in traffic during his Merchandice race on Sunday.









Conor gets some advice from Henry before qualifying in wet conditions on Saturday while Bill Willis from PowerSports looks on.









Conor crosses it up on the exit of Turn 1 during qualifying in the wet on Saturday.









The start of Conor's Pro race on Sunday.









Conor exits Turn 1 during his Pro race on Sunday.









Henry enters the braking zone for Turn 1 after breaking away during his Trophy race on Sunday. He and Peter shared our Yamaha SuperCan kart.









After moving up from 25th to 8th position, Henry chases down the next group in front of him (photo courtesy of Julie Conlin).













Henry learns that he earned $2 ($1 from me and $1 from Laura) for finishing in the top 10.











The lap chart for the first 10 laps from Henry's Trophy race. After starting from 25th, he made up nine places on the first lap and eight more over the next seven laps...









Conor's winnings from the 8Occ Pro Race (photo courtesy of Greg Wilkinson).

Bill

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

MSOKC Race No. 8 – July 26, 2009 – Tire Testing and Exhaustion

NEWS – After a month-long break, Bruce Brothers Racing was back in action last Sunday for Mid-State of Ohio Kart Club Race No. 8, which was a qualifying format event at Circleville Raceway Park. Peter’s engine got a top-end rebuild while we were away on vacation and Conor’s rear axle was completely disassembled and reassembled before we left. Conor also got new tires for Race No. 8. The Bridgestone YHC that as been the club-spec tire for the past few years was recently discontinued by Bridgestone and replaced with the new YKC tire. It has a different construction and is supposed to last longer. Some have reported that it is faster, but many more have complained that it is slower. Either way, it is different, and a change usually requires testing to adapt. Our club elected to allow both tires for the remainder of the season following the introduction of the YKC. I collected all the information I could from forum postings, etc., and we headed to the track for Race No. 8 on Sunday hoping for the best. Conor and I returned from Kansas City on the Wednesday prior to the race. Laura, Henry, and Peter did not leave until Saturday afternoon and did not get home until after 2:00 AM on Sunday. Needless to say, they were not in the best of shape when the sun came up on Sunday morning. Laura stayed home to take care of business there, Henry slept in, and Peter did his best to get moving for our 7:30 AM departure. When the regular head flagman did not show up on Sunday, Henry was called in to replace him. He arrived at the track and took over about 30 minutes after qualifying started.

PRACTICE – Both Peter and Conor went out for some practice laps prior to the regular class practices – Peter to break in his rebuilt engine and Conor to try his new tires. Conor reported that the front-end grip seemed to be good, which was promising since this is something we struggle with getting enough of in our 8Occ shifter kart. During the regular class practices, both seemed to be down on speed a bit. Conor’s brake problem seemed to be taken care of with the rear axle work, and the new tires seemed to suit him well. Later in the day, we turned our attention to the engine, which seemed to help but not until the day was well underway, which is not a good scenario for a qualifying format race. While it didn’t become clear until later in the day, Peter’s performance was affected by exhaustion from the hectic pace of the events preceding the race.

YAMAHA JR. SUPERCAN – During race days that follow a qualifying format (as opposed to heat races with starting position determined by random draw), the outcome is pretty much decided during qualifying. During the single heat race, the results of which combine with qualifying results to determine starting position for the feature, and the feature itself, there is usually little passing. Unfortunately, Peter could manage no better than sixth position during qualifying. He ran in sixth all through his heat race, started sixth in the feature, and ran in sixth all through it, too. As the day wore on, it became apparent that he was not feeling well. Instead of being his usual helpful self when it came time to pack things up, he elected to head home immediately with Henry. He has since recovered fully after a few nights of good sleep.

8Occ SHIFTER – We didn’t have things on Conor’s kart quite sorted out prior to his qualifying session, which put him a bit behind the eight ball, too. There were 12 karts in Conor’s class and he qualified sixth. Except for a couple of karts at the front, the majority were separated by only a few tenths of a second. Had he qualified ahead of these karts, he might have stayed in front of them during the heat race. He lost a position at the start but made it back up on Lap 2. He ran on the tail of the group in front of him to the finish. I still haven’t quite figured this out, but somehow a pair of sixth place finishes earned him a lowly ninth place starting position for the feature. One of the karts in front of him bogged down at the start, but Conor had gotten away well and maneuvered around this and one other kart in the process. He made a nice pass on Lap 2 and ran in sixth, again on the tail of the group in front of him, to the finish. With tire pressure, chassis, and carburetor jetting adjustments, we did manage to knock half a second off his qualifying time during the day, which is promising for the remainder of the season.

NEXT RACE – Next up for Bruce Brothers Racing on August 1-2, 2009, is the Commercial Point Grand Prix of Karting (http://www.cpgrandprix.com/), which is a street race through the village of Commercial Point, Ohio (the picture featured on the main page of the CPGP website is of Conor leading the way in 2008). Conor will have his first try at a street race in an 8Occ shifter kart and Peter will get his first taste of a street race ever. Both boys will race on both Saturday and Sunday and Conor will race twice on Sunday. Admission is free, but passes are required to access the pits. There are food vendors, beer wagons, etc., and all proceeds benefit the Scioto Township Firemen’s Association. Commercial Point is located about 13.5 miles south-southwest of Columbus, just south of Grove City.

Bill

p.s., Lap times, lap charts, and results can be found at http://www.mylaps.com/results/showevent.jsp?id=451362

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Schedule for 2009 Commercial Point Grand Prix of Karting

A detailed schedule for the 2009 Commercial Point Grand Prix of Karting, which is this coming weekend (August 1-2), is shown below.

SATURDAY
7:00 AM - Gates Open
8:00 AM - Registration opens
10:15 AM - Drivers Meeting/ Registration Closes
11:00 AM-2:30 PM - Open Practice by class. Two rounds - second round as qualifier
2:30-3:30 PM - Lunch
3:30 PM - Merchandise Races Start
1. Kid Karts
2. Briggs Animal Med.
3. T.A.G
4. Yamaha Super Can Lite
5. Yamaha Jr.
6. 125 Shifter
7. Briggs Animal Hvy
8. Yamaha Jr. Sportsman
9. Yamaha Can Hvy
10. 80cc Shifter
Merchandise awards to follow
Flags of Honor to follow at Turn 5

SUNDAY
7:00 AM - Gates Open
8:00 AM - Registration Opens
8:30 AM - Drivers briefing/ Registration closes
9:00-11:00 AM - Open Practice by Class, one round
12:00 PM - Trophy Races
1. Kid Karts
2. Briggs Animal Med.
3. T.A.G
4. Yamaha Super Can Lite
5. Yamaha Jr.
6. 125 Shifter
7. Briggs Animal Hvy
8. Yamaha Jr. Sportsman
9. Yamaha Can Hvy
10. 80cc Shifter
1/2 hour break following Trophy Races - Pro Races to follow
1. T.A.G Pro Race
2. Yamaha Can Hvy Pro Race
3. 80cc Shifter Pro Race
4. Briggs Animal Hvy Pro Race
Awards ceremony to follow Pro Races

Bill

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pictures from Laura's Bi-Plane Ride in Iowa

Here are some pictures from Laura's bi-plane ride with her cousin Greg in Iowa (click to enlarge):



Laura and her cousin Greg taxi in Greg's award-winning 1941 Meyers OTW bi-plane



Laura and Greg buzz the runway at Greenfield Municipal Airport as Conor looks on



She seems to have enjoyed her ride




From www.russellaire.com/meyers.html - "The Meyers OTW aircraft was designed as a primary trainer in the late 1930s by Allen H. Meyers. These two-place, tandem-seat biplanes were of all-metal construction (except for the fabric covering on the wings), and powered by radial engines of from 125 to 160 horsepower. Production of the Meyers OTW ("Out To Win") ran from 1939 to 1942. It has a maximum speed of 120 mph, and cruises about 90. The Meyers OTW has a wingspan of 33 feet and is 22 feet long."

Bill

MSOKC Race No. 6 – June 27, 2009 – Better Late than Never

NEWS – It’s been several weeks since Mid-State of Ohio Kart Club Race No. 6, which was the first of several Saturday night races under the lights at Circleville Raceway Park. Since then, we’ve had the Fourth of July weekend and a much-needed vacation to the family cabin in Iowa, where we lounged, fished, and Laura got to go for a ride in a vintage bi-plane with her cousin Greg (pictures to follow). On our way, we stopped off in Iowa City for a check-up for Conor at University of Iowa Children’s Hospital with Dr. Menezes. From the cabin, we moved on to an extended visit with family in Kansas City, which is where we still are. While we’ve been away, we missed MSOKC Race No. 7, which was this past Saturday. We did get to do some indoor kart racing in Kansas City, however, along with the boys’ cousin Jack from California. For MSOKC Race No. 6, Peter was back with us after his two-week adventure through the Eastern U.S. Conor’s kart got new brake pads and some necessary maintenance and repairs. The club was a bit short-handed last Saturday, so Henry was promoted from corner worker to head flagman (see pictures).

PRACTICE – During the practice sessions, Peter’s old tires seemed to be grippy enough so we thought about leaving them on for the rest of the day. After his second session, we decided against this and sent him out for the optional third practice session on new tires. He was faster, but still a bit off of the pace for some reason. Even though Henry had done well with it in the race before, our Yamaha SuperCan engine is due for a freshen-up. Conor used old tires for his first practice session before switching to his race tires. He reported that the handling was good (due mostly to the caster adjustment we had made for Race No. 5), but the pesky brake problem that developed as the result of a broken seat strut bolt he experienced during Race No. 5 seems to be persisting. It seems to be either a warped rotor or a bent rotor hub. Our 8Occ shifter kart has a non-standard 35 mm diameter rear axle, so finding parts is difficult. Conor went on to say that “…the handling’s good, but it’s just slow.” Several others reported that the track conditions were less than ideal, however.

YAMAHA JR. SUPERCAN – I didn’t take a lot of notes, and it’s been quite a while ago now, so I’ll try to recreate this the best that I can from memory and the data on MyLaps.com. Peter started his first heat race from the fifth position (of eight karts in his class). He dropped two positions at the start but made both of them back up on Lap 2. He lost another position on Lap 4 and finished fifth. From the third starting position in his second heat, he maintained his position at the start, lost a position on Lap 2 and finished fourth. His heat race starting positions earned him a fourth place starting position for the feature. He lost a position at the start and another on Lap 6 for a sixth place finish. His lap times all day were not as good as they should have been on new tires, so we concluded that his engine is indeed due for a freshen-up.

8Occ SHIFTER – Conor started his first heat race from the fourth position (of eight karts in his class). He dropped a position at the start and ran in fifth to the finish. Conor got a great start from the fifth starting position in his second heat, gaining a position in the process. While approaching Turn 5 at the end of the long straightaway on the first lap, he locked the rear brakes and spun into the grass. By the time he got the engine started and got going again, he was almost a lap down. We had worked on his brakes between heats, and whatever we did seemed to have caught him by surprise. His heat race starting positions earned him a lowly seventh place starting position for the feature. He maintained his position at the start, gained a position on Lap 1 and another on Lap 7, and eventually finished fifth. His last lap was the third fastest lap of the race (45.208 seconds), but well off of his personal best (44.571). We seem to be headed in the right direction with his brakes, but we still have a ways to go.

NEXT RACE – MSOKC Race No. 8 is a qualifying format event at CRP on Sunday July 26, 2009, which is just a few days after we return from our vacation. Fortunately, most of the needed preparations are complete. Peter’s engine should be back from the engine builder by the time that we return and Conor’s rear axle was completely disassembled and reassembled before we left. We also have new tires for Conor for Race No. 8.

Bill

p.s., Lap times, lap charts, and results can be found at http://www.mylaps.com/results/showevent.jsp?id=437955

Thursday, July 2, 2009

2009 Commercial Point Grand Prix

This site seems to get a lot of hits from people looking for information about the Commercial Point Grand Prix. As a public service, the CPGP website is http://www.cpgrandprix.com/. The No. 7 kart in the banner picture at the top of the main page is Conor leading the Yamaha Jr. SuperCan class at the 2008 event, which he went on to win. The 2009 event is scheduled for August 1 and 2.

Bill

Sunday, June 28, 2009

MSOKC Race No. 6 – June 27, 2009

The full report for MSOKC Race No. 6 will follow. In the mean time, here are some pictures (click to enlarge):



Henry was promoted from corner worker to head flagman for Race No. 6.




It's all in the wrist...




Peter chomps on a Twizzler Pull 'n Peel.




You have to peel it first...




What Conor's hair looks like on a hot sweaty day - Phase 1.




What Conor's hair looks like on a hot sweaty day - Phase 2




What Conor's hair looks like on a hot sweaty day - Phase 3




Bill

Friday, June 19, 2009

MSOKC Race No. 5 – June 14, 2009 – Henry Gets a Win!

NEWS – Mid-State of Ohio Kart Club Race No. 5 was another reverse direction event (clockwise) at Circleville Raceway Park last Sunday. Peter was still off touring the Eastern U.S. with a group of teachers and friends from school, so we bolted some additional weight onto our Yamaha SuperCan kart so that Henry could have what may be his only opportunity to race this season. Peter needs very little weight to make the minimum requirement for the junior version of this class (305 lbs), but Henry needed an additional 25 lbs or so for the adult version (360 lbs). Conor did very well in our shifter kart during the previous reverse direction event this year, so except for installing the new bodywork that we’ve had for quite some time, we made very few changes for him in preparation for Race No. 5.

PRACTICE – Most of the karts in the adult SuperCan class run on the wider of the two available rear tire sizes. We thought about having Henry use Conor’s practice tires, but it turned out that Peter’s well-used race tires suited Henry just fine. He had not been in a kart since last October and had only driven this kart once before for about half a dozen laps. In spite of this, he seemed to be near a competitive pace during his two practice sessions. Conor’s practice tires are nearing the end of their useful life – he complained of a serious lack of grip at both ends in his first practice session. Even with his lightly used race tires on, he complained of a lack of front-end grip in the second session. We made a chassis adjustment after practice (increased caster), which we hoped would help.

YAMAHA SUPERCAN HEAVY – This class has been very competitive at MSOKC for the past few years, but seems to be even more so this year. Twelve karts in this class on Sunday meant that the heat races would be eight laps instead of six. Henry started his first heat race from the 11th position. There was a bit of a pile-up in the first turn at the start (Turn 10 going backwards), but Henry was able to sneak by on the inside. There was another off-track event by two karts later on Lap 1, which put Henry all the way up to fourth position. He benefited from another off-course excursion on Lap 6 and finished third, not too far behind the leaders. The supposed pole sitter for the second heat lined up on the outside for some reason, which gave the pole position to Henry. The outside is often the place to be, however, and two karts got ahead of Henry in Turn 9 at the start. Henry ran right on the tail of the leaders and was finally able to make a well-executed pass in Turn 9 on Lap 6 for second, which is where he finished. A third and a second resulted in a pole position for the start of the feature. Henry did a bit better at the start this time (after some coaching from Conor), but still lost one position. This turned out to be okay, however – the leader checked out and would have passed Henry anyway, possibly taking another kart with him. Henry was able to open up a bit of a gap over the third place kart initially, but then came under a lot of pressure at about mid distance. The third place kart made several passing attempts going into Turn 10, the last of which ended up costing him a position or two. The new third place kart couldn’t quite get close enough to attempt a pass, so Henry finished in a relatively comfortable second place. At the post-race technical inspection, the winning kart was disqualified for a minor infraction (ignition timing too far advanced), which gave the win to Henry.

8Occ SHIFTER – Our 8Occ shifter kart has been remarkably reliable since we acquired it used prior to the 2006 season, but it began to show its age on Sunday. In spite of this, Conor did remarkably well. His first heat was one of the most exciting I’ve ever seen in this class. Conor started from the third position of the eight karts in his class on Sunday. He made the first of his three great starts on Sunday to maintain his position through the first few turns. He lost a position in the braking zone going into Turn 4 at the end of the long straightaway on Lap 1. The leaders were bunched up and Conor was able to make a pass to regain third position on Lap 3. On Lap 4, Conor was able to move up to second with another great pass, only to be passed again in Turn 4. I didn’t know it at the time, but sometime during the last few laps, a seat support bolt broke, which allowed Conor’s seat to drag on the ground and altered the weight transfer characteristics of his kart significantly. This cost him two more positions on Lap 6, which resulted in a fifth place finish. Back in the pits, I noticed that the seat support problem also caused one of Conor’s brake lines to become partially detached. Conor seemed to like the chassis adjustment we made, so after replacing the broken bolt and bleeding the brakes, we decided to add a bit more caster. When I started to change the eccentric spacer at the bottom of the king pin, I ended up with a handful of ball bearings and various broken bits and pieces. This was not a good thing as Conor’s class was beginning to line up for their second heat. I didn’t have a new bearing handy, so I just stuffed it all back up there and hoped for the best. The left front wheel had about a 3/4 inch of vertical movement to it, so I told Conor to take the green flag and come straight back into the pits (to get last place points instead of no points). He suggested that, if it felt okay, he’d stick it out to the end. I reluctantly agreed. Starting from sixth, he again maintained his position at the start (and showed no signs of coming straight back in – who would have guessed that!). He improved to fifth on Lap 3, to fourth on Lap 4, and to second on Lap 6, which is where he finished. Most of these were due to retirements and incidents, but you never would have guessed that the left front corner was askew. Like his older brother, Conor’s heat race finishes earned him a starting spot on the front row for the feature. From the second position, Conor got the hole-shot and moved into the lead. In the first few laps, he would pull away a bit only to be reeled back in in the hard braking zone going into Turn 4 at the end of the long straightaway. Our shifter kart has only rear brakes, whereas nearly everyone else in this class has front and rear brakes. While this does not affect overall lap times greatly, Conor was a sitting duck going into Turn 4. When the second place kart got by Conor on Lap 4, so did the third place kart. He ran with these two for a few laps, and after it became apparent that he was not going to get back by, Conor eased up a bit and finished in a comfortable third place.

NEXT RACE – Peter will be back with us for MSOKC Race No. 6 on June 27, 2009, which is the first of several Saturday night races under the lights at Circleville Raceway Park. While he did do double duty on Sunday (drove and worked a corner), Henry will be back to being a corner worker only next Saturday. His performance did attract several substitute driving offers, however, so he may get some additional seat time yet this season. Peter will be on new tires for Race No. 6. For Conor, he will get some necessary maintenance and repairs, and we are also looking into several options for improved braking performance.

Bill

p.s., Lap times, lap charts, and results can be found by clicking here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

MSOKC Race No. 5 – June 14, 2009

Some pictures from Race No. 5 are shown below (click to enlarge). Peter was still off touring the Eastern U.S. with a group of teachers and friends from school, so Henry took the opportunity to test his skills in the SuperCan Heavy class. The full report will follow.











































Bill

Sunday, June 7, 2009

MSOKC Race No. 4 – May 31, 2009 – One to Grow On

NEWS – Mid-State of Ohio Kart Club Race No. 4 featured standing starts, like the 8Occ Shifter class, for all the classes a week ago Sunday. There was a lot of apprehension expressed before the race about clutch wear, stalling engines, and first-turn pile-ups. None of these turned out to be well founded. In fact, this format turned out to be a huge hit. Preparations for us included new tires for Conor and rearranged tires for Peter. Henry is home from college for the summer and decided to be a corner worker on Sunday – his first bit of gainful employment for the summer. I hope that there will be much more to follow!

PRACTICE – We spent some time getting Peter’s clutch adjusted during his practice sessions. During Conor’s practice sessions, it became apparent that the gear change we made for Race No. 3 was not the hot ticket. With new tires and a return to his previous gear ratio, Conor set a personal best lap time of 44.57 seconds (56.54 mph average speed) in his second practice session.

YAMAHA JR. SUPERCAN – This was Peter’s fourth race on this set of tires. Many of the others in his class had new tires for this race. That was the bad news. The good news was that we seemed to have nailed the clutch adjustment on Peter’s kart, because in both of his heat races, he easily maintained his position during the standing starts. However, after the start of each, he lost two positions; in the first heat because of an oversteer condition and in the second heat because the two fastest karts in his class started behind him. Yamaha SuperCan karts scream when they are running, but they do not like to idle. Peter’s engine stalled during the lineup for his second heat. One of the other dads got to Peter before I did and got him going just in time for the drop of the green flag. Peter’s heat race finishes resulted in a lowly eighth place starting position for the feature. For the feature, we made a chassis adjustment to account for the oversteer condition. He got away well at the start and made two passes at the end of the long straightaway – one on Lap 6 and the other on Lap 8. The second pass appeared to be just as clean as the first, but he was given a pointed-black-flag warning by none other than his brother (someone else had made the call – Henry was just the messenger). Peter ended up finishing sixth, but did record a personal best lap time (46.56) while tracking down the fifth place kart.

8Occ SHIFTER – Conor had a bit more luck than Peter in his heat races, but not much. He lost two positions in his first heat race but gained two positions in his second. Like Peter, he got away well during both of the standing starts, which are the norm for the 8Occ shifter class. In his first heat, he lost one position at the start, but was much faster than the karts in front of him. While trying to find a way past, he left the back door open and lost a position on Lap 4, and finished fifth. In his second heat, he gained a position at the start and another on Lap 6. Like Peter, his heat race finishes resulted in a less than desirable starting position for the feature – sixth. He made up a position at the start and was in position to make up another one in Turn 9 at the end of Lap 1 when the kart in front of him did a lazy half spin. Unfortunately, Conor hit the sideways kart and damaged the nose of his kart (see picture below - click to enlarge). He didn’t loose a position initially, but it became apparent over the next lap or so that the dragging nose was slowing him down. He lost a position on Lap 2 but gained it back on Lap 5. He caught the fourth place kart on the last lap, which would normally be a good thing. He tried to go around the outside in Turn 9, but was pushed into the marbles and lost two positions.

NEXT RACE – MSOKC Race No. 5 is another reverse direction (clockwise) event at Circleville Raceway Park on Sunday, June 14, 2009. Peter will be touring the Eastern U.S. for two weeks, camping with a group of teachers and friends from school, so Conor will be our lone participant. During the last reverse direction event at CRP, Conor won easily and recorded the fastest lap time in each of his three races.

Bill

p.s., Lap times, lap charts, and results can be found at http://www.mylaps.com/results/showevent.jsp?id=425016

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

MSOKC Race No. 4 - Sunday, May 31, 2009

Henry is home from Brown University for Summer Break. He decided to be a corner worker for MSOKC Race No. 4 on Sunday (his first bit of gainful employment for the summer; hopefully there will be much more to follow). He took his camera with him and got some great shots, some of which are posted below (click to enlarge). The full race report will follow.

















Bill

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

MSOKC Race No. 3 – May 17, 2009 – We Remembered the Chairs!

NEWS – After a qualifying format event and a reverse direction event to start the 2009 season, Mid-State of Ohio Kart Club Race No. 3 was a standard heat race event in the normal direction a week ago Sunday at Circleville Raceway Park. In the mean time, Conor, Peter, and I have been to Indianapolis and back for the Indy 500 and Laura has been to Providence and back to pick up Henry at Brown University. We have never been so prepared for a race weekend. In addition to a clutch rebuild for Peter and a gear change for Conor, we paid extra attention to not leaving anything at home – especially the chairs!

PRACTICE – As has become our normal practice these days, both boys practiced on older tires in their first practice session and then switched to their race tires for the remainder of the day. This has increased the longevity of a set of tires by about one race (to four for Peter and three for Conor). We chased the adjustment on Peter’s clutch all morning, but Conor seemed to like the new gear we had decided to try.

YAMAHA JR. SUPERCAN – Peter should get the “Lucky Dog” award for his performance in his first heat race, where he started from the outside of the front row. He maintained his position through the first few corners, but when he got to Turn 5 at the end on the back straightaway, he overshot the exit and went into the grass. Incredibly, the next five or so karts, who had been battling hard for position, all did the same thing. Four of these did not get going again. An off-course excursion on the first lap, when all of the karts are running together, is usually a recipe for disaster but only one kart got past Peter while he got up to speed again. He went on to finish third, dropping his personal best lap time to 46.972 seconds (53.649 mph average speed) in the process. While his first heat incident was of his own doing, this must have been Peter’s day for getting tangled up. In both his second heat race and his feature, Peter was forced to charge from the rear as the result of first turn incidents. The first was the result of the pole-sitter bringing the field around too quickly on the pace lap. There was contact in Turn 1 and Peter got turned around in the process. The second was the result of someone in the outside row having to check up to avoid going into the grass in Turn 1. Peter recovered to finish sixth in his heat race and fifth in his feature. In his feature, he further lowered his personal best lap time to 46.644 seconds (54.026 mph).

8Occ SHIFTER – Conor’s class had its biggest turnout of the year so far last Sunday – 11 karts – including two visitors from Northern Ohio, one of whose name is Connor! Conor (one “n”) got a good start from the ninth position in the first heat. He made several well-timed passes and finished fifth. While Conor’s standing starts have gotten better, he was not anticipating what happened in his second heat. The procedure is as follows; 1) the flag goes up, 2) after 10 to 15 seconds, the flag goes sideways, 3) after 2 to 5 seconds, the flag drops. In Conor’s second heat, the “2 to 5 seconds” was more like 1 second and Conor was still looking down when the flag dropped. He dropped from third to eight at the start. He gained a position on Lap 3 due to attrition but found himself behind a slower kart he was having trouble getting around. He tried several times, but couldn’t make it stick (the driver of the other kart would later tell Conor he was being way too kind). This caused Conor to slip into the clutches of the kart behind him. On Lap 5, the kart in front of this three-kart train got loose on the exit of Turn 10. Conor went to the inside in Turn 1, but the other kart went to the inside of Conor at the same time. These three went side-by-side through Turn 1. Conor kept his right foot planted and managed to come out in front and went on the finish fifth. A pair of fifth place heat race finishes netted Conor the fourth starting position for the feature. He got away well (see picture sequence below) and ran in fourth for the first few laps. He made a well-timed pass in Turn 3 on Lap 5 to move up to third. He quickly caught the second place kart, but could not find a way to pass. While he did not better his personal best lap time (44.896), he did manage to drop into the 44 second range on three-race-old tires on his way to a third place finish, which is his second podium finish in three starts in this class.

NEXT RACE – Peter improved his position in the championship from sixth to fifth in his class and Conor improved from fourth to third in his. MSOKC Race No. 4 is another regular direction at event at Circleville Raceway Park on Sunday, May 31, 2009. The “twist” for this event is that all classes will have a standing start like the 8Occ Shifter class. It should be interesting.

Bill

p.s., Lap times, lap charts, and results can be found at http://www.mylaps.com/results/showevent.jsp?id=418244

Standing Start Sequence from MSOKC Race No. 3 – May 17, 2009

Conor is the yellow 07 kart on the outside of the second row (click to enlarge).
















































Bill

Monday, May 18, 2009

MSOKC Race No. 3 – May 17, 2009

Some pictures from Race No. 3 are shown below (click to enlarge). The full report will follow.









This is the gismo we use to get Peter's Yamaha KT-100 engine started. It's as heavy as it looks.









Peter takes the checkered flag for his feature event.












Peter crosses the scales after the conclusion of his feature event.









This is the electric kart lift we have borrowed for the past two races for Conor's very heavy kart.









Conor pulls his gloves on. The gismo around his neck is one of the new-style head and neck supports that he and Peter got for Christmas.









Lining up for the standing start of Conor's 8Occ feature event.









Conor provides feedback after the conclusion of his feature event.

Bill