Monday, May 24, 2010

MSOKC Race No. 3 – May 16, 2010 – Backwards Bonanza

NEWS – Mid State of Ohio Kart Club (MSOKC) Race No. 3 on Sunday, May 16, 2010, was the first of several reverse-direction (clockwise) events at Circleville Raceway Park (CRP) this season. Both Conor and Peter enjoy the variety that this brings, as CRP is a much different race track in this direction. The end of the long straightaway brings a near-hairpin turn in this direction, which emphasizes hard braking in the primary passing zone. The final turn in this direction (the normal Turn 1) is a very fast right-hander that takes courage to do flat out. For the third race in a row, we won heat races (both Conor and Peter this time) and both boys ended up on the podium in the feature. Conor also earned his first feature race pole position of the season.

PRACTICE – The new club-spec MG “Red” tires have held up pretty well on our Yamaha SuperCan kart (Peter), but we decided that the first set on our 80cc Shifter kart (Conor) wasn’t going to make it for three races. For Race No. 3, we rotated the tires on Peter’s kart and mounted up a new set for Conor. We saved Conor’s new set for his first heat race, however, and had him practice on his old set. Both boys acclimated quickly to the reverse direction during practice, although there are muscles that get used in this direction (seven rights three lefts) that don’t get used to a great extent in the other direction (seven lefts and three rights), particularly in the neck and torso.

YAMAHA JUNIOR – Peter made a great start from the fourth position (of eight in his class) at the start of his first heat race, moving to second in the first few turns. He was able to go much deeper into the turn at the end of the long straightaway (the normal Turn 4) than the leader and made a pass for the lead on Lap 4 (of eight). He went on to record another heat race win – his third in three events this season. There was a delay in the start of Peter’s second heat race when one of his competitors had trouble getting started. When the green flag finally did fly, Peter’s row was a bit behind the other row, and Peter dropped from fifth to sixth. It took Peter until Lap 6 to get past one kart and then he made another pass on the final lap for a fourth place finish. A first and a fourth earned him the third starting position for the feature. He held his position at the start, after which the first three separated themselves from the pack, running nose-to-tail. The second place kart passed the leader on lap seven (of 10) and Peter was able to do the same on Lap 8. Peter was right on the tail of the new leader for the last two laps. He pulled along side at the end of the long straightaway on the final lap, but couldn’t make the pass stick. He was disappointed not to get the win, but was happy to record another second place feature race finish. He also recorded the fastest lap of the race (47.048 seconds).

80cc SHIFTER – Once again, Conor’s first heat was almost a carbon copy of Peter’s. He started from the fourth position (of nine) and gained two positions at the start. He passed the leader at the end of the long straightaway on Lap 2 and went on for a comfortable heat race win. Conor was fortunate to end up where he did in his second heat race. He made a great start from the sixth position, but the lead kart missed a shift in the second turn (the normal Turn 9) on the first lap, which caused an accordion effect. Conor hit the kart in front of him rather hard, and while this deranged his nose slightly, it did not slow him down. He actually gained several positions on this lap, which put him up to third. On Lap 8, the second place kart got a bit sideways in final turn (the normal Turn 1) and Conor was able to muscle his way past in the next two corners. A first and a second earned Conor the pole position for his feature race. His start wasn’t his best of the day, and the second place kart was able to go side-by-side with Conor through the first turn, which put the other kart on the inside for the following turn. Conor wisely conceded the position and latched onto the tail of the leader. He was able to keep pace with the leader for the first few laps but then seemed to back off a bit then it became apparent that there was no way he was going to retake the lead. This was fine until the third place kart began to catch him in the late stages. After fending off several passing attempts, Conor also recorded another second place feature race finish.

NEXT RACE – After another three week break, which includes the Memorial Day holiday, MSOKC Race No. 4 is Sunday, June 6, 2010.

p.s., Lap times, lap charts, and results can be found at