Tuesday, July 15, 2003

New Toy at the Bruce House (2003)

Originally sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 2:16 PM

Conor's first race was Saturday, July 5, at Circleville Raceway Park - Mid-State of Ohio Kart Club (MOSKC) Race No. 6. Because of his rookie status, Conor was required to start on the back of the grid for both of his heat races (6 laps each on the 0.7 mile road course) and the feature (8 laps). In the first heat, he made a few passes and benefited from a few off-course excursions by some of his competitors and ended up finishing 3rd of the 7 karts in his class. In the second heat, again starting from the back of the grid, he made his way through the field and ended up finishing 2nd! This combination of heat race finishes would have earned him an outside-front-row (2nd) starting position. Again starting from the back of the grid, he finished 2nd in the feature. By the time he passed everyone else, the leader and eventual winner was too far ahead to catch. Conor did record his fastest lap time (1:00.38) in the final lap of the feature while trying to catch the leader. Excellent job for a debutant! Conor received a well-earned 2nd place trophy for his efforts.

During the week, I received an email from a MOSKC board member indicating that he and the race director had discussed Conor's performance and decided that he would be able to take his regular starting position for the next race, a privilege normally reserved for third-time starters.

Conor's second race was Sunday, July 13 - MOSKC Race No. 7. The random draw for heat race starting positions had him starting 3rd in the first heat and 5th in the second. On the first lap of the first heat, an erratic move by one of his competitors in Turn 10 resulted in Conor having to take to the grass to avoid contact. While trying to catch the pack, he had a partial spin in Turn 7 of the second lap and ended up finishing 6th (of 7). In the second heat race, he had another spin while trying to pass on cold tires in Turn 2 on the first lap, dropping half a lap in the process. He caught the pack on the last lap, but without enough time to do much passing. He again recorded another personal fastest lap time (0:59.83) in the final lap, but finished 6th. His heat race finishes earned him a lowly 7th starting position, but a position with which he was familiar from the previous weekend. In the feature, the winner of the two heats (and last weekend's winner) rolled to a stop as the pack rolled over the Start/Finish line as the green flag flew. After having received a reminder to be patient and take his time, Conor slowly began to pick off his competitors one at a time.

By lap six, there was only one kart in front of him. In Turn 9 of the penultimate lap, it became apparent the leader had developed engine trouble and Conor roared past as the white flag was displayed. All he had to was keep it together for the final lap for his maiden victory. And that is exactly what he did, recording a 1:00.06 while pulling away from his nearest competitor for a comfortable win. Two trophies in two weeks - not a bad way to start!

Watch this space for further up-dates...


p.s., Here are some pictures from our first day at the track...