Tuesday, September 19, 2006

MSOKC Race No. 10 – September 10, 2006

Originally sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 12:21 AM

NEWS – Bruce Brothers Racing had an up and down weekend just over a week ago during MSOKC Race No. 10 – our first race on the regular course configuration at CRP since July 23. Peter had a new seat to try, everyone in Conor's class had agreed to use a Briggs Animal engine with a stock (0.505 in. diameter) restrictor plate, and Henry had new aluminum wheels to try (albeit with used tires) and another shiny-new yellow nose.

PRACTICE – During practice, it became obvious that, while Peter's new seat (Conor's from last year) fit him well, the position was uncomfortable. We propped it up by re-drilling the upper connection points, which seemed to do the trick. We knew that Conor's lap times would be slower using the smaller diameter restrictor plate, but with everyone using it, at least the playing field would be even. Unfortunately, the fast kid in Conor's class has a killer Briggs Animal engine. So, from the beginning of practice, it became apparent that Conor's chances for a competitive showing were not good. Henry's practice times were reasonable, but he complained of a lack of grip.

ROOKIE BOX – Peter started his first heat from the sixth position (of six). He followed the field through Turn 1 and settled in. He made a pass on Lap 2, another on Lap 3, and another on Lap 5. He was quite a way behind the two leaders as he crossed the finish line in third. Starting from the pole position in his second heat, he timed the start perfectly and motored around the first lap in the lead. The three karts immediately behind him were contesting second place by the end of Lap 1. Two of the faster karts in Peter's class weren't patient enough with one of the slower karts and all three went off in Turn 10. This left Peter with a huge lead that he did not relinquish. One of the faster karts did recover to finish second, however. Peter's first and third place finishes earned him the pole position for the feature. He again timed the start perfectly and led through the first few corners. This time, the two faster karts didn't wait until Turn 10 to tangle – they tangled at the exit of Turn 4. This again left Peter with a huge lead that he did not relinquish. The other two recovered to finish second and third. Peter's fastest lap wasn't quite as fast as the other two, but by keeping his nose clean, it didn't have to be. After his first feature race win during Race No. 8, Peter now has two to his credit.

JR. UNRESTRICTED – There were only three karts in Conor's class for Race No. 10. After what we saw in practice, we had a pretty good idea what to expect. In both heats and the feature, Conor was consistently a second-and-a-half slower than the fast kid and two-and-a-half seconds faster than the other, who is a relative new-comer. Needless to say, Conor finished second in both heats and the feature. The fast kid proved what we had been trying to figure out during the past few races – that a Briggs Animal with a stock restrictor plate will run lap times that are the same as an unrestricted Briggs Raptor. He also proved that their Briggs Animal is a lot stronger than ours. For the next race, we're going to give our Briggs Raptor another try. If we can get it to hold together, Conor should be more competitive with it than he was last Sunday.

80cc SHIFTER – Unfortunately, Henry used up what was left of his used tires during the practice sessions. He started the first heat from the third position and got away quickly. This is usually a recipe for success for Henry, but he immediately began to loose positions to karts he regularly finishes in front of. He eventually finished seventh (of 10). A club rule states that you must finish the event on the tires on which you start unless there is a safety concern. As we were lamenting this, we noticed that the seams on both of his front tires were beginning to show. I brought the worst of these to the Race Director and he gave us permission to replace them with new ones. This would help in the second heat, but now he would be starting from the rear. Starting seventh, made one pass at the start and settled into sixth. While he wasn't loosing ground, he wasn't able to work his way up any further either. During the break, we made a few adjustments to help his balance. In the feature, starting from seventh again, he made another pass at the start and then another on Lap 2. He was able to break away from the group behind him, but was unable to catch the group in front and finished fifth. Earlier in the season, I had promised myself that I wouldn't be so stingy with allocating new tires – so much for that. Henry will have new rears to go with his new fronts for the next race. The good news is that we left the track with Henry's new nose in one piece and still shiny-new.

NEXT RACE – As the season begins to wind down, the championship picture begins to come into focus. Peter is currently in third with a possibility of moving up. Conor’s destiny is pretty well set in second. Henry is holding on to a close fourth, which is an admirable position for his first year in a shifter kart. After a break this past weekend, the last three races are the next three weekends in a row. This includes a make-up race for a rain-out earlier in the season.


Lap times and results can be found at http://www.mylaps.com/results/showevent.jsp?id=165583