Sunday, September 2, 2007

MSOKC Race No. 9 - August 26, 2007

Originally sent: Sunday, September 02, 2007 11:35 AM

NEWS – Mid-State of Ohio Kart Club Race No. 9 was a qualifying format event in the regular direction this past Sunday at Circleville Raceway Park . Preparations for this event included new bodywork and tires for Henry and a clutch rebuild and new tires for Peter. The race itself was followed by the annual MSOKC 'Hog Roast', which involved plenty of food and a variety of games. It had been stormy in Central Ohio during the preceding week, so we were glad to be greeted by sunny skies, moderate temperatures, and a rising barometer on Sunday morning. Conor assumed his usual duties in the scoring tower.

PRACTICE – Peter spent his first practice session breaking in his clutch and his new tires. We did some fine tuning between sessions, and in his second session, Peter got down into the mid 51 second range. Henry also spent his first practice session breaking in new tires. He got into the 44 second range toward the end, but reported that his kart felt 'twitchy'. This twitchiness seemed to fully manifest itself in his second practice session, where he could only manage laps in the 45 second range. Back at our pit area, we discovered that his left front tire was nearly flat. It turned out that the front tires we had be given for Henry were 'seconds' – each of them had a blister in the sidewall which was the apparent cause of the leak. We traded these for two new tires, which we were able to mount up in plenty of time, but Henry would have to start his qualifying session on front tires that had not been broken in.

JUNIOR SPORTSMAN 2 – Peter's class consisted of five karts. He lined up first for the qualifying session, which involved a warm up lap plus three timed laps. I had told Peter to get a good lap 'in the bag' on his first timed lap and then to go for it on the last two. His first lap was good. On his second, Peter chose an excellent time to nearly equal his personal best (51.33 compared to a 51.30), which earned him the pole position for the heat race by about half a second. Some people call qualifying format races boring because there is not a lot of passing action. This was indeed the case for Peter's class on Sunday, which was fine by me. Following a pair of great starts, Peter led every lap of both his heat race and his feature. The feature was a bit closer than the heat race, however, and towards the end it got uncomfortably close. Peter later reported that a drop of sweat had gotten into his eye early in the race and that he had run most of the laps with one eye closed! Peter recorded his third perfect 1-1-1 finish of the season and his fifth feature race win overall. He also extended his lead in the championship standings.

80cc SHIFTER – Henry's class, which had 10 karts on Sunday, was split into two groups for qualifying. The replacement front tires, and the few chassis adjustments we made, must have done the trick as his first timed lap was a new personal best for Henry (44.51). His second lap was even better (44.42). He might have improved again on Lap 3, but overcooked it a bit going into Turn 3. His best time was third quickest in his session, and no one in the second session could better that time, so third is where he would start his heat race. The 'boring' nature of qualifying format races comes to mind again, which is again fine with me. Henry got great starts in both his heat race and his feature and ran in third to the finish. In both, he was pulling away from those behind him, some of whom Henry has seldom beaten, while drawing closer the leaders at the finish. In his heat race, Henry recorded the second fastest lap time, which also further lowered his personal best to 44.20. Henry's 3-3-3 finish resulted in the most championship points he has ever earned in this class. It also brought him from fifth (where he finished last year) to third in the championship standings. He'll have to maintain this momentum if he expects to keep this position, however.

NEXT RACE – There are three races remaining in the MSOKC season, all of which involve bonus points for participation. The next race is a reverse direction event on Sunday, September 9, 2007. Conor will have sole responsibilities for timing and scoring at this event.

It is with a heavy, heavy heart that I must report that Leo, our beloved English Bull Terrier and faithful companion, passed away unexpectedly yesterday afternoon at the young age of seven years. About two months ago, he began having 'episodes' that were later diagnosed to be the result of a heart problem. In spite of the medication that he was on, he succumbed peacefully on a beautiful day beneath the pine trees in our back yard. Fortunately, everyone was home so that we could grieve together. We are all still overwhelmed with sadness – he was such a good and loving dog. Godspeed Leo…