Tuesday, July 21, 2009

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.


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