Wednesday, July 29, 2009

MSOKC Race No. 8 – July 26, 2009 – Tire Testing and Exhaustion

NEWS – After a month-long break, Bruce Brothers Racing was back in action last Sunday for Mid-State of Ohio Kart Club Race No. 8, which was a qualifying format event at Circleville Raceway Park. Peter’s engine got a top-end rebuild while we were away on vacation and Conor’s rear axle was completely disassembled and reassembled before we left. Conor also got new tires for Race No. 8. The Bridgestone YHC that as been the club-spec tire for the past few years was recently discontinued by Bridgestone and replaced with the new YKC tire. It has a different construction and is supposed to last longer. Some have reported that it is faster, but many more have complained that it is slower. Either way, it is different, and a change usually requires testing to adapt. Our club elected to allow both tires for the remainder of the season following the introduction of the YKC. I collected all the information I could from forum postings, etc., and we headed to the track for Race No. 8 on Sunday hoping for the best. Conor and I returned from Kansas City on the Wednesday prior to the race. Laura, Henry, and Peter did not leave until Saturday afternoon and did not get home until after 2:00 AM on Sunday. Needless to say, they were not in the best of shape when the sun came up on Sunday morning. Laura stayed home to take care of business there, Henry slept in, and Peter did his best to get moving for our 7:30 AM departure. When the regular head flagman did not show up on Sunday, Henry was called in to replace him. He arrived at the track and took over about 30 minutes after qualifying started.

PRACTICE – Both Peter and Conor went out for some practice laps prior to the regular class practices – Peter to break in his rebuilt engine and Conor to try his new tires. Conor reported that the front-end grip seemed to be good, which was promising since this is something we struggle with getting enough of in our 8Occ shifter kart. During the regular class practices, both seemed to be down on speed a bit. Conor’s brake problem seemed to be taken care of with the rear axle work, and the new tires seemed to suit him well. Later in the day, we turned our attention to the engine, which seemed to help but not until the day was well underway, which is not a good scenario for a qualifying format race. While it didn’t become clear until later in the day, Peter’s performance was affected by exhaustion from the hectic pace of the events preceding the race.

YAMAHA JR. SUPERCAN – During race days that follow a qualifying format (as opposed to heat races with starting position determined by random draw), the outcome is pretty much decided during qualifying. During the single heat race, the results of which combine with qualifying results to determine starting position for the feature, and the feature itself, there is usually little passing. Unfortunately, Peter could manage no better than sixth position during qualifying. He ran in sixth all through his heat race, started sixth in the feature, and ran in sixth all through it, too. As the day wore on, it became apparent that he was not feeling well. Instead of being his usual helpful self when it came time to pack things up, he elected to head home immediately with Henry. He has since recovered fully after a few nights of good sleep.

8Occ SHIFTER – We didn’t have things on Conor’s kart quite sorted out prior to his qualifying session, which put him a bit behind the eight ball, too. There were 12 karts in Conor’s class and he qualified sixth. Except for a couple of karts at the front, the majority were separated by only a few tenths of a second. Had he qualified ahead of these karts, he might have stayed in front of them during the heat race. He lost a position at the start but made it back up on Lap 2. He ran on the tail of the group in front of him to the finish. I still haven’t quite figured this out, but somehow a pair of sixth place finishes earned him a lowly ninth place starting position for the feature. One of the karts in front of him bogged down at the start, but Conor had gotten away well and maneuvered around this and one other kart in the process. He made a nice pass on Lap 2 and ran in sixth, again on the tail of the group in front of him, to the finish. With tire pressure, chassis, and carburetor jetting adjustments, we did manage to knock half a second off his qualifying time during the day, which is promising for the remainder of the season.

NEXT RACE – Next up for Bruce Brothers Racing on August 1-2, 2009, is the Commercial Point Grand Prix of Karting (, which is a street race through the village of Commercial Point, Ohio (the picture featured on the main page of the CPGP website is of Conor leading the way in 2008). Conor will have his first try at a street race in an 8Occ shifter kart and Peter will get his first taste of a street race ever. Both boys will race on both Saturday and Sunday and Conor will race twice on Sunday. Admission is free, but passes are required to access the pits. There are food vendors, beer wagons, etc., and all proceeds benefit the Scioto Township Firemen’s Association. Commercial Point is located about 13.5 miles south-southwest of Columbus, just south of Grove City.


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