Monday, May 24, 2010

MSOKC Race No. 3 – May 16, 2010 – Backwards Bonanza

NEWS – Mid State of Ohio Kart Club (MSOKC) Race No. 3 on Sunday, May 16, 2010, was the first of several reverse-direction (clockwise) events at Circleville Raceway Park (CRP) this season. Both Conor and Peter enjoy the variety that this brings, as CRP is a much different race track in this direction. The end of the long straightaway brings a near-hairpin turn in this direction, which emphasizes hard braking in the primary passing zone. The final turn in this direction (the normal Turn 1) is a very fast right-hander that takes courage to do flat out. For the third race in a row, we won heat races (both Conor and Peter this time) and both boys ended up on the podium in the feature. Conor also earned his first feature race pole position of the season.

PRACTICE – The new club-spec MG “Red” tires have held up pretty well on our Yamaha SuperCan kart (Peter), but we decided that the first set on our 80cc Shifter kart (Conor) wasn’t going to make it for three races. For Race No. 3, we rotated the tires on Peter’s kart and mounted up a new set for Conor. We saved Conor’s new set for his first heat race, however, and had him practice on his old set. Both boys acclimated quickly to the reverse direction during practice, although there are muscles that get used in this direction (seven rights three lefts) that don’t get used to a great extent in the other direction (seven lefts and three rights), particularly in the neck and torso.

YAMAHA JUNIOR – Peter made a great start from the fourth position (of eight in his class) at the start of his first heat race, moving to second in the first few turns. He was able to go much deeper into the turn at the end of the long straightaway (the normal Turn 4) than the leader and made a pass for the lead on Lap 4 (of eight). He went on to record another heat race win – his third in three events this season. There was a delay in the start of Peter’s second heat race when one of his competitors had trouble getting started. When the green flag finally did fly, Peter’s row was a bit behind the other row, and Peter dropped from fifth to sixth. It took Peter until Lap 6 to get past one kart and then he made another pass on the final lap for a fourth place finish. A first and a fourth earned him the third starting position for the feature. He held his position at the start, after which the first three separated themselves from the pack, running nose-to-tail. The second place kart passed the leader on lap seven (of 10) and Peter was able to do the same on Lap 8. Peter was right on the tail of the new leader for the last two laps. He pulled along side at the end of the long straightaway on the final lap, but couldn’t make the pass stick. He was disappointed not to get the win, but was happy to record another second place feature race finish. He also recorded the fastest lap of the race (47.048 seconds).

80cc SHIFTER – Once again, Conor’s first heat was almost a carbon copy of Peter’s. He started from the fourth position (of nine) and gained two positions at the start. He passed the leader at the end of the long straightaway on Lap 2 and went on for a comfortable heat race win. Conor was fortunate to end up where he did in his second heat race. He made a great start from the sixth position, but the lead kart missed a shift in the second turn (the normal Turn 9) on the first lap, which caused an accordion effect. Conor hit the kart in front of him rather hard, and while this deranged his nose slightly, it did not slow him down. He actually gained several positions on this lap, which put him up to third. On Lap 8, the second place kart got a bit sideways in final turn (the normal Turn 1) and Conor was able to muscle his way past in the next two corners. A first and a second earned Conor the pole position for his feature race. His start wasn’t his best of the day, and the second place kart was able to go side-by-side with Conor through the first turn, which put the other kart on the inside for the following turn. Conor wisely conceded the position and latched onto the tail of the leader. He was able to keep pace with the leader for the first few laps but then seemed to back off a bit then it became apparent that there was no way he was going to retake the lead. This was fine until the third place kart began to catch him in the late stages. After fending off several passing attempts, Conor also recorded another second place feature race finish.

NEXT RACE – After another three week break, which includes the Memorial Day holiday, MSOKC Race No. 4 is Sunday, June 6, 2010.

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

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pictures from MSOKC Race No. 3 - May 16, 2010

Peter on the podium again...

...and Conor, too!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

MSOKC Race No. 2 – April 25, 2010 – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

NEWS – April showers have brought May flowers to Central Ohio, and showers are exactly what we had two weeks ago for Mid State of Ohio Kart Club (MSOKC) Race No. 2 at Circleville Raceway Park (CRP), which featured standing starts for all classes (like the 80cc Shifter class). We did manage to squeeze in two heat races, which is all it takes to make an official race day. As with Race No. 1, Peter again won a heat race and both boys ended up on the podium.

PRACTICE – When we unloaded after Race No. 1, I noticed that a significant chunk of Peter’s clutch was missing. This has since been repaired, but because the track was damp when we arrived for Race No. 2, we weren’t able to test the repairs prior to the scheduled practice sessions. Once these did start, we were able to successfully do the fine tuning on the fly. Conor’s practice sessions were less busy, as we are trying to minimize the number of laps on his race tires. The skies looked ominous again by this time, and because of the impending rain, a decision was made to shorten the heat races from eight laps to six.

YAMAHA JUNIOR – The random draw for starting positions had Peter starting from pole position in his first heat race. He timed the standing start perfectly and was comfortably in the lead going into Turn 1. He maintained a gap over the rest for the first lap or so, but once the second and third place positions were established, these two began to catch Peter. The second place kart made a dive to the inside on the last corner of the last lap but came up short, which gave Peter a heat race win in each of the two events this season. Peter started from the back (sixth of six) in his second heat. The third place kart jumped the start but the flagman must have been looking the other way, as no penalty was given. Peter advanced one position at the start and another on Lap 3. With only six laps to work with, that’s all the further he was able to advance. A first and a fourth earned Peter the third starting position for the feature. When the rain finally did come, points for the feature were awarded based on earned starting positions, which resulted in another podium finish for Peter.

80cc SHIFTER – Conor also drew starting positions for his heat races at each end of the field, although he started his first heat from the rear (eighth of eight). He got away well and made two passes on the first lap. Another pass on Lap 2 brought him to fifth, which is where he finished. Conor also made an excellent start from pole position in his second heat race. He led for the first half lap or so before he was passed by the eventual winner (and winner of every heat/feature so far this season). Conor was able to keep the leader in his sights for a comfortable second place finish. A fifth and a second were good enough for the second starting position for the feature. This class was actually lined up on the grid when the rain finally came to stay. Conor also recorded another podium finish as the result of points for the feature being awarded based on earned starting positions.

NEXT RACE – MSOKC Race No. 3, which is the first of several reverse-direction (clockwise) events at CRP, is Sunday, May 16, 2010. We expect that we might see Pilgrims there, because everyone knows that Mayflowers bring Pilgrims…


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