Thursday, August 12, 2010

MSOKC Race No. 8 – August 1, 2010 – Self-Inflicted Wound

NEWS – Argh! I hate it when I screw up. If Mid State of Ohio Kart Club (MSOKC) Race No. 7 was mediocre for Bruce Brothers Racing three Sundays ago, Race No. 8 two Sundays ago was a disaster – for Conor anyway. Peter struggled a bit early but managed to work his way onto the podium for his feature race. Conor’s qualifying time would have earned him the second starting position, but when he crossed the scales, he was underweight and was disqualified! This put him behind the eight ball for the rest of the day. The worst part is that it was my fault – argh!

PRACTICE – Race No. 8 was a qualifying format event. We had made significant changes to both karts looking for a bit more speed, including a top-end engine rebuild for Conor and a carburetor and clutch rebuild for Peter, so practice was our chance to try these out. These changes were okay, but for some reason, I was thinking that the minimum required weight for Conor’s class was 360 instead of 370 lbs, so when he came across the scales at 365 lbs during practice with an almost empty fuel tank, we decided to remove some of the lead weight and replace that weight with additional fuel. This seemed to make sense since Conor has been eating like a horse in an effort to gain some weight. Peter was still complaining about too much grip in the rear, so we experimented with short hubs on his rear axle during practice. This didn’t seem to have the desired effect, so we went back to the medium-length hubs and made a tire pressure adjustment for his qualifying session.

YAMAHA JUNIOR – Peter’s qualifying time was less than 0.5 seconds off of the fastest qualifier in this class, but the level of competition is such that this resulted in a sixth place starting position for his heat race. Race No. 8 was also an event that featured standing starts for all classes. Peter got away reasonably well at the start of his heat race, but was not able to move forward, indicating that there was still too much grip, and finished sixth. For his feature race, we made a radical tire pressure adjustment that seemed to help. Peter made an excellent pass in Turn 10 on Lap 1 and then benefited from a retirement on Lap 3 for a fourth place finish. One of the karts in front of him was a visitor on non-club-spec tires and was disqualified at the end of the day, which promoted Peter to the third place position on the podium.

80cc SHIFTER – Conor posted the second fastest qualifying time by nearly 0.4 seconds. Because he was underweight, not only was his time disallowed, but he was awarded zero points for his qualifying session. This meant that he would not only start from the rear in his heat race, but that the “zero” would also affect his feature race starting position. Conor made an impressive run through the field in his heat race moving from eighth to fifth on the first lap He gained another position on Lap 3 for a fourth place finish while quickly catching two of the karts in front of him. From the rear again in his feature race, he got bottled up behind a group of karts fighting for position. He made his way around two of these on Lap 2 and another on Lap 3. He fought hard with the fourth place kart for the remainder of the laps – pulling along side on several occasions – but could not find a way past and eventually finished fifth. Conor was the second fastest kart all day, but was not able to capitalize on this.

NEXT RACE – The next event for Bruce Brothers Racing is this coming weekend (August 14-15, 2010) – the Commercial Point Grand Prix of Karting, which is a street race through the village of Commercial Point, Ohio. Conor will contest the 80cc Shifter class and Peter and Henry will double up in our Yamaha SuperCan kart – Peter in the Junior division and Henry in the adult Heavy division. All three boys will race on both Saturday and Sunday and Conor will race twice on Sunday. Admission is free, but passes must be purchased to access the pits. Extra chairs will be on hand in our pit area. There will be food vendors, beer wagons, etc., and all proceeds benefit the Scioto Township Firemen’s Association. Commercial Point is located approximately 14 miles south of Columbus, just south of Grove City. This will be our only non-MSOKC event of the season. Because it is a non-club event, the rules allow any tire to be used, so we have some sticky ones mounted on both karts for the low-grip surface of a street circuit.


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