Tuesday, September 21, 2010

MSOKC Race No. 10 – September 4, 2010 – Hog Roast!

NEWS – MSOKC Race No. 10 was another qualifying format event at Circleville Raceway Park on Saturday, September 4, 2010. The event followed the normal Sunday (day race) schedule to allow time in the afternoon/evening for the annual MSOKC Hog Roast, which involved plenty of food for everyone and a variety of games. There was also a Powder Puff race in the rental karts at CRP for wives, girlfriends, and mothers of the regular racers. Laura was apprehensive about entering at first, but eventually warmed up to the idea.

PRACTICE – It was Conor’s turn to re-acclimate, as he had missed Race No. 9 while at the Bonneville Salt Flats helping a student-based team from The Ohio State University's Center for Automotive Research break the Land Speed Record for electric-powered vehicles. Both boys practiced on used tires and saved their new tires for the qualifying session.

YAMAHA JUNIOR – Peter’s qualifying time was only a half second slower than the pole position time, but the competition in this class is such that this resulted in a sixth place starting position for his heat race. Qualifying format events tend to be processional affairs and that was exactly the case for Peter’s heat race. Everyone completed the first lap in the same order in which they qualified and they ran in that order to the finish. In Peter’s feature race, he was able to improve one position during the start. He managed to keep the kart he passed at the start behind him for the full distance for a fifth place finish.

80cc SHIFTER – Conor’s class was split into two groups for qualifying. He went out third in the first group. One of the slower karts in the class had gone out first, but Conor allowed what he thought was a sufficient amount before taking to the track. On his third lap, which was his fastest, he caught the slower kart exiting Turn 10 and had to take evasive action, which cost him about a tenth of a second. He qualified third, but catching the slower kart ended up costing him a position – the margin being 0.057 seconds. Conor’s heat race was also a processional affair with everyone finishing where they started. Conor provided the excitement during his feature race. He bogged his engine during the standing start and dropped to sixth place in the process. He made a pass for fifth on Lap 2, fourth on Lap 4, and managed to work his way back up to third on Lap 8, recording the second fastest lap time in the process.

POWDER PUFF – Laura suited up in Conor’s garb for the Powder Puff race (see picture below – click to enlarge). This event has gained popularity since it was introduced during the Hog Roast event in 2008. There were 27 entries in 2010, which required four separate heat races. The top two finishers in each heat would transfer to the feature. Laura had never driven one of the rental karts at CRP, so she was at a significant disadvantage. She managed to work her way up to some respectable lap times, but did not manage to transfer to the feature. We’ll be sure to arrange some practice laps for her prior to next year’s event.

NEXT RACE – MSOKC race No. 11 is another qualifying format event at CRP on Sunday, September 26, 2010. Peter’s position in the championship is pretty well fixed, but Conor fell from second to third after Race No. 10 by the slimmest of margins. We’ll do our best to get him three clean laps during the qualifying session on Sunday.


p.s., Lap times, lap charts, and results can be found at http://www.mylaps.com/results/showevent.jsp?id=589263.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Gimme Shelter

I found a great deal on E-Z Up shelters at Cabela's, so I bought two to replace the ones we lost during the Commercial Point Grand Prix. We tried them out at Circleville Raceway Park during Mid State of Ohio Kart Club Race No. 10 last Saturday (see pictures below - click to enlarge).

I was actually able to salvage one of the old ones by combining parts from the two twisted ones, so now we have a spare. A full race report for MSOKC Race No. 10 will follow soon.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mario Andretti

I ran into Mario Andretti in the Delta Sky Club at the Detroit airport this evening. I mentioned that, in 2008, Conor raced with Zach Veach, who now drives for his son Michael in USF2000 at Andretti Autosport. Mario was nice enough to sign an autograph for Conor (see below - click to enlarge). Zach finished second to Conor in the championship that year, but I didn't mention that...


Friday, September 3, 2010

MSOKC Race No. 9 – August 22, 2010 – Ping-Pong Peter

NEWS – For the third time this season, Bruce Brothers Racing had only one kart to look after during a race day. For Mid State of Ohio Kart Club Race No 9 on August 22, 2010, Conor was at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah where he was a member of a student-based team from The Ohio State University's Center for Automotive Research that succeeded in breaking the International Land Speed Record for electric-powered vehicles (see related posts below). Peter had just returned from a trip to Chicago with Laura and Henry where they spent time seeing the sights with Laura’s mom and her brother and his family. Since Race No. 9 was a reverse direction event at Circleville Raceway Park, Peter really didn’t want to miss this one as he tends to do well in this direction. Laura agreed to drive through the night from Chicago to get him to the track on time.

PRACTICE – Peter decided to re-acclimate to the reverse direction by running some practice laps during the early-morning open practice session. I’m glad that he did, too, because during his second (and final) class practice session, the throttle return spring on his carburetor broke which left him stranded on the track. Without the early-morning session, the spring may have broken during his first heat race, which would have been much worse. During the practice laps that he did manage to complete, his lap times were some of the fastest in his class.

YAMAHA JUNIOR – The random draw for starting positions had Peter starting from near the rear in his first heat race (sixth of nine) and from pole position in the second. In his first heat race, Peter made a great start and made his way up to fourth on the first lap, but dropped a position on Lap 3 (of eight). Peter was getting out of Turn 5 leading onto the long back straightaway well. He was also managing to late-brake into the following corner (Turn 4 going in the reverse direction). He used this to his advantage on Lap 5, diving to the inside at the approach to Turn 4, but the other kart moved over on Peter even though Peter had earned the position. These two tangled which dropped Peter to sixth position, which is where he finished. Peter made another great start from pole position in his second heat race and led easily for the first two laps. He lost some ground to the second place kart on Lap 3. The second place kart proceeded to punt Peter off the track with an optimistic passing attempt in Turn 6. This would definitely have earned the other kart a black flag – if the corner worker had been looking in that direction. The result of this tangle dropped Peter to fourth. He dropped another position on Lap 4 but made up a position on Lap 6 for a fourth place finish. Both of Peter’s heat race incidents resulted in either Peter’s kart on top of the other kart or the other kart on top of Peters, which can be very dangerous. I had a discussion about rough driving with the Race Director during the intermission. The Race Director in turn summoned all of the participants in Peter’s class for a stern talking to prior to the start of the feature races. This seemed to have the desired effect, as there was much less action in Peter’s feature race. Peter started fifth and ran in fifth to the finish. This could have been a very productive day for Peter if he had not been batted around like a ping-pong ball during his heat races. I’m hoping that the effect of the Race Director’s message will follow through for the remainder of the season.

NEXT RACE – MSOKC race No. 10, which is another qualifying format event, is this Saturday, September 4, 2010, at CRP. This event will follow the normal Sunday (day race) schedule to allow time in the evening for the annual MSOKC Hog Roast, which will involve plenty of food for everyone and a variety of games. In the mean time, Conor is back from Utah and all three boys are back in school – Henry for his Junior year at Brown University and Conor and Peter for their Senior and Freshman years, respectfully, at Upper Arlington High School.


p.s., Lap times, lap charts, and results can be found at http://www.mylaps.com/results/showevent.jsp?id=583487.