Friday, June 24, 2011

MSOKC Race No. 4 – June 18, 2011 – Under the Lights

NEWS – Mid State of Ohio Kart Club (MSOKC) Race No. 4 last Sunday was our first night race of the season. We arrived a bit early to break in the engine we had to have rebuilt for Peter after it experienced a broken cylinder head during Race No. 2. We also needed to try out the new axle we put in Conor’s kart after the one he had been using was slightly bent during an altercation during Race No. 1. Soon after we arrived at Circleville Raceway Park (CRP), in began to rain. We managed to get both boys out for one session prior to this, so our early start was not a complete loss. It would continue to rain on and off right up to the 5:00 PM start time.

PRACTICE – The track began to dry after a few brave souls went out for open practice on rain tires. To make up time, regular class practices were limited to one session. Peter’s engine ran flawlessly and Conor’s new axle has no adverse effect. After practice, it was announced that the format would be shortened to six-lap heat races and an eight-lap feature (as opposed to eight and ten respectively) to beat the rain that was expected later in the day.

SPEC 100 PIPE – The random draw had Peter starting from pole position in his first heat race. He timed the rolling start perfectly and led easily through the first few corners. He extended his lead over the next few laps, recorded the fastest lap of the race in the process (46.80 seconds), and won by a comfortable margin. Starting last (fifth) in his second heat race, Peter took it easy through the first few corners, but was able to make a pass for fourth in Turn 4 on the first lap. He gained another position when the kart in front of him made a mistake in Turn 4 on Lap 3. He pushed the second place kart to the finish, but finished third. A first and a third earned Peter the pole position for his feature, which got underway just after dark. He got away well again and led easily for the first two laps. While pulling away, it was his turn to make a mistake in Turn 4. The time he spent in the grass dropped him to fourth place with quite a bit of distance to make up. By Lap 6, Peter had caught the leading group. He made well timed move for third in Turn 5 on Lap 7, but couldn’t make it stick, and finished fourth.

80cc SHIFTER – There were seven karts in Conor’s class on Sunday. Conor timed the standing starts in his class perfectly all day, starting with his first heat race in which he started fifth. He was up to third by the Turn 1. He made another pass for second in Turn 3 on the first lap. He was obviously faster than the leader and was all over his back bumper for the first few laps. He went side-by-side with the leader through Turn 4 on Lap 3. These two had a drag race down the back straightaway with Conor on the inside for Turn 5. He left his braking a bit late, locked his rears, and ended up in the grass with a stalled engine, which is where he stayed to the finish. In his second heat race, Conor got another great start from third to maintain his position. He made a pass for second in Turn 5 on the first lap and set out for the leader. The leader had put on new tires for this race, so Conor could not quite track him down and finished second. A seventh and a second had Conor starting fourth for his feature. Another great start had him up to second by Turn 1. He was able to close the gap to the leader by the end, but finished second.

NEXT RACE – Mistakes cost both boys better finishes on Sunday, but both were pleased to have the pace to run up front, particularly Peter in his relatively new class. It was also fun to have some of Peter’s friends in attendance on Sunday. Our next race is MSOKC Race No. 5, which is another night race on Saturday, June 25, 2011, at CRP. Peter is in Italy until mid-July, so Conor may try his hand in both his kart and Peter’s kart.


p.s., The electronic timing system was a causality of the weather on Sunday, so there are no lap times and lap charts posted on