Sunday, July 31, 2011

Feature Race Lap Chart from MSOKC Race No. 7 - 80 cc Shifter

Conor qualified on pole (two heat race wins) and led every lap of the feature (click to enlarge).

Peter had a heat race win, too. A full race report will follow.


Friday, July 22, 2011

MSOKC Race No. 6 – July 17, 2011 – Conor Gets Another Win

NEWS – Peter was back in action for Mid State of Ohio Kart Club (MSOKC) Race No. 6 after nearly four weeks in Italy. The rest of us (including Henry) had also just returned from a week in Kansas City where we were visiting family. For Race No. 6, Peter was looking forward to trying out the new racing shoes he got in Italy and Conor was looking forward to making better use of the speed we have recently found in his kart. Laura, who attends nearly all the races, needed to stay in Kansas City for an extra day to tie up some loose ends and missed this one.

PRACTICE – The conditions last Sunday were excellent in the morning but the temperature and humidity increased throughout the day. Peter did some extra laps when we first arrived to re-acclimate himself. His lap times during practice were on par with the fastest karts in his class. While preparing for Race No. 6, we found a big crack in Conor’s exhaust. We had this fixed, and while scrubbing in new tires during practice, Conor set his fastest lap of the year so far (45.11 seconds).

SPEC 100 PIPE – Peter started both of his heat races from the third position (of five). In the first, he maintained his position at the start and hung with the leaders for the first few laps, but began to fall into the clutches of the fourth place kart at about mid-way through. He held on to third to the finish, however. His second heat race was much like the first, although his lap times were increasing by about 0.2 seconds per lap. He got passed on Lap 6 (of 8) and finished fourth. At the time, we attributed his decreased pace to the increase in grip that the track was providing as the temperature increased. We would later discover that he had lost two set screws in one of his rear axle bearings, which was causing his brake rotor to rub one of his brake pads in left-hand corners. Unfortunately, we figured this out after his feature race. We made a few changes to “loosen him up” for his feature, in which he started fourth, but it became quickly apparent that there was still a problem. His lap times started out reasonably well, but as his brake caliper began to heat up, his lap times again began to increase. His final lap was a 48.24, while he had recorded a 46.89 in practice that morning. There was one retirement, so Peter ended up finishing fourth.

80cc SHIFTER – There were six karts in Conor’s class on Sunday. Conor started his first heat race from the sixth position. I don’t recall exactly what happened in the first few corners, but what I do remember is that he went for a pass in Turn 6 on the opening lap and ended up in the grass facing the wrong direction. He got going again but had lost a ton of time. He was extremely fast on new tires and caught up and made a pass on Lap 3, another on Lap 5, and another on Lap 6. One kart had retired, so with two laps to go, Conor was chasing down the leader. He came up about two kart-lengths short, but he recorded the fastest lap by over 0.3 seconds. When you start at the rear in the first heat race, you get to start on pole for the second. Conor had a great start and motored off into the distance for the heat race win. He again had the fastest lap by about 0.3 seconds. Conor found himself on pole again for the feature, but after an amazing string of awesome standing starts, he bogged the motor down this time. He only lost one position. The leading kart was pushing hard to stay in front of Conor, and in Turn 8 on Lap 2, he dropped two wheels off the outside of the track and Conor was able to easily slip by. He once again motored off into the distance for his second feature race win of the year in this class. Fastest lap again? You bet – by over 0.8 seconds this time. While others struggled with worsening conditions, Conor’s lap times were consistent all day.

NEXT RACE – Next up is MSOKC Race No. 7 at CRP on Sunday July 31, 2011, which is Peter’s 16th birthday. His axle bearing has been repaired and we have a few chassis adjustments to try, so hopefully his birthday will be a happy one. While Conor has been fast lately, his luck last Sunday was better than it was for Race No. 5. Hopefully that will continue. In the mean time, we’re off on another vacation – this time to Rhode Island where we will visit Henry, who is back in Providence for the rest of the summer, and spend some relaxing time at a nice house we’ve rented on a lake and near the beach.


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

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Picture from MSOKC Race No. 6 – July 17, 2011

No caption necessary (click to enlarge). A full report for MSOKC Race No. 6 will follow.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Video of Conor from MSOKC Race No. 5

An on-board video of Conor's heat race in our Spec 100 Pipe kart from MSOKC Race No. 5 is posted on YouTube:

He's in the No. 2 kart that grabs the leads at the start. He leads until getting balked slightly while being passed by a kart from a faster class. Thanks again to Frank Oyer for posting.


MSOKC Race No. 5 – June 25, 2011 – Conor Gets a Win… …in Peter’s Kart!

NEWS – Peter is in Italy again this summer with our neighbors and good friends the Rizzoni’s, so he was unavailable for Mid State of Ohio Kart Club (MSOKC) Race No. 5. We took the opportunity to experiment with a new exhaust header on our Yamaha Spec 100 Pipe kart by putting Conor in the seat. Conor had never done two classes in the same day before (see picture below - click to enlarge), so it was a good opportunity to test his endurance as well.

PRACTICE – Race No. 5 was another Saturday night race at Circleville Raceway Park (CRP), although this was a qualifying format event instead of the normal heat race format. We arrived a bit early again to give Conor a chance to acclimate to a chassis in which he is very familiar but with more power than when he won the Junior SuperCan championship in this kart. Conor was able to record some impressive lap time both in free practice and during class practices in both the Spec 100 Pipe kart and his 80cc Shifter kart. We had new tires for qualifying for the 80cc shifter kart, but Conor would have to make due with some very used tires on the Spec 100 Pipe kart.

SPEC 100 PIPE – The Spec 100 Pipe class was combined with the faster TaG class, which had only one entry. In the Spec 100 Pipe qualifying session, Conor qualified second and missed pole position by just over 0.2 seconds. Only 0.4 seconds covered the rest of the field (five karts total), however. This class allows the choice of two engines. The pole sitter uses the other engine, which is fast over a lap distance but does not accelerate as well as the Yamaha. In the heat race, Conor was able to gain the lead going into the first corner. The faster TaG kart, which had started in the rear, tried to pass both the second place kart and Conor going into Turn 5 on Lap 4 (of 8). She squeaked by, but caused Conor to lift slightly which allowed the second place kart to get by, too. A pair of seconds earned Conor the second place starting position for the feature. He once again passed the pole sitter going into Turn 1. Conor was able to extend his lead a bit over the first few laps this time. When the faster TaG kart came up through the field, she could only manage get by the second place kart going into Turn 5. This caused him to lift, and because of his poor acceleration, he dropped back by about 10 kart lengths. Just as all appeared to be smooth sailing to the finish, the TaG kart clipped Conor in the left rear going for an aggressive pass in Turn 10 on Lap 7 (of 10). The TaG kart had a half spin, and Conor was turned around by about 90 degrees, but he was delayed only slightly and hung on for the feature race win.

80cc SHIFTER – The 80cc Shifter class had the biggest field of the season so far this year – 10 karts. This included a former Junior SuperCan competitor of Conor’s who in now racing for Andretti Autosport in USF2000. We seemed to have nailed the setup for the new set of tires we put on Conor’s kart for the qualifying session, as Conor qualified on pole by over 0.4 seconds. In the heat race, the second place qualifier jumped the standing start by a mile. He was rolling past Conor with a head of steam before any of the other karts moved (see picture sequence video below). The rules state that, when someone jumps the start, the race is supposed to be red flagged, the offender moved to the rear of the field, and the race re-started. Well, that didn’t happen. Conor fell into second place behind the offending kart and applied significant pressure over the first seven laps. He made several passing attempts, but each time, had to fall back in line. The leading kart seemed to be focusing on defending his position, which resulted in lap times much slower that Conor’s qualifying time and caused a bottleneck of four karts behind him. Conor’s best opportunity for a pass came entering Turn 3 on the final lap. Conor went wide to set up an inside pass in Turn 4, but got hung out to dry when the leading kart left no room. Conor dropped to fifth before he could get back in line, which is where he finished. A first and a fifth earned Conor the fourth starting position for the feature. Conor gained a position at the start, but lost it on Lap 4 to another professional driver (and the champion of this class last year) who was substituting for a regular driver who was complaining of back pain.

NEXT RACE – While it was fun to see Conor get a win in the Spec 100 Pipe class, it was frustrating to see what happened in the 80cc Shifter class. Prior to the start of the 80cc Shifter feature race, there was a hastily-called meeting to discuss the consequences for jumping the start. While no penalties were handed out this time, a stern reminder of what is supposed to happen was given. This will hopefully prevent a recurrence in the future. Our next race is MSOKC Race No. 6 on Sunday July 17, 2011, at CRP. Peter will have just returned from Italy and the rest of us will have just returned from a week in Kansas City where we are visiting family. In between all of this, Laura and I had relaxing week of vacation in Colorado for our 25th wedding anniversary, and Henry is home from Providence for a few weeks. Yes, it’s been a busy summer.


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

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Video of Peter from MSOKC Race No. 4

There is another nice on-board video posted on YouTube, this time of Peter's first heat race from MSOKC Race No. 4:

He's in the No. 2 kart that leads from green to checkered just in front of the red kart. Thanks to Frank Oyer for posting.