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