Wednesday, July 11, 2012

MSOKC Race No. 6 – July 1, 2012 – Ups and Downs

NEWS – Bruce Brothers Racing had an up and down day for Mid-State of Ohio Kart Club Race No. 6 at Circleville Raceway Park a week ago Sunday.  Both Conor and Peter were looking forward to this reverse-direction (clockwise) event that featured timed qualifying, as both aspects tend to suit both boys well.  The cooler was full of plenty of drinks to cope with the hot and humid conditions.

PRACTICE – For Race No. 6, Peter’s kart got a clutch tune-up, a new exhaust mounting bracket (mounted to the chassis instead of the rear bumper), a gear change (to suit the clockwise direction), a new chain, and fresher tires.  Conor and I spent a few hours the previous Sunday at Wilmington Raceway Park, which is a new asphalt road course that is within an hour's drive of Columbus.  It was fun to try a new track, but it was a bit bumpy (see videos here and here).  So bumpy in fact that he broke his seat and a radiator support, which were repaired for Race No. 6.  Conor practiced on old tires and Peter practiced on his race tires.

SPEC 100 PIPE – Peter qualified second out of the four karts in his class.  We had done everything we could during practice to fine tune his clutch without having to take it apart again.  We got it close and hoped that a bit of additional running would bring it into the sweet spot.  That never happened, and as the result, he was a tick off of the pace all day.  We decided that this was better than making a major change, which would have necessitated starting the fine tuning process all over again.  Starting from second in his heat race, Peter timed the green flag perfectly and went around the outside of the pole sitter in the first turn (Turn 10 for reverse direction events).  He pulled away a bit over the next few laps and then began to be reeled in by the pole sitter.  Peter held on for the win by just over a second.  There was drama at the finish, however.  In the last turn of the last lap, Peter’s engine changed its tune dramatically.  It turned out to be a broken exhaust header, which is usually grounds for disqualification.  Since Peter could have coasted over the finish line for the win, no penalty was given.  During the break, the header was replaced and the exhaust was remounted to the rear bumper.  A second and a first earned Peter pole position for his feature.  It was again the kart on the outside of the front row that had an advantage going into the first turn – but just barely.  Peter didn’t concede the position easily, and the first two karts went side-by-side through the first three turns with the other two close behind.  Peter eventually settled into the second position and stayed there until the checkered flag.

80cc SHIFTER – There were eight karts in Conor’s class.  During qualifying, he could not quite match the time he had set during practice on very old tires, which had us scratching our heads, and qualified second.  From the outside of the front row, Conor made a better start than the pole sitter and was into the lead at the exit of the first turn.  He led the first lap but was then passed at the end of the long straightaway (Turn 4 for reverse direction events) on Lap 2.  He couldn't quite match the pace of the leader and finished second.  We made a few chassis adjustments during the break which we hoped would have the desired effect in the feature.  From the second starting position, Conor again made a great start but had to settle for second in the first turn.  Conor seemed to be a bit faster than the leader, but the leader would pull away down the back straightaway only to be reeled in by Conor during the remainder of the lap.  I was certain that Conor would find an opening as the laps wore on, but sadly he did not get the chance.  On Lap 5 (of 10), Conor pulled into the grass with an engine that had stopped running.  It turned out to be the electrical connection from the ignition box to the coil, which had become disconnected.  In reinstalling his seat after the repairs, I had routed the wire on the wrong side of the seat strut.  Flexing of the chassis must have pulled it apart.  One other kart had failed to make the starting grid, so Conor finished seventh.

NEXT RACE – Peter was fortunate not to have been disqualified for his broken exhaust, but Conor was not so fortunate with his ignition box connection.  We have quite a bit to do for Race No. 7, but extreme heat in Columbus has prevented this from happening.  The weather in Columbus seems to have broken in past few days, but Laura and I are now in Colorado for some rest and relaxation followed by a conference later in the week for me.  Race No. 7, which is Sunday, July 15, 2012, will feature a combined, 20-lap feature race for the Spec 100 Pipe and 80 cc Shifter classes.  I’m sure the boys are hoping that the weather in central Ohio stays mild.


p.s., Lap times, lap charts, and results from Race No. 6 can be found here.