Thursday, August 2, 2012

MSOKC Race No. 8 – July 29, 2012 – More DNFs

NEWS – After an awesome start to the 2012 Mid-State of Ohio Kart Club season, Bruce Brothers Racing has struggled mightily during the past few events.  Between Conor and Peter in the first five events, we scored seven feature race wins.  Since then, we have scored none.  Our string of misfortune continued during MSOKC Race No. 8 at Circleville Raceway Park last Sunday.  While both boys were fast, both had mechanical issues that resulted in a DNF (did not finish) – Peter during a heat race while leading and Conor during his feature race.

PRACTICE – We had quite a bit of preparation to do after Race No. 7, especially to Peter’s kart which seemed to be down on power and then took a pretty heavy hit in the feature race.  His engine went in for a rebuild, his clutch was replaced, and various bits and pieces were straightened out.  Conor’s kart got new brake pads and both karts got new noses.  Peter had a chance to break in his engine on the Friday before the race, which allowed him to focus on race pace during practice on Sunday morning.  Conor elected to break in his brake pads on Sunday morning.

SPEC 100 PIPE – Peter started his first heat race from the fourth position (of five).  He gained a position at the start and another entering Turn 5 on the first lap.  He ran in second until Lap 5, when he dropped a position while challenging for the lead.  His pace seemed to slow a bit and he lost another position on Lap 7 and eventually finished fourth.  Back in the pits, Peter discovered that his brake disk was not lined up between the brake pads.  As a result, his brakes were dragging in the right-hand corners.  With this fixed, he lined up for his second heat in the second starting position, made a great start and led easily – until Lap 7.  With just over a lap to go, his engine died and he had to pull into the grass.  It was apparently an electrical problem, because when we replaced the spark plug and the ignition unit, it ran fine.  A pair of fourths (another kart had dropped out before Peter in the second heat) resulted in a fourth place starting position for Peter in the feature.  It took him just over three laps to move into third, after which Peter set out after the leaders.  He reeled them in at about 0.2 seconds per lap, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process (46.760 seconds), but ran out of time in the end.  A podium finish (third) for Peter in his feature race would be the highlight of our day.

80cc SHIFTER – Conor had had such a string of misfortune leading up to this event that we talked about just collecting whatever championship points we could without worrying about a win.  Okay, so Conor’s first heat race was also a highlight.  He started from the second position (of eight), made a nice pass for the lead in Turn 3 on Lap 2, and led to the finish.  He also recorded the fastest lap time (45.752) in the process.  Starting seventh in his second heat race, Conor gained two positions at the start and another on Lap 2 to bring him up to fourth.  He locked his brakes going into Turn 5 on Lap 4 and dropped to sixth.  He regained one position on Lap 6 and finished fifth.  Conor’s feature race was shortened from 10 laps to six because of a delay necessitated by an incident in the feature race of the Kid Kart class (bumps and bruises, but no broken bones).  Conor started in third and nipped at the heels of the leading two, content to pick up a decent haul of points, until the last lap – when his engine died and he had to pull into the grass with an electrical problem.  Unbelievably, it was the same problem that affected him while leading the feature race during MSOKC Race No. 6 – the connection from the ignition box to the coil had become disconnected.  One other kart had dropped out before Conor, so he was credited with a seventh place finish.

NEXT RACE – We seem to have the pace to win, but we are ready for a change of pace.  That’s exactly what we’re going to get this coming weekend (August 4 and 5, 2012) at the Commercial Point Karting Classic (formerly the Commercial Point Grand Prix), which is a street race through the village of Commercial Point, Ohio.  Peter and Conor will race on both Saturday and Sunday and Conor will race twice on Sunday.  The schedule of events can be found here.  Admission is free, but passes are required to access the pits.  We will be under two beige-colored EZ-Up tents in the pit area near the starting grid.  Extra chairs will be on hand for anyone who wants to join us.  There will be food vendors, beer wagons, etc.  Commercial Point is located approximately 14 miles south of Columbus, just south of Grove City.


p.s., Lap times, lap charts, and results from Race No. 8 can be found here.