Monday, September 17, 2012

MSOKC Race No. 10 – September 9, 2012 – Peter’s Record-Setting Day

NEWS – We finally had a race day go just about as planned a week ago Sunday for Mid-State of Ohio Kart Club Race No. 10 at Circleville Raceway Park.  This was a qualifying format event, which avoids the need for faster karts to make their way past slower karts in the heat races, which tends to minimize damage.  Except for one gear change and a planned tire change, I didn’t have to dig a single spare part out of the trailer all day.  To make things even better, the weather was awesome as the result of high pressure that had followed a cold front into the region the day before.

PRACTICE – A race day such as the one described above begins with an appropriate amount of preparation.  In the break leading up to this race, Peter’s carburetor was rebuilt and his ignition unit was replaced, and Conor got a new exhaust gas temperature probe and a new set of tires for the qualifying format event.  Peter used his lightly used race tires in both of his practice sessions.  In the second, he followed his main rival in this class and they ran together in lock step and a very brisk pace – right around 46 seconds flat.  With the ideal weather conditions, I could tell that there was the potential for something special to happen.  Conor used lightly used practice tires in both of his practice sessions and was easily the fastest kart in his class.

SPEC 100 PIPE – Having his rival in front of him in the second practice session seemed to work well for Peter, so that’s how we sent him out for the qualifying session.  Both were hoping to break into the 45 second range for the first time.  Peter’s lap times were 46.521, 46.214, and 45.979.  His rival’s first two laps were faster than Peter’s, but his third was a 45.981 – just 0.002 seconds slower than Peter’s best.  Peter’s pole position winning time was a new personal best for him and the new fastest lap of the season so far for this class.  The outside of the front row is sometimes the better place to be for a rolling start at CRP and that turned out to be the case in Peter’s heat race.  After taking the lead at the start, his rival made a small mistake on the exit of Turn 4 on Lap 2, which is all it took for Peter to regain the lead.  The front two stayed close together but Peter went on to win by less than half a second.  Peter timed the start a little better in the feature race and made pole position work for him.  With his rival pursuing him closely on Lap 2, Peter went a bit too deep into Turn 5 and got a bit crossed up on the exit.  He was able to catch it, but his rival had to take evasive action and lost a position.  It’s not often that you benefit from your own mistake, but that’s what happened to Peter.  It took his rival a lap and a half to regain second place, but by that time, Peter had amassed a several second advantage.  Peter held on to win by just over a second.  This was Peter’s fourth feature race win of the season.

80cc SHIFTER – With new tires, Conor was hoping to break into the 44 second range in his qualifying session.  He didn’t quite make it (no one in this class has this season), but his 45.190 was fastest by almost three tenths of a second.  Conor made a good standing start from pole position in his heat race, but not a great start.  The second place starter made a great start.  These two went side-by-side through Turns 1 and 2, which left Conor on the outside for the right-hand Turn 3.  Conor settled into second and was never less than a kart-length or two off the rear bumper of the leading kart.  Conor pulled alongside the other kart at the end of the long straightaway several times but could not make the pass cleanly.  This late in the season, Conor has his mind on his position in the championship and settled for second.  A first and a second earned Conor the second starting position for his feature race.  Conor made another good start, but this time both the pole sitter and the third place starter made great starts.  Conor settled into third and spent the next few laps working on getting past the second place kart while the leader put distance between himself and these two.  Conor got a good run through Turn 4 on Lap 5, made the pass in Turn 5, and set out after the leader.  The gap was just over two seconds at that point and it took Conor just three laps to reduce that to less than a kart length.  He set the fastest lap of the race (45.268) in the process.  Conor once again pulled alongside the other kart at the end of the long straightaway on Lap 9.  He decided that discretion was the better part of valor and settled for second.  A full-length on-board video of Conor’s feature race can be found here.  This was the first win in this class for the other kart, which was nice to see.

NEXT RACE – Conor had the biggest gap on the field in his class for Race No. 10, but it was Peter who managed to pull off the perfect result for the day – including a record-setting lap.  Conor has a fairly comfortable lead in the season championship and just needs to have some reasonable results in the last two races to repeat as champion in this class.  With Peter’s recent mechanical problems, he had fallen behind in the championship, but this win brought him back to within just two points of his rival.  Peter’s chassis works well in cooler weather conditions, which is what we hope to have for MCOKC Race No. 11, which is Sunday, September 23, 2012, at CRP.


p.s., Lap times, lap charts, and results from Race No. 10 can be found here.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Video from MSOKC Race No. 10

A video of Conor's feature race in the 80cc Shifter kart can be found here.