Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Welcome to Bruce Brothers Racing

Bruce Brothers Racing is a family-based kart racing team in Columbus, Ohio. I've created this site for family and friends as a convenient place to post race reports, pictures, etc. I have started from the beginning, thereby creating an archive of all the race reports since we began this adventure in 2003. Watch this space for future updates and race reports...


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

2013 Commercial Point Karting Classic - The Videos

2013 Commercial Point Karting Classic - The Videos

The pictures are on Facebook, but the on-board videos are on YouTube.  First, in practice right out of the trailer, Peter backs it into the wall in front of a barrel full of water and destroys his rear axle in the process (see video here).  Next, after qualifying fourth on Saturday with a misfiring engine, Conor battles his way to the front to take the 80cc Shifter Kart feature race win on Sunday (video here).  Peter's qualifying race finish on Saturday earned him the second starting position for the Spec 100 Pipe class feature race on Sunday.  He got a good start and ran in second until a red flag for a first turn pile-up on Lap 2 brought everything to a halt (video here).  He went on to lead the first third of the race after the restart, dropped to third, and then recovered to finish second. Unfortunately, he forgot to restart the camera after the red flag, so the video is only the first lap and a half.  In both of Peter's videos, the camera is pointing backwards, which is a very interesting perspective.  He also forgot to start the camera for his pro race, in which he started second, pressured the leader early, and finished a comfortable second. Starting on pole for his pro race, Conor made a great start, began pulling away in the lead, then hit a bump in Turn 3 which caused his seat to flex so much that the wire from the ignition box mounted on his seat became unplugged from his coil.  He coasted to a stop (video here).  A full race report will follow in the near future.


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

2013 Commercial Point Karting Classic Preview

The Commercial Point Karting Classic (website here, Facebook page here) is this coming weekend – August 3 and 4, 2013.  The CPKC (formerly the Commercial Point Grand Prix) has been the highlight of the season for Bruce Brothers Racing for the past few years.  Peter and Conor will both defend the clean sweeps they had in 2012.  The schedule for this weekend is posted here.  Peter's class is Spec 100 Pipe and Conor's is 80cc Shifter.  Practice starts at 10:00 am on Saturday with the second practice acting as a timed qualifying session for the heat races. The heat races on Saturday are scheduled to start at 2:00 pm.  The schedule can vary quite a bit, but if I had to guess, I'd say that Spec 100 Pipe will start no earlier than 3:30-3:45 pm on Saturday and 80cc Shifter will start no earlier than 4:30-5:00 pm.  It takes some time to park and get settled, so keep that in mind if you plan on coming down.  Admission is free, but if you choose to buy a pit pass, we have canopies for shade and plenty of folding chairs in our pit area.  We have a reserved spot which should be reasonably close to the grid area (where karts enter and exit the track near Turn 1). Feature races on Sunday are scheduled to start at 1:00 pm.  I'd guess that Spec 100 Pipe will start no earlier than 2:15-2:30 pm on Sunday and 80cc Shifter will start no earlier than 3:15-3:30 pm.  Both boys are entered in the pro races after that – I’d guess 4:00-4:15 pm and 5:00-5:15 pm for Spec 100 Pipe and 80cc Shifter, respectfully.  Come on down and enjoy the racing action.
p.s., Our pits look like this, except it's all grass at the CPKC .

Monday, July 29, 2013

Video from MSOKC Race No. 8 - July 28, 2013

After qualifying on pole with heat race finishes of first and third, Conor got a good start and led every lap of the 80cc Shifter kart feature.  See a video of the start and the first two laps here.  A full race report will follow sometime soon

Unfortunately, I did not get a video of Peter's feature race win in our Spec 100 Pipe kart two weeks ago during MSOKC Race No. 7.


Friday, July 26, 2013

MSOKC Race Nos. 4 and 7 – June 2 and July 14, 2013

NEWS – While this race report covers Race Nos. 4 through 7 of the Mid-State of Ohio Kart Club championship, Peter and Conor competed in only two of these.  Race No. 5 was rained out (postponed to August 25) and the boys decided to miss Race No. 6 so that they could spend some extra time with family in Kansas City prior to returning to Columbus for the 4th of July holiday.

MSOKC Race No. 4 – Race No. 4 featured standing starts for all classes, like the shifter kart class does at every race.  Peter was fast in our Spec 100 Pipe kart during the morning practice sessions but seemed to lose speed as the day progressed.  He started his first heat race from the fifth position (of nine in his class that day).  He dropped a position at the start and another on Lap 1.  He gained one position back on Lap 2 and another on Lap 4 and ran in fifth – where he started – to the finish.  Peter started fourth in his second heat, dropped two positions on Lap 1 and finished sixth.  A fourth and a sixth was only good enough for the sixth starting position for Peter’s feature race.  He maintained his position at the start and ran in sixth until Lap 9 (of 10) when he gained a position when the kart he was chasing dropped two wheels into the grass at the exit of Turn 6.  He gained another position on Lap 10 when the kart that had been running in third came to a stop in Turn 9.  A fourth place result was not so bad when you consider that we later discovered a leaking head gasket on Peter’s kart which was causing a loss of power.  Conor was also fast in our 80cc Shifter kart during the morning practice sessions.  In his first heat race, he started third (of seven), made a pass for second on Lap 2, another pass for the lead on Lap 4, and went on for a comfortable win while setting the fastest lap (45.829 seconds) along the way.  Conor started fourth in his second heat and had worked his way up to second on Lap 3 when a kart he had just lapped punted him into a spin in Turn 7.  He recovered to finish fourth while again setting the fastest lap (45.771).  A first and a fourth earned Conor the third starting position for his feature.  The kart in the fourth starting position appeared to jump the standing start but was not penalized.  It took Conor three laps to get back around this kart and another few laps to make his way into second.  He spent the last four laps chasing down the leader but came up short by just over a second.

MSOKC Race No. 7 – Race No. 7 was a normal heat race event at Circleville Raceway Park.  The weekend before, Peter and I had visited Wilmington Raceway Park to confirm that his engine was okay after we replaced the head gasket and to break in a new set of brake pads (on-board video here).  For Race No. 7 at CRP, we started him on well-used tires to compensate for the large amount of mechanical grip his chassis generates and he was once again very fast in the morning practice sessions.  Peter got a great start from second (of eight) in his first heat but had a lurid slide in Turn 1.  This allowed the pole-sitting kart to get away a bit and the third place starter to pull alongside Peter.  What happened next was nothing short of remarkable.  Peter and the third place starter went side-by-side through Turn 1, Turn 2, Turn 3 – you get the idea – all the way to Turn 7.  Peter was on the outside in Turn 7, which gave him the advantage of the inside for the uphill Turn 8.  Two karts rarely get through two turns side-by-side at this level, so it was refreshing to see such clean racing.  Peter caught and passed the leader on Lap 5 (of 8) and went on for the heat race win.  Peter’s second heat was pretty exciting, too.  He started fifth but dropped one position at the start.  He made two passes on the opening lap another on Lap 2.  He ran in third until Lap 6 when he was able to make another excellent pass under breaking going into Turn 5.  A first and a second earned Peter pole position for his feature.  He maintained the lead at the start and put his head down in an effort to pull out a gap.  The first two pulled away from the rest over the first few laps but Peter couldn’t pull away from the second place kart.  He did just enough to lead from start to finish for his first feature race win of the season.  Conor also had used tires for Race No. 7, which were actually from the 2011 season, but we were pretty sure that they would perform adequately since they had only done 28 laps.  He started his first heat from the eighth position (of 10).  He made two passes on the opening lap and another on Lap 4.  He gained another position on Lap 6 only to lose it again on Lap 7 while attempting another pass.  Conor’s second heat was a lot less hectic.  From the second starting position, Conor grabbed the lead at the start and led every lap for the heat race win.  A fifth and a first was good enough for the second starting position for Conor’s feature.  He once again grabbed the lead at the start and led the first few laps fairly easily.  The fifth place starter, who had been fast all day, had made his way up to second by Lap 5 and caught and passed Conor, who was now struggling for grip on his old tires.  While trying not to lose another position on Lap 6, Conor had a lazy spin at the exit of Turn 5.  He was able to keep the engine running and recovered to finish sixth.

NEXT RACE – At the mid-way point of the season, both boys have had some encouraging results but some bad luck as well.  MSOKC Race No. 8 is Sunday, July 28, 2013, and will be another normal heat race event at CRP.  After that, there is just a short six day break until the Commercial Point Karting Classic (formerly the Commercial Point Grand Prix), which has been the highlight of the season for us for the past few years.  Details will follow soon.


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

Friday, May 31, 2013

MSOKC Race Nos. 1 through 3 – April 21, May 5, and May 19, 2013

NEWS – The 2013 season for Bruce Brothers Racing got underway just over a month ago.  With a fairly extensive travel schedule for me this spring, I had pretty much given up on having enough time to sit down and write race reports.  I wasn’t sure that anyone read them anyway.  After several complaints (including from the boys), I decided that I’d better get caught up and at least post something for each race, even if it’s a bit shorter than in the past.

MSOKC Race No. 1 – As it has been in recent years, Race No. 1 was supposed to be a qualifying format event so that any slower new-comers end up starting at the rear.  Unfortunately, the timing system at Circleville Raceway Park did not cooperate, so we had to revert to a heat race format.  Conor started and finished second (of eight) in his first heat race in our 80cc Shifter kart.  Starting from seventh his second, he gained two positions at the start and then lost one while trying to move up to fourth on Lap 3.  He gained the position back on Lap 6.  A second and a fifth was good enough for the second starting position for the feature.  The top three ran nose-to tail until about mid-distance when they became a bit more spaced out.  Conor made a run at the leader in the last two laps but could not find a way past.  Peter started on pole for his first heat race in our Spec 100 Pipe kart.  He lost a position at the start and then locked his brakes and got sideways in Turn 5.  Peter gained a position from seventh (of eight) at the start of his second heat race.  He gained two more on Lap 4 for a fourth place finish.  Peter also gained a position from sixth at the start of his feature race.  He moved up to fourth on Lap 3 and to third on Lap 5, which is where he finished.  After a disqualification in post-race tech inspection, Peter was promoted to second.

MSOKC Race No. 2 – Race No. 2 was changed to a qualifying format event to make up for the timing system problems during Race No. 1.  In his qualifying session, Conor recorded the second fastest qualifying time (of 11).  He timed the standing start perfectly in his heat race and led flag-to-flag.  He also made a good start from pole in his feature and led for the first four laps.  The second place kart slipped by in Turn 7 on Lap 5, but Conor was able to regain the lead in Turn 5 on the next lap.  He went on to record our first feature race win of the season.  Peter’s qualifying time was third fastest (of seven).  As qualifying format races sometimes are, Peter’s heat race was a follow-the-leader affair – the top three finished where they started.  Peter’s feature was much the same although he dropped a position from third at the start and finished fourth.

MSOKC Race No. 3 – Peter was absent from Race No. 3 – he and his Upper Arlington Crew teammates were competing in the Midwest Junior Rowing Championships at Lake Harsha near Cincinnati.  Race No. 3 was a reverse direction event at CRP.  As we did last season when Peter missed a race, we decided to have Conor run both karts.  In 80cc Shifter, Conor got a great start from fourth and finished second (of 11) in his first heat.  Starting from eighth in his second heat, he made up three places on the first lap after an altercation in Turn 9 (the second turn going in the reverse direction) and then gained another position on Lap 4.  A second and a fourth earned Conor pole position for the feature.  He made a great start, but the kart on the outside of the front row made a better one.  While trying to make an early run on the leader, Conor pushed too hard in Turn 6 on the first lap and spun off in Turn 5.  By the time he was able to give himself a push start, he was a lap down.  There were two retirements, so Conor was credited with a seventh place finish.  The spin in the shifter kart was nothing compared to the day Conor had in our Spec 100 Pipe kart.  He was fast all day but had trouble acclimating to having rear brakes only.  His row was slow to get going at the start (he started from third) and then he locked the brakes going into Turn 7, got sideways, and fell to last.  He caught back up but not in time to make any passes.  I can’t remember where he got sideways on the first lap of the second heat, but he did.  This time he set the fastest lap of the race while catching up.  There was a retirement in each of the heat races, so Conor started the feature from fifth (of six).  He managed to lose a position at the start, but this time he time made it a whole lap without getting locking the brakes.  That happened on Lap 2.  I’m almost glad that he was at the rear all day because there were some ruffled feathers amongst the class regulars at the end of the day.  It would not have been pleasant to have an interloper involved.

NEXT RACE – MSOKC Race No. 4 is Sunday, June 2, 2013, at CRP and will feature standing starts for all classes.  Peter may have to miss the feature in order to get to the UA Crew Recognition Night on time, so we may have Conor fill in again.  Hopefully he’s got a better feel for those brakes by now.


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

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bruce Brothers Racing – 2013 Season Preview

It will be difficult to top the season Bruce Brothers Racing had in 2012.  Between our two drivers, we had 12 Mid State of Ohio Kart Club (MSOKC) feature race wins out of 23 starts (52%), two MSOKC season championships, and two clean sweeps at the Commercial Point Karting Classic (CPKC). Both Conor and Peter will contest the same classes again in 2013 - 80cc Shifter for Conor and Spec 100 Pipe for Peter.  Our anticipated schedule for 2013 is as follows:

Race No. 1 - Sunday, April 21 - Normal/Qualifying/20 Bonus Points
Race No. 2 - Sunday, May 5 - Normal
Race No. 3 - Sunday, May 19 - Clockwise
Race No. 4 - Sunday, June 2 - Normal/Standing start
Race No. 5 - Sunday, June 16  - Normal
Race No. 6 - Sunday, June 30 - Clockwise/Qualify
Race No. 7 - Sunday, July 14 - Normal
Race No. 8 - Sunday, July 28 - Normal
CPKC - Sat/Sun, Aug. 3-4 - Non-championship event
Race No. 9 - Sunday, August 18 - Clockwise/Standing Starts
Rain Date 1 - Sunday, August 25
Race No. 10 - Sunday, September 8 - Normal/Qualify/Hog Roast
Race No. 11 - Sunday, Sept. 22 - Normal/20 Bonus Points
Race No. 12 - Sunday, October 6 - Clockwise/Qualify/40 Bonus Points
Rain Date 2 - Sunday, October 13

All MSOKC championships events will take place at Circleville Raceway Park, which is on U.S. Route 23 just north of Circleville (click here for a map).  As always, thanks to everyone for their encouragement and support.


p.s., Yes, we've already had two races in 2013.  I'll try to get caught up on the race reports, which might be a bit shorter than in previous seasons, before Race No. 3.