Went out to Firebird West Track on Oct 7th for the second to last race of the 2007 season. Outside of replacing the left rear hub that we broke at the Sandia race we made no changes to the kart. I forgot to order new tires so Tyler did the weekend on the three heat cycled front tires from the last race and a set of six heat cycled rear tires that we had previously taken off the kart.
We got to the track pretty late in the morning (couldn’t get the tailgate down on the pickup truck and that of course delayed getting loaded up in the morning!) so we were pretty rushed when we finally got to the track.
I dumped in all the left over fuel we had from the last race into his tank and sent him after changing the jet in the carb from the really lean setup we had run at Sandia and a quick check of the tire pressures and the spark plug.
He was looking pretty good and was catching and passing the karts he normally runs with until a few laps from the end of the session when I saw him put his arm up, slow down and pull off the track over on the back straight. After the session he pulled the kart back on track and tried to push start it himself. No dice. As he came in on the tow strap I asked him was was wrong. Ran out of gas! I guess we need to fire the crew chief.
Put the kart on the stand and gave it a once over. Checked the plug (a little rich but looked ok), downloaded the data (top speed on the back straight at 89 mph and the temps and rpm looked good) and filled the tank. Seemed to be ready to go.
Hit the track for the second practice session. After a lap he came in complaining that the engine was sputtering. Quickly changed the plug and sent him back out. That seemed to have fixed the problem.
This past weekend (8/10-8/12) Tyler and I made the six hour trek from Mesa to Albuquerque to run at Sandia Motorsports Park.
We had just pulled out of Mesa and travelled about four miles on the Beeline Highway when something prompted me to ask Tyler if he had his driving boots packed. He checked and he did not. We turned around sprinted the twelve miles back home. That little side trip would cost me a little bit because the combined 24 mile detour left us 2.6 miles short of a Gas Station in Payson!
Fortunately we were hauling race karts and gear in the trailer. Coasted to a stop on the side of the road, opened the trailer and poured in two gallons of mixed race gas into the tank. With 110 octane unleaded race gas costing $7 a gallon and a bottle of the castor (two bottles to five gallons) we mix with the gas also costing $7 each the per gallon cost of fuel to get us off the highway was almost $20! In case we had this same issue further on in the trip I took the opportunity to fill one of our gas jugs with 5 gallons of the “cheaper” premium pump gas.
Since it was going to be a long weekend we stopped in Holbrook for the night before pushing on to Albuquerque the next morning to run test sessions that afternoon.
Highlights (and lowlights) from the next event.
Prior to the next Race on 5/6/07 we did quite a bit of maintenance and upgrades on the kart.
New triple-pass radiator, new carbon fibre silencer and new carb. As well as a new pistion, ring and cleaning up the cylinder walls. No real damage from the previous event. Thank goodness
Got it all put together and put the kart on the ground to give it a push start to see how it drove. Would not start! Pushed that thing down into our cul-de-sac and just about died from the exertion. The motor was trying to start but no joy beyond about two feet and then chug to a stop.
Back up on to the stand (after some rest and a big glass of ice water). Called around for some advice. Changed main and pilot jet and checked the plug. No spark. Changed the plug. IT LIVES!
Yesterday was our first day to take out Tyler’s new 125cc Shifter kart to give it a run.
While the picture “seems” to make the new kart look bigger then the old kart it is not. The bodywork and chassis are the same size. The double-decker stand that the new kart is on is just taller and closer to the camera.
The old chassis with the 80cc shifter engine on it is blue so Tyler decided he wanted the bodywork to mimic the Williams F1 team colors. The new kart has a purple frame so we had to find a color combination that would not “clash” with the purple and yet be acceptable. We decided to mimic the Crown Royal Grand-Am prototype car. Sam at SummitWest did a great job.