Tyler had a race at Firebird East yesterday. It was hot and Tyler’s kart was oversteering on almost every corner. His main competition, Mike Laycook, commented that it looked like Tyler was going through the corners sideways. It may be the “fun” way to drive the car and looks “cool” but it is the slowest way around the track.
After a horrible practice session where Mike just drove away from Tyler once he got around him we played with tire pressures to try and find some more grip. In practice he had gone out with the pressures set at 10 lbs so we dropped them to 8 lbs. I also loosened the rear bumper to try and dial some of the oversteer out of the kart. Our transponder (just back from being repaired) was not working so we did not get any lap times and our Mychron dash also decided to stop working so we were not able to capture any data so that I could see how the kart was performing.
Tyler and I went out to run an IKF race with SoCal Karters for an event at Firebird East on Saturday and then with our own local club on the West Track the next day on Sunday.
Had a couple of famous drivers/riders out with us this weekend. Eddie Lawson four time Grand Prix bike World Champion (MotoGP 500cc biles) 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1989 (http://home.ama-cycle.org/forms/museum/HOF/hofbiopage.asp?id=74) was out running his 250cc Shifter Superkart and his friend and fellow three time consecutive Grand Prix bike World Champion (MotoGP 500cc) 1990, 1991 and 1992 Wayne Rainey (http://home.ama-cycle.org/forms/museum/hofbiopage.asp?id=86) was out to watch. Even though Wayne suffered a career ending accident in 1993 when his bike hit him breaking his back and leaving him in a wheelchair he too has a SuperKart setup with hand controls but was just out to watch and not drive this weekend.
Saturday (Apr 16) we were back out at Firebird East for a joint event with Southwest Karters and the Southern California Karters groups.
First practice session was cut short when a senior 125 kart punted Tyler off into the right hand “S” on the freeway straight. After that we got the Jr. 80’s moved out of the 125cc and 250cc shifter group and into the TaG, Laydown and Junior kart sessions.
Yesterday (Sunday, April 3, 2005) was Tyler’s first time to drive the East Track at Firebird (http://www.firebirdraceway.com/2005web/2005_facilityrental.htm). The goal of attending this session with Southwest Karters (http://homepage.mac.com/kartdesign1/SWKR.html) that was hosted by ProAutoSports (http://www.proautosports.com/) so that Tyler could continue to work out the requirements of his kart and what he needs to do as well as familiarize himself with this track (he has now driven at Phoenix Kart Racing Association’s (PKRA – http://www.pkra.com) sprint track as well as the West Track at Firebird).
ProAutoSports had set aside three sessions for the karts and they gave us access to a really nice covered facility right at the exit of the pits and across the turn 8-9 complex.
Yesterday I took my twelve-year-old son, Tyler, out to a SWK event on the 1.1 mile west track at Firebird. He would be driving his new (to him, anyway – 1999 CRG chassis) CR-80cc powered shifter. Prior to this event he had done two test days with about four sessions each time out.
Because this was to be his first time actually running the kart in competition we elected to keep him on the used tires that were on the kart since we did not think he would be up to speed yet since he is still getting used to shifting.
It was a great race!
We had a record turn out for our March enduro. 37 entries with 35 drivers taking the green flag. Lots of heads up racing out there, a few flat tires, and a couple of mechanical issues. Full results are available above under the Season Points/March 2007 Results
Next race is on April 2nd on the East track again. If you would like to practice on the Friday before the race, you need to contact me or pre-register. We need to make sure we have a big enough turn out to make it worth doing.
Pace Lap Pace lap, Steve Paulauskis on pole leads 29 karts, Kirk Schenck will start late with a battery cable problem.
Lap 1 Start lap, good line up, the flag man holds the pack for a few seconds. Karts fan out six wide but everybody makes the first turn and lap. Don Lee leads first lap.
Lap 2 Jeff Catlin leads, Samantha Vesperman drops out with engine troubles, William Pfeifer pits with a flat tire.
Lap 3 Paulauskis leads, Schenck joins race.
Lap 4 Paulauskis still leads, a group of 5 karts starts to separate from the pack.
Lap 5 Paulauskis maintains lead, Don Lees engine seizes for the first time, he restarts and continues.
Lap 6 Darren Young spins and cannot get restarted, William Pfeifer rejoins race.
Lap 7 Bill Pyles catches lead pack, Paulauskis still leads.
It was a hot day for October. Not so hot that you saw heat waves coming off the pavement but hot enough that you wanted to sit in the shade with a cool drink and watch other people do the work. It was the kind of hot that would sneak up on you if you forgot your hat. Burn the tips of your ears and the back of your neck.
It was just the kind of day that makes you want to get an early start so you can be done by mid-afternoon and then go home, get cleaned up and maybe take your family out to dinner. Go to a nice Mexican food place and relax. Talk about the days events over chips and salsa. Talk about how hot it was, and when it’s going to cool off. About how great it was to have people do all that work that goes into putting on the things you did today.
You know, a perfect day to be at the races.
Jeff looked across the infield and saw Rich standing by the grid looking back at him. He raised the rolled green flag over his head and twirled it around in a little circle. Rich waved back and turned to the karters sitting on the grid, “Fire ‘em up!” he said. Buttons were pressed and karts were pushed. The engines were coaxed into life, some smoking, some quietly muttering. Rich held his breath so he wouldn’t breath the acrid smoke and waited for the last of the engines to start. When it finally did, he waved the machines onto the track. The noise engulfed him and he grimaced as they went by. Then it was quite. The noise wouldn’t be back for just over a minute. Rich looked at Jeff as he waved the flag to start the race.