2011 Holbert Memorial

posted Aug 8, 2011, 8:26 AM by Scoob Edoo
Man, what a weekend!  The forecast was dreary.  Most other 'local' regions had conflicting events.  Warminster accidentally shortened our playing field by an extra 150 feet.  And I still hadn't gotten my carb tuned properly going into it.

So day 1 started pretty nice, with the chance of rain essentially zero, but we still only got 90 people signed up (including the 5 kids).  We got on-site early and got set up before I had to do my chiefly duties.  I ran 2nd on day 1, so I had a little time to get my kart operational between the worker stuff then working Safety during the heat.  The kart ran OK, but was still not right.

Kids were up first, with the FJCs running a half-course and FJBs running full.  No problems with either kart all weekend, which is always nice.  But I didn't properly tune Kieran's kart after the sprint race, so the motor was taking forever off the line - but his top end was very good!  The kid kart plugged away as usual, with Killeen not really pushing hard.

I ran the shifter and it was still burbling badly off-throttle and downshifts were stumbling.  I think I was 2nd or 3rd and finished 6th in PAX for the day.  After talking to Pete, I decided to make a few changes to the carb by going with the smaller 50 pilot jet and I went up to a 178 main.  I also decided that since we were running out of gear that I'd switch to a 24 axle gear to get a few more mph out of the motor.  The rain held and we all avoided sunburns, so a good day.

Day 2 saw a MUCH higher chance of rain and, in fact, it had rained overnight so everything was wet in the morning.  Great - we ran first.  So it was a waiting game to see if the rain tires would be needed.  Ultimately the entire event was dry, so there was no problem with the weather, luckily.  And the water that had been on course was essentially gone by the time we started.

So I was now running first and the kart was still stumbling badly.  I decided after the first run that I would go back down to the 175 main jet to see if that would help.  Second run still had some problems and I was going to change jets again when I remembered the needle.  I had re-installed the needle after the double-cross event, but had it at full rich.  I took it out and went up two notches leaner and tried to go out for my third run - but now the motor wouldn't turn over.  After George pushed me for awhile, I decided to play with the needle again and found a possible problem - the throttle cable hadn't seated properly when I put it back together.  I fixed that and went down one notch (to make it richer again) and tried to start again.  Still nothing.  Now I went to the fall back solution of disconnecting and reconnecting the ignition cables.  BAM!  motor started immediately and ran wonderfully.  I went out for my third run now and the motor was almost perfect - and certainly close enough for the moment.  I ran a much better time, but I still had one more to go.  So I relaxed and waited for the end of the heat (for the tires to cool down) and I thought about where I needed to hit my marks and where to brake and where to carry speed. 

That 5 minutes was totally unlike any other time I've had in autocross - everything just clicked and I made a mental plan to attack the course with everything I and the kart had.  It worked.  It was not a perfect run, but it was very close.  Better than when I almost won PAX in the Civic a few years ago on the fast and wonderful Warminster course (before Sal showed me how it really worked!).  I was very excited, not only for the time I ran, but also for my positioning of the kart and generally following my mental plan.  It must be how the top notch guys feel when the car and mind work together for their championship-winning runs.  Now I just need to do it consistently.  It was good enough to get me 3rd in PAX for the day and up to 4th for the 2-day event!

The kids ran right after I finished.  Killeen had come not expecting to drive since we no longer have rains for the kid kart.  But since there was no rain, I got her suited up and out just in time for the parade lap.  She was running her typical 60% runs when I talked to her right before her last run.  I said that she'd been running well, so now this last run she should just go flat out and see how much faster she could go.  She took it to heart and went out and laid down a much faster lap and took the win from Logan!  If she did that consistently, she'd win every time.

And typically, Kieran went to work and pushed very hard in his kart.  We talked about his line through the sweeper being sloppy and adding time and he tried to simultaneously carry speed and stay closer to the cones, but still left a lot of time out there.  But the motor was running strong so he was flying pretty well out there.  I should have regeared him for higher speed, not to mention tweak the carb for a better launch, but he suffered though it all to have a good day and a good weekend.

So it was a successful weekend.  Nothing broke and all of us won our classes at least one of the days.  Now we have a 1 month break before Kieran's next race (when I hope to run also).