Another season in the books

posted Nov 7, 2011, 7:13 AM by Scoob Edoo   [ updated Nov 7, 2011, 7:22 AM ]
We had a beautiful fall day for the last Philly event of the 2011 season - and people came out of the woodwork to partake.  We had 161 drivers, our biggest event of the season!  And since my motor is dead, I had no real plans.  I was going to drive Steven's FM, but heard that he had at least 3 people driving it, so I just waited until I heard someone was looking for a tire warmer.  Aaron Shoe was trying to ensure his class win for the season and needed heat in his tires, so I jumped in his Evo.  We ran in third heat, so I ran around and did a bunch of things until then.

Kieran and Vicky ran in-between heats, as usual.  Kieran was fast on his second run and held a 5 sec lead going into their 2nd session.  He was a little slower on his third then was flying on his 4th when the engine cut out about 50 yards from the finish (hey this sounds familiar since that's pretty much what happened at NJMP during the day he ran this kart).  Instead of rolling through the finish, he hit the brakes and parked it next to the timing box, so we'll never know just how much faster that run was, but I've venture another 1.5-2 sec faster than his 2nd run.  No matter, though, since he still won the day.  We think Vicky wins the FJB championship for the season, though, because Kieran wasn't at 3 events and they split the wins evenly between the 10 events.

My first run in the Evo was an interesting experience.  Tires were cold, and so were the brake pads, and I thought I was taking it easy, but spun at the 2nd cone.  Hmm, maybe take it down a notch until there's a little heat in the tires.  So I ran at about 75% for most of the way out, then hit the gas some just before the turn-around and slid again - this time across the asphalt and into the grass.  For a long time.  Before we even stopped I could see Aaron shaking his head, wondering what the hell I had gotten him into.  The car was fine and I got it back to grid safely.  I acquired the name "Farmer Boito" for the rest of the day.  I went out with Aaron to see how he does it and saw that he was much more aggressive on the brakes than I had been and he was better at anticipating how the car would react under each circumstance (as well he should be).  My second run was clean and pretty slow, but I didn't spin or slid anywhere that I shouldn't have and I got a little heat in the tires and brakes for him.  He went out and smoked a 43.7s run, but hit three cones (all in one section of the first slalom)!

Then the delays came.  At least one car dropped oil on course on the way back and the course had to be reconfigured a little to stay off the line of oil.  But the reconfiguration was well-done and really didn't affect the course times.  Unfortunately I didn't realize how far upstream the oiling had begun and on my third run I was having a pretty good run when I came out of the turnaround to see the oil-dry started on my line.  It got in my head and I took it easy on the way back, looking at the oil-dry line instead of the course.  I was a little faster than the 2nd run, but still 4 sec back from Aaron's raw time.  Then he ran a 45.4 and we realized that the mental game was hurting us.  I successfully cleared my head and went out for my 4th run, looking for a run in the 46s range.  I surpassed that goal by really nailing the way back, finishing with a 45.3.  I told Aaron that he had a clean 44.3 in him and he went out and ran exactly that.  My time was good enough for 2nd on the day, beating Alex's time by 0.2 s.  Aaron secured the SM championship by 3 points, so I provided him a little buffer, but he won the championship on his own.

More importantly to me: I cleaned up my act and redeemed myself.  I got more comfortable in the car and started driving it instead of it driving me.  My last run felt so good because I got the same feeling in the car that I get with the kart.  So it was a good way to finish the season.

I still need to check on Kieran's motor to make sure it was just the carb tuning that led to the problem.