Catching up

posted Oct 26, 2011, 11:23 AM by Scoob Edoo
I've been lax in writing up the racing summaries, so I'll catch up now.

We had a stretch of racing at NJMP instead of with Philly SCCA, and another weekend we missed because I was in Germany.

Oct 9: Hypermoto #8, the last race of the year for the Hypermoto series.  Recall that at the end of the last race, Jack traded us a new intake and carb for the one we had that didn't work.  That change eliminated all of the problems for this last race.  The kart ran really well and I even had some time to play with the needle to see how that would affect things.  The beautiful day really didn't affect the jetting throughout the day, so what worked in the morning worked through the afternoon, too.  That allowed Kieran to just focus on going faster and remembering the fast lines in the corners, etc.  We did have to play with tire pressures a little since it was quite cool in the morning and grip was fleeting.  For the race, he qualified 3rd and held that position throughout the race.  Nathan tried a little too hard on the last lap and spun trying to pass Kieran, so we came out of the race with no damage and everyth9ing working perfectly.  The only problem we had for the day was Kieran's nose clips coming off and the nose falling off during qualifying, I think.  They never did find the clips.

Also on this lovely day I decided to try my hand at racing my kart.  For us big kids they ran the full 1.1 mile track which I'd never run before and I was not even thinking about how grossly wrong my gearing was.  I did richen up my jetting a bit - from a 50 to a 55 pilot and up one main jet to a 178.  The MG Yellows I had were a bit old, but still had some life to them, so I was ready.  I learned, though, that my one front wheel does not like the higher side loads of the track and that tire kept going flat at inopportune times (are there opportune times for flats?).  I had to swap the tire onto another wheel and that was fixed.  The motor was running strong, but the ignition (or Ignition ground) was having some trouble keeping up and it caused some bucking and generally removed all smoothness from the shifting in several of the corners.  Nevertheless I was still having a lot of run.  When it came time for the heat race, I had trouble getting the motor started but it ran as usual after I got a push start from some guys on pit out.  It was all going relatively smoothly until I was braking and downshifting for the 1st corner on lap 6 or 7 of the heat race.  Something bad happened and I spun in spectacular fashion, though harmlessly staying on the track surface.  I tried to restart it to no avail, then pushed it all the way back to the garage to get my weight.  After that I was spent and I wasn't sure if the problem was in the motor or with the brakes, so I packed it all up and we went home.

I still haven't had a chance to crack open the head to look around, but I suspect that the piston ring broke because there is very little compression.  I just hope the piston or ring didn't do any damage to the cylinder.

The next weekend I instructed at the Street Survival school at Warminster.  Another good crop of kids who learned a lot.

And finally last weekend we didn't race, but we went to NJMP to help Adam and to watch some SCCA regional racing.  Adam had his first wheel-to-wheel racing experience and got to witness several of the things that can and do happen during an event: flat tire(s), hard, old tires, broken and lost chain, and finally, running out of fuel.  But he had a lot of fun and was able to learn a lot about racing versus autox.  Meanwhile Kieran and I hung around the SCCA paddock a lot where we saw many of our old autox buddies who have made the move to road racing: Brian and Val Heun, Mike Allenbaugh, Ted and Scott Rudolph, and AJ and Gideon were there racing their Miatas.  These last two really made Kieran very happy since Gideon has three kids and AJ has a new trailer where they all got to watch DVDs and play.  Kieran worked the radio for AJ's race and generally had a blast the entire day.   Considering the night we had Saturday, out stargazing, and my lack of sleep, it was a great day and one well-spent with friends.