DC Pro update

posted Apr 28, 2014, 7:03 PM by Scoob Edoo
Weather, weather, weather.  Friday morning started with serious thunderstorms coming up from the southwest.  I left between cells and hoped to make it all the way up without serious rain.  It worked.  I ran into a few light sprinkles, but nothing big.  I made it without incident and the weather at FedEx was perfect for the afternoon.  I got to prepping the kart for tech and catching up with Philly and DC autoxers.  Got everything back on the trailer and secured in time for the big rain that came just after 5:00.  The welcome dinner was a washout, but we did get to eat and wait out the rain before attempting a course walk.

As usual, the courses were fairly different, but with the same shape sorta, just with differences in the slopes and camber of everything.  So they walked differently and drove differently.  The right side was tighter and consequently a bit slower, from 0.3 to over a second for some of us.  On Saturday the weather was perfect again and we ran last, as usual, so we were expecting great conditions for the morning runs, with a good possibility for rain by our PM runs.  So I put on the good tires and tried to get some good times in the first set.  I did OK, but had a red light on my fast run on the left so I sat 6th or 7th after first runs.  The afternoon saw some clouds and sun but the rain held off and we were able to push for those runs, and a few of us did improve, but we all knew there was more out there.  When Julian ran his PM runs, he was last up so everyone watched and that's when I realized that I'd been driving smooth, like a race car, not a kart.  I resolved right then that on Sunday, weather permitting, I would drive the kart as I am supposed to.

I slept better that night and the day started off cooler, but really pretty.  We didn't think the conditions were ideal for improving times, but consistently during the earlier heats (groups or shifts or whatever) people were dropping time all over, so there was hope.  I knew that if I could get some heat in the tires I could drive the course correctly and faster.  I scaled the kart on Ryan's scales and found that the chassis was slightly unbalanced on the right front-left rear cross weight.  We dropped the front right down one shim and that helped some.  After some discussion I decided I would try to further balance it with some air pressure differences on those cross tires, so I ran them at 1/2 psi higher than the other two.  Between those adjustments, a slight rear track adjustment and driving it like it was hot, I felt much better out there on those runs.  I was able to drop the right side about 0.6 sec and the left another 0.35 sec to jump from 6th to 3rd!

As it was on Saturday PM runs, Julian had the last runs of the day, so everyone was watching.  And it was worth the price of admission.  He was absolutely rocking Mike's kart and after taking the lead on his 2nd left side run still had one more right side - and he dropped another 0.4 sec on that last run, with a killer drift on the loop that was just perfect.  He truly pitches the kart and intuitively knows where it's going and how much throttle to give to maintain what he wants.  A master at his craft.

So two Pros and two 3rd place finishes.