Finger Lakes Tour update

posted Jul 12, 2010, 7:10 PM by Scoob Edoo
Well we had a relatively stress-free weekend.  Nothing broke, everything seemed to work to its capacity, and we both had a lot of fun.  We got to the event before noon on Friday and I decided to see how the motor/carb was working with some runs on the practice course.  All was well and it felt strong.  Kieran didn't want any practice, so he just played and rode his bike.  Later in the day the Saturday course was set up and open for walking, so we did a few walks, registered, and got the karts teched and weighed.  Thankfully, Sal had made us some more lead cupcakes (uuuhhh, cupcakes) so we could both make our weights.

Then the skies opened with a biblical storm.  Everything was wet and everybody was soaked.  We hadn't yet set up the tent, so we set up the back of the truck with the full-sized mattress and our sleeping bags, opened the back window and CRASHED at about 9 pm.  I was exhausted and Kieran was, too, after he stopped bouncing around he went out until I woke him at 6.  It was by far the best I'd ever slept at Finger Lakes (really any time I've slept outside of a real bed).

Saturday's course was a 'typical' Finger Lakes course, utilizing a fair amount of the runway and the attached taxiway in a "P" layout.  It walked fast and it drove even faster in the kart.  Overall I liked the course but I tried to go too fast on my first two runs and went off-course in two different locations pushing too hard.  I settled down for my 3rd run so I could get a time for the day.  I pushed at about 90% and took a clean 70 sec run to finish.  Not bad, but it put me well out of the trophies.

Kieran's Saturday went pretty well.  He started with an off-course on his first run, but realized it immediately and corrected it on his 2nd run.  For his third run I told him to push everywhere and not worry about going off or hitting a cone.  I wanted him to feel the edge and know where it was for his Sunday runs.  He came back with a 10 second improvement!  And much more confidence in how hard he could push the kart for Sunday.

Sunday started off with some good news: The National staff had relented in their opposition to running the juniors during the heat (Saturday the Juniors ran in their own sub-heat back-to-back-to-back).  Since Saturday had actually taken longer and it was more hectic than anything (not to mention that one of the FJB kids was off-course all three runs...) they decided to let them run at the time of the sweep car.  And even though I was running the same heat, I welcomed the news.  It was challenging, but worth it to me.

The Sunday course was "Oh My Gosh" fast, with essentially a 12-cone slalom to start and a full-throttle, top of 6th gear 4-cone slalom to the finish.  I regeared for higher top speed and then proceeded to go that faster speed and went off-course in the opening slalom when I got behind and loose at 80-85 mph.  I dialed it back for the 2 remaining runs and ran a good 69.1 on my 2nd run and then had a few shifting problems on my 3rd run that was slightly slower.  Times were good enough to move up to 4th of 9 for the weekend.

Kieran started out going faster than Saturday on his 1st run and improved with each run.  Again I prodded him to throw caution to the wind on his last run and he dropped another 3.2 seconds for an incredible 87.0 that shocked a lot of people.  Many parents and friends congratulated him for a great day and weekend and he was gracious, but I think he felt a little bored since he had no real competition with the other FJB kids.  He prefers the ProSolo format where he knows immediately what's going on and he tries hard to catch up if he's behind.  He gets his 2nd chance this weekend at the Toledo Pro.

Special thanks to the other FJ parents and the weekend Youth Steward Chris Bucknam for pushing the National staff on the format.  Friday's and Saturday's frustration turned to joy and satisfaction on Sunday as a result.  Hopefully all involved learned something from that experience.