First track experience

posted Jul 3, 2009, 6:26 PM by Scoob Edoo   [ updated Jul 6, 2009, 1:50 PM ]
Today we went down to NJMP's kart track, F1NJ, to run our karts on the track.  There were no events going on at either of the racetracks and most folks had the day off, so we had quite a number of folks showing up throughout the day running different karts and MiniGP motorcycles.  The morning was great as there were only a few Rotax TAG karts and a 10-yr old on a MiniGP.  We brought the whole complement of Boitos as my folks were in town for a few days and Kerry brought the girls down to watch, too.  Kieran was feeling the pressure of running on a track instead of an autox and was VERY reluctant to give it a go.  After about 2 hours of talking and coaxing, we got him to go out for 'just one lap to see if you like it.'  Needless to say he liked it.  A lot.  A whole lot.  In total he probably ran 4 or 5 different times and maybe 35-40 laps and improved from about 62 sec in the first session to around 53 in the last session when he ran with a group of older kids driving 4-stroke clones doing a practice session.  He stayed at the back of the group, trying to keep up and kept pushing and learning better lines in some of the tricky corners.  That was by far the coolest thing I've seen him do in the kart and he was seriously doing a great job learning the lines, looking ahead at the other karts, avoiding a spun kart in the tight turn one, trying to get around one of the slow clone kids and dropping a few tires in the grass in the process.  Very cool.

I also ran my kart in 4 or 5 sessions with varying success.  First session out I kept hitting the bump going into turn one, getting crossed up and stalling it.  I eventually got the hang of it and focused on learning the right shifts for the different corners and carrying more speed in different areas.  I think I was running between 35-38 sec laps, but was pretty loose and the tires never got all the grip that I was thinking they should.  I should have narrowed the rear track to try that out but I was more focused on Kieran.

Broken and lost parts for the day:
1. At least two sets of bolts, washers, and nuts holding the front of the exhaust.
2. The bracket holding the rear of the exhaust snapped - same as in Finger Lakes.  Got the shop mechanic to drill a new hole for me.
3. Most interesting: my throttle pedal assembly somehow came loose and worked its way all the way out of the chassis during my last session.  Suddenly I had no pedal!

Anyway, it was a perfect day for karting and we were there for 8 hours (with about an hour break for lunch).  Nothing major broke and Kieran got his first taste of competition with no pressure and no problems.  We're thinking of getting him in a small kid league (with those clones and one 4-yr old baby kart).  I need to get some info to get him in there since I couldn't find the guy before we left.