We survived another event (just)

posted Aug 3, 2009, 10:59 AM by Scoob Edoo
This was a hairy event.  Forecast was for rain, so I prepped the trailer with the kart covers and put the net over everything to keep it on.  Good thing.  On the way to Warminster, we ran into a hellacious thunderstorm that was quickly flooding some of the roads we were using.  Luckily we left home early enough to miss some of the really bad struff, but we almost flooded the car a few times on the way.  The event was pushed back from the usual schedule because the course could not be set up in the lightning.  But the rain stopped and we got the karts off the trailer and I set up the worker stations, etc.  I took Kieran for a few course walks while the finishing touches were put on the course.  We had enough workers/registrants for only 2 heats, but because we were running late, it was decided to only run 4 runs of the first heat, have lunch, then do 4 runs of heat 2 and be done.

Just as we were getting the event started, as Dave H was one course, the lightning c ame back and everyone was pulled from course to wait out the required 15 min.  As it turns out, that was only the beginning: we sat for almost 1 hour before we got word of a Tornado Warning (actually a watch, but advertised as a warning at the time).  There was a mad panic as people began packing up loose items just in case.  Kieran and I sat in the car pointed due South toward the start line and the approaching storm cell.  Over the two hours in the car we saw a lot: light rain and no wind, showers and no wind, heavy showers and no wind, then all hell broke loose with high wind and incredible amounts of rain.  We were paddocked about 50 yards from the start line and at several points during the worst of the storm we could not see the start cones and boxes.  We got around 4.5" of rain during that part of the storm, but no tornado came.

The kart covers did their job, for the most part and everything remained operational and rust-free.  I did spray all the moving parts on both karts with WD-40 before the major storm hit, so I think we'll be OK.  After the storm left, it turned  into a beautiful afternoon, with occasional clouds and a light sprinkle here and there.

I led the three JRs on a parade lap of the course and it was still slippery on my slicks in a few spots.  Kieran went out and went off-course in a few different areas during his runs - we should have done another course walk before his runs.  According to the final sheets, he didn't go off-course on his final run which was enough to give him the win over Vicky by 1.5 sec.  His new clutch seemed to give him a slightly better launch, but it was still taking a little time to full engage as I think it should.  I think the next step will be for me to resurface the inside of the drum to try to get better contact between the clutch and it.  I will say that the new clutch was perfect at idle - the kart did not want to creep at all during idle, unlike the old one.

For my runs, we had the occasional sprinkle - just enough to keep me sliding in a few crucial spots for my first two runs.  Then, between my 2nd and 3rd runs, we got a slightly heavier sprinkle that I thought was a sign for me to put on the wets.  I did that and the sun came out immediately.  I told everyone that they were welcome!  But the grip did improve on the rains enough for me to drop about 4 seconds between 2nd and 4th runs and the tires didn't chunk or do anything nasty, so it wasn't a terrible decision after all.  Even so, I expect to get another set of rains from a deal the WDCR guys are putting together for a great price.

I forgot to mention the problem we had getting my kart started for the parade lap.  Pete and I worked on it for way too long and then when we did get it started, it was revving very high.  Turns out that when I changed the throttle cable, I sealed the deal with some tension in the line, so the throttle was engaged.  Again, Pete to the rescue.  We redid the crimps on the cable so there was no tension (way too much slack, in fact).  But it started right up after that and I had no other problems.  But I need to redo the crimps again to remove some of the slack since I can't get to full throttle as it is now.