This is race 2 of the F-Series NJ State Championship. I was unable to make race 1 because of kart issues, procrastinating till the last minute and not being able to get it running. I vowed to not let that happen again and to be prepared for the next race. Well, at least I was prepared enough to get to the race and get on track, I was not really prepared for what happened next.
The people at the F-Series State Championship run a tight ship and the experience of registering for the race and getting everything I needed to compete was top notch. I needed to rent a transponder so that they would be able to track my lap times and progress, the F-Series ran out of them so I needed to rent one from the track. This cost $15 and was accomplished without too much hassle. The people at the NJMP Karting facility were a little understaffed for the size of the event that was running, and they had 2 events going at the same time. I guess that the events have their own people running them and then there is minimal track staff to help. It still was not that big of a deal.
Biggest Event I’ve ever been to!
Unfortunately, I was running late in the morning and got there just in time to get out on track for the first practice session. I thought that I had my kart sorted and ready to go but I was wrong. I was in a rush to get out there and run some laps so there is no video of this, but there was not much to show. I was able to get 2-3 laps in and then my chain came off! I needed to pull off the track and wait for the session to end to get off the track and fix it.
I was able to get the chain back on the kart and I adjusted the motor and the tension in the chain so that hopefully it would not come off again. I had the kart up on the saw horses and was testing the kart at high RPM’s and trying to knock the chain off with my allen key. Since it did not come off I figured I was good to go.
The next practice session was the best session of the day for me. I completed it! This was the only session of the entire day that I was able to complete without an issue. The video is below. I was not fast but I was getting the hang of the track and felt comfortable running out there. All good things!
I did nothing to the kart between the 2nd practice session and qualifying. I pushed my kart to the back of the qualifying grid, thinking I would stay out of the other competitors way while I continued to get comfortable with my kart and the track. I got out on track and you can see in the video that I was keeping up with the 4 kart for a little while, then I got passed a few times and fell behind. I was attempting to catch back up but was unable to and then my kart broke! I was once again on the sidelines waiting for the session to finish.
This issue ended up being a completely dead battery. I had purchased a light weight Lithium ION battery to replace my old lead acid one when I had the starter issue. My other battery was still good but I was using the new one which apparently died. So I used my jumper pack to charge my other battery between qualifying and the race. This worked! I was able to get out there for the first heat race! I was last, but that is ok since I didn’t even finish qualifying……
So the race started, I was in the back and once the race started I fell back in a hurry. I managed to pass 2 people who made mistakes but was quickly passed up again. I think that changing the gear out to the lower tooth gear was messing me up. It didn’t really matter in the end though since the kart broke again and when I went to go look at it I was missing bolts and pieces that held the clutch on. I was looking for a bolt that held the air box adapter on and it was missing. The chain had popped off again and it seemed like a complete disaster. I honestly thought that the bolt from the air box adapter went through the motor and destroyed it. Not sure if that was the case or not but we’ll see. Either way, there was too much damage for me to handle at the track so this was the end of my day. I guess this is racing on the cheap, crappy equipment and not enough spares on hand to recover……