This is a post about my last race of the season. I did not know it was going to be my last race of the season but it turns out that it was.
I thought I was prepared for this race. I did kart prep ahead of time and my guess was that I was good to go. I had the kart running and driving before leaving my house (a plus for me) and I thought that everything was good.
This turns out not to be the case. This day the F-Series State Championship was running the full Tempest layout at NJMP. I’ve never run this layout before so I began by doing a track walk and actually trying to understand what I was doing instead of my usual wing it. The track walk was educational and I eavesdropped on some coaching that was going on while I was making my way around.
Practice started and I was able to get out on the track and run some laps. The first session went well with me just trying to run the line that I had walked and to be fast coming out of the turns. It was just me trying to get the most out of my kart. I actually made it though this session without incident.
Practice 2 also went without incident and I felt that I was getting faster around the track. I found where I could make up some time and actually realized that through some of the turns I was faster than some of the racers. I would be right at their bumper and then they would pull away. Hmmmm, seems I am either over driving the corner and catching them or my kart is just not as powerful. Either way, it was promising to me that I was at least staying with the other drivers through the slow sections. I believe that my kart is under-powered (I’m the only one running a PRD fireball) and that is why I am noncompetitive. I probably need more practice as well.
Next up was qualifying, the video is labeled practice 3 but it is qualifying, and this is where the day started going downhill. The kart started sounding a little funny but I did not notice that anything was really wrong with it. I pulled into the pits, checked everything while in the seat, thought it looked ok and went on. No one seemed to stop me so I continued. The next time around, everyone was trying to stop me and I pulled over by the staging area. You can see in the video where we pulled the kart through.
Turns out that the exhaust pipe had gotten a big hole in it and was causing the noise, apparently this can hurt the motor and we cannot have that. I went searching for a new exhaust pipe in the pits and rented one from one of the stores there. It was for the Leopard motor but it worked. At least it would get me out there for heat 1.
Heat 1 did not go so well either. I quickly fell behind everyone except for one person and started to realize that I would not really be competitive with that PRD Fireball. Then disaster struck. The kart broke the chain and was rendered useless. I was pretty upset by this since not 2 minutes later it started raining. The last time it rained, I was really pretty good and I was able to run similar lap times as everyone else. I call it the great equalizer, rain on slicks. You can’t use all the power that is available to you so their advantage over me disappears. But since I was on the sidelines it was moot.
That was the end of my day, I thought the motor was shot and bound up but I was wrong, I probably just needed another chain but my spirits were in the dumps and overcoming another obstacle was not in my cards that day. I was in last place anyway. I just packed up and left. Probably not the right thing to do but it is what I did.