Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Feature Win at NTK this Past Weekend

Thanks to my friends Joe and Stuart for the help

I raced in the North Texas Karters Spring Series this past weekend. This was my first race on my new Spirit SP32 chassis and only my second time driving the new kart. Since my first drive was at Oklahoma Motorsports Park (a new track for me), I was looking at this weekend for a good comparison between the old and new chassis. Also, racing at a track I am familiar with would give the opportunity to do some tuning and try to improve the handling before the SWRC season starts next weekend.

I started off at about the same pace as last Fall in the older Birel chassis, but was getting bad hopping on corner exit in the two left-hand hairpins which was hurting my lap times. The kart has a very stiff axle in it right now, so this was not surprising. During the practice sessions, I adjusted the rear width to the max within the rules, removed seat struts, and adjusted tire pressures and it mostly cured the exit hopping which allowed me to pick up a few tenths. After the adjustment, the kart was not hopping, but was balanced towards understeer pretty much everywhere. I was racing on old MG tires from last season, so we will see where the balance is on new tires at OMC next weekend. In the end, I qualified on pole by 0.2s, won my heat race, and won the 12 lap feature race by 4s over P2. It was a small field of shifter karts, but a win is a win in my book.

First place sticker for the kart

Overall, I was pleased with the race and had a good time. I set my personal best lap time around NTK by 0.3s and did not have any mechanical issues. Stuart and Joe were a big help throughout the day and I think I may have convinced them to start racing shifter karts.....we shall see on that one.

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