Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I need to run this race....

This sounds like too much fun to pass up and the price isn't too bad and it's in Vegas....

Monday, May 23, 2011

Long, Hot Test Day at Rimrock Raceway

Our Paddock Setup for Sunday

On Sunday, I made the trek to Midland, TX with my friends Joe, Stuart, and Yama to do some testing in our shifter karts at Rimrock Raceway. Joe and Stuart recently bought and put together Birel stock moto shifters so this was their first day driving their karts. My friend Carlos from Odessa also joined us at the track in his 80cc Honda shifter kart. Initially, we had some issues with Joe's kart when the axle sprocket started to slip on the axle and then his front master cylinder locked up in the 100 degree Texas heat. With these items fixed, he got some good laps in and got up to pace quickly turning some high 34s lap times. Stuart's 2011 Birel shifter ran well all day and, despite getting a little dehydrated, he had some fun ripping up the track in his quick kart.

I had fuel pump issues that plagued me all day so I only turned about 15 laps with reduced power. A quick fuel pump rebuild back at the shop should fix this. The point of the day was to help Joe and Stuart get up to speed and they did a great job for their first day driving shifter karts. Any time you get a bunch of test drivers together in shifter karts it is sure to get competitive!

Thanks to Takahisa Yamaoka for taking some great photos and driving the truck when we were too tired to make the 2 hour drive back to San Angelo.

Joe and Stuart getting racy on track

Joe and I coming though Turn 7

Carlos on track in his 80cc Shifter

Photo Credits: Takahisa Yamaoka

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Shifter Kart Test Day at Rimrock Tomorrow

Karts loaded up for practice day at Rimrock Raceway in Midland, Texas. My friends Joe and Stuart just bought Stock Moto shifter karts so this will be their first track time in their karts. Should be a fun day!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Put another shifter kart together last night

My friend Joe in San Angelo bought my 2008 Birel M31 chassis that I ran last year. We spent most of the night on Tuesday getting the kart together and only have to shore up a few items before the kart is race ready. The motor runs strong and it looks like it will be a fast package for him. We are planning on running up to Rimrock Raceway in Midland, TX for a test day this Sunday.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

SWRC Rounds 3&4 at NTK Recap

About to load my kart last Thursday night

This past weekend, Ali and I traveled to Dallas for Rounds 3 and 4 of the Southwest Regional Cup. Entries were slightly down overall from Round 1 in Norman, but we still had 10 drivers in S2, 4 in S4, and 1 in S5 making for 15 shifter karts on track for each of our sessions. On Friday, I ran 5 practice sessions and 3G's shifter kart tuner Dallas Patterson did one session in my kart to confirm it's handling and give me some different data to compare with. Prior to this weekend, my personal best at NTK was a 37.52. With newer tires, some chassis tuning, and driving improvements, I dropped this to a 37.22 on Friday and was able to run this pace very consistently.

New Radiator Hose Layout - big ergo improvement

Practice started at 8:30 Saturday and I ran all four sessions to get accustomed to and test a new gearing setup. This new final drive worked very well and it improved my pace and consistency. The qualifying session was 8 minutes and I was able to improve my personal best to a 36.63 which is a huge improvement for me and put me 6th on the grid for the heat race. Also, during this lap I pulled my highest lateral G level ever in a kart at a rib-breaking 3.18 g's in Turn 2.

Starting 6th on the grid for the heat race, I got a terrible start and dropped to the rear of the field. For the first time since I started racing shifters, I dumped the clutch when the green flag waved and bogged for several seconds as the whole field rocketed by me. Unfortunately, Matt Stephenson did not have quite enough room to get around me and hit me pretty hard in the right rear damaging his kart pretty badly. I felt pretty bad about that and apologized afterwards, but these things happen in wheel to wheel racing. During the heat, I was able to claw my way back to 8th place. For the final, I lined up 8th on the grid. I moved into P7 at the start and then gained one position during the race to come home in 6th place. I am about 0.5 to 1s off the pace of the top 5 karts who are all national level shifter kart racers so this is about where I expected to finish. Despite only finishing in 6th place, I was pleased with the way the kart ran and with my lap time improvements. My only other mistake during the day was running too many laps in practice....I know this sounds backwards. I ran 84 laps on Saturday and after 50 or so on Friday, I was pretty wiped at the start of the final. Next time, I need to conserve myself a little better over the 3-day race weekends.

View from Turn 1 during my 7AM Sunday track walk

On Sunday, I ran one practice session in the morning to check the balance and pace again before qualifying. As the track rubbered in and tires wore over the weekend, my kart got tighter and tighter and I struggled with hopping in Sunday's qualifying session. I was only able to run a 36.9 in quali which was disappointing. However, a quick axle change before the heat race allowed me to drop right back down to mid 36s in the heat where I finished a disappointing 8th again. Starting 8th for the final, I moved up to 7th at the start and stayed their for the whole race. I should have gone to an even softer axle as I started to get bad hopping on exit again about halfway through the race which slowed my pace down from the heat race.

The next SWRC race is at Gulf Coast Kartway in Katy, TX in three weeks. I am going to run one practice day in Midland before the Katy race with my two friends in San Angelo who just bought Birel shifter karts. I'll post some in-kart videos from this past weekend once I edit them this week.

Friday, May 13, 2011

SWRC Race 3&4 This Weekend at North Texas Kartway

I'm looking over my AIM data from today's practice sessions at North Texas Kartway. This weekend is Race 3 and 4 of the Southwest Regional Cup. I am racing in the S2 Senior Stock Moto Shifter class and there looks to be atleast 8-10 karters in my class with several others in the Junior and Masters categories. I ran 6 sessions today in preparation for Race 3 tomorrow and Race 4 on Sunday.

NTK is basically my home track (even though I live 4 hours away) so I am hoping to be more competitive than I was in Norman last month. I'll have some photos and video to post through out the weekend and next week when I get back home to San Angelo.

Monday, May 2, 2011

For Sale: Freeline DF130 / DF210 Magnesium Wheels

Set of 4 good condition Freeline Mag wheels with bead locks included. I've only raced on these wheels once. Off of a Spirit SP32 shifter kart. $300 shipped. Contact me at dogburn at if interested.