Thursday, October 7, 2010

Karting = Life Lessons (part 1)

As some of you may recall, Eric and Greg are the more competitive members of the Metroneige team, as far as motorsports are concerned. Both are active members of the National Capital Karting Club, competing in the Senior Honda class. As such, they have both decided that Jim and Myself suck at driving and need to learn before we get ourselves to an actual Lemons event.

Needless to say we had a few rental days during the year, in what is essentially a fully bumpered version of a box stock Honda kart with crappy tires. I've found these very instructive, have learned a lot and had tons of fun!

Rentals at the Quyon track

Then came the request from Eric: "Hey, why don't we form a team for the club's Enduro race". Simple format, 90 minute race, multiple drivers, one kart. What could go wrong?

In true team spirit, Greg decided to form his own team, because he actually had a chance at a decent showing. He promptly joined another competent driver (you know who you are!), made some good setup decisions and armed his team with sticky tyres of questionable lifespan... They "ended" up in 6th out of 25. More on the finish later.

Greg and his superstar co-driver

Here's the rub, Jim and Myself have never actually driven a proper kart before, nor have we even seen the track we're supposed to race on. Frankly, although Jim did decent on the rental karts, we didn't stand a chance! With an anticipated 25+ karts on a small track at the same time, we really had our work cut out. Compounding the problem was trying to get some practise before the Sunday race...

I ended up getting a few sessions on the Friday prior to the race, using Eric's kart. I say a few because the track opened late, we had several mechanical issues to resolve and generally my not having a clue. I think I faired alright, considering it was my first time, there was a giant puddle blocking half the track in turn 5 which scared the crap out of me and generally adjusting to the speed.

Jim on the other hand couldn't make it to the Friday practise, so went to the Saturday practise. Of course I forgot to mention that I wasn't there, nor was Eric. So he got to try out other karts, which, in hindsight, was MUCH better than nothing.

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