When I bought Junior’s kart, I would never have thought it would be 16 months before I got to drive it! The trouble is that, once you get into Dad/Lad karting, there are just too many other things that you can do with your time and money to help get Junior on the pace. To ensure that we finally addressed this, this day was pencilled in months ago as a number of Dads (and Mum!) had expressed a desire to join the fun.
Getting the kart ready had been a mad rush the night before – putting Junior’s old bodywork on as well as an old axle, sprocket, sprocket carrier and chain and fitting a seat I had borrowed in a bid not to crush my rib cage. That got finished at around 10:30. Then I had to change some tyres! So much for enjoying the World Cup opener :/ Getting to the track took almost twice as long as it did on Sunday but the weather was glorious – easily the warmest I have experienced at Clay this year. With an Easykart race weekend at the track, I was a little concerned that the track might be busy but I needn’t have worried – with no skiving cadets, it was OPEN TRACK!!! 😀 I had no intentions of messing around with setups – just add fuel, set tyre pressures and drive.
The day didn’t get off to the best of starts – we lost a couple of drivers enroute who broke down, another Dad who had starting problems and another with airbox issues but we soon settled in. Not owning a racesuit, I used one of the circuit’s rental suits – I picked a nice looking one but only later found it had the name ‘AMY’ embroidered on it!!! The first session was good – although I did not once feel in total control of the kart, I was quick enough – a 37.7s wasn’t bad (I just wanted to get below 40s!) although it was a little hairy at times and I backed off when I thought I was pushing a little bit too keenly and was at risk of binning it. My tyre pressures were way to high though and I think I left most of the tread they had left on the track in the opening session.
As the day went on, I shave off 3/10ths and even more rubber – the tyres were shot by the day’s end. I only went off [properly] once, when my rear wheel touched the grass and I very quickly found myself facing backwards. I got a little bit smoother through the day although I will never be ‘Jenson-smooth’ and started to get The Hairpin and Horseshoe somewhere near right by the end. My ribs weren’t bad once I broke Junior’s rib protector and made do without it. Unfortunately for Junior, I *could* lock the brakes and make them squeal nicely into the fastest corners – so he’s going to have me back on his case on that one next month! The day ended with a fuel tank flapping around between my legs!?! I don’t forget to tie Junior’s tank to the chassis except when he isn’t driving it seems. There was still time for a go in another Dad’s TaG-engined JTKM which was a bit of an eye-opener – boy, does that thing pick up from the corners! I only did a few laps in it a) because I didn’t want to risk damaging it and b) there was a huge vibration on the left-hand side that was a bit off-putting! (we think he might have damaged it in an off earlier).
All-in-all it was a really enjoyable day – I’ve never bought so many drinks from the shop and I’ll never again complain about losing a minute from the races on a race weekend! I am not sure it is something I’d want to do every week but I’ll definitely be back at some point 🙂