Getting help

Our February race weekend was our third day at the track in eight days. Even before the weekend and our lack of pace, we already had a speedy return to the track booked in: I had decided to get Junior some coaching! This wasn’t a decision taken lightly, as £100 is a decent chunk of the monthly budget, but it was one that I had been mulling over since the turn of the year. I was pretty sure that the setup was in the right ball park and that most of the time that we were off was in Junior’s lines. There were a few people who I’d have been very happy to work with; in the end I opted for the one that Junior didn’t know – mostly in the hope that he might listen to them more!

Although this was during the half-term, the track was pretty quiet – Junior, three cadets and a Senior TKM with a couple of Senior Rotax drivers turning up later. We spent the morning working on the line into The Hook. Things weren’t falling into place that quickly and then Junior clipped the back of a Cadet when he mistakenly thought that the door was being left open. That resulted in a bent steering column and track rod. With that fixed, Junior’s next hiccup came when stopped half-way around his outlap a couple of sessions later: the engine had backed onto the stop bolt which, with hindsight, was probably a little too far back (having previously cracked the old chassis at the engine-side bearing hanger, I had gone the opposite direction and changed from ~3mm off to ~12mm). I tightened everything up and we got back to working on the lines. That was until we experienced that wallet-bashing sound of the chain snapping. Junior coasted the kart up the straight and into the pits. Initially, things looked ok but, when we put the kart down for another session, we noticed there was very little compression: you could push the kart along with little effort. It was clear that engine was going to need looking at and the race motor was going to have to come out.

By this time, we had lost the majority of the afternoon. We got a really good final couple of hours in, running nicely in solitude as the sun set, although there wasn’t really enough time to work on all of the corners as we would have liked. It was a good, very educational day. Junior had some key areas for concern pointed out to him and we left with a much clearer idea as to how to cut a large chunk of the ~0.8s that we had been off at the weekend, just a shame the day was unusually poor from a problem perspective.

Thanks to Tim Wilson of TWM Motorsport for his expert coaching 🙂

Into the sunset :)Cost of day: Practice fee £40, bridge toll £6, fuel £10, petrol £10, coaching £100, new tyres for next race weekend £145

Total spent this year: £1,202

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