With all the stuff that has been going on – the Cyclone, the clean up, the getting sick and working on the house – we hadn’t left much time to hit the track as of late but then Mr X hinted at wanting to race Easter Saturday so that it exactly what he did and I tagged along.
Despite all the times we have been to the track Saturday was my first race meet and I curious as to how the race meets operated, what the people were like and what the competitors were like in my race class. Turns out I’m a slow poke in comparison but I wasn’t entirely surprised by this news.
“They must be flat out around those corners. How the hell do you do that?!”
Mr X had just returned from his practice run and he joined me by the fence where I was watching another class of racers roar around the track. I didn’t feel much like racing that morning but watching these guys having a go was making me feel envious.
“Simple. You have to trust your kart and trust your driving. It’ll come.”
And I’m not there yet.
Of course I’m doing better, each and every time I practice but even so I still keep visualising all the things that could go wrong with my kart, such as a wheel falling off or the brakes failing when I’m rushing to a corner so I choke, I brake far too early and loose my momentum.
It’s hard to stop listening to the fear when I’m out on the track yet I need to if I want to conquer it.
“I think I need to change my gearing to give me more punch out of the corner. I heard the other guys are running 83 toothed sprockets and mines an 82 so I’m going to change it.”
I was lounging out in our pit bay when Mr X returned, kart in tow, and proceeded to undo the nuts and bolts holding the sprocket to the rear axle. There was a 15 minute window before he would race again so it was important he made these changes immediately.
“Does one tooth really make that much of a difference? I mean it’s one tooth.”
I’m finding the more involved we become in karting the more there is to learn. Not only do you need to have some mad driving skills but you also need to make modifications to the kart on the go so some mechanical skills are required. I’m finding it all enormously fascinating and I love any opportunity to get hands on with it.
“Yeah I think so. I’m going to try it in any case and see how I go. Wish me luck!”
After tightening up the nuts and refueling his kart Mr X headed back out to the grid when his race class was called over the PA. Once the race was under way I watched from the sidelines and noticed that Mr X wasn’t loosing precious seconds around the corners like before. In fact he was keeping up with the karts at the rear of the pack. Unfortunately he took one corner too wide and ended up on the grass. He got back onto the track but he didn’t seem to be moving as fast.
“Crap. I smashed my sprocket. Can you check the trailer for a spare?”
So I ran to the trailer, retrieved said sprocket and ran back again. By this time Mr X had the bent sprocket off so he slid the new one on and proceeded to tighten stuff up again.
“I might have to hang that one on the wall.” Stated Mr X, referring to the bent sprocket and I laughed.
A little while later his final race was called and he headed out. Again he kept up with the rear of the pack and then suddenly he passed one kart, a few more laps and he passed another and up ahead a kart spun out so he passed it as well. I watched the board as they counted down the laps and Mr X held his position from then on coming fourth overall.
“Well then. I guess one tooth does make a difference.” I remarked, once Mr X has pushed his kart back into the pit bay. He nodded his head at me as he slumped into the chair.
“And you know what that means? I’m changing your sprocket next.”
Can’t wait to test it out.