Return of the Gokarter

After a long hiatus from gokarting I hit the BF up to take me out to the track again. It had been months since I’d been in my kart and thus the drivers seat and I think I was losing a little interest in the sport. We asked Master Z if he wanted to come along too but he declined under the grounds he wanted to hang with his girlfriend instead so Mr X and I headed to the track on our own. 

I think my idea was to spend a couple of hours there and come home and do my housework but I truly forgot how this motorsport can suck you in. I could have totally spent the entire weekend there and been happy about it. That’s how I roll these days.
“So I made some changes to your kart. I’ve put  the newer type tyres on it and have widen the rear end a little. Let’s see how you go.”

Mr X has been really keen to get me back into the sport because he knows I’ve been struggling to get faster around the corners. The idea is to get the outside wheels on the kart to lift so whenever you manouveour around a corner it turns effortlessly and you don’t lose speed/momentum. However to get the kart to do this you need to figure out the right gokart setup which differs on the size/weight of the driver. So I’m learning how to tell Mr X what’s happening when I drive the kart and he’s learning what to change to the setup. 

So after donning on the race gear and jumping into the drivers seat, Mr X started my kart and off I went. 

On previous runs at the track, on my old tyres, I’d turn the wheel into a corner only for the rear end to bite and get almost spun around so I’d have to quickly correct by turning the steering wheel the other way so I was quite surprised after a couple of laps on the newer tyres I had no probs whatsoever with getting my kart around with a only a little bit of turning of the wheel. Of course I wasn’t taking them quite as fast as Mr X but it was definitely faster than what I’d normally take them and by gosh that made me happy. Finally I was feeling like I was getting somewhere with my kart!

“So those tyres are really great. I can’t believe how quick they get hot!”

Mr X laughed as he walked around my kart, checking it out, running his hands over the tyres and noting their condition.

“Looks like they are wearing really good too sweetie. It’s funny because I took these tyres off my kart and they were chewed out a bit but I put them on your kart and they’re wearing perfectly.”

“Really? So looks like my alignments are all good then?”

“Yeah but I still think you need to get more lift when you get around the corners, I might widen your track a little more and see what you think.”

So that’s what he did and once my kart was ready I headed back out into the track and threw it into the first corner, once cleared I planted my foot down the straight and touched the brake just before I came into the next corner and planted my foot down again once I was free of that corner. The kart was definitely sticking really well to the track, just like the previous run but far better than our previous practice sessions. However I still didn’t feel like I could trust it to go faster into the corners as the kart kept pushing out when I accidentally tried a couple of times. 

Regardless, I was quite happy with how it was setup as it was helping me build my confidence and I was content with working on getting closer into the corner before taking my foot off the accelerator and turning. Something I didn’t feel comfortable with doing on my old tyres.

“Did you want me to make some more changes to your kart? To get it to flex more?”

“Nah. I’m beat my love. I think I’ll do another few laps and that will be enough for me today.”

But the bug had bitten me so two weeks later we were back at the track, unloading the karts and getting ready to practice.  I decided I wanted to try to get some more flex out of the kart so Mr X made the necessary adjustments to the rear end and I headed out onto the track to try it out.

It took me a couple of laps though to trust the kart because it rattled a lot more than I remembered, which is normal if you remove bolts that previously had stiffened it up but once I took that first turn at a high speed and the kart swung effortlessly around it like it was on rails, I was hooked!

So this is what it should feel like, this is what it’s all about I cheered in my head as I took another  corner and felt the kart corner effortlessly around it. Of course I still had to hang pretty tight to the wheel because there’s no such thing as power steering but I was getting used to the workout to my arms and it felt good to work those muscles.

I think I did more laps than I ever done before because I got so hooked on the drive and getting my laps time down. I’d hadn’t used the Alfano in my kart before so it was interesting to see how long it took me to complete a lap and whether I could get better a better time on the next lap. When I could feel myself getting slower I finally pulled into the pits and Mr X joined me not long after.

“Did you see me!? Did you see my kart flexing?! Now I finally get it and that was fun!”

Mr X laughed, giving me a tight hug and then  checked the Alfano. He raised his eyebrow a little when he flicked through my times.

“I’m glad you had a good time and I’m pleased with your lap times. Your definitely getting better. Well done.”

And now Im definitely looking forward to our next practice session. 

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