Archive for the ‘Karting’ Category

Realizing why driving race cars is so effing awesome!

March 5, 2008

So driving this morning, I finally realized why I LOVE driving race cars so much. It’s the challenge and exhilaration of being on the edge but not over it. When I was a kid, I was the little turn who would poke someone just 1 time less than what it’d take to completely send them over the edge and, all the while, keeping me (somewhat) endearing. Yesterday, on the way home, I got my little car to solidly rotate into a turn (whoops happened to be on a public street) and it kinda just hit me. I had a smaller revelation the first time I got a racing car to rotate at Mid-Ohio, but this time it was different. The time it happened at Mid-O (and every time after), came from a tense ‘oh shit please keep me hooked up so I don’t die’ approach to a corner. This time, it was much more under control…and surprisingly…much smoother and quicker feeling. Guess it’s a tactile thing.

As I’ve read books like the Speed Secrets series and Skip Barber’s Going Faster, instructors and coaches always talk about being on the edge. But it wasn’t until this morning’s childhood regression that I finally connected the dots.

As we all (racing drivers that is) are trying to find ‘that thing’ that makes us faster. This is one barrier, I’m REALLY excited to have identified and broken through the was it feels like it should be.

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Why it’s not always great to be like Mike

May 13, 2007

Have been doing karting leagues for the last couple weeks to get my mind back into the car in prep for the Summer races. OH boy….now, if you’ve seen me in the last couple years driving, I have think annoying tendency to stick my tongue out while I drive (reminiscent of the all-powerful #23 MJ — although not quite so talented 😉

Well, in the 3rd and final race of the evening, I was battling fatigue and a general crappy frame-of-mind as I ran the fun as all hell Monza circuit at GoKartRacer. Coming out of the last chicane onto the fast front-stretch I misjudged the final turn of the sector a WHAM!!!?!@!$%@?%@ ran into the anchor portion of the turn instead of the flexible end section. CRAP! the whole kart came to a sudden and very definite and abrupt halt. I bit into the protruding tongue, the right side back portion of the meat of the tongue and my left cheek. What a boneheaded move!  Well at least nothing was bitten off!

Rule goin forward…No more mouth breathing with the tongue stickin out. Sheesh!

Yesterday was a wreck…literally!

January 29, 2007

Went out for a last minute stint at the kart track. My kart decided to cranky so at the end of the day, my buddy Carlos and I went out together on 2 of his karts. I took out his ICC and he took his moto shifter. The ICC was way more twitchy than normal. The shift linkage was really stiff and power was as chaotic as when I was 14 and trying to keep the parents from finding my first Playboy. Uggh. Coming into turn 2, I missed a shift and went wide in the sweeper. Carlos was right on my tail and tried to take the position on the inside. He got in too hot, got MASSIVE understeer and WHAMO! drove into my back wheel, up my right arm, over my shoulder and kartwheeled into the hay/tires. What a mess. He ended up with a broken collarbone and elbow and a sep’d shoulder. Totally sucked! I think the whole day ended up with 7 laps in total. Carlos’s OK, but will be out of action for a couple months. Complete bummer. I’ve seen tumbles like that a bunch on the web, but that was the first time I got to see the underside of a kart at 50MPH. I’d prefer not to do that again.