Thursday, August 30, 2012

End of Summer

How can something end, if it hasn't even started..?

Looking at my friends Facebook summer vacation pictures in a office with no windows... i tried to remember last time sand was stuck in my shoes. :)

It has surely been a interesting summer so far, a lot of challenges, a lot of learning... and learning that i need to learn more. But looking back at the early days of summer, i had no idea what was in store for me.  If i had to describe my summer in a few words, probably would be "A bit of a discovery...".

It was also a bit of a discovery, when i finally took the drive 2 hours up North to the Canadian border last weekend to a new karting facility, Sima Raceway. I would be driving a 30HP 125cc Parilla non-shifter kart for the first time on ~1 mile track. (With top speeds ~80mph)

Compared to the rental karts I have raced in F1 Outdoors/Indoors(Boston) and PGP(Seattle) which come with ~9HP... 30 HP was a true "discovery" for me.

I still remember, the first time getting out of the pits, on the front straight... the sheer force of the acceleration, just felt endless... as i approached the first turn, i noticed the brute force of the brakes, discs all around and the amount of grip those tires had. The G forces were absurd... i felt like i was about to fly off the kart as i picked up speed.

The sensitive pedals, required respect... A skidding, bouncing kart, would cause my feet to modulate the pedals even more, and cause even more bounce.... in the process destroying ones rib bones. Luckily I had my new rib protector, which saved my life.... well until my neck,couldn't take it anymore :)

My instructor, who is a sponsored pro racer from Italkarts, David Jurca was great. We walked the track, went over different approaches one takes for driving a kart at speed, and he showed great patience,,, with my in-patience :)

I think he was a bit concerned at first, with my lack of cautious approach, he had to call me in a few times and ask me to take it easy :) But i have to say, not one spin, not one wheel off... we both figured out i could handle it at the end of the day... but the weakest link was my neck.

Watching kids 1/2 my age take on 20 minute stints, while having to pit after 5-6 laps was embarrassing to say the least. But apparently a common expected outcome for average joe stepping in a kart my instructor said :) So i guess, i need to get in shape.... this winter for next season :) Not sure how to improve my neck muscles though...

Here is some on board action from my last session:

On other news, i will be racing at 14 Hours of Chump Car @ Ridge Motorsports Park with Team
Beach Dudes Racing :) A 1972 Datsun 510, with a V6 swap!!! :) More to come on this later... But here is the sketch of the car from the team: