(NJMP) April 10, 2017, The 2017 season begins! Astrid Lynn along with her new IAME powered Praga kart took to the track this past weekend in an effort to test, tune and compete in the two-day F-Series Racing event at NJMP.
Arriving at the track late Friday night with a new IAME X30, a new Praga kart and a new run group, TaG Junior, there were a lot of unknowns that needed to be figured out. Saturday morning greeted us with a cold, 30 degree morning with winds blowing 15 knots all day with a high temperature forecasted in the low 50’s range. Track temps and tires temps where going to be a challenge as we had many more to look forward to on this day.
The first practice run session was going to be merely a test. To figure out the setup and begin the learning curve. Eric Jones from Kartsport North America in North Carolina did a fantastic job building the kart to our specific specifications and now it was time to fine tune and personalize the new ride.
“I am really looking forward to finally getting back on track after the winter break and sorting out the new kart. We are competing in a whole new class with a completely different kart from last year.” Astrid said as she suited up and eagerly took to the track.
The initial session was tricky as the tires would simply not heat up. “Cold slicks, cold pavement, It’s like being on ice skates which can be good. It allows me to get a feel of the kart at reduced speeds and slowly dial in the kart” Astrid said.
Early afternoon finally brought slightly warmer weather allowing more input that could be applied and real workable date could be obtained. Equipped with the latest AIM data acquisition dash, Astrid and team Engineer Michele where eager to analysis the data information obtained.
Lap times began to come down as working with the gearing, tires, fine tuning and confidence in the kart being to increase.
“It is a whole new and different experience. More power, heavier-larger kart, different brakes and more adjustments. We have to work with so many different items in order to bring this kart up to speed. Something as simple as the right seat position makes such a difference. This is why we test and tune. We set realistic goals and so far we have met ever one. Constantly working and reviewing data, working on the setup and speeding my mind up as well… There is no down time of which I love” Astrid said.
After all-day of practice and testing on Saturday, Astrid was read to see where we stood in a field of experienced drivers on Sunday.
Qualifying sixth was very respectable considering everything was so new. The IAME motor was performing perfectly. The Praga chassis was performing perfectly and the weather was also perfect.
After several more gear changes and slight tweaks here and there, the kart and Astrid where ready for the race.
The Pre-Final race was very exciting as Astrid quickly took the P5 position and battled with Dante Quarato No. 73 for the entire race and never giving up the position. Finishing P5 was better than expected for the first running.
The Final Race was just as exciting as once again Astrid and Dante battled bumper to bumper the entire race and certainly put on a great show for those watching. Finishing P5 was an excellent display of driving, race craft and an excellent way to begin the new season.
Next round will bring back to NJMP for the Gear-Up Race in two weeks. Stay tuned!