Englishtown Race Recap
In my own words:
Super excited about running Englishtown Kart Race Track. I have heard this track makes for a lot of fast drivers. I was a little unsure about this type of track since all of my experience so far has been on different types of road courses like NJMP and OVRP. Englishtown’s track is set in the parking lot much like an autocross course would be. However, it is still being over a half mile in length. This would be my first time on a track like this. My first thought after reviewing the videos, it reminded me of a larger LVGP track. Being that it is flat and from what I have heard a fast “technical” track. Well, after driving it during my first practice I soon realized how fast and technical it really is. I Loved It! And now I understand why it makes fast drivers…
Ok, preparation starts. Friday night check the forecast, RAIN for Saturday. Ok, we can handle this! MG Rain tires already mounted on the TopKart. We loaded the trailer Friday night and got ready to leave home at 6:00 am to arrive at the track at 8:00 am. Wake up at 5:00 am and so far, No Rain! Good! We arrived right on time and set up our paddock shop for the day. We change our rain tires to slicks for the first practice run at 9:15 am. Soon after we arrived, Jeff Herridge came and I was glad to see him. Jeff and I walked the track while dad continued to ready the kart. Walking the track was AWESOME! Doing so gave me a really good idea of the track conditions and it allowed me to visually get the track in my mind. Thanks dad for suggesting this!
For me, the first practice session was to learn the line and to find out how the kart was running. Where our RPM’s were and how the kart set up was. We had trouble getting the kart to run at its maximum. Data in hand, we realized we needed to change out the fuel and change the gears to get the motor up to 14,500 rpm’s. Michele, our Tech Engineer, set the Mychron up just perfectly. The first practice went well although I was not anywhere close to race lap times. Second practice went better. RPM’s up but still learning the line and trying to get my lap times down. It was fun and I really started liking this track. During the second practice I worked on hitting my marks and finding out where my braking points needed be, apexes, track out and all that. All was going Great!
So, first heat race. The rain had held off just before the field was called to Staging. While on the gird, the rain started really coming down and we were all on slicks. After just a couple of laps, everyone was spinning all over the track. Track officials threw a red flag allowed us 15 minutes to change to our rain tires and rain prep the karts. Back out, and the TopKart was running great!
Now it was time to finally start the race. I had qualified P9 out of 15 for the start. I was happy with this position considering this was my time on this track and first race here. Lining up for a double row start was going to be interesting. Englishtown has a very long, fast straight for the starts so the first turn was going to be interesting.
The pressure was on to make it through turn 1 without any contact. Success! After several false starts due to the front row jumping the green we were finally racing! It was a very good race. No spins and only one unavoidable incident with two other karts. They spun in front of me and I had no place to go but right into them. At the end of the first heat race I finished in the same position I started. Good! During the race, that unavoidable crash with two other karts caused the tie rod to bend on the kart but Jeff and my dad were able to get the repairs completed for the Feature Race!
The Feature Race was next but we had about 2 hours between races. We constantly watched the weather on Michele’s phone. I walked up and down the paddock to see if other teams where changing to slicks or leaving the rains on. At the last minute the call was made to change the tires back to slicks and out I went. Through the course of the day we made a total of 4 tire changes, 16 altogether! The race went smooth. No spins and no contact. A clean race. Laps times were good but I see what I need to do and to continue to move forward. I learned a lot and it was an excellent race! Finally getting to run a full race with no rain and on slicks was great! No spins and I was learning the whole time. I was very happy with my performance and the karts. Now to work on the details.
At the end, I finished P3 in the IAME class, P9 overall, I was very happy!
Back to NJMP, June 19!
Some great pictures from the day and more in the gallery: