Race Report for Viking Racing, Kart #464. Redline Oil Karting Championship, Infineon International Karting Center. Race #5 July 25th, 2010
Literally just returned from the US Grand Nationals in Indiana time was up for the 5th race in the local NorCal Rotax Championship, which was run Sunday July 25th at Infineon International Karting Center. The track configuration was the narrow and technical Sprint configuration.
Despite not having much time to practice at this track configuration I was in shape from Nationals and confident we could do well. For the first time this year the field was big enough to separate the Masters and Masters Light drivers meaning we were only battling karts in our own weight class making things more equal.
Competition in the class has also been better over the season so we were excited to get going. We went out for qualifying put down 3 laps and I thought I had a time that was good enough for pole and decided to come in to save the tires for the 3 following races. What a mistake! I was beaten by a tenth of a second and qualified second on the grid. Not a disaster but also a lesson not to take anything for granted...
I would then have to start on the outside in the first two heat races and the results from that would determine the grid position for the final. Going on to the main straight for the start of Heat Race #1 the pole sitter got confused and got on the outside - I passed him and swapped lanes just before the acceleration line - got hit pretty hard in the back propelling me ahead of the pole sitter and got in to corner one in the lead and kept the lead until the checkered.
Heat Race #2 played out more or less in the same way as #1 just with the difference that I passed in Corner 2 instead of 1. With two first places in the Heat Races I got the pole for the Final. Imagining I would have learned from the same mistake earlier in the day from the pole sitter, I made the same mistake and got in the outside lane while I was waiting for the field to catch up before the acceleration line. The off pole sitter waived me over but I decided just to start the race from the outside and made it safeley on the first place in and out of Corner 1.
I started to pull a gap to the rest of the field and got a comfortable lead. With a few laps remaining I started to lose engine power, probably because of carburation issues, blended with an element of mental fatique from the many days of driving. Because of these circumstances the leaders from the rest of the pack started to close the gap and going in to the last lap they got pretty close. Never enough to be a serious threat for the win but close enough that we have to go home and work even harder on keeping a big lead when we have it instead of giving it up at the end!
With the recent win I am still in the lead of the championship undefeated with wins in all pre finals as well as finals we participated in. In order to build up stamina as well as prepare for next years' big races I have decided to run two classes in the NorCal Championship going forward and as such I will compete in the DD2 class as well from next race on. The DD2 will be a new challenge as it is the faster big brother to the normal Rotax engine I race and features a 2 speed gearbox. I will be in Europe on business the next couple of weeks and upon my return it will be a busy few weeks with getting a new kart ready as well as having two race weekends in a row with Race 6 at Kinsmen Kart Club in Dixon August 22nd followed by a Race 7 at Infineon August 29th.
We would like to thank our sponsors for making this season possible!