Race Report for Viking Racing, Kart #64. Redline Oil Karting Championship, Infineon International Karting Center. Race #4 June 27th, 2010
June 27th was the date for the fourth round of the NorCal Rotax Challenge, the Redline Oil Karting Championship this time at the technical and physically demanding Reverse Sprint layout. Due to business travel in Europe we missed the 3rd round, but it is allowed to skip two races in the Championship we were not too concerned about that. We were anxious to get on the track upon our solid start of the Championship with two consecutive wins. When we showed up at the track we were finally (for California) met with almost perfect weather that just got better an warmer throughout the weekend.
In our first practice sessions we focused on getting the rust off as a result of being out of the kart for 6 weeks. As usually we started to work on the lines and get in to a rhythm as well as working on the setup of the kart. Like in Le Mans different classes run together - in our case the Masters and Masters Light with the difference being officially 40lbs weight difference. This might not sound like much but with 27 horse power it equals a horse power handicap of 3HP or 11% difference. Obviously the reason why there is two different classes to begin with.
As we weighed in 15lbs higher than the minimum class weight the difference was even bigger. In the first two Championship rounds we came out as the overall winner of the two classes but already during practice it was clear that winning the overall race would be difficult (and not really important anyway) since the tight Reverse Sprint track configuration calls for all the horse power you can get.
At times it is frustrating for both classes to race kart you do not compete against and being a heavier and handicapped driver it is certainly frustrating to battle people with a horse power advantage. In our case, however in preparation for the US Nationals we need all the competition we can get and as such racing the lighter karts was a bonus.
Going out for the 5-lap qualifying we put down a best time of 52.1 which was enough for a clear pole position in class and a 7th place in the overall 19 kart field. We were relatively happy about that result as it put us in pole for the race but as we had done almost half a second faster in practice we were a bit disappointed.
Going out for the first pre final we had the opportunity to make a pass in the start but since the 6 karts ahead was all from a different class, we decided to stay smart and focus on the championship. We made a couple of passes and ended up 5th overall first in class with a comfortable margin to second place. More encouraging was that we put down a fastest lap time of 51.8, which was 4th fastest in the entire field and a full second faster than the second place in our class.
Going out for the second pre final we got squeezed in the start losing a couple of positions that we re gained over a few laps and once again we chose not to battle the Light class drivers too hard as losing championship points for fighting another class driver would be stupid.
In the final we got a good start and gained a few spots in corner 1 coming out 3rd overall. We kept the position for several laps, but according to plan letting Lighter drivers pass when they got too close. We won our class with a comfortable margin, leading the Masters Championship with 3 consecutive wins and maximum points.
Our next and biggest challenge so far will be the US Grand Nationals July 14-17th in New Castle Indiana where we will race against the best drivers in the country in a big setup with very large fields. Our goal for the event will be to finish in top 10, which would be quite an achievement but we believe we have the speed and smarts it takes and will keep you posted.
There are photos from the event in the photo section.
We would like to thank our sponsors for making this season possible!