So the first race in the CKNA Winter Nationals is in the books and I’m always amazed at how much experience you can get in such a short amount of time when running these national level races; as the competition is HIGH and you can learn ALOT!
So in March 2020, when I first got into karting and I entered my first CKNA race I was dead last (and being lapped) in every race I entered. I couldn’t keep up with anybody so I never really got to draft with anyone, mix it up with anyone, and I was pretty much out for a Sunday drive all by myself. Going into this race I had never been on track with other karts and I was really nevious being in or around a pack of karts. I ran two classes and between all the set up changes, subsequent repairs, and tight time constraints; I was a complete stress ball and it followed me onto the track and performance showed. Between my inconsistent driving, and all the set up changes, it was like hitting a moving target. My overall experience was horrible and I really didn’t enjoy the event and I was nowhere near competitive.
Fast forward to this past weekend (given everything I’ve learned here on KP) and did things alot differently. I entered the local race prior to CKNA and dailed in my set up there. I did not show up the day before the race and participate in practice, Instead I jumped into the event during the RLV Hot Lap Qualifying and started my race weekend from that point. I entered one class (Masters) and did almost zero set-up changes outside of flipping the tires and adjusting tire pressure.
Overall I was much more relaxed this go around and I made some pretty big improvements compared to where I was last time. I was still in the rear pack on every race, but I was WAY MORE competitive. My lap times where much more consistant and I was able to mix it up with other drivers, bump draft, initiate passes, understand what the kart was doing and why it was doing it. All-in-all I felt like my race I.Q. was dramatically increased.
I still have a ways to go but I feel like I’m moving the right direction, and I cannot understate the importantance of the knowledge gained from KP over this past 10 months as to why I saw considerable improvements.
I even got the chance to meet a couple KP members who attended the event, and it was cool to put a face to the screen name.
Here are a few pics from the event, I am in none of them, as they tend not to photograph the rear of the pack, but still pretty cool in either event.