Driver Report from Mariembourg

So today was a rental league race at Mariembourg in Belgium, using Sodi RT8 390cc on MG RL2 tyres.

TL;DR : Raced on a track I never practiced on, not even before the Q, against SWS World Finalists and tons of locals, I was the only rookie
- Q : P2 / 33
- R1 : P7 / 33
- R2 : P6 / 33

First, the track :

image

It is a 1366 meters grade 1 track, used in many international championships, it is fast and quite technical, it even works well with the 4 stroke rental karts. Today they decided to run 2 differents configurations, 1 for each 30 minutes race. Also, they switch the karts for everyone between both races.

The red one will be the first configuration we race on, for Q and R1, using the reverse configuration of the track. It is highly technical but very fun, and we still build some good speed.
The blue one will the one we use for R2.

One detail though : I NEVER DROVE ON THAT TRACK BEFORE ! And I had to go straight to quali.

Qualification (10 minutes)

Fortunately, my first kart is decent, with a great engine and good grip. The issue was that the braking was not precise enough for me and I struggled a lot to be on the limit, which led to inconsistency in my driving, and in my laptimes. I don’t know the chassis nor the tyres and I have to learn the track at the same time, while trying to get a good track position so I can post a good laptime. It was tough, probably one of my toughest challenges in karting so far.
I was able to scrap a decent lap together, which put me in third, with the second being DSQ from qualifying because he was underweight. So that’s a P2 !

Race 1 (30 minutes)

This race, well, wasn’t great on my part. While I had great single lap pace, my issues with the braking really messed up my race pace a lot, and I wasn’t able to drive like I wanted. One turn I would brake too much and the rear would step out, the next turn it wasn’t enough. It was getting more and more frustrating as I would get passed and fall back to P8. After a mental reset, I got back into P3 and into the fight for P2, but I got punted and shoved into the grass, which made me lose spots back into P7. Overall not happy with my driving, this could have been an somewhat easy P2 (I was .030 off the best lap) and a fight for P1 if I wasn’t so rusty.

Race 2 (30 minutes)

So the organizers decided to change the layout for this race. We are racing the international configuration with the double chicane in the center of the track. Also, everybody gets a new kart, yay ! I have to relearn the track once again, I don’t know the braking points, the racing line, nothing, and I am quite stressed. Though, this time I am not in the front row, which means, I will be able to copy the lines of my opponents.
Luckily, my new kart has better brakes and I feel a lot more confident and it shows. Starting P7, I am P4 after 2 laps. The problem now is that I don’t know the damn track ! I make a mistake in the last turn which makes me lose my P4 and I go back to P6. For 10 minutes I will work with P5 to catch P4 who is 2 seconds ahead and we both pass him. Sadly, I get shoved aside again with 5 minutes to go and I find myself P8. With some good moves, I am able to finish P6, only a few tenth behind P5 and P4.

Conclusion

It was a very fun and very hard challenge and extremely satisfying and I will definitively race in the next one, this time for the win !

Video

This is the entire first race, enjoy !

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Moved to a new topic, I feel it warrants it. Plus Mariembourg is a bucket list track.

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I will comment more on this further but, Heck of a race, Mon Ami! You did get robbed but such is our absurd sport. Really nice racing, on your part, I thought. You sent it.

This was aggressive Tanguy, beating an unfamiliar layout unto submission and refining as he went along. And, it never let up. I can’t quite put my finger on why you had the struggles that were self-imposed, but the ones I noticed were handled really well and minimized. Methinks the kart had a tad less top end or something, as there were some guys that you were faster than that seemed to hang with you too easily. You really had to dig for some turns where they were a bit sloppy, and did so very well.

Anyways, Bravo. I know that must have been frustrating but you dealt with the cards you were given well when you were given a good hand, and intelligently when they were bad. That was a pretty badass performance, imho. You gonna kick some ass, methinks.

Here is the start of race 2, unfortunately I wasn’t able to record everything.

It is a really good facility, the rentals seemed even and it is a big 2 stroke hub too. I might buy a 2 stroke from them.

It was very challenging and very exhausting, but it reminded me I had skills :grin:

The engine was actually really good. The issue was the braking, I wasn’t able to enter the turns with the correct speed, often overshooting the entry and having the chassis vibrating due to the stiffness of it. This hindered my exits quite a lot, hence making my speed look worse than it really was.

Frustrating but less frustrating than having no competition to be fair :grin:

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I poke fun at your flat tracks but I gotta say this one looks very good.

What flag are they waving at the start?

1:48 I see you also chastise yourself verbally under the helmet.

What are your plans for racing if any? This looks like a good field and seems like a good amount of racing. What’s it cost?

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Belgian flag. We use the national flag for the start, and the checkered flag for the finish :grin:

I said “Trop vite” or “Too fast” I think. I tend to talk to myself so I keep track of what I should do or improve.

I might finish the championship. It costs 105 euros (same in USD now) for 10 min Q + 30min x 2 races. 6 days in the year, on sunday morning

How often does this series race, what’s it called, where does it run?

I edited my message, it is called the KFT Sprint (Kart Fun Trophy), takes place only at Mariembourg.

DIM = Sunday

I am so happy now to be at the correct weight so I can finally race for the win

You should do more of these, it’s a good race!

In the second video I’m really liking the drive from 2:08 to approx 3:04. You gap up to the lead group here after a series of really well executed chicanes. I like how you use the kerb to yeet yourself around one of the corners. I also find the way you took the first big round turn at eos really nice. Really great sensitivity.

What you weigh now? 175-180? Congrats btw, that was a long road (with blind turns and some crazy chicanes). Not easy to slim down.

4:02 le “pass” classique. What’s French for pass?

How far is Mariembourg from where you are?

So this is something I have experimented there, I am just better at exploiting those tyres early on than the people in front.

Around 180, 170 in the endgame goal.

“Depassement” :grin: By the book passing. he wasn’t lucky with his kart, he finished P9 from P1, his kart seemed 2 tenths slower than the people in front.
top 20 was within a second per lap, it was fairly tight.

2h drive, so fairly close :grin:

This is good value for money. I think our NJMP races were 75 for 2 much shorter heats of 15mins. The enduro (1hr) is 175.

This is more driving per $ on faster karts (390 vs 270).

And a better track, with a better field. It really doesn’t compare

Last question… can you get there public transport?

I would agree. At least NJMP got new karts. I mean NJMP could have this… at full length is an FIA-CIK facility. Get 390s and then make a series like this that runs at NIGHT.

Unfortunately not, cant be perfect :frowning_face:

Great Races. Sorry about the bad Beats getting pushed off twice. The local track here uses the RT8 Sodi chassis as well and I find them very stiff. Hard to tell with the helmet cam, but leaning hard to the outside of the seat helps a lot to get the inside rear to lift and cuts down dramatically on the hopping. Especially when the tires are still cold. I noticed P2 doing that a lot! He was shifting his back over just before turn in through 80% of the corners. If not already doing that, you may want to give it a try.

They are extremely stiff indeed, but it is the tyres and the brakes that make the whole ordeal complicated. As soon as I was able to brake correctly, there was no need for excessive leaning in the seat :sweat_smile:

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One of the best tracks I’ve driven on.

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I wonder how x1 outdoors would compare to these FIA tracks, it seemed pretty damn nice

@tankyx
It took me around 20 laps to just hit apexes at a new track, and you go and put it in 2nd in 10 minutes😂

He’s so annoying that way. Tanguy always makes me feel like such a noob. I am so jealous of his ability to understand a new layout.

He explained to me that it comes from having seen the turns elsewhere: meaning that he’s driven enough laps at enough different places that he can find commonality with a new track.

As I’ve expanded my track repertoire, I’d agree with this statement. I am forever finding comparable turns from prior experience.