Extreme grip and stamina (GRX, E-town)

@tjkoyen am I correct that when you race pro on the days when the rubber builds up thick…

Kart becomes more physical. Lateral hop happens sooner, harder, more savage. The line has to change, become rounder, smoother and you have to drive across the really thick stuff as opposed to go “under the rubber” in the normal way.

I ask because I just got my ass kicked physically by a (for me) very modest amount of karting. Keith has a new track, which I did some testing at today.

I did not time because I suspected it was gonna be weird and I wanted to approach it carefully. I didn’t want to do my usual throw it into the deep end because I thought perhaps the braking zone might be weird with that much grip.

The track he set up is on a drift track and the rubber down reminds me of the pics you post from time to time of the rubber being so thick it creates 3D build up. Apparently they also have some sort of surface prep for the drift sessions which also contributes to the problem.

I got absolutely worked trying to figure it out. Progress made but jeez, I thought I was kart fit and pretty tough. Turns out I’m old! For perspective, I just ran a 6hr enduro with longer sessions in similar (less oppressively humid, tho) conditions and was just fine, body performed and recovered as expected.

It can’t have been the weather alone, although that was a factor. I think the rubber made it much harder work because the way the kart is so stuck down and easy to overload laterally.

Also, photo dump.

I do love tracks. Oddly compelling, even when decrepit. I discovered showers in the dragstrip bathroom. But, unlike Pitt, they were really nasty and no-one in their right mind would use them.

Let’s try this again today… headed back out and maybe this time I’ll send it a bit. More photos soon.

My biceps feel like I just started doing Curls, again. I think the drift track is going to be a nice alternative to strength training.

You have any G force data? Do you drive “tense”?

Nah. Wasn’t pushing. The surface combined with the high humidity (gloves not really doing much when soaked) meant that even if consciously attempting to be delicate and light wheel, you would need to squeeze hard so your fingers didn’t get mangled by the inner spoke of steering wheel as it hops.

The little discord comments were to illustrate that commonality.

I think to be fast there it’s gonna involve being rounder and seeking to find the line that is most manageable and least chattery without being too damn slow midcorner. As a rental guy, this super thick stuff is new to me as our tires don’t lay that stuff down. The rubber is car rubber and some chemicals/surface prep.

Wow, that is a lot of rubber. I never saw anything like that, just grey pavement and bare concrete. That would be fun.

I’m headed back and will report on the fun part. It was so exhausting I felt like a newbie again.

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GRX ProTip: seek out the hospitality suites for respite from the sun…

It’s pouring… which is a good thing!


Oh boy that rubber is gonna suck in the rain. Find the pavement!

1!! Interestingly it’s somehow grippy compared to normal wet rubber. Surface prep stuff maybe.

I have interesting submarine footage… I have spent the day working with Keith and the gang being test pilot as they work out the fleet.

We are testing each kart for pit 1, speed 2, speed 3 and race speed and back. Seeing which ones aren’t responding to the signals.

I am pro driver today! This technically counts.


On any Saturday?

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And we are done… until tomorrow :crazy_face:

We did have some clients come by and have a spin, which I sherpa’d when they needed rescue. We also got through all the karts, finding a couple that were unresponsive to the software/hardware.

The one thing I don’t get with the centurions is the brakes…

One or two of the karts have the strangest issue: the brakes (freshly bled so it’s not that) will bite and lock wheel at low to mid speed, but at EOS, front and back, the brake goes to floor.

Once you get to the next turn, you can pick up again. No krash, but thankful for massive grip when trying to steer around and not eat wall.

However,Camille was also testing and she went in pretty hard. Ouchies. But she survived her first good kart crash without obvious injury (neck/back/ribs).

Keith was saying that Tim also had similar issues with the Centurion brakes. It’s strange, either they really work or not at all. Multiple axle collars. I also don’t recall the “clonk” noise prior to braking.

In any case a very productive and interesting day. I think I’ve figured out what I’ll be doing in retirement should I be so fortunate.

still waters run deep. (when drain is clogged)

It just happened to be dusk as I was heading home and thought to take Rebel Scum Road. Just made it for the sun dipping below the horizon.

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The Birthday Party

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Big thanks to Ted Domski for coming out to film with his drone. Flyover footage soon!

Old E-town to left, little bike teaching course to right.

Keith texted me yesterday, asking if I could come help him get some more karts sorted weds night. I’m also thinking that the league idea has real legs and I think I’ll be a part of getting that going.

It’s nice being involved like this. Fun. Weather still sucks and it’s gonna be brutal rushing there from NYC, but, life is short and what’s difficult is usually worth it the time.

Sunset Testing

My objective was to work on smoothing out the hop. Because the grip is so high, tire slipping isn’t the issue, chassis binding up and hopping like a kangaroo on corner exit, is.

Throttle out needs to be at the right time and intensity and if you simply Hulk smash throttle through everything, you gonna hurt… I have a nasty bruise/scab on my back from being tossed about.

This kart has responsive brakes that lock up nicely at full tilt. I played with some braking to make the kart behave better/less hoppy.

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Slippery Sunday

Dom Casola, Brian Furey, Shiva Sookdeo, Randall Cogar, Rebel Scum Dom, James Furey, Kamau Selby

The rain sent it, hard.

Ryan has a smol broom and a big problem

Selfie with Dom and Kamau

Wet gloves

Storm lingers

Keith leads the troops

Wet work for Ryan

The brothers Gerry visiting from IRL

We Chill, here

Keith working or editing his Kart Poetry anthology, unsure

David and Dad

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The wet gets wetter

Every once in a while YouTube auto-selects a frame grab that makes you chuckle…

This heat was really entertaining… the rain came down even harder and the track got even more soaked, if possible.

The thing that I appreciate most about GRX is Keith’s willingness to run the karts, rain or shine. This may not seem like a big deal but most rental places do not run sessions in the wet. Keith does.

As a consequence I am able to get much needed rain driving seat time and hope to eventually become a rain racing aficionado like Tanguy or Marc.

Also, I am pleased to announce that Alec Vidal’s Touring Kart Championship has opened registration for the Aug 11 4-hr enduro:

This will be epic or a total shitshow or both simultaneously. I say this because the track is very, very physical, and those who don’t come prepared are in for a bit of a surprise.

The grip is such that it works your hands, forearms a lot more than usual. The track also, when dry, punishes exuberance into and out of corners with brutal hopping. GRX is a full body experience and it will work you. As a result, I am feeling pretty swole these days and my arms look like I’ve been doing curls or something, with popping veins.

So it is my suspicion that there will be folks struggling, particularly those that decided to try to solo/duo. 2-4 hours is a lot, here, and I’ve been hobbling about just from the non-race sessions I have been doing.

Also, please bring proper hydration. You will most definitely need it.