The engine was fantastic.
Zero running issues (except for a carb issue on Saturday morning which was completely our fault), great drivability, good speed, and the closest racing I’ve seen in a long time.
It’s fast enough and the powerband is right that it feels like driving a proper kart, but there is still the tactical nature of drafting and pushing you see in Yamaha. Almost every race had a lead pack of 5-10 karts, all lined up. The engines were incredibly close, and the lap times reflected that. Here are the top lap times from heat 2 on Saturday:
The field was stacked with competition and I would say 10 drivers had a legitimate shot at winning each day.
The formula as a whole as great too, with the MG Red tire providing the perfect amount of grip for the engine. And they held up incredibly well also. USPKS requires you to run the same set of tires Saturday and Sunday, and by Sunday afternoon they still had plenty of meat left on them.
The drop-down bumpers were also a success. I’m officially a fan on those as well. There were some teething issues early in the race weekend, with some drivers testing the limits of the bumpers, but by Sunday the racing was much cleaner. I don’t think there were any wrecks on the starts of any class all weekend, and the only kart pick-up required post-race was for mechanical failures for the most part. There are some negatives to it as well, as some people are experiencing some issues with certain clamps coming off with minimal contact, or drivers getting stacked up in wrecks and dropping the bumper through no fault of their own. While trying to sort out our carb issues Saturday, I loaded up really badly on the start of the first heat, and accordian-ed the field behind me, dropping a few bumpers along the way. I felt really bad about that… But I think as the policing gets better (camera usage etc) the frequency of accidental bumper drops will go down, and I think once racers figure out the limits of the bumper a bit more, we will see even cleaner driving. In my experience, there is still some give to the bumper, you can bump and grind a little bit within reason, but any malicious attempt to punt someone off the track or off line will drop it down for the most part.
I had a great time this weekend and really enjoyed the class as a whole! And with 27 karts, it was a super competitive field.