Introducing myself and off-season training questions


(Joseph Costanza) #1

Where are you located?
Rochester, NY about 5 minutes up the road from the GVKC Track in Avon, NY.

(Age Bracket) 29, planning for the Sr. Animal Lt. class

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your mechanical ability, or willingness to wrench on things?

Ability is probably around a 7 to 8, I have turbo’d a couple miatas, done tons of suspension work, put a new 350 in my c10, and my best friend is an ASE certified master tech and guides me in anything I am unsure of. I have a full garage with a lift and most tools I need, I am wondering if there are any kart specific tools you would recommend?

Talk a little about your racing experience so far.

I raced at this same track approximately 20 years ago for 1 season around the age of 8, but parents divorced and we moved and the sport got lost in transition. Always loved cars, my dad had hot rods growing up and he taught me a lot on those. Then I got into autocross for a couple seasons, got sick of all the standing around and really wanted wheel to wheel racing, then blew up a car and said “done with this” I can’t afford the tires, maintenance, and headache of breaking expensive things like that. So got thinking about karts and went down to the local track in late September this year and got hooked again. Went to the local shop and bought a used coyote wide-track GL chassis and a brand new briggs Animal (sealed, big class at my local track; may go to lo206 or 2 stroke after a couple years) ready to hit the track for $1600, and the guy at the local shop helped us race when I was a kid and was a good friend of my dad’s so he has taken me under his wing and guided me in assembling the kart. I plan on a mychron5 just before the season begins, I really got into data when tuning my turbo miata and look forward to diving into race studio when I can get on the track.

What’s the main thing you need help with to get you started.

ANY tips, suggestions, and mostly – its winter here in Rochester so I have no direct way of training in my kart. There is a local RPM indoor kart track that I go do a race a month or so, but it is kind of expensive (I’m still in grad school for another year, so income is “limited” for sure) and the differences in the kart make me wonder how directly they will translate (still seat time, so I am not against it).

I am waiting for Terence Dove’s book to arrive, will read that to get through the winter. I also have watched just about every karting youtube video out there (even those super dry lo206 tuning videos), including all of the ones from my local GVKC track and regularly mentally visualize the track and the line that the faster guys tend to take. I also just got through most of the KP podcasts and have been digesting that information.

What else can I do? I am overly excited about coming back to karting and want to do everything I can this off season to be best prepared to learn in the kart this spring.

I JUST WANT TO RACE!


(Will Salisbury) #2

Hey Joseph,

Great to have you back in the karting community! You have definitely stumbled upon the right place to ask questions and find some great information about getting back into karting.

First let me introduce myself, I am from Buffalo and have been racing since I was 5. I started racing at Batavia and raced there until it closed in 2009. Since then we did a ton of club racing at Avon (GVKC) until about 2015 when I got more involved in TaG and started running the F-Series races on the east coast. Avon is a great technical track to get back into racing and there are some wonderful people there that will certainly be willing to help you with anything. Al Gutberlet is a nice guy and always looking to get more people out to the track. I know they have recently resurfaced and added an extra extension in the back section of the track as well.

I mainly have only raced 2 cycle so I can’t assist too much on the four cycle side, but Rich Gamrod at Avon is known as the main 4 cycle rep and tuner there.

Once you get your feet wet again, I highly recommend if your serious about racing, and want to take it to the next level get a TaG Kart and venture out to some other tracks such as NYRC (nyracecomplex.com) or Pitt Race. While Avon is a great club track, it is an older track, you will be amazed at the difference in going to a modern track that is wide, fast, and competitive. I’ve got a ton of videos on youtube as well you can reference.

There’s some great people as well in Rochester that can give you a hand or assist with anything you may need out there as well. For 2 cycle chassis and engines, GGRKarts.com (Greg Gleisner) are built in Webster and have a great reputation at Avon and on the east coast (I won the F Series championship on one).
KartSmarter.com is also out of Rochester and Jeff is a certified AIM and CompKart dealer, he can help you out with a Mychron and viewing all of your data in Race Studio. Alex Salsbury is also always out at the track and can help with tuning.

I also worked at RPM as does Alex and it’s a great way to stay in shape over the off season. Good luck next year, and feel free to reach out any time!

Best,
Will Salisbury


(Joseph Costanza) #3

Hey Will thanks for the detailed reply, Rich is actually the guy I bought the kart from and he has been guiding me through the whole process of putting the kart together! He was a good friend of my dads and I work at the local school where his shop is and pass it every day. He’s been really helpful so far and taught me a lot about karts already! I’ll have to get ahold of Jeff here at some point to get hooked up with a mychron.

Rich said this year they were trying to do another small series with two other tracks in the area, Lafayette and Cherry Hill maybe?? I can’t exactly remember, but he had great things to say about both tracks - one being almost new and very smooth.

I’m in my last year of grad school so I’m hoping to have some actual income in the next few seasons and would definitely consider TaG, 2 stroke tech has come a long way and the rebuild times seem more reasonable these days. I’d LOVE to talk somebody into letting me lap their TaG after I get some seattime with my Briggs. Looking at this season as just a way to get my feet wet back into the sport, hone some driving skills, and get to know people within my budget.

Hopefully I’ll run into you this season! I’ll be lurking around here in the meantime


(Will Salisbury) #4

Good to hear. Rich is a good guy, and always helps new people into the sport and guide them in the right direction. Yes, they are starting a new series between Avon, Cherry Valley (Lafeyette MP), and NYRC. All 3 are great tracks and I highly recommend checking them out.

Yeah, I would say if your planning on competing for a few seasons, to eventually find your way into a 2 cycle. While I love the people at Avon, they build out they’re class structures so there’s a hundred different classes with 3 people in each. Never been a fan of that really. If your out at the track get to know Alex Salsbury (different spelling, no relation), I’m sure he’d let you do some laps in his kart and guide you to some fast laps. Wish I was out there, but I actually moved to Charlotte NC over the summer so karting had to take a break…for now.

Also I’m surprised there hasn’t been a comment from Dom Callan yet ha. He’s from the area as well and is always posting on here. There’s a lot of great people in the community and I hope you enjoy your return to karting and have fun!


(Dom Callan) #5

You called?

I actually don’t stray far afield of NJMP and E-town. I sadly have never been to Avon or even OVRP.
That being said, if you get interested in the F-Seies club races, I can speak at length about that if you get interested.

There’s another f-series (gearup) that Will used to race that hits other venues. Gearup is more for the experienced racers so that’s probably not appropriate for your first year.


(Joseph Costanza) #6

What defines F-series? First time encountering that term


(Dom Callan) #7

It’s just the local series in nj. The f-series runs about 11 club races at etown and NJMP. Gearup is a “regional” series with 6 races I think from NY down to NC. That attracts the more serious racers.


(Joseph Costanza) #8

Ohhh got it! I’m thinking I need a way bigger rig and some more experience before anything like that. All I have is a slammed c10 truck with an open bed to transport my kart at the moment, good enough for GVKC and possibly Cherry Valley and NYRC but probably not much further. Thanks for all the info guys