First and foremost Thank You ALL for your posts on this forum. After doing my due diligence, reading every post listed under "advise for newbies:, I did exactly as suggested. This morning I drove to my local track, introduced myself as an OLD newbie to the sport and found myself engaging in the most wonderful conversation with the one of the mechanics for RYSA racing and the owner of the South Florida Karitng world as to what is going on in my specific area with Karting.
We spoke of all things I’ve been reading about: Rotax EVO, Vortex RoK, Chassis options…etc… He was direct and to the point advising me that in our area the current growing class is the Stratton Briggs 206. He takes the credit for championing that class in South Florida and states that it is the most competitive and fun class in my area. He then added that for folks like me “weekend warriors” I would find no better class to have fun in while managing my wallet. He came across as very genuine as he promoted karting and did not implicate any immediate sales tactic as I am accustomed to growing up in South Florida. He did mention that there was a recent change of ownership at our local most competitive track and believed we may have a surge with IAME x30 engines in the near future. But, nonetheless he suggested that the 206 class as a great starting point for an old newbie like me.
So my next step…I’ve booked myself for a 4 session run on the 206 karts for this upcoming Wednesday evening.
Thank you James! That was simple. It seems that the Bengio is the way to go with the Tillet T1 a close second. They both look comfortable, light and as if they can definitely take a beating. I will wait until my first run on Wednesday to start buying the required gear.
Wow! Was that ever fun and am I ever out of shape. Mid morning to early afternoons in Florida are damn brutal with +90 degree weather while racing around a 1/2 mile track wearing a black racing suit, head sock and helmet.
After having to reschedule my initial time in a 206 a couple of times due to weather, this morning was finally my time. I will start by saying that I understand ALL of the folks questioning the speed or performance of the 206s. But, honestly speaking, for a newbie to the sport, the 206 is plenty fast. Yes, there was a Rok that came out and just tore it up passing and lapping a fast 206 guy but, I would not know what to do with that power and speed. There is a lot of learning to do with just the basics of learning that I believe is best learned in a 206 kart.
The folks at RYSA racing located at Miami GP were more than patient helping an old out of shape fart like myself get into one of these little racing contraptions. My first session times were all over the place, spun myself around one time and trying to keep a line while bouncing around unlike I’ve ever experienced before. I came in to the pit and Sebastian, someone I would consider a guru as he’s been around karts since the age of 5 and competed at a much younger age, sat down with me and offered a few very basic suggestions. On my second and final session I was able to keep my times consistently in the 47 second mark for 9 out of 10 laps. While Sebastian was hopeful to have had me complete four (4) sessions and walk away with as close to a 45 sec time…My body just said flat out NO.
I was advised to try to go to the track whenever I could, watch other racers racing their lines and listening to their power on and power off points. It was suggested that before I get in the mix of it all, a Wednesday EVENING (much cooler) session with close to a 20 car field, I should come out at least 3 or 4 more times to get a better feel for the kart and track. Thus resulting in a much better outcome on my first outing actually racing other drivers.
Lastly, as for the 206 class. While I was sitting on a bench cooling off I was able to speak with quite a few other drivers. It seems, at least in South Florida, that the Rok, Rotax and even Shifter kart owners have switched over to 206 for the simple reason of a field to race. The desire for power and speed is always present but more importantly is having a session competing with others than driving quickly by yourself.
Thanks you all for the information posted as it allowed me the direction as to the first steps in to this sport.
The RYSA crew is awesome! Rudy the owner, is one of the smartest guys in the sport and 100% does what is in the best interest of the sport and the racers. Simply put there isn’t a better guy in karting than Rudy - you will be treated fairly and honestly always. His mechanic Luke is a real character and a true lifer in the sport too. He will take care of you as well - a great group of people all the way around!