OSKCS Round 5 - LO206 Sr. - My First Club Race

Last weekend I raced in my first official club race weekend with the Portland Karting Association. I do have a lot of practice days under my belt and have raced in a few Winter League (pursuit format) races but this was my first true club race weekend. My main goals were to not make a fool of myself and to get comfortable with how race day logistics work. Secondary to those goals, I secretly also wanted to make the big taped “X” I had to wear on the back of my helmet and rear of my kart look silly by getting onto the podium! :slight_smile:

Overall, I feel that I achieved all of those goals. I qualified P3 out of 7 drivers on a track layout I had not raced before. I then finished P4 in Heat 1, Heat 2 and the Final. I think I could have gotten P3 in the Final if I had not gotten stuck behind a World Formula driver in the last few laps. I felt like I made good clean passes and made minimal mistakes as well!

Unfortunately, my engine was really down on power all weekend. Off the line, out of corners and on the straights I lacked a clear amount of power compared to others. However, I made up a lot of that lost time through the corners in which I felt I was really hooked up well.

I also have to give a HUGE shout out to my wife and self-titled “Team Principal” Jana for all her help this weekend! She helped me out a ton with the schedule, tire pressures, logging, making sure I ate and stayed hydrated and so much more. That allowed me to not have to worry or think about too many extra things throughout the race day and just focus on the race! We make a good team!

Here are the on board videos! As always, I love to get feedback and take in any advice you all might have for me! This is my first year karting and I am eager to improve in as many ways as I can.


I’m watching final and it’s odd how at start the revs don’t rise at all. It seems like once you goose it, it stays at the same rev for like 5s, eventually says “oh, we racin’” and rises but not before everyone runs off. It reminds me of when I drove a rotax and experienced no revs when flooring it at low speed.

Go watch 2:55 in timestamp. See what evolves ahead of you and how that plays out for you. Kart battling 3 positions ahead loses tail slightly mid corner. This is repeated by the drivers you are chasing as they adjust.

Were you aware of the two guys fighting ahead and ready to zig?

What would you do differently?

You chase 83 out the last sector and down the straight. You appear to have top end. The kart top speed, at least, seems consistent with the other racers.

3:48 nice getting round that.

Nice job subsequently chasing down 65, 01. Good smooth arcs turn after turn to close gap.

The guy has a moment as you try to pass which causes a little slip and this affects your kart trajectory as you try to avoid. The rest of the turn complex gets a bit mangled and you get trotted on the straight. It kind of looks like you tried to slot back in but somehow you are out of position for the turn to straight.

Fear not, that gap closes back up! As 65 and 1 act racey, you close back up and easily pass 1 as he falls victim to ill advised battling. As you then chase 65 down the straight I am not sure if it’s your run or your engine, but here you seem down on top end a bit as well.

7:49 Well that’s new! Saucy!!! In this scenario I wouldn’t chop down on you in a fit of indignation. (This is a joke referring to my assertion that someone’s low-line pass on me at UK was shit and thus I showed them some pod, bitchily). The low line here is appropriately compromised and you get spanked for this on corner exit.

You drive some nice smooth lines and gap back up well but after long straight, 1 has tons of Mo relative to you and walks on by after straight, taking back position.

Ok you need to take that engine to the builder and get this engine dialed in. By all means buy a second engine to mess around with! But we racing. This is existential, basically. I say this because you are driving better than 69,1 but they aren’t being dispatched fully and being a pain. You are faster imho but kart in way.

I like how you sometimes make the turn complex EOS into one long single angle of input.

Nice pass on 1 in closing laps. Ain’t got time to hang around. However, he trots you on straight, despite a good effort on your part. Kart. :smiling_face_with_tear:

The subsequent battle with 1 is a bit messy and you try desperately to get by again. I am guessing here that normally you’d clear him and be gone. He makes a bunch of mistakes and you can’t capitalize. To make matters worse, he has a number of sloppy moments that make you lose speed.

I’m curious to see what a better racer than me would have advised here. I am not sure. Your “we gotta go” approach didn’t work but if you pass nicely, their top end catches you out and the door that you closed gets blown back open.

I think your issue here is engine, primarily. Go get that fixed asap and let’s see your true pace.

You definitely demonstrated that the “X” was on the wrong guy. Mission accomplished! (Edit: typo)

You also did not make fool of self. :+1:

And you survived the race day and likely did learn something about logistics and schedule etc!

I’d say, “GREAT SUCCESS”, considering engine woes:

Thanks for the notes Dom!

A big thing to note is that Kart 1 is a World Formula kart and myself and 69 are in LO206s lol. He was new and did not have his lines down which is why I was so much faster than him in the corners but then because of the WF engine, he just walks on by me on the straights.

I was super frustrated about that because IMO, if you are new, at the back of your class’s pack, already have 3 slower class karts in front of you, don’t just keep yourself right in the middle of a battle for a podium position in the slower class. I was clearly faster than him lap over lap and he knew I was there. Our race was not with each other and I think the sporting thing to do would have been to let me through. That said, I also think he should have gotten a blue flag and it isnt really his fault for racing…

Ah ok that makes more sense. I couldn’t square how you seems to not get pulled on sometimes and other times it was dramatic. Even with a good run!

That is an interesting challenge.

So the etiquette is to not get racey with the other engine racers? Makes sense. Pity that the new fella didn’t know yet.

I am not sure if that is the etiquette officially. It just makes sense to me given the situation.

That was a great effort . Sweet lines also .
Well done spencer.

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There are a couple of things that could be effecting you lack of acceleration off the line. One thing that comes to mind is your clutch stall speed. The other is gearing. Stall speed will effect at what point in the torque curve your clutch engages. That can be adjsuted with springs and weights. Ask some of your competitors if they will share their clutch set up with you. Gearing is always a trade off. Bigger rear gives you more umph off the line and out of the corners while smaller rear gives you more top end speed. If you pay attention to the fastest drivers and where they are hitting the limiter compared to you, you can sometimes make an educated decision on whether you should go up or down teeth. I was trying to listen for the rev limiter on the straights, but not sure I ever heard it. I might suggest going up 2 teeth on the rear. You definitely have a better pace through most of the track than kart 69. I think a couple of more teeth on the rear would not lose you much on the straight, but give you a better exit speed out of the corners. Especially onto the front straight with the tighter sequence before it.

During the first half of the race, you were nailing that sequence before the s’s, then after getting tangle up kart 1 you seemed to be off and that allowed 69 to pull a bigger gap. You are right about the mental aspect.

Overall, Great Job!! A much better showing than my first race. :rofl:

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Thanks for the tips!

My gearing is set for what is generally considered the defacto gearing for this track per everyone I have spoken to. I already feel like I can’t close down any gaps on the straights, so I am hesitant to go to a lower gearing. There is something definitely going on with my engine right now because I am usually touching the limiter right before T2 and then a good amount before the hard braking left hander after the back straight. I was hitting it at the end of the back straight for just a second it sounded like to me.

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You close gaps in the corners, it just shows in the straights with better exit speed and ultimately higher top speed at the end of the straights.

Maybe something going on with the carb. If you don’t know what to check or how, then its time to implore someone with a skillset greater than yours.