Queen City Gambit 2024 - KA Masters

This was my first Stars event and also my first time at Charlotte, so I was really looking forward to it! Here’s my notes after each session.


First session: Track is fast but not overly difficult. There are 3 turns that will make or break this whole weekend. Went too high on pressure with the new MG SH2 compound (12psi) and my motor was way lean (max EGT 1400, which even on the newer style exhaust bung is stupid high). Gonna make small adjustments and see where I’m at.

Session 2: Lowered tire pressures to 10.5 from 12, was messing with needles during the run but couldn’t get the temps down. Faster, but still at least a half second off. Gearing is definitely way too short.

Session 3: For this session, I tried a different carb to see if that would clear up the issues I was experiencing. My motor builder (shoutout @Christian_Fox of Fox+Son) did look over the carb, clean it out completely, and reset the needles to where they should be on the carb I came with, but in my mind it was best to put on a known good carb to determine whether it was just a carb issue or a motor issue. I was also coming through the scales at ~392 with pretty low fuel (class is 385) so I dropped a 4lb weight and moved the one that I had on the nose to where the 4lb weight was, and changed gearing to 76 from 78. Much faster, went 44.1, fastest yet for me.

Session 4: Put on new tires so that I would know what it felt like for qualifying (tires must be new at qualifying) and tried a 74 gear and actually went slower (44.3). I felt like the track got a bit slower though, and the new tire seemed to be a little much for my setup. Seems like everyone went a touch slower for the most part, confirming my suspicions. Planning on going to a 75 gear for quali.

Qualifying: was rushing around getting tires on and everything sorted for the run, so I started towards the back. Had to fight my way through so I didn’t get a ton of clean laps, I think only 1 or 2. Seems like with the new SH2 compound early laps are faster no matter what your pressure. My best lap was on lap 8 which was juuust enough for P1, to my surprise! I honestly didn’t think it would be so I was very excited. 75 gear seemed to work well.


Morning warmup Saturday: took a little caster out and widened the front width by 5mm each side. To me it felt more stable, but the team thought that shouldn’t have worked based on their experience. Lap time was a 43.8X which was the fastest so far by quite a bit for me (2 tenths), but the track and air seemed better.

Heat 1: Put the front end back since it seems like everyone was faster in morning warmup for the other groups too by about 3 tenths or so, so that improvement in morning warm up wasn’t really valid. Overall the run itself was not bad. I made a few mistakes and came back to second, but brought it back up to first for the end. Seems that mid to late corner it’s not quite biting how I want, so we’re going to cut the axle down a bit. The air and track temperatures are coming up.

Heat 2: Casner got by fairly early on, and @Paul_Montopoli also got by but went wide into the marbles shortly after which really hurt his race, unfortunately. I kept my head down and reeled Casner back in, and made a late pass. Great race and another win!

Prefinal: At this point I was pretty tired. I hadn’t slept nearly enough or nearly well enough, and it really started to catch up to me. Having a few days of very little sleep was starting to take its toll, but I tried to pump myself up. Went out and battled a bit with Casner but ultimately he got by cleanly and I decided not to fight too much after. Bonanno was immediately on my bumper and he pushed a bit. Then a lap or so later he made this a late move that I felt was overly aggressive, and ended up driving onto the back of me. Y’all can watch the Kart Chaser replay and decide for yourselves :slight_smile: Regardless, Casner had a pretty good gap to myself and Bonanno now, but still in range to pull him back in, especially with his kart seemingly falling off towards the later stages of the heats. My kart seemed to do better as the session went on. The final corner Casner drove a defensive line but I still managed to get under a bit, but he managed to eke out the win by 0.001 seconds! What. a. race! Tomorrow morning I plan on trying a 74 tooth gear again and a bit less caster. I think it’ll drive a little easier and help me in a couple corners I haven’t quite nailed.


Morning warm up: Setup feels good, I like the 74 gear, and I slept better. I’m f*&kin ready. My only concern is maybe Casner was able to conserve his tires a bit better in the pre-final, since I had to push hard to catch back up. Who cares, I’m sending it in the final, this is mine for the taking.

Final: First lap went as planned, no surprises. After the first lap it was apparent that Casner had either missed the setup or changed it so that his kart would come in late, which was a stark contrast to the rest of the events for him. In the past his kart would come in really early and then I’d catch him later on when mine came in. I decided to send it past him around lap 4 and hope to pull a gap enough for him and Bonanno to battle, considering my kart was better setup for quali type laps with the 74 gear. That ended up working out beautifully and I was really proud of how I drove. I was super consistent and really felt like it was some of my best driving. I’m suuuper happy with the P1 result, and by 4 seconds to boot!

Overall an awesome event. This was the first event I’ve been to where every single session started exactly as scheduled, even if it could have started early. It made planning super easy. Also an awesome chance to meet some great people all around.

Shoutout to @Christian_Fox for the rocket of a motor, GoldTune.net for helping to track and optimize my setup, and Team Ferris for all the great help! Great coverage by Kart Chaser as well, as always.


Great weekend David, congrats! I watched yesterday but didn’t get to see the finals. You looked nice and smooth out there and were making some great decisions in racecraft.

Awesome run, and thanks for sharing the notes. I take it you were on a KR since running w/TFR?

It was a pleasure to meet you, David. Great notes and thanks for sharing. I will use it to try to beat you next time :wink:

Everyone, check out David’s software. He showed it to me and it definitely looks cool. I am gonna need it if I have any shot of beating him. I did not keep up on my adjustments as the weekend went on. We are still learning the bestkart but it has shown promise, especially on Friday and early Saturday.

Next race I may be to calling some heavy hitters to work with me — like chassis setup book writer @tjkoyen and local track expert with years of experience @Muskabeatz. Let’s see if this combo plus David’s software can help a 59 yo give it to the younger bucks.


Besties unite!

Was cool to see you rolling so well all day Friday, topping most practice sessions. Kart looked strong, excited to give it a real shakedown here in the coming weeks and start testing things for our next event.

In my experience, Charlotte seems to take a lot of rubber and tighten up (lock down) over the course of a weekend (especially with a lot of karts there). Did you guys feel the same?

Yes, for me. I think I was fast because on Friday my grip was good and I knew the track better than most from the recent CKNA race. As the grip came in, I got behind on the adjustments. Still figuring out the impact of caster, axle hardness, hub differences, and ride height changes. Axle A to C was huge. C to C+ was not as big.

Ride height - front seems to make a big difference. Rear, not as much as I thought.

Hubs - AMV aluminum to AMV OXiTECH magnesium. Huge. And not in the direction you might think. Now need to try the 85mm.

Caster - have not played with it enough yet. I know. It should be one of the first adjustments.

On Friday, it was so fast in the first 3 sessions, we did not want to change too much. But as my son says, “if you don’t test something, how are you going to know what it does when you need it?”


That’s correct! Great group to work with.

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David - congrats on the win! Impressive run in the final. Hope that you will be running the rest of the series and that I’ll be able to make a couple of the events. The KA masters group at Stars is a good one, and it was a fun event to watch.

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New Castle, Chris? I hear babies like Indiana

Impressive run David, hope to see you at future events.

:crossed_fingers: I’m holding out some hope…