South Carolina Beginner Experience Thread

Hello Everyone. I’ve posted a few times already with more specific topics. But, I wanted to create a thread that I’ll add too as I learn and progress. Hopefully, this will provide some context and aid to any others out there trying to find out what they need to get started. I don’t have all the answers yet but hopefully my experience helps someone else. I’ve found that karting experience is very regional and so all of this is from a south eastern US point of view.

About me: I’m a 30yo weekend warrior who sold his Miata to pursue karting. I can take apart anything but am still learning set up and maintenance specific to karting. I live in Columbia, SC. 1 hour from Carolina Motorsports Park and 2 Hours from GoPro Motorplex.

Goals for me in Karting:

-6 races a year w/ 6 other practice weekends.
-Run in the midfield.
-Have fun.

Goals for this thread:

-Provide a race/practice report after each weekend.
-Provide an overview of what I’ve purchased and provide a beginner’s budget one year after purchasing my kart (August 2022).

You can see my experience on instagram @driverbert. I’ll try to post pictures here as well.


Aug 29 Practice Day Report:

Location: CMP
Weather: 92-95 Partly Cloudy
Sessions: Managed 6 sessions at 6-10 laps each. Kart felt good, first day out. Stalled kart in first session due to revs dropping quickly around sweeping left hander. Tapped a girl in a cadet kart in 2nd session. She took a weird line coming out of the last corner onto the straight. Note to self: WATCH OUT FOR SWERVING KIDS. Started in the 1:02s, got down to 1:00 flat with consistent laps within 5/10ths during 4th session. 6th Session: developed brake issue, inconsistent brake pressure.

Sept 10-11 Practice Race Report:

Location: Go Pro Motorplex
Weather: 80-90 Partly Cloudy

Friday Session: Goal was to get acclimated to the track before the race the following day. Brake inconsistency continued. Noticed it was different after left handers vs right handers.

Saturday: This was a double header race for GoPro’s Karting Challenge so it was Practice-Quali-Prefinal-Final-Prefinal2-Final2. I went under a tent for advice and set up help.

Practice: Issues continued with brakes and back end started becoming extremely unpredictable.

Quali: 3 seconds off the pace. Issues continued. Threw my chain on last lap, but not broken. Discovered Brake rotor was misaligned, straightened that up after session.

Prefinal: Received warning for avoidable contact turn 4 lap 1. I tried to follow someone through on an inside pass but I was a little late. Got closed off and caught guy coming over. No accident but held him up. DNF: Stalled on last lap, tried to restart but pull cord locked up. Had to disassemble starter and fix w/ help of tent crew.

Final: DNF: Threw chain again on sweeping left hander. PROBLEM DISCOVERED! Axle was moving side to side due to loose set screws. CHECK YOUR SET SCREWS! trial by fire I suppose. Realigned axle, rotor, and chain.

Prefinal: Shaved 2 seconds off my best time. Thank God we found the issue. This is the kind of basic stuff that comes with experience I suppose. Rear was way more predictable but still a little loose. We decided to narrow the front a bit to help lock up the rear.

Final: Ate a barrier at the turn 2 chicane lap 1. They have a lightweight plastic barrier to keep people from cutting the chicane. I tried to hang it around the outside and got sent. No damage, the drop bumper took the impact. Ran “practice laps” by myself afterwards. Kart felt locked up. Another .5 seconds off my best.

Overall I had a lot of fun. Ran in the back all day but I’m starting to learn what to look for and finding my rhythm.

As soon as you said the brake problem continued and it was different corner to corner and you were throwing chains, I was like “axle is moving”, nailed it! Set screws tend to work themselves loose sometimes as the axle gets heated up from braking and friction. I always dab some Loctite on mine when installing, and I check them before every session.

Sounds like you’re learning a lot of lessons quickly and having fun and that’s really all you can ask for.

Agreed TJ…Another trick I have stated doing with bearing set screws. After they are set run 2 or 3 revolutions of black tape on top of the set screws as tight as you can. This has worked well for me.

What class are you running?

Do you think your stalling issue is reated to your axle moving or is something else going on?

1 Like

Aha! Another race blog of sorts. I approve! I love hearing bout how folks experience Karting and how they develop.

“Note to self: WATCH OUT FOR SWERVING KIDS.” -Yes!

Is there racing at CMP yet? If they still haven’t found a race director and crew, the East Lansing folks are up for a vacation at the end of the season.