The experience of autocrossing a kart


(Ji Simmons) #1

Well, fellas… I finally hit my first autox today with my kart. What a mind blowing experience. I went out with no allusions of doing anything other than having fun. And to that extent, I more than met my goal. I’m sold on the kart for autocross. I will never, ever drive a car around the cones again. The raw, unadulterated madness and brutality of it all is so far beyond anything I’ve experienced. I knocked about ten seconds off my time over the course of my runs (11 total, 8 being my fastest) and beat a C6 Z06 by 1.8 seconds raw to get FTD. Not bad for my first time out and not having any expectations at all. I still have a long way to go, because I do feel that a kart should be faster than that in relation to a car. None the less, it’s an example of a superior machine making a bad driver look good. The guy in the 'Vette congratulated me, but I told him he was the real hero for being that close to a kart with a full size car.

There were the usual comments about how karts don’t count and one guy got rip pissed when I spun out and wasn’t quick enough on the clutch, so he had to stop his run behind me but hey, ain’t nobody going hungry if they don’t win an autox event.

The MG greens came up to temp just fine and I was also able to make my runs nearly back to back so I only went out on cold cold tires a few times. The thermostat was a good move as well, as the kart was up to temp before I had all my gear on and was leaving the line at 115° and staying around 120- 125° for the run.

What a hell of a day. I’m sure it pales in comparison to doing laps around a kart track, but it’s all I have available to me for at least this season. I’m just happy to be out on it. :slight_smile:


(Dom Callan) #2

They are incredible machines and such a joy. I’m glad it jazzed ya. What’s your desired delta to that corvette?


(Ji Simmons) #3

As much as possible. Given my inexperience and what I know I could have done better (and will with time), I think I was leaving about five or six seconds on the course.

My biggest issue was the variable and asymmetric grip under braking due to the fluctuating and unpredictable surface… More than a few times while downshifting, the wheel got ripped from my hand and went full lock. Had I not been hard on the brakes when the front went full lock, I probably would have shot off in a potentially dangerous direction. Mind you, this isn’t a manicured kart only track… This is a parking lot with bumps, cracks, gravel, sand, different quality (and grip) of pavent in different areas, and tar snakes. As much as I’d like to say this issue was caused by the dumb piece of meat stuffed next to the angry ball of hornets, I do think that an electronic paddle shifter system is called for so that I can keep both hands firmly on the wheel at all times.

That all having been said, I’m just happy to have a venue to run this thing at and really get a kick out of being almost eye level with the tops of the cones. The emotional response I get is very close to what I used to get when I raced 600cc sport bikes. It flips that switch and scratches that itch way cheaper than the bikes did :grin:


(Ji Simmons) #4

Here’s the video of what I think was my fastest run. Not much to see, really. But it is what it is.

Oh, and there was a section I was airing it out in. Kinda like a mini Cadwell Park. I was at the bottom of 4th here.


(Dom Callan) #5

Angry hornets indeed. The acceleration is crazy compared to a car from that perspective. I have only done one autocross which was fun but the track was much shorter. That looks like a perfectly acceptable way of spending a Saturday. Any onboard vid?

Also, you look like you are getting air in the stll shot.


(Ji Simmons) #6

No on board. I’m debating between the purchase of a GoPro or something that would integrate with a MyChron to get the data superimposed on the video. The safety aspect of the paddle shifter far outweighs any ego stoking that a video system would provide, so that will happen first.

Yep, all four off the ground. The launch is next to that code and I was hitting 4th about 25’ before that, so by my rough estimates… 60ish MPH?


(Dom Callan) #7

Well with a little elbow grease you can get mychron data displaying on your vids.

Either buy an AIM smartycam or use any camera and use racerender to overlay mychron data.

http://racerender.com/RR3/Features.html

Example: https://youtu.be/3VdZkQD78C0

If you go mychron route, get a hero 6 black or hero 7 black (vibration reduction).


(Ji Simmons) #8

Interesting! Thank you. However, I have a MyChron3 and I doubt it’s compatible.


(Matt Martin) #9

MyChron 3 allows for data acquisition using AIM’s Race Studio Software. I believe that’s all you need in conjunction with the video.


(Dom Callan) #10

Theres gotta be some way to get the data off the mychron 3. It may not have GPS, but I believe the old ones made a track map somehow.


(Davin Roberts Sturdivant) #11

I’m just glad that you’ve been bitten by the kart bug proper.
I can always tell the car racers who haven’t driven a kart, when they talk silly crap about it. You know immediately that they’ve never driven one. :wink:


(James McMahon) #12

There is a a cable for the 3 basic and 3 2T that you can get. It’s got an inline serial <> USB adapter.
The 3 Gold and 3 Plus are straight USB interface with a DIN 719 connector on the MyChron end. You can even make your own for fun.

The reason this is important is because the cable for a plus or gold won’t work with a 3 basic or a 3 2T and vice versa.