The Six Hours of New England at Club Motorsport
A Slow Burn with a Big Finish
Nick and I drove up to gorgeous New Hampshire this past weekend to compete in the Endurance Karting 6 hour race. We raced with young master @E13 of the Beacon Hill Shirley’s who met us there.
The race was at a private automobile club called Club Motorsport in a little town called Tamworth which appears to be a launching off point for a state park. It’s quite bucolic and the track itself is lovely, reminiscent of OVRP, scenery-wise.
The circuit was on the shorter side and was the kind that circles in on itself sorta like GoPro, but simpler. It was a very challenging track in that the turns would fool you into pushing too hard on entry. It took some laps to get the hang of things and even then, I suspect I could improve from here.
We got a paid practice session in at 8:30 to get familiar with the track and then got another opportunity to practice in the 50 minute practice session/qualifier. I did the qualifier for team Three Men and a Margay and did rather poorly, placing 10th in a very tight grid. This was partially due to overdriving corners but also due to a slow kart. Fortunately, we would switch twice more over the course of the race and get better machines.
Despite our lousy first kart, Elias managed a terrific start. He jumped from 10th to 5th, quickly, but, the lack of top end dropped us back down to 8th or 9th, which we got stuck in for the duration of this kart.
Somewhere along the way, to compound our challenge, Nick got black flagged for hitting a cone on the blend line. Oops. So, our first sessions had some difficulties, but we persevered.
Our next kart at the 5th driver change was an improvement and we started to post sub-40s laptimes, which had eluded us in the pokey one. And, we got better.
By our third kart, (switch 10), I think we all were feeling pretty comfortable with our driving and the kart was on pace. In my final session I landed a 39.40, my fastest lap, which suggests that had the kart lottery been a bit different, we might have been on podium.
I haven’t seen Elias’s or Nick’s footage yet but the final two sessions of mine were excellent. I had many terrific battles but the last two sessions were special in that they were essentially me hunting a kart down over many laps (with someone on my butt hunting me down, too). It felt like intense, careful, technical driving, trying to eek a little more grip, to get a little better throttle than the other guy. Inch by inch kind of driving, with explosions of activity as we come upon traffic. Good stuff!
Here’s the closing two laps as kart 83, who I had been battling all session come upon our final obstacle to the finish. We both clear him in the final turns of the white flag lap. It was an epic finish and I couldn’t have done any better, I don’t think.
We ended up 4th overall which was a very nice finish considering our first third of the race! Elias drove well and was pleasure to hang out with. He apparently hasn’t been in a kart in about a year and a half so he expressed fatigue afterwards, unsurprisingly. So did we all! We did manage to drag ourselves out to a nice brewhouse/burger place to celebrate. I found Tamworth really easy as a race location: the Motel 6 was 4 mins from the track with a rustic 7/11 across the street as well as a popular restaurant or 3 nearby. Super convenient.
Ultimately we had a great race! The weather worked out, too. It was cool and for overcast as we went along. The rain started falling after the race, during podium ceremony, so we all lucked out.
Thanks to @Chris_McCoy and the gang as well as thanks to Club Motorsports for hosting us. It was epic and I highly recommend the series and the track.