Off Season Racing

The season is over and Jason and I are suffering from a bit of “Parked Kart Syndrome”.  The first few weeks I had it pretty bad.  I did not know what to do with myself.  Spent a few weekends literally wandering around the house.  Jason was not as bad but every few days he said, “I miss karting”.   For the moment we have put it behind us but I should really start tearing the kart down for inspection and rebuild. In the meantime there is indoor racing at K1 Speed to keep the reflexes sharp.

IMG_20141207_102422K1 is a national indoor electric kart chain.  The adult karts are very fast.  They claim they reach 60 mph but I suspect the top track speed is closer to 40-50 mph.  Jason is a few inches too short for them, so he has to use the Junior karts which are slower.  I think the fast kids are hitting 30.  The tracks at K1 are smaller and tighter than what he is used to, and the drivers really need to drive a very smooth line to maintain speed and momentum.  The folks that make fast laps don’t slow down.  Jason says, he floors the pedal for every lap and just touches the brakes to adjust speed for corners.  In the normal race sessions, the fastest lap of the race is the winner.  The racing leagues are one race a month for five months, and use a standard race format where the first to finish is the winner.

A few weeks ago Jason and I decided to crash the last race of the K1 Speed Addison racing league and see what happened.   He had only been on the track once and that was in 2012.  Perhaps we could be spoilers.  Not really a nice way to introduce yourself, but sometimes that’s racing.  Jason raced really well,  He qualified second in his race and finished second.  He had a faster lap but it was not faster enough.  Still all in all a good time.

This week we took some time to see what he could do at K1 Speed Buffalo Grove.  It is actually a slightly easier track, and is a little bit longer and wider.  Jason had a goal of working on passing and learning to do it everywhere on the track.   Most of the drivers that day were first timers or very novice, so he was going to have a lot of practice.


Setting up the kart

First run of the day was just him, which was fun.  His twelfth lap was the fourth fastest lap of the week and month.  Being the only one on the track certainly helped.  For the next five sessions Jason set the fastest lap times and worked on passing.  He started off a little slow but by the end of the day he was passing everyone, everywhere on the track.  He finished the last race two laps ahead of everyone else and set his own third fastest lap of the day.

We are going to try to get to K1 every couple weeks to stay sharp and keep learning.  The next K1 race league will start in January and run the first Tuesday of every month.

Thanks to Jason for learning to put his own helmet on today, all I had to do was watch drive.  Thanks to Karen to keeping positive about this.  We’re having lots of fun.