First Race of 2015


In race mode

The 2015 race season has begun.  The first race of the season was at K1 Speed in Buffalo Grove.  This will also be Karen’s first time being the track parent.  I had tried to prep both Karen and Jason with what to expect and some strategy, but there is only so much you can do.

The starting position for qualifying is random and racers start single file.  The drivers are then sorted by fastest lap time for the feature.  The strategy for Jason for qualifying was that if he was near the front, he should just run and try to pass.  If he was in the middle or back of the pack he should hold back to create space between him and the leaders, so that he could get a couple of clean fast laps in.

The first race brought good crowd of 12 drivers.   Jason started the qualifying race in 7th position.  Right off the bat, he got a quick lap that qualified him 5th, but instead of making room to get a fast lap in he stuck behind a slower driver.  He spent a lot of time trying to make the pass but the driver was unpredictable.  After three laps one of the drivers in front pushed too hard and spun, taking a number of other karts with him.  Jason managed to get through the chaos cleanly and had some room to run.   He ran the next few laps anywhere from 3rd to 5th, and finally 2nd, before getting caught behind a slower driver again.  By the 10th lap two drivers were now faster then he was but they had all bunched up again and time had run out.  In the end Jason was able to qualify 3rd.

20150203_185243Jason started the feature in the third position.   This is a very tricky spot to do well in.  The driver in the lead position is either going to get keep the lead or prevent Jason from moving up.  Jason needs to try to get in front of the second and prevent #4 from passing him.  Unfortunately, Jason took the racing line which is good if you have speed but not if you are just getting started, and dropped from 3 to 5th by the first corner.  With little room to pass he spent the race right on the heals of fourth.  In the last lap the 3rd place driver made a mistake and let 4th place and Jason, by giving Jason a 4th place finish.  Despite being stuck he managed to run the 2nd fastest lap of the race and 3rd fastest of the evening.

Jason has raced at K1 only one other time with more serious drivers on these really short tracks.  On non-race days he easily beat the other kids who were driving for fun to the point he has been told to slow down.  Now that he was racing, he was frustrated that they didn’t always drive the line, and there was little room to pass.  Challenges come in many forms, and this indoor league is a has many of them.  Despite this frustration, he rose to meet them and preformed remarkably well, keeping focused on moment and the task at hand.


Some pool with Mom, post race

Special thanks goes to Karen who is a very supportive kart mom even though she does fully understand his passion.  Most of the race description came from her and she did a great job of keeping the driver focused on the task.  She did a great job with photos and video.   BTW, congratulations on your first GoPro face.

The next race will be March 3rd at K1 again.  With some hard work we should have the sprint kart back together and ready for the next warm weekend to shake it out and get ready for the season.