My First Go Kart Race

My niece and nephew have been racing go karts for a couple years (ages 12 and 14). Last weekend, one of the tracks where they race added a late season race day to their schedule.

My niece didn’t want to race because of school activities, so my brother set up the cart for an adult driver. He entered it in the RWYB (run what ya brung) class. Most of the classes have pretty strict rules about what you can do to the motors, but this class would allow any motor you wanted to race.

We didn’t have any illusions that we’d win, or even place. We knew that others in the race would  have different motors that produced a LOT more horsepower. We simply wanted to have the experience of racing, which would help us in setting up the karts for the kids. Plus, neither of us had raced before.

I ran the hot laps and the second heat, and my brother ran the first heat and the finals.  Here I am in the hot laps:

Notice where the main grove of the track is, where I am, and where the disk blade marking the inside of the corner is.  A split second after this picture was taken, I  hit the disk blade, which bounced me to the outside of the track, into the loose dirt. This caused me to go farther up the track, going head on into the hay bales along the outside of the track. I spun all the way around, and ended up facing the right way, so away I went.

Here’s another picture where one cart just passed me, and another is fixin’ to pass. That was pretty common for both my brother and I.

To give you an idea how “well” we did, my best lap time was 14.08 seconds. My brother’s best was 13.68 seconds. This translates to about 40 MPH. We thought this was pretty good, until we looked at my nephew’s lap time from another class, which was 13.58 seconds.  That’s right, a 12 year old beat our lap times.

Doing this gives us a much better perspective of what the kids are doing on the track. We now understand why they can’t always answer us when we ask them how the kart handled through the turn. They are too busy aiming the cart, and praying that when they get through the corner, it is headed in the right direction. At least that’s what I was doing 🙂  And as soon as you get it through one corner, it’s time to throw it into the next one. Things happen so fast.

I’m so proud of the kids.  They make it look so easy when they are out there, but it’s not. It’s a lot of work, and they do a great job.

As I reflect on this experience, I can’t help but think about these blog posts by @k1v1n (Suggesting solutions we don’t use ourselves) and @jasonadamyoung (Online courses). You really do need to experience things before you understand them, whether it’s online courses, social networking tools, or racing. Be the ball.


1 comment so far

  1. John Dorner on

    COOL!!! Looks like a LOT of FUN!!!

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