I’m admitting right now. I’ve been enlightened to the 206.
I say enlightened, because although I’ve known about the engine package for a while now, yesterday was my first race in one. I had no idea what fun I’ve been missing out on!
Lately, I’ve been having some problems racing TAG. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the power and getting the kart setup. The fact of the matter is that I’ve been spending more time struggling with it, than I have been enjoying driving it. It’s been pretty frustrating, and taking the fun out what is the most fun sport around.
Some of it is needing more experience knowing how to properly jet my motor, some of it is improving my driving, but most of it has been just my engines not running properly or something else irritating. I mentioned in an earlier post how frustrating it has been the last few months to go to club races or practice days, just to have my engine breakdown at the track and seemingly waste a whole day.
What I hadn’t realized that I had been missing lately from karting, was just an opportunity to drive something that would just work right out of the box. Fortunately, Ched Follis came to the rescue and offered me the opportunity to run his 206 at one of our local tracks, PGP Motorsports Park.
It was brilliant. I didn’t have to mess with any jetting, or spend half the day figuring out what wasn’t working. I could just get in and drive the thing. Also, unlike when I ran World Formula, there are way more 206 drivers to race against. The sealed nature of the motor makes it an attractive prospective for new people getting into the sport, or who just want to have a good time with a fair engine.
It was great to see some friends that I hadn’t spoken with in some time, and just hop in and race. ( *Gasp* Actual, racing!) I qualified 18th for my first race, because I was figuring out the gearing, but I ended up 9th by the end of the day. You really can’t be upset ending up in the top 10 when you have 24 karts in the field.
The main thing that I really learned to appreciate running the 206 (Still trying to remember not to call it the LO206 anymore), is that moving at a slower speed helped me identify some areas of my driving technique that I need to refine. Especially on the brakes and how I roll into the corners, the momentum-nature that’s required is key to getting a fast laptime. Getting into an 206 is a great way to get additional seat-time, which will only help my racecraft and technique when I get back into faster karts.
I’m going to talk to Ched about running some GPS on the 206, just so that we can do some more data breakdowns at the track. (Sidenote: I’ve started writing some more articles about understanding the basics of data acquisition here on KartPulse. Check them out when you have a minute.)
Racing the 206 was a really pleasant eye-opener. Although, I’m still going to be hacking at this challenge with TAG, I’ve found something seriously fun to race as well. #keepkartingfun