In life, things never go as you plan, but sometimes they end up better.
Originally, I had planned to go to the third and fourth round of the Gold Cup, but other events stepped in. However, an opportunity came up for a set of test days to help setup Ched Follis’ 206.
Between spending time at both PGP Motorsports Park and Sumas International Motorsport Academy, it was an opportunity to get some more seat time with the 206 and try some new setup changes with the four-stroke at two different tracks with Ched and Leo.
It was also another opportunity to start practicing working with kart datalogging. Last year, I started working with someone who had been planning to help to capture some of the data from my kart, and help me figure out where I was losing time. Honestly, that never really happened. ( It was really helpful to have him at the track to be able to get my kart off the stand, and be a spotter, but we never really accomplished what we set out to do.) However, what that meant was that I started to take it up myself to understand a bit more about how to read the data from my kart to improve my laptimes. (I’ve started writing some articles about it here on Kartpulse, so I’ll just point you over there, if you want to learn more. ‘Approaching your Data.’ ‘Understanding the Speed Trace – Part 1 and Part 2‘)
So, just like I did with my TAG, I updated the firmware of the LO206 to be able to read the data from the Mychron4 GPS Expansion. Seeing that we had the track to ourselves during the practice day, it allowed us to really start to dig more into the data and talk between Ched, Leo and myself, with enough time to think about what we really needed to be doing.
First, we wrote down what the baseline setups were for the kart, so that I had a baseline on what the kart should be. Then, after doing a warmup lap to make sure that everything was bolted up correctly, I did a race distance of 10 laps. Running full race distances allows us to 1) make sure that we have enough laps to gather good data, 2) allows me to settled into a rhythm that we can shake out inconsistencies that we saw in my driving.
Between both track days and around 120 laps of testing, we found about a second of laptime, and are moving the kart in the right direction. As always, there is more time to find in the kart, but everyone is happy with the positive progress. We’ve got two club races coming up in May, and I’m really excited to be able to mix it up with another good field of guys.
The time that I’ve been spending with the 206 has really helped me appreciate what I’ve been been going through in the last season of racing.
Racing TAG last year, I found myself a little bit in over my head. Not so much with driving the kart, but with all of the little things that had to be done for the kart to run well, so I could fight closer to the front. With my friends helping me, we have been able to get the kart a bit more consistent last year, but there are still a number of things that I have to learn in order to get a day properly right.
At the same time, I needed to put myself in a class that I could focus just as much about racing in a competitive field as learning about my equipment while I was racing. Not just for my confidence, but also I needed to be able to start having some more fun in the races. It’s not always fun starting race after race, knowing that you’re not going to have much of a battle. Racing 206 provides me the opportunity to learn and race.
I’m going to jump back into TAG, but I’ve really found some insight in taking some time racing the 206 package that will benefit that when the time comes. As always, I give my thanks to Ched Follis for the testing time, and Leo Borrego for his helping hands with tuning. #keepkartingfun #theartofkart