Race Report for Viking Racing, Redline Oil Karting Championship. May 1st, 2011
After my disappointing debut in the Formula Car Challenge I was motivated to do well in the 2nd round of the Redline Oil Karting DD2 Masters Championship. Due to Formula Car racing as well as work commitments I had not been able to test since last race but hoped I had solved the engine problems arising during the last race weekend.
As Valdemar was the only kid signed up for the Rotax Micro class and as the series does not run a dedicated class with only one driver, it was decided to exclude Valdemar from racing until he gets as fast as the older kids or until there are more kids in the Micro class. Valdemar was disappointed about that but it is probably a good call as a crash with an older/faster kid might scare him off the track for good. He did get a solid amount of practice laps in during Saturday and improved quite a bit on the Sprint configuration that he had never driven before.
As mentioned due to other commitments I basically had not touched the kart since last race and unfortunately the engine problem, basically no power in the low end of the power band, kept haunting me throughout the weekend and is still unresolved. I qualified on pole helped by technical issues with the competition, and as I won the second heat race I ended up starting all three races from pole position. However the best evidence of the lack of power was that in two out of three starts 2-3 people passed me before corner 1(!) something that I have never experienced before and hope I never will again. To make matters worse I do have a spare engine, but as it had just been rebuilt it was not broken in and thus not ready for a race yet.
The culmination of the situation came in the main finale. Just before going out I noticed a potential bad water temperature sensor. I replaced it and filled the radiator with water. Already on the warm up lap the data acquisition displayed "overheated engine" but as I had just filled it with water as well as replaced the sensor I was convinced that it was just a bad sensor - it was not... I completed the race with an engine temperature of 250'F (VS 140'F normally) and as soon as I entered the pits a competitor told me that he saw all my water had leaked out on the first lap. Apparently the radiator cap had just turned bad on me and thereby leaked out all the coolant. Had I not replaced the sensor at the same time, this would never had happened as I would then obviously had reacted on an alarm message. Murphy's law and an engine that now definitely needs a rebuild is what I ended up with.
I did complete the race and ended 2nd. With an engine with no bottom end power as well as overheated I had nothing to offer in terms of challenging for the win. As they say true Champions are measured on their bad days and not their good days and considering all the engine problems getting away from the race with an overall 2nd is not too bad.
Next race will be June 10th in the Formula Car Challenge at Infineon Raceway. As usual I would like to thank our sponsors for making this season possible.