I want to thank everyone that participated on Saturday, it was an enjoyable day for most!
A few guys arrived late for various reasons. Some just didn’t have much luck, ending their day after a handful of laps. One guy never got his kart to start! There was also all types of problems in between. I did not bring my kart, instead, opting to drive a CIK that I had done a bit of engine work on. The “Winter weight” known as FAT was too much to stuff into the seat and so I did as much as I could to aid the running of the program. This allowed me to visit with literally everyone, which isn’t always the case at these Tests. I noticed a rash of issues with more guys than not having some kind of trouble. Some repaired, others lingering but a few being terminal. This may have happened in the past but it was very evident this time because I had ALOT of time on my hands!!! :)
The weather was cold early on, Tony and I went out and swept any puddles from the overnight showers. The start was delayed about 30 minutes to allow the track to dry a bit more. John Brasher agreed to be the Ginny Pig and went out first. When He completed a lap then others joined in. We had a bit of “seeping” in a couple corners but nothing of great concern. They had rain all week in Grand Rapids the week of the Test and the huge “ponds” in the grass off track were proof of that. Getting off the track was not going to be pretty, our tow driver Bob Cole said he brought rubber boots and would have needed them to rescue anyone more than 10ft off the track surface. From 2pm on it was really quite a nice day and everyone got plenty of track time.
Lil Johnny from the LAR racing stable drove 3 different karts, one being the CIK with “kid-kart” seat that I could not drive. He put in a ridiculous number of laps. Jerry Revely has his new Reed Jet running well and should give the Sprint Open class guys a run this year. He also turned a good number of laps. Finally got to meet Bruce Peck, we see his posts here all over and was good to put a face to a name. His driver, Kevin Olds was testing some axel clutch set ups. They swapped complete axel assemblies of different clutch types to get the most from the day. We chatted just a bit while I drove him out on course to place the multiple beacons needed to gather data. The “long haul” award goes to Mark Horne and Kevin Thompson, they came from Missouri to test a beautiful new prototype chassis and may very well have done as many laps as Johnny! It looked good to me, and not just the chassis!!
Met a very enthusiastic new guy, Paul. He turned a good number of laps and ran all day. He is from the Metro area here and WAS a sprint only guy, bringing along a young Son in the Kid Kart class. After his first road course experience he is completely hooked on Road Racing now, and, is the result of why we hold these Test Days. I imagine, one day when his Son is older, they will both become full time Road Racers.
For me, it was an exhausting day. Awake since Friday 6:30am I just could not sleep before heading to the track at 3am Saturday morning. Any other time I would have been sleeping comfortably in the Heated Tower in the Paddock but I knew Chuck would never be able to deal with those conditions. He REALLY wanted to go and see everyone and to be back smelling the sweet fragrance of 2 stroke exhaust……so I took him for the day. It was worth every agonizing minute of the drive home, fighting off the “tireds” for him to get back out to Grattan. He is improving, but at a very slow rate. Typical racer at heart…..nothing happening fast enough!
Again, Thanks to Bob & Kenny for running things, Curt Faasen for cooking and Mrs. Chappell for all the “extras” at lunch!!!!