As TJ mentioned, we learned our tuning craft the hard way, but we always got lots of advice from some of the best along the way. TJ had been racing for years and had a good amount of success, but he had a year that he spent a ton of time with Jamie Sieracki at FMS that helped take his driving to another level. Getting coaching from someone you respect can move a driver over plateaus in his skillset. I highly recommend a coaching day anytime you feel like you’re stuck.
When it came to kart setup, we learned it together, at track, for many hours, but that’s “how we roll”, as they say. Some people have more money than time, so they hire someone who has already put in the time. There’s nothing wrong with that. Some people are good with numbers and making bucks. Numbers make my head hurt. I’m more of the outdoorsy type, so I’d rather wrench on it than figure out how pay someone to do the same.
I’ve always felt that our chassis were good, or I wouldn’t waste my time/money racing it. The karts we’ve run along the way, were the same karts anyone else could buy. Maybe its different in Europe, I don’t know.
When it comes to engines, I’ve always applied the same philosophy that my friend and past 100cc engine builder, Kevin Nelson, would use. When I asked him if a particular engine was a good one, he would say “you’re not going to lose the race because of it.” In other words, a good, or even great engine, will probably not win the race for you, but a bad engine can certainly lose it for you. Have good, solid, reliable engines, and work on the things that matter most, like kart setup and driving. That doesn’t mean that buying a good proven engine isn’t worthwhile, as it usually is. It just means its usually not your biggest problem.
“Team” drivers or sponsored drivers usually have one big benefit working for them. The Team has a lot of knowledge about kart setup and they can draw on the efforts of other racers to share that knowledge across the team. It gets everyone up to speed quicker when there are 4 of you testing instead of just one.
KartLift Kart Stands
DeepSeat Kart Seats
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