My first serious crash

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gizmo
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Re: My first serious crash

Post by gizmo » Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:39 pm

okay, well, you sure keep my hopes from completely deflating.

so that track I was telling you about... it has an endurance race in june that's 6 hours and requires 4 drivers. I plan on doing it with my sister, and possibly a friend, would you want to team up with us (and if need be bring a friend in case my friend flakes out)? it would be in the slow karts, but i hear it'll have a pretty respectable field.

gizmoooooo

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Re: My first serious crash

Post by LHOswald » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:39 pm

gizmo wrote:I plan on doing it with my sister, and possibly a friend, would you want to team up with us (and if need be bring a friend in case my friend flakes out)?
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Re: My first serious crash

Post by gizmo » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:44 am

wow. fail.

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Bawked
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Re: My first serious crash

Post by Bawked » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:41 pm

If you can't handle a single crash how can you expect to be within that 5%? But seriously though how many of the top drivers would be racing now if they had let a single crash stop them? None.

So if you want to be in that 5% don't give up because of a single crash, learn from it. All these others karters would have crashed as bad if not worse than you... it's called pushing the envelope of your skills.

What you said about fighting with the slower kart, it makes me think your technique still needs refinement try following other karters, learning their lines, getting some tips from them, you can race all day and not get better... if you have an area to focus on you'll do a lot better. I always find karting with the fastest karters brings out the best in me, following them I learn a lot, they know the course better and they know the karts better, when i'm racing the average person.... i can only push myself and thats hard.

The better karters have gone through what you are going through now, so ask for some tips and you'll pick up alot. Stick with it man.
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gizmo
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Re: My first serious crash

Post by gizmo » Sat May 01, 2010 11:13 pm

Looking to buy a kart suit and a neck brace. Wondering if you guys (ra64t) have any suggestions? I was considering the k1racegear evo x suit, and although I need a neck brace desperately, 400$ is pretty steep for my budget.

Also, ra64t, are you going to do that endurance race with us, it's may 23rd?

lastly, if you wanna get a hotel out here, i'd consider TAGing with you the day before at that track and then doing the endurance race the next day.

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Re: My first serious crash

Post by ra64t » Tue May 04, 2010 12:32 am

I don't know a whole lot about karting suits or neck braces. I've seen people with the K1 suits before, and on ekartingnews most people say they are decent, some people say they suck but they are cheap. A few other brands are popular, like alpinestars. The most common complaint I hear about karting suits is lack of breatheability. For neck braces I only know of the leatt and 360, both are expensive but I assume they should be good. I've seen a few people with them but don't know much about them.

Sorry, but I just realized I committed to another 12 hour karting endurance race from 10PM-10AM 22nd-23rd, oops, did not realize it was the same weekend. Also, anyone I could try to drag up to share the travel costs would be in this 12 hour race.
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Re: My first serious crash

Post by GarySheehan » Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:04 pm

Crashing and spinning 11 times in one day tells me you are driving over your head. Based on the posts you made, it seems that you are more focused on achieving an unobtainable laptime over spending learning the feel of the kart and gradually working your way up.

Karts are not cars and cars are not karts. They are very different animals and each has their own skillset. These skillsets are not completely transferable.

In a new car/kart situation and/or new track, spinning once or going off is sort of a given. Spinning twice is embarrassing and requires some thought about what you're doing that the car/kart isn't able to support. Spin three times and you are having a very bad day.

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Re: My first serious crash

Post by gizmo » Sun Sep 26, 2010 2:05 pm

Thank you for your response. Your feedback is always very helpful.

I had a very bad day. Having driven multiple TAGs on multiple tracks, and having never come close to an incident, you can imagine the dismay I felt that day. Coming toward the same corner, lap after lap, wondering if I have any chance of sticking it no matter how slow or fast I went -- that's an awkward feeling for an aspiring driver. It continually makes me question my merit.

The driver/owner of the kart I rented is a professional driver in the grand am series. He is a 250lbs and he claims he is known for using aggressive brake setups. His kart builder calls him a "brake princess", supposedly. I wonder how much of an adverse effect I had on the karts handling abilities, if any, only weighing 165lbs. (I found out after that day that heavier drivers require different tubing to achieve the desired handling effects but how big of an impact the tubing has remains unclear).

I actually have my laptimes from that day. To give some insight: I started it out in a regular 9hp kart to learn the track. In the 9hp kart I engaged in a lead follow session with the instructor to ensure I was capable of driving the TAG. (I guess they didn't take much stock in my experience). They were very pleased with my results, supposedly. These are the times from the 9hp kart, note that we're switching lead/follow positions on the straight and similar things throughout these laps.

Code: Select all

56.70
52.70
50.80
46.50
57.40 SPIN SLOWING TO SWITCH POSITIONS ON STRAIGHT
47.10
45.80
45.40
45.40
45.70
44.60
46.80
47.20
45.20
44.00
44.00
43.20
42.80
44.20
42.10
41.70
42.30
42.40
48.40

Once I got into the TAG, which has 30hp, I was on my own and the following are/were my laptimes. There were some little kids, about 9 years old, that were practicing on the track for their club races during parts of my runs, and whenever I got close to them, I was instructed to stay back in case they crashed, and to only pass them on the straightaway. The first few laps of each session were spent warm up the motor and tires too (no long sustained periods of open throttle).

Code: Select all

SESSION 1
48.90
42.60
40.70
38.40
37.00
36.80
36.60
36.60
36.30
OFFTRACK INTO GRASS, HIT WATER BARRIER, TURN 6
END OF SESSION 1
START OF SESSION 2
47.30
43.70
41.90
40.70
40.80
39.80
39.20
38.70
38.40
41.40
38.10
56.30 KID ON TRACK
END OF SESSION 2
START OF SESSION 3
48.60
44.80
40.30
39.30
39.50
38.70
39.10
41.20 KID ON TRACK
40.20
38.00
37.30
36.40
36.90
36.30
36.10
36.30
45.40 KID ON TRACK
39.70
35.80
38.30
35.70
END OF SESSION 3
START OF SESSION 4
41.60
35.70
35.70
41.60
44.90
40.70
36.40
36.00
35.90
36.00
END OF SESSION 4: CHAIN CAME OFF SPROCKET
SESSION 5
36.40
39.40
36.00
40.70
40.70
36.20
37.20
35.80
35.70
36.30
38.60
KID ON TRACK
38.20
43.10
34.70
36.90
35.50
36.50
38.40
35.50
37.20
35.30
36.40
36.90
OFF TRACK INTO PEAGRAVEL, TURN 6
38.90
41.90
35.40
35.70
35.30
36.80
41.10
36.80
35.70
36.90
40.60
36.00
35.80
36.80
36.70
41.00
42.60
Some of the laptimes might reflect difficulty passing a slower kart on the track. (I was one of many people on the course). They might also reflect a botched lap. Hard to tell without a video, I had my poor girlfriend timing the laps.

I like how you phrased your thoughts. It's cold, it's hard, and it's true. But even the spin in the rental 9hp kart, which happening braking in a straight line on the straightaway to let the instructor by -- that was a bit of an introduction to the rear-brake-only, left-preferential-braking (the rotor's displace way left on the axle and apparently the left wheel does a lot more braking than the right). The TAGs I drove previously had front brakes too, which I imagine had a dramatic effect on my ability to control the kart under braking.

Analyzing the laptimes, I think it's pretty clear that I didn't go as easy as I should've when I first started. But then again, I never felt like I got on it after I crashed, I was too afraid something else unexpected would happen and I didn't want a repeat occurence. I know I could've driven faster that day, and I'm told a good lap is 32-33 depending on the kart and conditions, but after rolling through turn 6 at 1/10th the capability of the kart, with no need for brakes or gas, and still having it spin, I was totally perplexed. They warned me I needed to drive it in hard, because it was a race kart, and wouldn't take the turn slow, but driving it in hard required braking and even a modicum of braking caused it to spin out. I asked the instructors what I could do differently and their only suggestions were to keep turning in even earlier and to brake only while turning. Their advice helped, but didn't cure the problem. It wasn't until I got my own kart that I was able to consistently get around that turn without an issue. It might be worth noting that I drove my kart the same way, after months of not driving a TAG, and I had zero problem staying on track and better luck pushing it. If the motor didn't blow, I would've started to time my laps, because I was getting around pretty good right before it blew. (Had a bearing in the bottom end go, then after it got fixed, the fuel line came off, caused the engine to run lean, and the piston seized... racing is expensive).

I know 28 is an impossible lap. I must've misheard Tim. When I asked him about laptimes, I said to him if he didn't tell me the truth I would hide in the street with binoculars to see what laptimes he was running to gauge where I was. He said that he runs a 32-33 in a TAG and a 30 in a shifter. Wonder how I got a 28. I bring this up because earlier posts complain that I was light years off the pace. (And 2-3 seconds is still a light year, but it's a few galaxies closer to where I'd want to be, no?).

Gary, I really do appreciate your feedback. Many reasons why I am as good as I am today, are due in part to instruction I learned through you on this website. Granted, I'll never acheive your level of racecraft or stature, but you might have saved my life and possibly the lives of others because of something you've taught me. That is my way of saying THANK YOU, big time, for your involvement here.

As an aside, one of the reasons I've been pursuing racing, as you know, is to cope with my father's death. But I've noticed, when I'm out on the track, I still feel very much apart from him and racing has lost the same meaning it had when he was part of it with me. So your advice really helps put things into perspective on whether I should really continue pursuing the sport on such a competitive level.

gizmo

P.S. I'm going to take some pictures of the tC and post them in the member's forum. She's had a bad run of luck, between the wind blown shopping cart that dented the front bumper, and the patch of asphalt an oncoming car sent wailing into the rear quarterpanel, but she's still a good looking car. I'm curious what you guys will think of the rims, seeing that I had them changed after I hit the pothole on Christmas in pea soup fog. (I know, I know, don't say it). But I do think the rims are pretty cool now. Gimme a day and I'll get some photos.

P.P.S. for those that don't know, when you spin a kart under braking, it's not the slow kind of spin you expect from a car and can recover, you're backwards before you hear the tires squeal, and if you hit the grass, you slide on a sheet of ice like a pinwheel until something changes.

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