Tom Flanders Stuff

Don't Hate Anyone

K1 League Feb 14

My first race of the year, having missed the January round due to the flu, and I managed a top ten finish. OK, so there were only ten of us, but that’s still a top ten.

Having not driven a kart since the first weekend in December I was quite rusty. Worst yet was the fact that we were racing the track forward which I haven’t driven for over a year. It took several laps before I got my line and braking to be not woefully slow.

I wasn’t surprised that I finished last. Everyone else was moving quite spritely. My time was only .8 seconds off the fastest. And oddly, my average lap time was the fourth fastest.

The second qualifying session went less well. I wound up in ninth but was actually slower than in the first session. My kart’s front tires were rather new in not worn in too well yet so the kart understeered more than I could cope with. As I’ve said before, understeering is my biggest weakness as a driver. Ah well.

We had a standing start which I love even though my weight is a big disadvantage. As expected the other karts shot away, but as often happens when the first corner is a hairpin, several of the karts got tangled. I tip-toed around the outside and was in 8th by the second corner.

I managed to hold 8th for several laps even though the karts behind me were obviously faster. Finally the ninth place guy got tired of being held up and shoved me wide going into a corner. A few corners later the 10th place guy got by me coming out of the hairpin. A wonderful pass.

Not to blame that kart, but it just didn’t have the umph to keep up with the other karts. It wasn’t all that slow. My best time was only .6 off the winner’s best and my average was only .5 off the winner’s.

So if I’m going to have any chance at placing in the championship I’m going to have to get my game together.

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Tags: ,, | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: February 12, 2014

K1 Racing League SF August – Best qualifying ever!

There were ten of us last night. We ran the track backwards again. They’ve made a few adjustments which kept people, mostly, from slamming the wall in the sweeping turn. I was the only one there who had driven the course in this direction so I was liking my chances.

Chances did not work out that way. After a couple laps I found that I could keep my foot down and not touch the brake for the entire lap. That’s bad. That means slow. Sure enough I had to pull over for several of the other faster karts. I would up with a best time of 26.19. That was good enough for 4th but was just barely ahead of the newcomers and 1.5 seconds back from the leader.

For the second session the motor was much crisper. Nobody passed me and I lapped several of the newcomers. I finished the session with the second best time of 24.86, just .3 seconds back from the fastest time at 24.55. This is the best I’ve ever qualified at one of these races.

For the race they had a nice surprise for us, a standing start. For all the previous events we did a rolling single file start. This makes for few immediate passing opportunities. The downside of standing starts for me is that with my weight the lighter drivers behind me have the advantage.

Fortunately the third place starter was too busy protecting his position to worry about taking mine. The first place kart slowly pulled away from me and the third place kart held steady a couple seconds back so there was no real drama in the race. I was hoping that when hit lapped traffic I’d be able to work past the leader but due to two red flags we didn’t do enough lapping to make a difference.

So I got my third second place in a row and if my calculations are correct I am leading the championship by two points. There’s an esteem booster.


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Tags: ,, | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: August 5, 2013


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