There are two type of meetings:-
There are meetings that go well and there are meeting that you learn lots from. This was one of the later ones.
Having just moved up from Minimax I was still using the same routine of checks on the kart. I started the weekend and checked brakes, fluid levels, brake pedal feel, pads, disk... the usual stuff. Having only put pads in at WMKC the weekend before it was a quick check. I didn't look at them again until Riley came back in after Heat 2. Most people who have run a few races in Junior will be rolling their eyes at this point and shaking their heads... "I've got no brakes..."
He has normally got really good feedback so I surprised he hadn't mentioned anything in Heat 1 to be fair. That's not an excuse for not checking the pads, I am just surprised he burned half a set in a day. All credit to him for keeping up the pace with no pads left. Lesson learned new pads deployed, checks updated... and note to diary "CHECK PADS"...
Well I don't think the brakes helped in Heat 1 or 2. After being so quick on Saturday I was looking for Kart issues Sunday. But I didn't need to look at the kart as the floppy bit holding the wheel had issues. "I am cold Dad and I ache all over" He says with his teeth chattering uncontrollably on the grid. I knew then he was starting to run a temperature and getting back in bed at the lunch break was a bit of a give away that I need look no further.
He was keen to race on though, but we were lacking our usual pace. Heat 3 showed that Juniors still have a lot to learn when an overly aggressive move, by someone I won't name, into the Bus stop fired off a competitor spinning him in the middle of the track. As this was the first lap the bus stop chicane was filled in a instant with a 14 kart pileup. As we had started 27th, that meant Riley too. Obviously the new bumpers were all deployed as well as bent track rods and steer column. He soldier on to the end, to receive his 10 second penalty, with 10+ other people.... The final was started twice, but to be fair the second start was worse than the first. It was still jumped by the second place man and 3rd place got fired on the first corner. Not from behind, but from the inside, so no bumper penalty for that one. We lacked out usual pace, which wasn't a surprise given he could hardly keep his eyes open. Still 6th in the final was decent considering.
Drop down bumpers
I am not enjoying the new bumpers. They are very random. They can be taken down by curbs, and other competitors when you are not at fault. The rolling starts are better, but no better than standing starts from my experience. And don't start on about TKM can't do standing starts. If you watch TKM races you will notice a lot less bashing because if they do spin or go off that's the end of their race as they can't restart, so they tend to be just that bit more careful anyway. All the officials are watching the rolling starts and praising the bumpers, but from the racers point of view we are getting "fired" by the bumper a lot more than we ever got "fired" by competitors, so from an enjoyment point of view it's not working! Safety I hear you say, well we will see in a few more races. There were 2 reds flags in the Junior X30 race I watched at WMKC, and as I say multiple "firings" at FEKC this weekend. Its just moved the contact point to the side, fast learners these kids... so its still comes back to the point that the incidents need to be seen and reported. Then the aggressive drivers get consistently caught. Less damage I hear you say... This weekend we wrecked the front steering and had some turn in on us at line and wreck the back axle... so not really seeing the difference. Roll on WMKC I am sure there will be more bumper stories...