The idea of the run up to the Kimbolton meeting was to get 2 solid days of testing in on the Thursday/Friday followed by official practice on the Saturday then all the racing.
Thursday was cancelled due to track damage by the weather so that didn't work.
Friday was the day when many things decided to break on the kart so the day was spent firefighting but the positive I took from the day was that it was all sorted for official practice.
Saturday morning I had trouble setting the chassis up, this is something we have struggled to do since I have raced karts but finally my mechanic has figured out where we have been going wrong, my inability to give feedback was the issue on Saturday - there were so many things happening that I was struggling to figure what particular problem was causing the kart to have no grip.
We spoke to several other competitors in our class and we started to realise that they all had very similar setups and that ours was wildly different, we copied their settings and BANG! it was like a different kart!
I have always had problems with oversteer, this is when the back of the kart tries to overtake the front and it was always from the midcorner, we have figured that this isnt a lack of rear end grip but too much grip!
The tyres would just grip and grip until they let go at which point it would oversteer and I would be compensating with my body position to get the kart pointing in the right direction which then upsets the balance of the kart - easy huh! Not really, it's taken months to get to this point but now we're starting to understand it.
The first race with the new settings was a revelation, there was the normal carnage at the first corner where I always make up a few positions in the chaos by threading my way through, after the first lap it's normal for the midpack to then drive away from me but this time it wasnt happening! They pulled 3-4 seconds on me and it just maintained at that gap until lap 5 when I dropped a wheel off the kerbing which snapped my chain, a frustrating end to that race but the potential was there and I now had a kart I could race.
My head was up and all of a sudden I was confident that we could improve on things and go faster, the tyres were looking better as we'd been suffering from graining all weekend, finally the tyres were doing what they were meant to be doing.
In the 2nd race it was over by the 2nd corner, I made a good start and made the usual 3-4 places up and then the engine went full throttle without my input, it took off like a lunatic before siezing solid and throwing me off the circuit - later inspection found that the butterfly from the carburettor had worked loose then fallen into the engine, the piston had picked it up and siezed the crank.
A disappointing end to the day, I was sure we would have improved our times with each race.
Back at home I stripped the engine and found further damage where smaller components had been dragged through the casing, a trip to the engine manufacturer Tal-ko was in order.
Yesterday I took delivery of the repaired crank casing and some new components.
The barrel has been bored out to the next size up and a new piston kit was necessary for the bigger bore.
I assembled the engine last night, it went together very well and will need running in during the next outing.