Since my last blog…We raced in the SKUSA Pro Tour for the first time in mid August at New Castle Motorsports Park. SKUSA is the top level of karting in North America with all of the factory and big-budget teams competing. There were over 80 karts entered in our class, X30 Sr (TaG). We did not show the results we wanted but it was still a great opportunity to learn. We were as quick as many of the front-running national-level drivers during practice, but a wreck on day one bent the chassis in two different spots, stealing our pace. But driving against national competition was a great learning experience.
After SKUSA, the chassis was straightened but it has been beat up too much to compete at the level it could. The kart is now finishing its 2nd season – which is a very long lifespan for competitive karting. Despite that we were still able to finish the season strong. In the last race of the season, we were able to qualify in the front row for TaG Lite, missing the pole by just half a tenth. The race started out with a close battle for the lead, but the inconsistency of the chassis likely caused us to not be able to get any temperature in the tires causing us to drop off pace at the end of the race. We finished the race in fourth and second in the championship for TaG Lite in KRA. This is my best points finish in karts. We finished 3rd in one of the Jr. Yamaha classes two years ago.
In the Sr. TaG class (same kart and engine, just a higher minimum weight requirement), there was great competition all season. This is the most competitive class at the highest level in KRA. There are often drivers who have raced in the Mazda Road to Indy competing in these races and the top national drivers all run a few races to prepare for SKUSA, WKA & other top events. We ended up 4th in points in this class!
This season I have developed into a completely new driver. I have so much more control over the kart and I am a lot smarter and more strategic. I am looking forward to putting all of this together next season – and the plan is to have a new kart and a better chance with equal equipment.
Thanks to my tuner and coach, Ron Funkhouser! And, thanks to my supporters including Don and Jennifer Caldwell (Caldwell Realty & Caldwell Subways in Hobart/Valparaiso), Nancy Chumbley & Hinchman Racewear, Bell Helmets, Fastimes Indoor Karting, Hull Chiropractic, Performance Tire Service Company and Lee Marcom (& of course my parents!)
Next, we are doing a formula car test at Sebring on October 24th and we might race the kart again at Whiteland Raceway. I am excited to get to show what I have learned and to prove I am ready for the next level.
As always, thanks for your support!