Bay Area Q listers do Speedring 01-28-01

My arms are like noodles! And that's after only 12 minutes. What a blast. I hadn't imagined that it would be that fun. I arrived at Speedring at the same time as some other Bay Area listers.

We checked in and got our clean driving suits, gloves and head thing (backlava or something like that). We watched from the overhead walkway a bit before our heat and then were called in to watch the pre-race drivers video. It showed safety and rules information, but no speed tips. We left the drivers room and got our helmets and neck brace on. When heat 3 ended, we climed into the already running karts and waited for the start. I was getting a lot of exhaust fumes and found it hard to breath. I pulled the baklava thing down over my chin and it was a little better, but they might need to work on their ventilation in the warehouse some.

Our heat started and I took it easy the first few laps trying to get a feel for things. A few people passed me right off. I got held up a few times myself. If you look at my timesheet you;ll see that I was held up bad on lap 5. By lap seven I was getting my legs (or arms?) and turning laps under 36 seconds. By lap 15 my arms were toasted. Amazingly, I managed my best time on the last lap. Watching the karts from trackside really gives no feeling for what it's like to be in one. Trackside they look quick, but not extremely so and they look smooth.

In the kart, the feeling is totally different. You are constantly fighting for control while bouncing, understeering, oversteering and barely dodging the barriers. My kart was well balanced. I was able to take it from understeer to oversteer under braking and accelleration. After while I figured out how to pitch the kart sideways into turn 1 to carry momentum through to turn two. This is critical since it's coming off the fastest part of the track and you lose lots of time if you get it wrong. Very similar situation going into turn 6 with the added excitement of a jog in the barriers for the service bay. You don't want to crash there! I almost spun a half dozen times, but I was able to bring it back every time. I guess everyone else in our heat did really well also since there were no full course yellows. This gave me a 19 lap run in 12 minutes. It's hard to say how many turns are in the track, but I think there is a turn every two to three seconds at speed.

After the session we went into the snack bar which is kind of neat. You pick up your timesheet there and have a drink and relive the experience with your buddies. Check out the pics, videos and what I saw in the parking lot.







Here are some AVI's. They are pretty dark since I only had my still camera which has a crude video function.

20 seconds at Speedring (3mb)

5 seconds at Speedring (639kb)