The second Championship Enduro Series weekend, June 1-2, at Blackhawk Farms was probably one of the most challenging we have ever had. Jason wasn’t involved in any wrecks but there was very little time to catch our breath with numerous mechanical issues. We have been working on the Road Kart since we bought it, making little changes here and there in an effort to get it setup right. It has been very very close on a couple of occasions. As the season ended last year we went through two maybe three motors with failed side cover gaskets. This seems to have been caused by a cracked chassis and thought that was solved. This year we had already lost a motor Nelson Ledges, things went from bad to worse.
The first race of the weekend a few laps in two karts got together in front of Jason and he had to head to the grass to avoid getting collected and he slid into the tire barrier with a less than gentle bump. Thankfully, he was unharmed but a was little rattled. He collected himself, as I inspected the kart for issues and was able to address the pushed in body work and he pushed the kart back up to the start finish line for the restart. The restarted race went off with out any issues this time, starting from 21st he picked up 9 spots to finish 11th. Between races I gave the kart a more detailed inspection and found that the steering was extremely notchy. It was carefully disassembled to keep settings to find the sticking point. I discovered he kingpin bolt on the left side was way too tight and pinching the bearing causing it to stick. This was easily fixed and the front was reassembled. Race two was, thankfully, uneventful. Right at the start he picked up 4 or 5 spots and as the race progressed he moved up a spot just about every lap as they crossed the line he finishing 8th.
After racing was over there was time to get some extra practice in, practice and racing was earlier hampered by rain and a wet track. Unfortunately, the motor very quickly died. With the kart back in the pit we put the last motor on, filled it with oil and gave it a test start. It immediately started leaking oil from the crank seal. We started tearing down the motor and found the case had cracked from top to bottom allowing the crank seal to easily pop out. We were out of motors and had just begun to think about what to do next, when Jason appeared with two motors. Reagan and Jack lent us motors for Sunday racing and a backup for Mid-Ohio should we need it.
Sunday racing was much worse and not much to tell. The borrowed motor worked great but we broke a belt in the first race and in race two broke another both just a few laps in. The rear gear hanger was loose and moved over causing the belt to slid off and catch on the gear bolts.
We think we have the motor issue solved. The motor mount was rebuilt and welded and it is something we will add to our list of things to keep an eye on. Looking all of the cases and motors they all have signs of cracking that are probably a result of the loose mount and cracked chassis. The loose mount allowed the motors to shake and bang the internal parts around enough to cause the crank and case failures. We have a plan for a new primary and are working on a finding a secondary motor. We should be back on our own equipment and ready for racing again at Mid-Ohio.
Next up for us is a weekend “off” as we travel to Montreal to enjoy our first F1 race. The weekend after that we spending father’s day weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, one of our favorite tracks. Jason will again be racing 350 and 370 Senior and will have some stiff competition.
Thanks to Regan(4 Cycle Central) and Jack for their support this weekend. Thanks to Jason for putting in the effort to get other drivers on the track after their karts where damaged, that effort will pay off.