A few weekends ago Championship Enduro Series visited to Gingerman Raceway in New Haven, MI. Jason’s first visit to the track was nearly 9 years ago, when he drove his little Briggs 206 powered green kart was well out classed by the other karts in his class but drove the full 30 minutes on both Saturday and Sunday. As a 8 year old he was a dedicated driver and learned a lot about driving these big tracks. Now, as a 16 year old he is racing with the adults is still working on his race craft and share his passion for endurance racing.
The weekends task was to try to bring the black kart back to it former speed after reconstruction. The chassis has been welded and re-enforced, it has a new seat, and has been wrapped in a new body. It was first on the track at Grattan but only for a few laps, it was the limited mod kart at Mid-Ohio and was quite the handful but we didn’t really put any effort into it. We put a few more lap on it at Blackhawk farms but it was seconds off the pace and it got parked. To make it fast we really need to put some extra time in it. Now that we had a few hours of practice on Friday that seemed possible.
It would turn right well but left turns where just not happening. In the 3 short hours of practice, Jason made some adjustments to the kart and eventually, the kart was handling mostly well. He moved left rear wheel out and adding some left caster. Even then, at the end of the night, he decided to reinstall the seat and it was another hour of thrashing on the kart but he felt it would be better.
Saturday morning brought a surprise our friend Violet Townsend was going to race her 206 sprint kart. After watching her drive in the first race, while the animal whizzed around and remembering Jason’s early days, we decided she needed to be in Jason’s other kart. Since, Jason had raced it all season it was nearly race ready and was rolled over the their pit for a fitting, which turned out to be spot on.
Jason finished his first animal 370 race in 2nd and the won the Animal 390 race. Violet joined the Animals for the second 370 race. She got off to a great start, as did Jason. Both of them worked together pushing each other to the front. Jason finished in 2nd and Violet in 3rd not too far behind. The rest of the day was spent hanging out and bench racing with Chuck Townsend and Violet before they left for the night.
Sundays Racing was great as well, unfortunately Violet had to retire early in race one but Jason finished 3rd. For the Animal 390 race Jason finished second and blew up his motor as he came off the track. Since Violets day was done the four of us trashed on the the white kart putting wheels back on and taking off weight. We dropped it on the ground and Jason drove it to the grid few moments before the race started. He spent the first two or so laps adjusting to the karts handling while keeping up with the pack. As the race progressed he pushed hard finishing third.
This was Jason’s last kart race of the 2021 season but not quite the end of the race season and it was great to share it with the Townsend family. Watching Violet step into a road kart and drive was really one of this seasons highlights. Next up is a test day at Autobahn followed by the SCCA Runoffs at Indy in his FE2.
Thanks to Chuck and Violet for hanging out with us and sharing in the fun of road racing. Thanks to our 2021 sponsors, including Zamp Racing Helmets, OGIO, and EVS Sports for their continued support this season.