October 27, 2008
Austin and I headed to Davis, CA over the weekend to get some practice in, working on our setup and driving line for the reverse track layout that will be run for the upcoming 2008 IKF 'finale'.
The track was hosting their final club race of the season on Sunday so we stayed over so Austin could race with them.
Never having driven this layout, Austin took right to the configuration, looking very comfortable with the challenges of running the track in the reverse direction. He is known to be a smooth driver and showed his stuff yesterday in the race by qualifying On-pole by 3/10th of a second off the competition.
The Heat and Main event were no different. A 12 lap heat and 18 lap main proved easy for Austin as he cruised to a Victory leading the pack by 9 seconds! His motor was strong (Thank you Daniel Bordogna!!), my setup was good, and Austin's driving was right on!
We got a special treat yesterday. Our friend and race car driver, Memo Gidley and his race car driving teammate Brad Jaeger spent the day pitted with us. Their racing season with the Doran Racing Team is over for this year so they came out to play on the karting track, Brad competing in the TAG class w/Memo tuning for him. It was a treat to watch the also "Secrets of Speed" author Memo Gidley in action.
October 20, 2008
Ahh, the highs and lows of racing......
Race #8 took us over to the California Coast this past weekend for the second-to-last race of the season. Marina, CA to the "cone" track. Yes the track is outlined with cones and sits on the airport grounds, close enough to the ocean to get the smells of the salt and seaweed. The weather was sunny and warm with a few hours of marine layer each morning.
Friday practice went well, Austin was smokin' fast!! Our super-fast setup carried into Saturday morning as he qualified off-pole. Working on his continued quest to master the art of passing, he misjudged the end of the track and pushed one of the drivers right off the end....oops! He unfortunately received a rolled black flag and given last place points for the race. The good news is he continues to hold 4th place overall in HPV4!!
Sunday's race was a bit different as we struggled with the setup of the chassis. The track conditions had changed and we had trouble finding the correct combination. Austin qualified 5th and finished 5th. He now sits in 5th place overall in the HPV2 class.
Looking onward to the season 'finale'. The last IKF race of the 2008 season is just two weeks away. Austin will be testing this week on the reverse track layout at Davis, CA . We'll be working on the chassis setup, looking for that top finish. Help me cheer Austin on as he is in a serious battle to defend his position.
September 29, 2008
We made the trip over the mountain into Reno this past weekend to attend race #7 of the IKF Region 11 series. The weather was perfect, sunny and warm. Practice on Friday went well with Saturday's race event even better!!
The battle was up front and it included Austin! His driving was spectacular as he fought through 18 laps with the front 3 drivers, splitting away from the rest of the pack, they roared up and over turn 5, a hill with a blind left hand turn on the other side and then down into the sweeper!!
This 51-second track is full of challenging turns, hills, and sweepers.
With the help of Daniel Bordogna, Austin had an awesome chassis setup and a screamin' fast motor tuned perfectly for the 5100 ft. elevation.
Austin was focused on the podium!!....and that's just where he ended up. SECOND place in the HPV4 class!! This kid earned the spot as he used everything he had to run with some of the best in the Norcal Jr. 2 class.
In the final lap just past turn 3, Austin muscling through the hairpin turn with the Reno track champion right on his bumper, suddenly he is punted off the track by the Reno champ., Austin still full throttle forward bouncing up and down over rocks, through the dirt, dust cloud and back onto the track taking the lead back from the inside of the next turn and he is back in front, heading up to the hill to turn 5, the two drivers still millimeters from each other's tires, accelerate into the small sweeper and then the large sweeper down through the chicane and onto the straight heading for the finish line, and Austin takes the checkered flag!!!!!!!!! Beautiful :)
Sunday's event was no different. Spectators lined the fence, eyes glued to the racing. Austin once again showed his stuff by his performance during this race. He fought hard, running with the front of the pack and on the final lap going wheel to wheel with one of NorCal's best kart racers. Austin finished 4th in the heat race. Unfortunately he didn't make it through turn one of the main event as the field of drivers got tangled up at the start of the race. He tried to drive out of the wreck only making it about 200 feet then realizing he had a bent steering arm when he turned the wheel at the hairpin and his kart continued on straight off the track!
With his great finish on Saturday, Austin is in the end of the year points chase and sitting in 4th place overall in the HPV4 class which means we must go to race #8 being held in Marina, CA. on Oct 18 & 19 to defend his position.
I'd like to give a big thanks out to PD Enterprises for sponsoring yesterday's race, Lisa Caceres for being on hand Saturday to coach Austin, and Ron Stafford for helping me with crew chief duties.
We're looking for sponsorship for this upcoming race for the purchase of tires and entry fees. The entry fees total $185 ($100 for Saturday and $85 for Sunday) and the tire cost is $365 (2 sets) for 2 days of racing. If anyone can help please let me know. Anything will help in getting Austin to this race.
Thank you again for your support in sponsorship of your time, money, and effort to help the team get Austin to these IKF races. He is able to race this year because of your help!!
September 6, 2008
Being back on the track was so great for Austin. He enjoyed himself this past weekend at the Dixon IKF. Knowing that he almost didn't make this race made it that much better, so thank you to the following supporters who made this trip possible!
PD Enterprises, Novato, CA
Lupton Excavation, Sacramento, CA
Daniel Bordogna, Gold River, CA
Grandma and Grandpa Emerson
Ron & Cynthia Winter
We're getting down to the wire, with only 2 races left in this series, Austin is in a battle with 2 other drivers to determine his overall IKF end-of-the-season results. These final results are important to take, as a 2008 record, into the 2009 season.
We'll be on the edge of our seats at the next race in Reno on the 27th & 28th as he will need to finish in front of two strong competitors in order to move up a position, which puts him closer to owning a trophy spot on the podium at the year-end award ceremonies.
The weather was a very hot 108° in Dixon on Friday for practice which made it miserable to test in. The weekend weather was a bit cooler and made it more enjoyable for racing. Austin ran a good race, was fast with only a 1/10 sec. lap time behind the leader, drove smooth and clean and was able to grab a 5th place finish both days.
I see he is right where he should be in this first year as a rookie driver in this very competitive series. The team is confident we will see a different driver emerge next season as he heads into his 2nd year in this larger chassis.
April 30, 2008
Sixteen drivers in the HPV2 class last Sunday at the Kinsmen Kart Club in Dixon, CA. "The Crossover Race" consisting of the drivers from the Dixon, Davis, and Prairie City kart clubs.
It's hot, temps. reached around 90° on Sunday with little or no breeze. We aren't used to that kind of heat yet!!!! Austin had his sights set on winning this race and he had the speed to do it!!! Our practice earlier in the week gave us the advantage as our set-up was dialed in.
Out onto the track that morning for qualifying and Austin was looking smooth, I could see the determination in his movements on the track, he wanted this race!!
Missing the pole position by 5/100ths of a second gave Austin the 2nd place position to start the first heat race. Out onto the track and coming around to the start, the drivers get the green flag and they're off!!! A good strong and experienced driver is in the 4th position right behind Austin and they are pushing all the way down the straight heading for turn one. The driver on pole didn't have a chance with the powerhouse lineup behind Austin pushing him like a locomotive... Emerging from the turn was Austin!!! In the Lead!!! The excitement continued to escalate as we watched him take each lap quickly and smoothly, 15 drivers behind him, but none could catch up, he wanted this race and Bordogna had given him the power to take it!!
Crossing the finish line with the win, the team is very pleased. Back to the pits to get the kart ready to run the Main race. It's a long wait as all the other classes have to run, a few accidents, and even a flip that caused the ambulance to roll out. The sun continued to pound down and heat up the track. The new asphalt on the track hadn't seen this kind of weather and began bringing the oils to the surface. Many drivers we're not prepared for this and lost control of their karts throughout the day at different points on the track.
We're next up!! Lined up on the grid the drivers get the "start em up!" signal and they head out to get into position for the start, Austin "on-pole" this time... Tension is mounting in my chest as I know how important this race is to Austin... They get the green and they're off!! Around turn one, two, three..., front guys battling for position... heading into turn 7 Austin takes the hairpin turn too fast which sends his kart sliding too far out and his back wheel went off the track into the dirt infield!! He proceeded to slide all the way into the dirt, spinning around and around as he tried his best to get back onto the asphalt. Two wheels made it back on and then bam!! High-centered the chassis and the race was over... for our team. Our emotions from sky high to down low as we watched from the fence. Austin sat helplessly on the infield watching the rest of the race until he could be taken off the track safely.
We were disappointed but later looked to the positive side. He was one of three drivers in his class to qualify with very good lap times into the 29's and also winning the heat race and making pole for the main race. Also can't forget to take the things he learned from that race...the skills he will take with him to the next race.
We're heading to Stockton this weekend for the next IKF. Hope to see you there!
I also want to mention a Big Thank You to Becky at Snap Fitness Center in Shingle Springs, CA. for providing Austin with a new set of slicks for the Dixon race. We appreciate your generosity!!!
April 12 & 13, 2008
Sunday's HPV2 race in Redding, CA. brought Austin onto the podium for his first trophy of the season!!! Austin earned a 5th place finish racing with the likes of Brendan Phinny, Brett Felkins, Joey Teves, Kyle Spaulding, and Kelsey Nilsson (to name a few) all very fast and experienced drivers who are used to leading and winning races. Austin qualified 3rd in this group of 13 drivers. He out-qualified the very experienced Brendan Phinny by 4/100th of a second!! The temps were around 90°, it was Hot!! The drivers struggled not to get overheated, it was a challenge to keep cool but all in all we had a great weekend. Saturday's finish in HPV4 earned 8th position out of 12 drivers.