Leon,If you wanna got up in the tower...use the stairs champ.
Every now and then a helmet comes along and just smacks you in the eyes......
Sth Island grass kart champs- kindly penned by Bruce Roberts
SOUTH ISLAND GRASS KART CHAMPIONSHIP 2013
On the Wednesday before Easter, Lucy & I flew to Dunedin and drove
to Milton. From there we did the “tourist things”. We took in the sights on the
coast, Nugget Point was impressive, and we did the photos at Bluff etc.
We really enjoyed the greenery down there.
Once back in Milton, we began mixing with some of the karters who were also
staying in the same motel as us.
From the outset, we were impressed with the organisation. Friday
night was scrutineering of the karts at two (perhaps three) venues. This gave
us chance to get up close and observe some of the equipment.
I must say, it took me back 50 odd years. Not that they were presenting the
farm equipment-type gear we used to race, but the predominant display of aircooled
motorbike engines was something that had me “ooghing and arghing”.
On the Saturday, we attended day one of the 20th Anniversary of the
South Island Grass Kart Championships. In the south, there are ten grass
kart clubs form as far south as Invercargill, up, down and sideways to
Ashburton, Cromwell, Christchurch, Gore to name but a few. The kart
numbering system has the club number in front of the kart number, therefore
most karts carrying a three digit number.
Talk about a great set-up! Drive into what looks like a 30 acre paddock and
there are karts and tracks stretched out for miles. Someone mentioned 126
karts. Car tyres were laid out to outline the track for the day, six hundred
metres track length for day one, running anti-clockwise. Transponders had
been hired for the event, a pair of sensor wires had been mole-ploughed
under the start finish line and a “Timing Vehicle” was present. A set of traffic
lights formed the “X-mas tree” and one of those speed advisory devices (that
you see when entering into some towns, the sign indicates what speed you
are travelling at) was stationed at the end of the main straight. All very
professional- but certainly not over-the-top.
Just walking around the pits, one got the sense of “business”,
especially when one needed to side-step karts being driven through the array
of pit tents and vehicles. It could be likened to a tiny town with traffic. We
noted that while they didn’t have so many Cadet drivers, the ones that were
there were intent on preparation and racing. One of the kids had noticed me
speaking with his parents on more than one occasion, walked past me and
gave my leg a “back-hander”, looked up at me and said “I’m only five”!
Down there, they start at five years old IN A GEARBOX KART! They have a
huge range of classes, air cooled, water cooled, four stroke, two stroke, all the
way up to 500cc.
Rotax’s and Yamaha KT100’s are banned! Well, it seemed that way.
I noted that the Cadets turned in speeds of around 75 kph and the
fastest speed of 106kph was recorded was by a 500cc water cooled two
stroke powered machine.
One club had a number of karts presented with handlebars as steering
wheels, throttle control was via the motorbike type hand throttle, clutch was a
hand clutch lever on the opposite end of the handles, the brakes were on the
left foot pedal and the gear change was done with the right foot, all just like a
motorbike. While I was intrigued, I decided that for a guy like me who has
trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time- nah, especially while
having my brains so close to the ground!
From the first to last race that day, the team work in maintaining the track was
superb. The water cart was 7500 litres and used a few times to keep the dust
down. Being a grass (turning to dirt) track, the watering process was one lap
of “heavy watering” followed by a 10 minute soak period. As the races went
on, tyres were moved in a little on some corners that were beginning to cause
problems due to rutting. They had even organised a portable welding service
to cater for breakages, even the welding technician was there, gas and
electric welding available. The clubs also organised a couple of quad-bikes
with push pads on the front to shuttle “dead” karts back to the pits.
On the second day, the racing was switched to the next paddock, this time
running clock-wise. A couple of karts had expired, I saw one dude carrying a
rear wheel with ¼ of an axle attached!
At the end of the day, a relay race was set up. Starting with the cadets,
they took in about 500 of the 600 metre track used on day one, then crossed
on to the day two track to complete 500 of that 600 metre track. Coming in
through a chicane to slow them down, a team member raised his arm as a
signal that they had come to a stop, someone at the front of the line tapped
the next driver on the helmet and away they went and so on. After what
seemed a massively long but exciting “relay race”, the finish was equally
exciting, the first two teams were separated by just one kart length. Some
100 plus karts took part in that race. Of course, there was the odd bit of
excitement in the change-over area, a couple of karts getting a bit sideways
and cleaning up the odd signal guy! Nothing serious though, I think they had
employed acrobats as signal guys.
During the days of racing, we met a lot of people and found them very
hospitable. Lucy & I ended up going through to Dunedin to the prize giving
that night. We had an enjoyable evening with some really great people.
There was a wee bit of “niggle” during and after a race or two, but then, they
did call it a “Championship”!
The prize giving was on the top floor of the Dunedin Police station, the
warning was “Misbehave and you’ll go downstairs”!
Looking for a kart friendly farmer with a reasonably flat paddock that has had
sheep and no cows on it for the last ten years.
for more pics of this event go to ... http://www.tearohadirtkartclub.com/apps/photos/album?albumid=14897856
the cunning plan
So you think you can drive fast huh!
You have no fear..huh?
Well then-hows about this....
Here's a pic of Jerry Coons junior-speedway driver extraordinaire from the good ole USA.
Jerry joined club members for a day of fun at Waikaraka park ,he drove Josh Mathews Kart and had an enjoyable time mixing with everyone for a relaxed days racing-the night before Jerry took out the Barry Butterworth memorial fastest off the back 40 lap feature race at Western Springs.
Jerry has been a regular at Western Springs ,racing the Wendys 3 USA car owned by Danny Lendich .
Must say,for those who love midget racing -this was a real thrill to chat and race with one of the worlds best-next summer we'd love to get him (and others) down for a run at TADKC "the" best dirt track in NZ !! watch this space.
Here's one of his NZ ride