The F1 guys aren’t the only ones who get to race hard in the Principality of Monaco. The kart racers get their chance too and often they are more aggressive than the big boys.
On October 17, the KF3 Final race was on a wet track. It seems that one section was a bit more wet than others.
There is no less expensive way to get involved in motorsport than arrive and drive kart racing. For those of you who haven’t heard of the concept, you arrive at the track, pay a small fee for your day’s racing and head out on the track. It is absolutely the most affordable way to go racing. Often though, there are complaints about karts that don’t run or are far from equal from each other.
That’s because many of this type of facility also use their race karts for schools and corporate events. Call it maximizing your ROI. Great for the investors, but not so great for the racers.
The newly announced Canadian Karting League hopes to change that. Program owner Russ Bond is a racer first and investor second, which means he wants races to get the most bang for their buck. The karts are professionally maintained and will only be driven by racer members. No corporate events. Russ has a few pro drivers on staff who will test each kart before every event to ensure that all karts are within 0.2 seconds a lap of each other. This means that the racing really does come down to who is the best driver, not who chose the best kart.
I’ve mentioned that the CKL is affordable. How affordable? How about a $99 season registration fee and just $50 per event! Most club racers spend more than that on fuel taking their small bore race car to a lapping day and they still have to make sure everything works. 50 bucks to show up and drive!
To learn more visit the Canadian Karting League online
What a great concept: Hold a giant kart race in a hotel parking lot in Las Vegas. Have quite literally the best of the best racers in the world come for the weekend and actually race. Not an exhibition, a race! Pit the best car racers against the best kart racers from around the world and let them duke it out.
Oh yes – don’t market it. Let the automotive media find out about it from an inside source during the second day of the event. That way you’ll be sure that hundreds of thousands of spectators don’t fly in from around the world to see a 7 time World Champion race. Oh well, the kart racing fraternity has never really been known for making smart business decisions.
Despite that, fans and local media got a great show this past weekend thanks to a truly world class depth of talent. Where else can you see up and coming kids, international racers and the best race for nothing more than a trophy and then go shake hands with the spectators?
In the SuperPro class, Bas Lammers from the Netherlands took the win while Michael Schumacher ended up in the 7th spot out of 23 that finished out of 43 starters. Piquet ended up in 10th, while Canadian Mike Vincec was one of the 20 DNF’s.
Once again, a big thanks to Tom Donoghue for the huge collection of photos he has allowed us to share from the event. We have another giant gallery after the break with lots of up close shots of Mike.
Today we have another huge gallery from the SKUSA nationals in Las Vegas courtesy of Tom Donoghue. This set includes a variety of different classes, but obviously the main focus is on the big boys. Michael Schumacher, Nelson Piquet Jr, Buddy Rice and a few others.
You can find the full results from yesterday at the SuperNats site, but in the SuperPro series there are a few interesting stats. Following all the heat races, Schumacher will be starting 27th out of 44 karts in today’s big finale while Sebastian Buemi is way up in 8th. Not bad for guys who don’t race karts all that often any more. Ontario guy Mike Vincec is starting in 19th, ahead of Piquet.
Huge gallery after the break
It sounds like a movie plot: A small town USA mayor and 59 other local figures, a cult, a Canadian businessman with mob ties and large sums of unpaid money leading to a giant hit list. Except for one thing: it is a real story.
Canadian kart racers have looked upon Bob Cameron alternately as hero or villain depending on their point of view. Some view his extravagant spending on karting facilities and race series as having revitalized the sport in the province. Others feel that it is somehow illogical that someone should profit from a sport and that Cameron has just been milking the community. I’ll bet that both camps were as shocked as I was to read this CBS News report from the week before Christmas.
The story goes that Cameron was trying to recover a bad debt from a group in Shawano, Wisconsin. A bad debt from racing business. Imagine that. When traditional methods failed, Cameron apparently began to try alternative methods, including helping the group with their political problems through the use of his connections. Shortly afterward, Cameron allegedly received $175,000 from the group along with a list of 60 local problems for him to eliminate including the Mayor, Police Chief and most of the other local officials.
Reading through the CBS report and those from affiliate WSAW are beyond bizarre. I just can’t wrap my head around so many aspects of this story. Not the least of which is how a seemingly normal guy from Ontario could get so far mixed up in this. Normal people do not go to this type of extreme to recall bad business deals!
Be sure to watch the videos at CBS. These guys are creepy!
It has been a long hard winter here in Ontario, but it looks like the snow cover is finally beginning to recede somewhat and most racers are thinking about that first race weekend. One of the best ways to get the juices flowing is to visit with some old friends and make new ones at a local swap meet. Tomorrow marks the first annual Canadian Karting Expo at the Pickering Markets in Toronto’s east end. Whether you are an old pro looking to hook up with friends, or are racing for the first time in 08, this event should be just the thing to get your blood pumping on a cold but sunny Easter weekend.
For all the details, visit Mosport International Karting
Over the next few days, we are on vacation here in The Garage. We’ll be out and about, hiking and paddling around different parts of Ontario and visiting Mosport for a bit of kart racing. To keep our readers somewhat entertained, Jaime is going to help out a bit by posting some memorobilia for me. We have some cool stuff coming your way including Can Am, Grand Prix, sports car racing and a really cool book of Achievement from Castrol.
Having missed a whole season of kart racing last year, The Garage racing team was looking forward to an action packed weekend with the Mosport Kart Club. That said, the goal was education, fun and break in a new engine, so our expectations of success were low.
Saturday morning began with an unexplained lack of power, that we suspect was dirt in the carb. After much mucking about, we were able to get the engine to rev over 3500 rpm and Shelby was on her way. Rather than the usual pre-final, final format the club had decided to run a 15 lap final. Shelby loves long sessions, and I figured that it would be a good break in session, so this was welcome news. An untested gear change should bring more revs & get her closer to the pace. A few laps in, the change had made an improvement, but still not enough. About halfway through the race, the old tires started to get slippery the girl was at full opposite lock more often than not. On the 2nd last lap, the leaders caught her quickly at the entrance to the infield hairpin, just as Shelby spun. The leader hadn’t left enough room and hit her hard in the right front. A display of poor sportsmanship by the other driver and his parents taught Shelby a thing or two about fair play.
Sunday dawned sunny and humid, with promise of wicked sunburn. Now running on the south track at the Mosport Driver Development Track, the engine had come alive and so did the driver. This is Shelby’s fave track and it shows. New tires, another gear change and a more comfortable driver made a huge difference. On the 11th lap of the 12 lap final, we were running 6th and Shelby had just set up a pass for 5th when she suddenly slowed. A thrown chain. Not quite enough tension and a bump in the track had been Shelby’s demise.
Overall, the driver and the wrench learned a lot this weekend and that was the goal. Saturday was a big disappointment, but that was mainly due to the behaviour of another team. I’ll deal with more of that issue in another post.
Related Racing season is here