The Garage is finally on track – and setting the pace

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Last night, we finally got out to the track with both kids. Our 8 year old, Duncan was out for his second time practicing, and 13 year old Shelby was out for the first time this season. We’ve decided that both of them should run in the Canadian Rookie Karting Championship at Mosport International Karting. This is an arrive and drive series, that is fully sanctioned by ASN Canada. Essentially the thought here is to remove Dad’s bungling from the equation and see what our young drivers have going for them. From last night’s results, it looks like it’s going to be an interesting summer!

Being only his second time on track, Duncan is still pretty tentative around the corners, but he’s listening well and learning to run the proper lines. With wide open throttle on the straights, The Dude was going a little bit deeper into every corner each lap before he got on the binders to creep around the corner. Once he loses the fear of the corners, the boy will be fast.

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Big sister Shelby hasn’t been on track since last August, when she was painfully slow on the straights due to a fresh, but weak engine. She’s always had great kart control skills, but has never really had the equipment to run at the front of the pack. Yesterday told a whole different story. As soon as she hit the track, we could see that there was a confidence and determination in Shelby’s driving that we hadn’t seen before. She wants to win. Once her on track mentor finally caught up with her (it took at least 4 laps to close a 100 foot gap) Shelby was able to hold him off for a few laps. Once she let him by, Shelby was able to stay with him and even challenge on the straights. The hundred pound weight difference might have had a tiny bit to do with it!

I guess I should mention that the driving coach is occasional contributor to The Garage and 3 time Canadian Karting Champion, Petri Ranta who is also a tuner for the IRL’s Stars of Karting series.

Sheby will be racing in the Teen Series, for drivers ranging from 12 to 18 years old. Recently, one of the faster 17 year olds qualified on pole at 59.3 seconds. When Petri started commenting on how Shelby looked fast, it was time to pull out the cell phone stop watch. The second timed lap she turned a 59.1! The next lap looked even faster, but Dad buggered up the watch! next time, out comes the trusty old Robic or maybe even a transponder. Lapping alone is a whole lot different than lapping in a race, but having a 3 time champion chasing you is enough to make anybody screw up and Shelby drove flawlessly.

It is definitely going to be a wickedly interesting season!

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Comments

  1. says

    Smart move Dad, move over and let the kids do their “own” thing. Us dads tend to push too hard and become impatient which results in getting our kids frustrated. Allowing a pro who knows carts and has all the “know-how” and equipment let alone the latest technology will get your kids into the mainstream much faster that if you try it yourself. Believe it or not it will end up being less expensive in the long haul as well and will most certainly result in a better driver as well. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about on this one. Then some day way down the road send them down here to spend a few days with my friend Bob Bondurant at his cart school. He was a big help with my kids.

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