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Thread: 1:40 sec lap Laguna Seca...in a shifter kart

  1. #1
    Beyond Help TonyKarter's Avatar
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    Default 1:40 sec lap Laguna Seca...in a shifter kart

    This guy is good. Real good. He's also about five foot and 130 pounds wet. He's in a 125cc ICC shifter and he checks out and leaves the other 125cc karts. He catches the 250cc SuperKart pack that starts ahead of the 125cc race (they run concurrent races on the track to maximize expensive track rental time) and comes through that pack, ultimately running mid-pack with the 250cc karts. 250cc SuperKarts are capable of speeds above 160mph in ideal conditions at Laguna Seca/Mid Ohio/Road America/Daytona etc., but these 250's aren't the front-runners in the 250cc race, and they are probably only doing 130 or so.

    Here is the race: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-deJKFKt38I (the actual race does not start until the 4:20 mark in the vid)

    Doesn't look that fast does it? Less than 130 max down the straights. Probably less than 110 I'd say. Looks are deceiving: Follow just one lap. Start at the 9:39 mark where he passes under the crosswalk. He finishes that lap at 11:19. That is a 1:40 second lap. His best lap is in the 1:37's. Compare those lap times to the top performance car lap records:

    http://fastestlaps.com/tracks/laguna_seca.html


    How does a 125cc kart that only runs 110-125 out run cars of that caliber? Simple: MUCH, MUCH higher cornering velocities. Slower in the straights than these cars, but MUCH quicker in the technical sections. And yes, it is scary as shit. Take a turn in a kart at speeds faster than a Z06 and see if you don't get excited! You think you are going to die at any second. Most fun I ever had.


    You can do this. WAY more adrenaline for the buck than anything else you will ever do short of driving a dragster or Indy/F1, or riding a bull. There is a track close to you. You can do this successfully at the national level for less than what many of us are spending on our G8s. Or just club race locally, take the kids and make it a family weekend thing of it like 90% of us kart racers do. Adrenaline overdose. Go get you some of it.
    Last edited by TonyKarter; 01-29-2013 at 02:34 AM.
    2009 MGM GT: VCM CAI, ARH LT headers (no cats), Vector Tune, MT drag radials
    Procharger P1SC still powering the box it came in January 2010, hiding somewhere in the back of my man cave.
    PB: 12.533 @ 111.45 w/ 1.951 60' CLAIMING THE INTAKE/LT/TUNE/DR RECORD UNLESS SOMEBODY GOT GAME
    And nobody ever had game.


    "There are but three true sports...mountain climbing, bull fighting, and motor racing. The rest are merely games." Ernest Hemmingway

    "Racing is life. Everything before and after is just waiting." Steve McQueen in the movie LeMans

    Only two things smell like fish...and one of them is fish. unknown

    Assigned male at birth, I now identify as a lesbian, but with extra equipment.

  2. #2
    VIP Member Bill Brollier's Avatar
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    What's with the huge offset from stering knuckle to front wheel? Clearance for brakes? How does that affect not only steering but overall rigidity of chassis? I was into go karts when they first "hit the scene". There is nothing slow about them and, if I remember it took a lot of upper body to horse them around (and HANG ON)!

    Thanks for sharing this.

  3. #3
    Beyond Help TonyKarter's Avatar
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    Track width. It is one of the chassis adjustments. Mainly to help with being loose or tight.

    Chassis stiffness: The chassis flexes enough to aid being able to lift the inside rear tire completely off the ground so you can turn. No differential on a kart. If the inside rear tire is not lifted off the ground you can't turn. Those super fast turns he is cutting are on three wheels, not four. He tricycles around them. This lifting is aided by the Ackerman effect of the front steering geometry which on turn in progressively drops the inside front tire lower than the outside tire, effectively jacking up the inside front of the kart, and this follows to the rear to get the tire off the ground.

    Yes, it is brutal in its requirement for upper body strength, but mainly torso, forearm and neck strength. The seat ends about four ribs up. From there on up the G-forces try to snap you off using the seat top as a fulcrum. Think of the toughest fight you ever had, times two. For fifteen minutes. Hit a bump while strained against the seat top in a hard turn and it will snap a rib like a matchstick. You must wear a rib protector, and even then I've gone for months hurting like hell every time I coughed or sneezed...and I had only bruised one. Great fun. You use muscles you didn't know you had to strain against these G-forces in an attempt to hold yourself upright in the kart. It's performance level is so high I only know a few persons who can drive one to its limits. I surely can't. F1 and Indy car drivers drive these to stay in shape. These are more physical to drive than either of those. That's why they drive them. They get accustom to what these demand in the off season, and transitioning to their competition car requires less physical effort. The rest of us less in shape persons are literally just hanging on for dear life, trying to stay inside and upright in the kart and somewhat in control of it, always behind the curve, reacting to what the kart is doing rather than safely ahead of it and in full control as you are suppose to be. The most fit usually are the front runners at the end of the race. I swam in college for awhile, and no workout or race I ever swam even comes close to the level of physical exertion one has to subject themselves to in order to horse one of these around the track. That's part of the reason I bought it...to help me stay in shape. And it is one sick, sadistic, demanding taskmaster. Constant and unrelenting, total physical exertion if you drive it hard. Because of the high G-forces that never end you get so tired that you don't have the energy or the strength to expand your lungs to breathe in a hard turn in the middle or end of a race, so you give in and slow down, turn less hard just so you can breathe. Or you just hold your breath until the turn is done, and then gasp to attempt to replace the oxygen debt before the next turn. And you can't. It hurts to race it, but, DAMN, is it fun. I've let quite a few people drive it. Only two have ever asked to get back in it. The rest want no part of it. They were not ready for the intense acceleration and cornering ability, and it scared them. I imagine it was like an MMA fight to them...and they are getting their ass whipped from early in the first round. That is what it is like to me!

    Go to a race in your area. They ought to start back in March. You can go in the paddock, and karters love to help people into their sport. Somebody there will let you drive one after the races, or later on a track day. Try it. Best adrenaline rush per dollar out there.
    Last edited by TonyKarter; 01-30-2013 at 06:30 AM.
    2009 MGM GT: VCM CAI, ARH LT headers (no cats), Vector Tune, MT drag radials
    Procharger P1SC still powering the box it came in January 2010, hiding somewhere in the back of my man cave.
    PB: 12.533 @ 111.45 w/ 1.951 60' CLAIMING THE INTAKE/LT/TUNE/DR RECORD UNLESS SOMEBODY GOT GAME
    And nobody ever had game.


    "There are but three true sports...mountain climbing, bull fighting, and motor racing. The rest are merely games." Ernest Hemmingway

    "Racing is life. Everything before and after is just waiting." Steve McQueen in the movie LeMans

    Only two things smell like fish...and one of them is fish. unknown

    Assigned male at birth, I now identify as a lesbian, but with extra equipment.

  4. #4
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    Wow! That look like a adrenaline rush of "11" on a scale of "10"! Thanks for posting this!
    2009 Hot White G8 GT, CTS-V v1 fronts, Camaro 20's, BMR Sways, Eibach Springs, Rear Cradle bushings. GXP FE3's, BMR rear susp. Kooks 1 7/8 LT headers, RCR custom 3 exhaust, ported LSA blower, 2.38 pulley; Ported heads and TB; LS7 MAF, Racetec pistons, Scat rods, CTS-V crank; FAST 85 injectors; RCR Lunati cam: 223/238 .615/.601, 116 +2 LSA. CTS-V pump/VaporWorx cntlr. Built trans, Methanol injection. Rick Crawford built and tuned. Best 1/4 9.68 @142, 1.42 60'.

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    Beyond Help TonyKarter's Avatar
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    Here is some hard close racing from the pinnacle of karting, the European Championship. In Europe a good kart race may draw 70,000 attendance. Some of these guys will step directly into a Formula 2 ride. Some are Formula 1 and 2 drivers on their way back down the ladder. Our national champion would only run mid-pack over there...Europeans are on the next page as far as karting goes. Skip ahead to the final laps. Great, close racing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1mSjFxWM24
    2009 MGM GT: VCM CAI, ARH LT headers (no cats), Vector Tune, MT drag radials
    Procharger P1SC still powering the box it came in January 2010, hiding somewhere in the back of my man cave.
    PB: 12.533 @ 111.45 w/ 1.951 60' CLAIMING THE INTAKE/LT/TUNE/DR RECORD UNLESS SOMEBODY GOT GAME
    And nobody ever had game.


    "There are but three true sports...mountain climbing, bull fighting, and motor racing. The rest are merely games." Ernest Hemmingway

    "Racing is life. Everything before and after is just waiting." Steve McQueen in the movie LeMans

    Only two things smell like fish...and one of them is fish. unknown

    Assigned male at birth, I now identify as a lesbian, but with extra equipment.

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