For the last three years, I have been dabbling in karting, going out to Driveway Austin for rental karts on Sunday, and occasionally K1 Speed. By far, karting is the most exciting thing I have ever done. It is a perfect mix of challenge, and relaxation; you are basically in a state of focus that borderlines on meditation. Kart racing is something I wanted to do as a kid, but I never had the means to pursue it.
I could not take the anticipation anymore, so in February I took on a second job to accomplish my goal of racing in my own equipment by the age of 30. I am happy to announce that I have reached a major milestone, and bought my own kart last week. It is a Spirit SP32 chassis, manufactured by Birel, and powered by a 125cc Honda CR125 engine with a 6 speed gearbox. I bought it from Dave Ogburn, who kept it in superb condition, and was willing to negotiate the deal to make it work for me. Finding and buying a competitive kart is no easy task, and the stars aligned just right to make this work. My thanks go out to Dave, who is an impressive driver moving on to stock cars. If you are interested, you can see the history of my new kart via his personal racing blog ‘Yaw Moment Racing’.
Dave is a taller driver than me, so the first order of business so far has been moving the pedals back to their stock location, and getting everything set up to my liking. At some point the seat will need to be replaced, but with a rib protector vest on it is not a terrible situation. The issues develop during high cornering speeds, where the forces can reach 3G’s. It is not uncommon to bruise or break ribs in shifter karts, so you want your seat to fit like a glove. It will take me a while to get up to those kind of forces, so my first few outings will be with the current seat.
I will be getting a membership at Hill Country Kart Club next month, and will start going out on the weekends for seat time, seat time, and more seat time. My goal is to spend the rest of this year learning how to drive a shifter kart, and improving my skills and lap time. Next year, I plan to race competitively, and have set my sights on the Texas ProKart Challenge. My goal is to eventually move into open wheel formula cars, or even sports car racing. I would like to develop my pace to the point of winning sponsorships, and hopefully get picked up by a professional racing team. While I am more than happy to keep this as a hobby, I am hell-bent on making this a career. It is a steep mountain to climb, but it is a mountain I have been dreaming of climbing since I was a kid. This is a new chapter in my life, and I intend to write the hell out of it!