Round two of the three round F-Series GearUp Challenge Championship concluded last weekend at the New York Kart Complex. After finishing near the back of the field in round one at Pittsburgh, my first full event as a driver, the goals for New York was to finish mid-pack, while also absorbing as much information on where I needed to improve come the final round at New Jersey Motorsports Park next month.
The NY Kart Complex in Morristown is an absolutely beautiful facility. Situated right along the St. Lawrence River, the track is smooth, flowing, and has a great mix of high-speed and lower speed corners. Thursday and Friday practices went well, with lap times in the low 48s, with the leaders setting low 47s. This time placed me anywhere from 4th – 7th, which is exactly what I was aiming for given the 11 kart Formula 125 field.
Over the weekend, my best qualifying position was P4, and the best finish in a final was P6. Unfortunately, prior to the first pre-final and final races on Saturday, my kart’s electric starter died. This meant I needed someone to manually start the kart in the pitlane prior to each race, and if I stalled on-track for any reason, it would be game-over for that session. In the first final (i.e. Race 1) on Saturday, that’s unfortunately exactly what happened. Starting in P5, I locked up the brakes into the first corner having not warmed them up enough, spun off track, and stalled, landing me a DNF in Race 1. Thankfully, I was able to show pace on Sunday and bring home a P6 finish, having started P5. My cumulative finishes in both pre-finals and finals over the weekend boosted me one spot in the points standings from 9th to 8th, and I’m trailing both of my teammates by less than 10 points going into the final round.
Photo by Ethan Oring
The NY round also gave us a chance to rep our Yellow Images affiliation on the kart for the first time. You can check out our Motorsport Resources page to see our curated collection of mock ups by Yellow Images for use in your own racing endeavors. And as always, if you're looking to acquire some new karting gear from top brands like Arai, Alpinestars, OMP, Sparco, and more, check out 34 Motorsports, and mention "Ikoniqa" when checking out for a special discount.
All in all, NY was a great weekend, and I hit my intended target from a pace perspective. Given this was only my second ever full event racing, I was pretty happy with my results. I feel I have really good one-lap pace, but my concentration levels do tent to tail off during longer stints, leading me to drop off the pace and loose positions over the course of a race. If I can improve that aspect of my driving for the final race at NJMP this September, I think maybe (with some luck) I’ll have a shot at a podium finish. NJMP is my home track, and one I’ve raced on previously multiple times with my current kart, and in the circuit's own rental karts as well.
We’ll see you at New Jersey Motorsports Park September 17th– 19th for the season finale!