Tuesday, September 15, 2009

4 Races, 4 Podiums, 1 Championship (RTR #4)

After the solid performance at the Pepsi Center, Kirk and I went into the weekend of round #4 with some confidence. We were leading the Championship by 22 points over Jack Bradley and 40+ over Cory Milne. Losing the championship could definitely happen with just a little bad luck. To give you an idea of the scoring winning a final is worth 200 points. 2nd is worth 190, and 3rd is worth 180. The plan was to run up front, but be just conservative enough not to throw it away with a stupid mistake. We wanted to either be in front of Jack, or in the position directly behind him.

In the week leading up to the race day, we got out to The Track at Centennial to test 3 times. I really like getting to turn laps 4 days/week, even if it is just 2 or 3 sessions in the evening after work. The weather has been fantastic around here lately. Cool breeze, in the 70s, and just generally pleasant. The testing we did on the afternoon of Labor day (the Monday preceding the race), it was clear that we'd be going very fast this weekend. We were setting very competitive clockwise times on old crappy tires and rich jetting. Same thing on Friday evening that week. We were at the track on Saturday to set up and get in a few more sessions of practice. The forecast was for a bit of rain, and that is exactly how it happened. We went out 3 or 4 times that day between showers. We did not think rain practice would be valuable, as the forecast for Sunday was clear and dry. I did go out once as the track was drying to play around (dampness + slicks = fun) and you can see that in one of the videos below.

Kirk helps me prepare on Sunday morning.

Sunday, September 13 dawned cool and clear. Nice! Let's go racing! Our setup from the few previous days was working awesome in the cool temperatures, so we were stoked. I went out and did a few laps in practice just to make sure everything checked out and nothing fell off. Sweet, no problem.

This weekend, all 5 shifter classes were put on track at the same time. Going into qualifying, we decided to only use the last 4 or 5 minutes of the 10 minute session. It's a little risky, but it had worked for us before. Let the guys all go out and fight for the same bit of track, then as they start peeling off into the pits, I go out in a big hole (in traffic) and try to do my best. I did a 53.51 which was my personal best to date and also good for class pole buy about half a tenth over Bradley. The next tenth of a second behind Jack had two more karts in it. Close times, should be some good racing.

AJ Noud rmkartworks and the Schimmels.

The 1st of 2 heat races was interesting. I didn't have the best start and lost 2 spots, slipping to 3rd in class. The temperature had come up a lot and the setup was migrating toward crappy and slow. I had to defend my 3rd position and cruise there. Jack won that heat by a bit. I had taken a point off him in quali and he took two in this heat. I was now leading by 21 points.

In the second heat, we had made some adjustments and I was feeling quite a bit better about our pace. I launched into 2nd in class, behind Jack, and just held station. I was on Jack's pace and finished 1.5 seconds back and closing. Things were looking up for the final, but the lead was only 20 points, which is a lot worse than 21. If I ended up behind Jack, there could be nobody between us.

In the main event, I had a good start and Jack had a problem, resulting in a 1st corner incident for him. I lead the class for a bit till Cory came through. He had been quick and I didn't really have any reason to fight him. I dropped the left side wheels and he pulled out a little gap. I decided at that point to focus on finishing. I held the 2nd position with a little pressure from behind and a silly moment as I approached a lapped kart with a tire issue. Coming home 2nd on the podium was a nice finish to the series for us. Grabbing the pole position that morning was great too. In technical inspection, we disassemble the engine to prove we are within the regulations. Everything passes, championship in the bag!

Kirk and I are proud of the effort we put in this season. It's only my 2nd year behind the wheel and we show up on a $200 open trailer. A regional spec moto championship may not be a big deal in the national karting picture, but I'm pretty damn proud of it. :) Lots of lessons learned and so many highs and lows. One thing that is often overlooked about karting and amateur motorsport, is all the cool people you meet. There are a lot of people out there doing it for all the right reasons; fun with friends and family!

Some video clips of practice, qualifying, and the 3 races can be seen below. I tried to make the videos a bit shorted than I have been to stay inside a short attention span.

Results link

Podium shot

Kirk and I starting the celebration

Racing the Rockies Round #4 Spec Moto Practice and Qualifying from Jeff Field on Vimeo.

Racing the Rockies Round #4 Spec Moto Racing Clips from Jeff Field on Vimeo.

Random photo that turned out ok. I'm trying to learn how to get some decent action shots.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Race the Rockies Round #3

Round #3 on the weekend of August 8-9 saw the Colorado karting family competing on a temporary circuit assembled in the parking lot of the Pepsi Center in downtown Denver. This was a new experience for some of us, and a welcome challenge. The event was well attended relative to the thin year that most racing markets are seeing. I believe entries were approaching the 100 mark.

The pits were open on Friday for move in and set up. The team spent the very hot afternoon setting up the trailers, tents, karts, spares, and walking the track. Many of us rode our bicycles around the track upwards of twenty times to get the layout installed in our minds. My main man, Kirk Deason, was with me again for the weekend. Helping, tuning, joking. Big thanks to him. Running as well as we have been is just not possible without the tiring efforts and encouragement from him.



Saturday was a full day of practice, then onto qualifying in the evening. Each class would get 7 practice sessions. 3 before lunch, and 4 after. Qualifying took place from 5 to 7pm. It was a long day and many hard lessons were learned. Many drivers had minor incidents exploring the limits on the new track.


My practice sessions went pretty well. Quickly getting comfortable and building pace. We changed the kart a ton through the day as the track was rubbering in and grip was increasing. I made contact with an apex barrier early in the 3rd practice and bent the steering column. It wasn't horrible timing because we had the entire lunch break to replace the part and reassemble the kart. That was the last time I damaged anything all weekend. We were pretty well on our game and running in the top 3 in spec moto. As qualifying came, we finalized some settings and hit the track. My lap (43.041) was good for P3, just 0.034 seconds short of P2(Cory Milne-GP). Marc Elliot(Arrow) had us both by 2 tenths. With P4 (Jack Bradley-Birel) just another tenth behind me, it was set to be a good day of racing on Sunday!


Race day consisted of two 10 lap heat races setting the grid for a 20 lap main event or final race. There was some fair dicing to sort our the order in the heats. Heat one had a close fight at the front with Elliot coming home at the point with Bradley in tow by a half second and myself just another 7 tenths behind. We were followed by fellow GP team drivers Cory Milne, Christian Bird, and Mike Mcdonough. I had a quick over/under fight with Cory about half way through the heat race. Fast lap of the heat was mine with 42.72 seconds on the fourth lap.

Marc, Cory, Jeff

Heat two saw Marc Elliot again run up front with a scrap for 2nd between me, Bradley and Milne. I ran much of the heat in 2nd after a nice overtaking move on Milne. However, I made a mistake on the final lap, allowing Bradley into 2nd, but just holding onto 3rd. Marc and I being the only runners in the high 42s. Surprisingly, Kirk and I found a problem upon returning to the pits. We could have been faster, but the heat race had not turned out as poorly as it could have.

Jeff and Jack

The S3 (Spec Moto) main event was an intense 20 laps. I had been starting in the 3rd position all day and was pretty happy there, on the inside line. All 3 of my starts were pretty good on Sunday. Jack got a great start and lead the first lap followed by Marc and me. Marc got by Jack pretty quick, but it took me about 8 laps to get through. At this point, Marc had a gap of several seconds. Jack and Cory were dicing behind me, giving me a little breathing room. Shortly after that, I saw Cory (basically tied with me for the lead in the championship) parked in the infield. It turns out he got the short end of the dicing with Jack. I did my best to relax in the 2nd half of the main, keeping a decent pace, but not risking too much and DNF myself. I slowly chipped away Elliot's lead to 1.6 seconds at the checkered flag. Bradley had closed the gap to me at the end and I had to play just a touch of defense. I had to be happy with 2nd, I had kept my cool. Marc is a really quick driver and he didn't totally walk us. I wish we could have taken the fight to him a bit more. I set the fast lap of the main (42.683 seconds) on lap 18, which was a consolation and the quickest spec moto lap of the event, just 3 tenths off the ultimate lap record set by Ben Schermerhorn in ICC qualifying. I probably have Jack to thank for the pressure he was putting on me in the closing laps.

The on board camera worked well all weekend. Check out the videos below! The footage is a little shakier than normal. The track was quite bumpy in a few places and I think the camera head mount had loosened up and it went unnoticed, sorry.

The event was a roaring success. Nearly every significant detail was well executed and even with the slightly increased entry fees, I feel like we got a hell of a deal. Racing in the city was a great experience and I could actually get some friends to come out and cheer us on! That is impossible with the permanent tracks out in relative BFE. We had a great time, and the cash on the podium was icing on the cake!

The results information.



These practice clips include some slow motion of the various incidents I was involved in on Saturday. The barrier impact at 4:55 and the loose wheel/hub/brake at 6:55 are particularly exciting.

Race the Rockies Round #3 Practice Clips from Jeff Field on Vimeo.

Highlights of the two heat races

Race the Rockies Round #3 Spec Moto Heat Race Clips from Jeff Field on Vimeo.

Main event

Race the Rockies Round #3 Final from Jeff Field on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Moving on up! (Race the Rockies #2)

The 2nd round of the Race the Rockies regional championship was contested on June 28, 2009 at The Track at Centennial (www.thetrack.us). Much of the Rocky Mountain Kartworks team (rmkartworks.com) was on hand for practice on Friday and Saturday. The weather was pleasant all weekend, if a bit hot at mid-day. The attendance was pretty good and the racing was clean. I don't recall a red flag all weekend, just many smiles and hard work by all.

Stock Moto (S3)
GP drivers Cory Milne and Jeff Field looked strong going into race day. Cory snagged pole with a 53.20 second lap and Jeff over-drove for a 4th position, just 0.45 seconds off. In the first 10 lap prefinal, Milne and Field stretched out a gap on the pack with Milne taking the win and Field less than 4 tenths behind. The second prefinal was much the same with Field in 2nd by 2.9 seconds to Milne. The final race was set to be a close fight between the two GP teammates. Field took the point in the early laps of the 20 lap final with a good start. Jeff and Cory swapped positions several times on lap 4 to see Milne stretch out a lead that would not be given back. Field was mired in traffic while attempting to close the gap, but came home 2nd. That was enough to move Field into the lead of the championship.




S5 Novice Shifter
This weekend, the restricted junior shifter class was filled with 2 young guns behind the wheels of GP karts. Cole MacEwen and Austin Schimmel are always in a close fight. On this day, Cole snagged the pole by a mere 0.139 seconds. Austin took the win in the first prefinal, with Cole returning to the point in the second prefinal. Austin again found his pace in the final getting by Cole and driving to a 7 second victory. A great effort by both young talents.

The S5 battle


After some motor trouble and setup experiments in practice, Myles Marolt piloted his GP chassis to qualify 4th in class, and hauled himself onto the podium for a well earned 3rd place. Also, Dave Conyers earned the top step of the podium with a strong drive in his GP kart in KZ2 masters.


TAG Masters
GP team driver, Mike Jansen, had a tough weekend chasing electrical woes. With no spark on the engine, he qualified 9th with no timed lap. Mike hauled himself to 6th in the first prefinal only to have problems again, preventing him from starting the 2nd prefinal. After some hard work in the pits, he had much to do on track in the final. With some great driving and a bit of luck, Mike found himself in 3rd on lap 9 of 20 and moving to 2nd position in lap 13. Holding that position from some strong competition was good reward after a hard weekend. Mike now leads the championship.


Overall, it was a good weekend for the Rocky Mountain Kartworks team. The next round of Race the Rockies will be a temporary course set up in down town Denver. Very exciting. Here is the mylaps Results data

Here are some videos of all 3 shifter races from on-board #102 spec shifter driver, Jeff Field.

Race the Rockies Round #2, Spec Honda Heat #1 from Jeff Field on Vimeo.

Race the Rockies Round #2, Spec Honda Heat #2 from Jeff Field on Vimeo.

Race the Rockies Round #2, Spec Honda Final Race from Jeff Field on Vimeo.

Monday, May 18, 2009

$%&#!!! (Race the Rockies #1)

Other possible titles are "Can't win them all", "S*** happens", and "SRSLY, WTF?"

Grand Junction Motor Speedway. FANTASTIC track. If you like driving karts, you should put this place on the to do list.


Kirk (My buddy and super tuner, or is it tooner?) and I shoved off from Denver just after 7 am on Friday with my super fancy big rig ($200 open trailer behind my WRX). We grabbed some lunch as we pulled into Junction and were at the track before noon. We set up camp next to our buddy, Mike.

We did a bunch of laps on Friday, working on the chassis and carb. This track is a lot of fun. The grip was super crappy for most of the day, but I was having a good time. Saturday was more practice all day. There were more karts showing up and it looked like spec Honda would have an ok field (10). We used some better tires and tried another axle and found ourselves doing about the same time as other class favorites. Many of the hot shoes appear to be within a few tenths (53.7-53.9sec/lap). I was looking forward to a good race. With kirk's tune up and my dialing of the driving line, we felt pretty confident. There would be 50 laps (15,15,20) of racing plus qualifying. I wasn't too worried about qualifying way up front, just do 2 or 3 good laps and save the tires.

Kirk, super tuner

Crack dealer, err, I mean, AJ Noud. Get you karts and parts from him. Rocky Mountain Kartworks

Sunday was Business Time and I was ready to go at it. Warm up is bizarrely restricted to cruising around as if everyone rebuilt their engine overnight. I did a few laps to evaluate balance and carburetor settings. We mounted new tires for qualifying and since all the shifter classes qualify in one 10 minute session, we elected to watch the first 5 minutes and then find a hole in traffic as drivers that went out in the mayhem peel off the track. It worked beautifully. I found a nice section of clear track and laid down a 52.79 in the 2nd of 3 hot laps. Less than 0.02 off the spec class pole, good for 2nd. Sweet, I could have gone just a little better. I'll start 6th overall because we are on track with the ICC karts (they are supposed to be a little faster).

I suited up for heat #1
and proceeded to have a HORRIBLE first half lap. Royally bogged the start and then spun as I got too greedy following someone deep into the braking zone on the dirty line. AWESOME job, now get to work. I got my rhythm going and hunted down the rest of the class. As I was approaching the lead group of 4 or 5 spec motos (fighting with 2 ICCs), there was a small tangle that made my life much easier. There was one more spec driver in front of me that I managed to pick off with several laps to spare in the heat. The kart felt good, the driver felt like an idiot. All this made for fantastic video footage, as you'll see. There is some weird audio problem with the left hand turns. Damn, oh well.


In Heat #2, Jake snider got a better start than I did, so I ran 2nd to him for the first few laps. He eventually had a little contact with an ICC that let me by to the point. I ran some consistent quick laps, but didn't get away from Jake. We had a nice little fight at the half way point when he got along side on the front straight. I didn't want to go at it too much and let others catch up. I took the spot back and held it for the heat win. That felt good.


In the main (final) race, I finally nailed my start. We all got on with it and I found a rhythm at the front of the class. I saw Jake was out very early. There was an ICC all over my ass, but I couldn't afford the time to lift and "let" him by. They have like what, 7 more horse power? I expected him to drive around me on the straight. It only took a few laps for that situation to turn into a mini-accident. Tim got his kart lifted onto mine by my rear tire in a slow corner. I continued, but it really F'd my focus. As the laps counted down, I was clobbered again from the rear by an ICC as Jack Bradley was finishing chasing me down. Now I was just furious as the 1st thing I saw was Jack and I (wrongly) though he punted me. I was coming apart. We missed the tire pressures for the main, the 1st accident broke my silencer (changing the exhaust note), and I was imagining bent parts and flat tires. Jack got by me as I was recovering. I managed to get the lead back, then later that same lap he got through again (great move, btw). I lost my cool with 3 corners to go, thinking if I could get a killer run, I may be able to force it with 2 corners to go. I spun it, and let one spec driver by, dropping me to 3rd. @*^%*$%^$^%#$%$#!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is not what we had in mind.

Lessons learned. Let's do this again. I'm still pissed, but it was a ton o' fun. Results link and video below. It's a little long, but it made sense to me to just gather all the highlights. The audio problem could annoy the hell out of some of you. Please don't give up on it, just play some of you own soundtrack over it. Maybe, open this in another browser and reduce the kart video volume to acceptable levels.




Race the Rockies #1, Spec Honda Video Clips from Jeff Field on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

5-3-09 Club Race (Knock off the rust)

Kirk and I went to the second day of the doubleheader club races at Centennial this past weekend. The 1st race was postponed due to weather in April and was held on Saturday, May 2. The weather was cold and overcast on Saturday, so I passed. Sunday turned out to be a beautiful day. Our goal was to shake off our rust and see what we could do with the new chassis. We learned quite a bit and did some things to fix a somewhat surprising understeer that was quite a nuisance.


My guess at an initial setup was way too tight and I qualified poorly, 9th of 12 overall (4th Spec Honda). No big deal, this club race has a format of two 10 lap heats leading into a 20 lap main. I had plenty of time to work my way up. We made huge changes for the 1st heat and they worked. I went more than a second per lap faster, setting a 54.2s lap at the half way mark. It was still a little tight, but rolled way better almost everywhere. I was still losing time on the way in to the corner. I moved up to 6th overall which was really 3rd in spec moto (top 3 specs occupied 4th, 5th, and 6th). The 2nd heat went a little better, I never lost touch with 5th and had a little run on him at the white flag. It didn't work out and I could have been a little more clever about it. Oh well, I held 3rd in class and felt pretty good about taking a few more tenths off my previous best. The class leader did a lap about 0.5 faster than I went, so I'm curious where I'll find that. I've got some ideas, so look out, Jack (his home court pace is very impressive).


We made some more changes to the kart for the 20 lap final to "free" it up some more. It helped a little, as I set my first ever 53.X lap at centennial in either direction. We were running "uphill" or CCW, which is historically my weaker direction. Yay, us. So, in the final, I was cruising around a little behind 2nd in class, waiting to see how the last 10 laps would go. An ICC driver working is way up from way back made a surprise move on me in lap 12 in a hairy spot. Then on lap 13 he did the same to the fella I was chasing down, unfortunately sending him off track. Once I had inherited 2nd and knew 1st had a big gap, I backed it down a bit to finish 2nd ~10 seconds off the leader.

Not a bad day at the track. Learned some stuff and cranked down on my personal best so far. The kart is going pretty well, and we have some tricks up our sleeve for the first regional event in Grand Junction on the 17th. Results and video below.



Our buddy, Troy pointed out Kirk's racing stripe as we were calling it a day. :)


Some clips from the 2nd heat race and the final.

Mile High Challenge Race #2, Spec Honda Video Clips from Jeff Field on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Winter testing in 1 day

The weather looks crappy this weekend, so I decided to go to the track today (Wednesday). Good choice. Great weather, had the place to myself, and saw some friends. I was there solo, but the helpful staff didn't hesitate to give me a hand getting the kart on and off the stand.

I was running some old tires, just getting comfortable in the kart. I adjusted the pedals and seat and finalized the engine install. Played with carburetor settings and even gearing. I tried setting the gear tall enough that I was only using 5 of the 6 gears. I took a lot of shifting out of the lap, but I think it is ultimately slower. It was awfully consistent, though.

Here is a short clip of two laps after I got the camera on and functioning. The 1st set of "charged" batteries I put in the recorder died in 30 seconds (as I entered the track). Sweet.

Winter testing at The Track from Jeff Field on Vimeo.

Monday, April 27, 2009

2009 is a GO!

Welcome back! I shouldn't have let this blog sit so long. I hope to keep it up a bit this year. More videos, more pictures, maybe more words.
After some debating on what I can afford to do for kart racing in 2009, I've got myself a newer used GP rolling chassis. It's the same one I "rented" and won a couple CSC races in 08. My friend Kirk (crew chief), and I put my spec moto engine on the kart this weekend and tied up all the loose ends.

This year, we've gone from having 1 regional series to 2. The Colorado Sprint Championship (CSC) remains with a 4 race schedule. The new series, Race the Rockies (RtR) is also 4 races. I plan to focus on RtR.

RtR series

The 1st round is May 17. I'm pumped. Grand Junction Motor Speedway is on the west side of the state, about 4 hours from Denver. They have a fantastic track that is really fun in both directions.

Here is a shot of the recently assembled machine. I still need numbers and some seat time to get dialed in.

We plan to test on the 1st, then do some club races on the 3rd and 10th. I hope everything goes well!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

CSC Races #5 & #6

The weekend started off with cold and rainy conditions for more than 2 days! That is really odd for august in Denver, but a lot of racers still showed up at The Track at Centennial on Friday morning ready to practice. I was driving AJ Noud's kart again with the hopes of learning as much or more than last month. My Tuner, Kirk Deason was in attendance all weekend. We have been working really well together and learning a ton. It's one of the cooler teamings I've experienced by chance or just dumb luck.

The weather looked the same for Friday and Saturday, so we decided that we'd need to practice in the wet on Friday to be ready for Saturday. 50 degrees f and constant rain... awesome. I'd never driven or raced a kart in the rain. After spinning off ~15 times, I kind of got the hang of it. Stay the hell away from the normal racing line is what it boiled down to. The long way around had a lot more grip.

Saturday morning was still cold and wet. I decided to not go out for warm up. It was hammering rain as the first 2 groups were qualifying. We were the 3rd group, but the track activities were red flagged just before we rolled to the grid. A few spots on the track were basically flooded all the way across and the drainage just couldn't handle the constant rain. We are used to 15 minute storms around here. So the event was on hold for an hour. After that hour, there was no relief in sight, so they decided to call it a day and try to fit in both main events on Sunday, no heat races.

So, it cleared up on Sunday. Peak temps in the 70s, but the track was still soaked in the morning. The plan was to do a warm up, qualify, then run both 15 lap races (1 each direction). I went out on rain tires in the warm up and smoked everyone else trying to pull off slicks on the wet (but no puddles) track. That was good for confidence. Qualifying would be dry and I did 3 hot laps. The 3rd lap being a 55.3, not bad for such a cool and green track, but only good for 2nd place.

The first race was clock wise. I got a crappy start and faded to 5th for the early few laps and then started picking off positions. By the end of lap 5 I was back in 2nd place chasing down the leader and home track favorite Jack Bradley. I followed him for several laps. I wasn't pushing super hard to keep up, but he was pretty consistent and not leaving the door open for me anywhere. Finally, at the end of lap 10 he touched a curb under braking and got a little out of shape. I took advantage and moved through for the lead. I think Jeff Welch followed me through into P2. Welch wasn't far off me, but I did some consistent quick laps to bring home the 2nd win of our season. It felt great. Fair fights and no lucky breaks needed. Just good racing and lots of smiles and thumbs up.

Several hours later and a short rain shower (then dried up again) was the counter clockwise race. This was my weak direction and wet practice on Friday didn't really help me at all. This start was a bit better and I held 3rd after 1 lap. Some chaos on lap 2 saw me slip to 5th. We settled in to a really fun 5 kart train for 5 laps. It must have been really exciting to watch as we were all nose to tail on this technical track. Snider spun off on lap 7 moving me to 4th. I could hold the pace but I was being gapped in the wrong place and I had little hope of advancing. I was pushing to find a bit more time when I drop some wheels off the track on lap 12. That was it, the top 3 had a gap on me so I just brought it home in 4th.

1st and 4th was our best weekend of the 6 race series. 2 wins in the regional series with only 1 year of experience was quite a bit above my expectations. Not too shabby. I think we ended up 3rd in the championship. We'll take it and try to improve on it next year. Big thanks to Kirk, AJ, and Rocky Mountain Kartworks.

With the weather, I never broke out either camera. Sadly, I would've got some good video. Oh well.

Results link

Monday, July 21, 2008

CSC Races #3 & #4

With my motor still in pieces, I decided to run the team principle's kart and see how a new chassis performs compared to my 2005 model. Rocky Mountain Kartworks owner, AJ Noud, suggested we give this a go and I'm glad he did.

This month's race weekend was held in Dacono, CO at the IMI motorsports complex. A fast, sweepy, Spa-esque track. Definitely my style. Long gearing and brave apex speeds.

Friday practice went pretty well going both clockwise and counter clockwise. Well ahead of most of our competitors. AJ's ultra loose setup needed to be tamed a bit for me to become comfortable and dance on the limit around this 0.9 miles of asphalt. A few fit adjustments and I was at home. The newest chassis in the fleet was pretty strong. The huge front end components looked like they meant serious business.

Saturday was the counter clockwise race. I was well clear with the top time on old tires in practice that morning. We bolted on new rubber for qualifying, but I failed to get a good hot lap in. My second heater was best but was foiled by traffic in the 2nd to last corner. Oh well, we are starting 5th and there is plenty of time to make up positions. In the heat race, the setup was just too tight and had to settle in 4th. The top 3 guys pulled out a big gap and I was under fire from Jack Bradley for 4th. We had a clean fight with him pulling along side at least 3 times but I think I fairly held the position and cleaned up my problem corners to maintain 4th. We made a little gearing and chassis tweak for the Main. I launched to 3rd as the pole sitter, Jake Snider, bogged the start. In the first major braking zone, it was obvious I had a braking problem. The rears locked and I spun off, narrowly missing Jeff Welch in P2. I rejoined and lost it under braking a few more times. Upon returning to the scales on the meat wagon, we found the brake bias adjuster mysteriously at maximum rear bias. That'll do it. Saturday was a failure. I think we ended up P6 in the light class after a retirement or two from others.

Sunday, we switched to my more familiar clockwise direction. We were up in morning practice by 7 tenths. I think we did a couple 51.7's. In qualifying I laid down a heater. 50.96 seconds. That is the fastest I'd ever gone in this direction. Stoked, till I learned we missed pole by 0.02 sec. Daaaaammn. Oh well. The heat race started pretty dicey with some fighting for 2nd 3rd and 4th spots. I had the camera facing the rear and got a few minutes of action before the bolt holding the camera head backed out. On lap 5 of 10 I dropped a few wheels and lost the kart. It just looped as I had 2 in the dirt. I was scared for the 1st time in a kart spinning near 60 mph towards the new fence on the bordering property. I braced for impact. Hands in, head down and mouth closed, but ended up barely glancing it. I was pretty upset with the mistake, making a ton of work for myself in the main. I wanted to prove to myself that I could podium with some of these talented and experienced fellas. I knew I had the pace to make it to 4th by the end of the main (from 13th or 14th). Maybe a lucky podium with some breaks. Well, it went pretty well. The drive of my 11 month long racing career. I turned it to 11 and sliced through the field with some lucky breaks in 19 of 20 laps. I only lead the most important lap. The final tour.


CSC Races #3 & #4 Spec Moto Video Clips from Jeff Field on Vimeo.

CSC Race #4 Spec Moto Main Event from Jeff Field on Vimeo.

Friday, June 27, 2008

CSC Races #1 & #2

Good weather, good racing, good weekend. I picked up my tuner, Kirk Deason, on Thursday night and we were off for a long 3 days at the track. Friday was practice in both directions. Saturday was CW race day, and Sunday was CCW. It was my first time ever at the track, and I was not sure how I'd deal with 3 full days. So Friday was all about learning the track and trying to get on the pace with minimal mistakes. We tried some worthwhile setup experiments, and probably only accumulated 25 laps in each direction. I new I still had a few corners to figure out, but I'd do the best I could and tweak my line as the weekend went on.

Saturday meant serious business. After warm up, we slapped on some new tires and I laid down my best CW lap of the weekend. 53.3 seconds was only good for 9th (out of 10 or 11). Yikes! These dudes are fast. I picked up a spot in the heat to finish 8th. we made a few changes as the track was getting more rubbered in. In the main, I had a decent start then made a mistake while dicing with another guy that cost me big (only time off track the entire weekend, not bad). Ran 8th for most of the main and reeled 7th in just in time to take the position with 2 corners to go. Unfortunately, that main is not on video. It either quit or I was too concentrated to remember to turn it on. Oh well. Good first day at this level of competition. We got some momentum going and kept moving up. It was really hot out. 100f easy for most the day. I was pouring bottles of water in my suit to help cooling on the track.

Sunday was a bit cooler in the morning. Nice because many of us were sore and still cooked from the 2 previous days. I felt strong and ready for more. Sunday was CCW configuration. After warm up, new tires went on and I went out to qualify. It did not go as smooth as the day before. I aborted the first hot lap and laid down 2 more that were really high 53s. Pretty sloppy and not real happy with it, I was surprised that 53.9 was good for 6th. And the next few guys were within reach. Now the heat was baking, and we made a few setup tweaks accordingly. We found moving the 5lb ballast weights around on the seat was a handy tool as the days played out.

So starting the heat race, I went from 6th to 4th in 3 corners. Pretty happy! Then I realized at 2 laps in that I was comfortably staying with the top 3. There was a moment in the hair pin after the back straight as the leaders were dicing, 3rd got a bit balked and I did not leave quite enough room. Unfortunately, his rear tire lifted me up and the bumper quickly knocked off his pipe and air box. I was upset about the accident, but kept pushing. I'd prefer not to pick up spots like that, and later apologized. The later half of the heat race saw me close the gap to 2nd a bit while I was under fire from the rear. I was pretty comfortable holding off the attack and came home 3rd. Awesome result and I think a few people noticed. Most the elements came together, but I know we can fight even farther up.

So we didn't change much for the main, and I was looking forward to a good fight. This may be the only start all weekend that I won't smoke someone off the line. But, on the out lap the motor feels super weak. Oh no, the jet can't be that wrong. Did we suck up some debris or something fall off? Damn! As I approach the grid the revs fall and it stalls. It's probably a good thing that I didn't even get to my grid spot, I would have been run over. It still ran, so I putted around at the back for maximum available points, getting lapped before the white flag flew. The motor was so weak, I was 2.5 seconds off my pace and the heavies pulled me no problem. Because of a retirement, I came home 8th in the light class. Turns out that a wrist pin circlip broke and a small portion of that clip damaged the piston and ring (low to no compression) and found a home in the cylinder wall. Damn! That is not supposed to happen. So ~$400 in parts, but the cylinders are unavailable at the moment. I'll figure something out.

We were pretty down because of the missed opportunity, but we'll get it together. The heat result was just a taste of things to come. We packed up and made a swift trip back to Denver. The Subaru WRX makes a nice tow vehicle. With my little trailer, 23 mpg was achievable at ~75mph and you can leave it in 5th gear up the mountain passes!

Next CSC race weekend is July 18-20th. Results, pics and videos below.

#1 CW

#2 CCW

CSC Grand Junction Spec Moto Video Clips from Jeff Field on Vimeo.

CSC #2 Spec Moto Heat Race from Jeff Field on Vimeo.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Club Race June 1st

Nice day and some good footage from the heat race. In that heat, I finished 5th overall and 3rd in spec moto class. I didn't get the main video, but the spec leader had a gearbox problem, giving me 2nd in class.

I learned some more about jetting thanks to some helpful competitors. My ribs hurt for the first time this year. Maybe because the track was rubbering in. The good news is that when I bolted on new spec tires, I was right on the pace of 2 other spec motos even with a terrible qualifing lap (Q'd between them, 3 karts inside .3 seconds). I still have some pace to find, But there were some encouraging things to take away.


CO Karting Club Race #5 Centennial, Shifter heat from Jeff Field on Vimeo.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Chassis Mounted Camera

Here is a short clip from last Monday's test. The flickering is from a cable backing out. I shouldn't have that problem in the future.

Shifter kart onboard video from Jeff Field on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day Testing

We got a little crew together to run at Centennial on Memorial day. We had a blast. Weather was cool and it was only damp for ~30 minutes. Our buddy Josh was already packing up his 4 stroke TaG kart and he captured this video of our last session of the day. I'm in the white Helmet, driving the old kart to make sure it's ready for sale. It's still plenty quick! I think its actually faster than my 7 year newer kart. Tyson in mostly black and Steve in the light suit/black helmet.

I also tested a new mounting method for my helmet cam on my stock Honda kart. I mounted it on a strut over my right shoulder. The view is pretty cool because you see the wheel and shifting. It's reasonably stable as well. I ran that kart for most of the day and got some footage. I should edit that up sometime in the next week.

Since my last post, I ran a club race at Centennial on May 4th. It was kind of a setup nightmare, and I was off the pace, running harder than spec tires. But we learned a few things and I really appreciated Tyson coming out to be my Tuner. The video of the main was lost for an unknown reason. I've got quali and the heat race, but nothing really to share from it. Maybe I'll get a mini highlights reel from it.

1st big state race weekend is on June 20-22. I plan to rebuild most of the kart before that event. I hope to be well prepared and save energy throughout the weekend. One last tune up club race will be on the 1st. I hope to run that one a bit more seriously.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

1st club race of the year (dancing with myself)

Well, the cliff notes are that Steve and I went out to spend several hundred dollars on plastic trophies, but I learned a few things too.

They run all the shifter classes in one go at the club races and only 1 other stocker was there. They are crushing me at the moment. But, I've got some ideas and some people that can help get me up there. I'm willing to work for the gains, this stuff is a ton of fun.

I ran into traffic on the 2nd hot lap of quali, so I shut it down and tried a 3rd, but botched it. Had to settle for the 54.0 i set on the 1st timed lap, only good for 8th or so. As I was pulling up the grid for the heat race, I had no clutch, AWESOME. The cable had come out of the yolk on the motor side. Nothing broken, I got a push and ran a lap down for the heat. I knew I'd start at the back for the main, but my tires were used anyway and I wanted to evaluate the setup some more. It was a little tight and I was just running out of gear. I've still got plenty to learn, but I think we are on the right path.

He is the video of the main. All of it. Hope you enjoy. My adjustments helped, but I could only run high 53's, I need another .5 and I figure the other .5 is in new rubber. We'll see. Kinda boring race, as I could not catch the modified guys in from of me. I got a good start, but a blinding dirt cloud caused me to get back out of it a bit. Also a nice little fight at the end of the race, as I went into cruise control and didn't realize I was under fire. More mental notes for the bigger races this summer.

Shifter Kart Race, IMI 4-20-08 from Jeff Field on Vimeo.

Results here, but lots of the data is suspect as several of us had no transponders.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

IMI test

My buddy Steve and I got out for an afternoon test last weekend. My welded up shift lever did great and both karts worked awesome.

Shifter Kart Testing, IMI Colorado from Jeff Field on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Testing day

I got out on Thursday and got to play with the camera a little. I'm also experimenting with editing software. Anyway, here is my 1st attempt. The Camera field of view is a little smaller than I hoped. You don't get the full view of the wheel and the track. I'll try a different camera position next time. Any comments welcome.

Download test video from rapidshare.


Friday, March 14, 2008


This is a sweet example of a lap at Grand junction from 2 seasons ago. We will race there in late June.

Also, here is the view from the front of a race that I was in. This is one of the local hot shoes. I think he is moving to cars soon. Matt in IMI heat race. It was so hot that day. Notice how his front left tire develops a blister (he points passing the pit wall). I'm glad I didn't have any tire problems.

And here is some shots of the wet weekend at GJMS in 2007.

Youtube videos look horrible. I hope to have a much better solution for sharing high quality ones.


I'm starting this blog so I'll have a little corner of the internet to share some of my racing trials and tribulations. I hope to capture and share some helmet camera footage of shifter kart racing this season. I know some friends and family have no idea what kind of excitement is going on at the track. Picturing the little lawn mower powered yard karts that you see kids driving in the neighborhoods.

This year I plan to run a few club races and make a full effort on the 6(maybe 7) race regional series. More info here, Colorado Sprint Championship. My local playground is The Track at Centennial.

Last year was my first year racing any sort of kart. I jumped right into one of the faster classes and learned some hard lessons. I think we also turned a few heads as rookies. My buddy Steve and I bought our first kart together and soon graduated into newer equipment. That 1st kart will be for sale shortly. Now I own a G.P.6 chassis (made by CRG in Italy) and a Honda CR125 dirt bike engine for use in the Stock Honda class (AKA Spec Shifter, or S3). This Spec class has been growing in popularity and is much less of a wallet competition than some other classes.

So, in the coming months I plan to share pictures, links to some videos, and links to results. I suppose you'll have to suffer through some of my poor writing as well.

Some links of interest that I'll toss in here...
Helmet Cam
Local Forum
Best Simulation Racing in the World

The helmet Camera arrives next week, pretty excited. Check back soon.