was general agreement that the field in Apple Hill was not incorporated into any league schedule, and that several fields will require lighting/pole upgrades within five years.
Questions were raised as to whether these improvements would include an upgrade to LED lighting.
GSL representatives commented on the fields’ ability to withstand extreme weather conditions. There is a plan to convert a retired fire department tanker into a water supply truck. There is a possibility of activating a sprinkler system installed years ago at the Lochiel field. Kart Club.
Some drivers like McMahon prefer the street-like conditions of the track in go-karting to the dirt tracks typically used at the Cornwall Speedway. The karts swarm their way around the bowl-like turns of the track, speeding along in neat lines of three or four drivers as they skillfully manoeuvre their way around the turns as one unit; sounding more like a row of buzzing bees rather than engines as they whizz by.
“It’s all about drafting off each other, your nose is to their bumper,” McMahon explains. “It’s about staying in the pack and pushing each other along.” But this is a new style of racing in the go-kart world, explains the president of National Capital Kart Club, Jacques Larose who was on site this weekend to encourage his team and help with any prep work. “Before it was just about racing and passing each other, now it’s very strategic, you don’t pass until the last lap. Three years ago, it wasn’t like that,” he says.
This method of follow the leader helps racers to better their time.
“You can pass whenever, but whenever you pass people, you lose time,” McMahon says as he seeks refuge from the weekend’s heat wave in the shade of the trailer.
“Then people behind you can catch up to you, so you always try to push each other as far away from everyone else before you it battle out.” He understands firsthand how difficult this can be, having struggled last weekend with minor fluctuations in his speed due to slight kart damage and turn miscalculations. “The karts are so evenly matched, everybody’s the exact same, except for little adjustments that make you faster.”
And while the engines sound more like a herd of lawn-mowers tearing up the track than fierce engines, these karts pack some power. The Briggs “Animal” LO 206 Kart-Racing engine like the one McMahon uses in his kart can take him up to speeds of 90 KM/H. “It’s supposed to be an affordable race engine, low-maintenance… easy to work on.” Yet, minor differences in the frame or engine can make the difference between first place and getting left behind, leaving a kart to drive a fraction of what it’s capable of.
“For sure, its frustrating, but racing karts is fun.” McMahon shrugs as he sits on the edge of his trailer amongst a community of fellow racers and their families.
Throughout the day, members came and went to help McMahon and other drivers get their karts running in peak condition for Sunday’s races; borrowing tools, downloading data, examining their pace times to see where they could improve their time on the track. Kart drivers are even able to use digital GPS tracking attached to their steering wheels to get a better picture of what their driving looks like from a technical perspective.
The Canadian Open, which allows foreign drivers to participate and win the invitation to Italy, will give one best driver from each of the divisions the opportunity to compete out of the country next November; divisions consisted of Micro/Mini MAX, MAX Junior, MAX Senior, DD2, and DD2 Masters. The Jim Russell Karting Academy also hosted the Briggs & Stratton and Open Shifter Classes over the weekend which offered a condensed schedule and lower entry fee with special prizes to be won for best drivers and draws.
While Tyler McMahon wasn’t able to snag himself a ticket to Italy, he was able to finish the course in the Briggs & Stratton Masters division and walk away with a brand new Briggs motor engine, with an estimated value of $1,200, by winning the draw at the end of the day on Sunday.
EVERYDAY SUBJECTS: spired by everyday objects. Brenda Kennedy’s works are in
COLEMAN DANCERS: Front, left: Jolie Poirier, Peyton Russet, Madison MacLeod, Lauren MacDonell; back, left: Kiera Speck Meek, Bianca MacKinnon, Maggie Hope, Kathy Coleman Spink (teacher), Lindsay McPherson, Paige MacLachlan.