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The Glengarry News - - Sports In The Glens - -- Richard Ma­honey

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.

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