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nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
10/17/16 11:48 a.m.

That place looks super promising

Have any of you Baltimore/DC guys tried Autobahn Indoor Speedway in Jessup MD? I have family in that area and have always if it would be worth taking time away to race there.

Furious_E
Furious_E Dork
10/17/16 11:51 a.m.

In reply to nderwater:

Yea that new SPK place looks friggin amazing! I'm all in if we wanna do a GRM meetup there once they open.

Autobahn I think are the same company that just opened a place in my area, seems they have a number of locations. Haven't been there myself, but I'm curious to hear people's opinions as well.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver PowerDork
10/17/16 1:00 p.m.
nderwater wrote: That place looks super promising Have any of you Baltimore/DC guys tried Autobahn Indoor Speedway in Jessup MD? I have family in that area and have always if it would be worth taking time away to race there.

Yup. The one northeast of baltimore (whitemarsh) is better, but they are still electric karts. To me, they never stack up with the gas karts and the Smile/$$ ratio just isnt there. Plus I hate the phased power where you have a warmup under half power then it surges on.

The layout in Jessup is tight! You have a bit more racing space in White Marsh. Personally, with the money being spent, the best I have been to is NJMP (New Jersey Motorsports Park).

If you do end up going to Jessup, there is a very good place to get food and beer near-ish. Frisco's Taphouse.

Jaynen
Jaynen Dork
10/17/16 1:18 p.m.
chaparral wrote: In reply to Jaynen: I think your next step is to go drive a fast kart - even a Briggs LO206 almost alone on track should give you quite a surprise. They have a personality all of their own. My Arrow was solid, consistent, heavy at the controls, fast when everything was perfect, slow when I was lazy on either driving or tuning. My Margay was mercurial, ferociously grippy and fast on new tires, demanding of a super-sensitive touch, capable of a few insane laps before the next part broke. My new Birel is reliable, abuse-tolerant, and an absolute bear to drive, with brutal understeer only compensated for with the application of grossly excessive thrust or braking at the rear tires.

We are going to make a run out to the Gopro motorplex in the next couple months. I am not sure what they use for rentals out there however.

chada75
chada75 Reader
10/17/16 5:45 p.m.

In reply to Furious_E:

Ill keep it short since I can write a book adout Oval Karts.

  1. The level of racing goes from litte backyard tracks that a group of friends run to Super Competitive Two Day Money Races. The common type of racing is a local show with 100% payback.

  2. A modern oval kart is very offset with 8-9.5 wide tires on the right. A "Straight Rail" could work on a local level, but itll cost more than just racing said offset.

  3. In the Southeast, The Stock Clone, a copy of a 200cc OHV Honda, is the Engine of choice. A Top builers Clone will run around $750-$1,000. However, There is a new engine called the Predator thats $125+ at Harbor Feight. It's gaining popularity. Also, The classes are there divided by weight, Light being 325 at 425 being said weight. Karts normally weight 160-170 with no lead.

Feel free to ask any questions. That was just the tip of the oval Iceberg.

chada75
chada75 Reader
10/17/16 5:49 p.m.

In reply to Jaynen:

Gopro just bought a new fleet of 13hp Praga? Rental in July. I weight 300 lbs. when I drove them and other than the driver cause a lot of rear weight, They ran great. Scott and I are planning to go on a Sunday in November.

Furious_E
Furious_E Dork
10/17/16 7:49 p.m.

In reply to chada75:

Thanks for the info, I'm about to inundate you with a ton more questions . The more I'm reading about karting, the more I find it appealing to me. I think whoever made the comment about this being the new answer was spot on, karting seems like the ultimate in grassroots racing.

Living in the heart of central PA, the dirt track thing is appealing due to accessibility. This track is like 45 minutes from me and seems to run every Saturday during the fair weather months: http://www.hunterstownspeedway.com Can't beat that for cumulative seat time per dollar or mile driven on the season and seat time is what I need more than anything right now.

So, the barrage of questions: -What are the chassis to have on the ovals? How old can one buy and still have a competitive car?

-How's the reliability of the clone motors? Pump gas? Any mods allowed, or strictly bone stock?

-What about operating costs over the season for a clone class? Initial setup and purchase costs?

Jaynen
Jaynen Dork
10/17/16 7:58 p.m.
chada75 wrote: In reply to Jaynen: Gopro just bought a new fleet of 13hp Praga? Rental in July. I weight 300 lbs. when I drove them and other than the driver cause a lot of rear weight, They ran great. Scott and I are planning to go on a Sunday in November.

Early or late Nov? Any suggestions on when to show up? How many races to buy?

chada75
chada75 Reader
10/17/16 8:21 p.m.

In reply to Furious_E:

Can't go wrong with a Phantom. A 2004-2006 Phenom is still winning on the local level. Ill gi with that or at least a Separh or a Triton. Both newer karts are very tire sensitive but when you hit the setup, ththievearly impossible to beat. As for the track itself, see what the top drivers are running, too.

  1. On gas, a professional built clone should last around 12-15 or more races between rebuilds (my definition is a 40 lap session, 20 feature, 10 heats, and five practice. Make sure to use a 4T oil or whatever ypur engine builder recommends and change atfer every race. Check and/or change the Valve springs every 3 races. Street 87 octane is what we run in the south. Spec Cam, Valve springs, and very tight tolerance are allow.
chada75
chada75 Reader
10/17/16 8:30 p.m.

In reply to Furious_E:

  1. Varies. The limit before you starting overspending is roughly $7,000. That's the best new kart,cut/prep tires, National-Level engine, New Blueprinted Clutch, and Safety Gear. The best way to start is to buy someone out. You can get a enclosed trailer full or equipment and tools staring around $3,000. You cal also use a 4x8 open trailer too like I do. A Compact car should be able to toelw my setuo with no problems.

We currently run a Predator on ovals and will run a lo206 too. When racing the Clone, towing, Fees, Food, Gas, and fuilds,prep, parts, etc traveling 180 round trip, It cost $125-$150 for one class and a little over $200 for two classes. Its better to race two classes but make sure you have help and buy there gate fee, food, and beer! Its money well spent.

chada75
chada75 Reader
10/17/16 8:36 p.m.

In reply to Jaynen:

Apologies for the grammar.
Im on the phone. November the 6th or the 13th. $25 for one Ten minute session or $100 for Five. You dont have to use the prepay sessions in one day. They last a while.12pm-6pm if they dont have any other events set.

Jaynen
Jaynen Dork
10/17/16 9:48 p.m.
chada75 wrote: In reply to Jaynen: Apologies for the grammar. Im on the phone. November the 6th or the 13th. $25 for one Ten minute session or $100 for Five. You dont have to use the prepay sessions in one day. They last a while.12pm-6pm if they dont have any other events set.

My wife is coming out the weekend of the 13th (13th we actually fly to cali) not sure what we might have going on then we were going to go out the same weekend as the panthers/chargers game Dec 11

failboat
failboat UberDork
10/18/16 7:06 a.m.

Autobahn is what just opened near me in Manassas VA. Its 10 minutes from my office and has $15 mid-day race rates on Mon-Thurs. Headed there today with 8 or 9 coworkers for a quick race.

I am hardly a karting expert, but its karting. Its fun. Its right in my backyard. They go kinda fast. Will gladly shell out $15 every couple weeks for an office grudge match.

chaparral
chaparral Dork
10/18/16 8:43 p.m.

One thing to note is that the price for kart tires just went up.

They're $225 now, up a few dollars from last year.

That gets you two 5"x4.5" fronts and two 5"x7.1" rears

Jaynen
Jaynen Dork
10/18/16 8:44 p.m.
chaparral wrote: One thing to note is that the price for kart tires just went up. They're $225 now, up a few dollars from last year. That gets you two 5"x4.5" fronts and two 5"x7.1" rears

How many of those are you going to go through per year on average?

chaparral
chaparral Dork
10/18/16 8:53 p.m.

I get through two sets of new tires per year if I'm running a full schedule.

n8
n8 New Reader
10/18/16 9:05 p.m.

I take it that you're running every set to the cords if you're getting a whole season out of two sets on a shifter?

Our old regional series had a one set per weekend rule. Which meant that to be competitive you pretty much needed a new set each race weekend for TaG. The Bridgestones that we ran were $200/set at the time.

For you guys talking about dirt racing, those tires are a whole different ballgame. I'll let someone else elaborate, but usually those dirt guys have trailers full of tires and secret sauces.

Jaynen
Jaynen Dork
10/18/16 9:07 p.m.

Thats probably why he mentioned you can buy two stroke takeoffs if running in one of the slower classes?

n8
n8 New Reader
10/18/16 9:13 p.m.

In reply to Jaynen: Exactly. There's always the money is no object people that run qualifying, a heat, and a final on a set and then go on to the next new set. I would do that, but then I'd still use those later for practice until they were done.

The slower classes just don't use up tires like the faster 2 stroke karts do. That's definitely a benefit.

chada75
chada75 Reader
10/19/16 1:30 a.m.

In reply to n8:

Got that right on the Dirt tires!

To Jaynen: I was told that on the old hooisers at goprp, the top lo206 teams were changing front every Two races and rear every four if the setup was right. Also seen said new tire and they needed cutting just to be round.

Tyler H
Tyler H UltraDork
10/19/16 7:31 a.m.

Thanks for putting this thread together. I always assumed competitive karting cost a lot more than this. Sounds like I could race 2-3x as often as I do now for half the cost.

GRM---this would make for a great 2 or 3 part series in the magazine. ;)

chaparral
chaparral Dork
10/19/16 9:27 a.m.

In reply to Tyler H:

I'll write it if they'll edit it, publish it, and pay me!

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
10/19/16 12:48 p.m.
chaparral wrote: "For those who like racing, I advise the karting and to do it with love and dedication" - A. Senna.

for emphasis

chaparral
chaparral Dork
10/20/16 8:54 a.m.

In reply to n8:

Until I get the chassis setup correct on this kart, I'll be running case-of-beer takeoffs down to the cords.

Once I've got it, I'll go into my normal mode of:

"Important" race day (Bobby Haun Memorial, Season Championship, "away" race where I'm spending money on travel): New tires installed before qualifying, then heats and the feature on new ones.

Practice day on 1-day-old tires to work on driving and setup.

2nd race day on 2-day-old tires where I have to manage them carefully to be competitive

Practice day on 3-day-old tires to use them up / try out new powertrain and electronics changes / give a new driver some sessions in the kart

Next race I'll put on "good" take-offs (one race old) at the start of the day and run them for that race and a practice.

I'll get through 2 sets of new tires and 2 sets of takeoffs in 6 races this way, but that assumes powertrain/chassis/kart owner deficits that mean I'm not in contention for major wins or a championship challenge. There's a good chance that this new kart is reliable enough for me to want to change the strategy, and buy a set of new tires at least every other race, possibly supplementing it by changing tires on an end or side before that.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
10/20/16 11:15 a.m.

What are you guys using for rib protection?

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