[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h2″ looks_like=”h3″ accent=”false”]Preparing For Your First Race[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]Get Registered!
Registering to race with the Woodbridge Karting Club could not be faster and easier, as we use an online system called Raceday that you can access via your phone, computer or tablet.

We highly encourage you to pre-register online. You will save money, and time! Plus, it makes setting up and running the race insanely easier when everyone is pre-registered so we can focus on helping you with the race and making the race the best it can be.

If you must, You can register at the track. However, as a result, you’ll pay a higher registration fee, and you’ll get a higher Kart number. Your kart number is important – please remember that the starting order for races is determined by order of registration. Registration at the track takes time, and means you will stand in line, and you may miss some practice because of it.

Don’t worry about rainouts; If you pre-register and there is a rainout, we can easily move your registration to the next race you would like to come to, or refund your fees.

Starting Position
Regardless, as a novice,for your first Three races, you’ll be required to start at the back of the pack regardless of the starting number you’re assigned whether you pre-enter or not so starting position isn’t a factor.

There is much wisdom to starting at the back for novices. One, it’s imminently safer because you won’t be caught up (hopefully) in any banzai first-lap melees . Two, if you’re prepared properly and even a halfway competent driver, you’ll be passing a lot of karts, which is very satisfying.

Most tracks require you to be entered in a race before you can practice (Summit Point, for example). By practice sticker I mean the full Friday of practice preceding National events; you don’t need a separate practice sticker for Saturday and Sunday events practice on those two days comes with the race entry.

My advice: Pre-enter just to avoid the hassle of registering at the track plus you save money. A total rain-out is very rare. You find pre-entry forms in the World Karting Association magazine for all national races, or posted on their Web site. For club races, you’ll need to register online, at other tracks, Mid-Ohio for example, you need to contact the sponsoring club.

One word about refunds: There are NO refunds once you get to the track. If you pre-register prior to the event and then discover the week before that you’ve got an unavoidable conflict such as you had forgotten you were getting married that weekend, you almost always can contact the WKC and get a complete refund. But you have to do so BEFORE the event.

Before You Leave Home
Before you think of going to the track, here’s the best tip you will get: Take with you to the track absolutely everything you think you might need. If you leave tools at home (example: a set of taps and dies) that you think you might not need, it’s a sure bet that the very first thing you’ll need will be a die for cutting threads. Bring everything with you, all your tires and wheels, tire balancer, extra parts, all your motors, every extra you can cram into your vehicle. The worse thing that can happen is that you’ll not need them.

At The Track
Okay, now you’re at the track gate. You’ll need to sign in (you sign some waiver sheets, as at most race tracks), go to driver Check In and get your Pit Passes you bought online during registration. At some tracks you’ll pick up your registration packet OUTSIDE of the track (Daytona is best example); at others, you pick those up or register at the track inside the facility (Summit Point). Pit pass costs vary. Pit pass is your insurance and everyone who enters is required to have one. (Woodbridge Kart Club buys your child’s pit pass if your child is under 6.)

After you get through the gate, you’ll need to find a place to park your trailer and set up. Some tracks have covered pit stalls (Daytona) and the practice of late has been that they are rented out in advance of the event. There is a lot of informal sharing of covered pit spots.Pit spaces at Summit Point are generally roped off for our sponsors. Don’t hesitate to ask if a space is taken or if they’d like to share. If it is, just move on to another. Karters are very friendly and sharing pits is how a lot of friendships are started. Note that in last several years, Daytona and Charlotte have begun charging for the covered garage areas, which, when shared among three or four karters per garage, is fairly reasonable.

If you’d rather pit closer to the track, you’re usually free to park just about anywhere (Summit Point is a good example) unless someone tells you that you can’t. Some of the major facilities such as Charlotte and for certain Daytona have more stringent rules about pitting.

You might look into buying a free-standing tarp. You’ll certainly need it at Summit Point, especially in the summer. Usually karters get together and buy one fairly large one and share it (ours is 21 feet long, big enough for three karts).

Rule: You cannot start or run your engine beneath any pit roof. You must take the kart outside. Otherwise: Big Noise. Very aggravating to other karters.

Racing Daytona
One word about Daytona (always week after Christmas), which is the first event of the karting season. It’s an event well worth going to. Comes at a nice time of year to spend some time in Florida. Weather is usually warm. And there are gazillions of karts there. At one point, it wasn’t unusual for Daytona to have classes of over 100 karts. The security people at Daytona are real butt-heads; sorry, but there’s no other word for them. They are mean people, and don’t cross them or you’ll find yourself on the outside of the track looking in. Do what they say; they are a humorless bunch. Some things you do at other tracks you cannot do at Daytona (sitting on the pit wall during a race for example), or pitting wherever you like. Not allowed at Daytona.

Also going on that week in Daytona: 4-cycle and 2-cycle dirt oval sprint kart racing. Not much else is happening in Daytona that week, so the karters have the town, the restaurants and the hotels to themselves. Hotels are cheap; beachfront can be had for $35 a night (although $45-$50 per night is more likely for a chain hotel and the plusher ones are around $75+).

Friendliest tracks: Summit Point, Charlotte. Pocono — when we used to race there — was okay. Watkins Glen was superb. Mid-Ohio is a great place. Indianapolis was okay, ditto for Road Atlanta. Least friendliest track: Daytona.

Back to a regular weekend: Once you get through the gate, everything is rush, rush, rush. You have no time to waste.

After you’ve decided where to pit, it’s best to drag out the kart, set it on the stand, air up the tires, pour in the fuel. Somewhere in there, go to Registration and pick up your packet (or register at the track). You’ll usually get three sets of numbers for each class in which you’re entered. You’ll need clear tape to attach them to the kart. Tape one set to the front nose. Different tracks have different rules about where the others go. Some require rear numbers and one side (Summit requires front, back and right side), others require front and both sides. Attach with clear tape. And don’t tape over existing numbers. Always remove old numbers after a race.

[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_callout title=”Get Started Today!” message=”Get your WKC Membership, create your driver profile, brag about your sponsors, register for an event, save your kart information. ” type=”left” button_text=”Start with the WKC today. ” circle=”false” button_icon=”wrench” href=”#” href_title=”” target=””][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]Get Inspected
After you’ve attached your numbers, you’ll need to get the kart inspected (also known as pre-tech, or safety tech). There should be a place marked. Ask around; people will be happy to tell you. It’s usually obvious because there will be a long line of karts (especially on first-day mornings). The inspector will go over your kart specifically checking brakes (everything cotter keyed or safety wired), steering (ditto), wheel nuts on tight, kart in a neat and clean appearance, nothing dangerous, all fuel lines secured at every connection, etc. Your tech manual will cover all this. The inspector will affix a sticker to your kart (you cannot be on the track without one). Most tracks now also require helmets and driving suits be presented for inspection. For Friday practices, you’ll also need to affix the practice sticker (usually on the nose somewhere or at some tracks, on your helmet). Some tracks require that you also have numbers plus the practice sticker. You’ll need to check at Registration. Also subject to pre-tech: helmets, gloves, collars (if required; usually sprints only), driving suits. At Summit Point, you must bring your helmet to pre-tech AND to the drivers’ meeting, where it is inspected again and an inspection sticker affixed. At Summit Point, helmets are subject to inspection anytime and anywhere, and ditto for the kart (on the grid, for example). After each weekend, you should remove old inspection stickers from your helmet and your kart. A Snell 2000 helmet or newer is required at all enduro tracks and all WKA tracks.

At two-day events, only variation is that you do NOT have to worry about a practice sticker. But otherwise the procedure is the same. At a Saturday-Sunday event, the track is usually open the night before (sometimes late afternoon). At Summit, the track opens each race-day morning at 6 a.m. There will be a long line of traffic on the first morning of any event and it can take 30-45 minutes to get through the line just to get into the track. Therefore, a lot of people come in Friday night just to avoid the hassle. Just be prepared for it. Even with this sort of wait, you still will have time to get set up, pre-teched, etc. (Do NOT wait until 7 or 7:30 to show up and expect everything to go smoothly; you’ll never catch up. On your first several race weekends, we advise that you be first in line when the gates open, or to come the night before.) It is not mandatory that you attend the Friday practices if they’re available (not all weekends offer Friday practices); you can miss them and still come Saturday and/or Sunday. But in your first season, you need as much seat time as possible so the Friday practices are the best bargain in karting.

You do not have to have your kart safety teched each day. Once per weekend is sufficient.

After inspection, numbers (and/or practice sticker affixed), air and fuel, you’ll want to check your clutch for proper stall speed. It’s difficult to explain. Better to have someone show you. Once stall speed is somewhere in the ballpark for your set up, you’ll be looking for the drivers’ meeting. Some tracks don’t hold them but Summit Point always has drivers’ meetings. They’re usually announced both on the program and by loudspeaker. You need to attend them. Practice procedures and/or race procedures will be announced. Usually last 10-15 minutes. At Summit, the novice class is held concurrent with the drivers’ meeting.

Get Some Seat Time
After that, the track is opened for practice. Practice sessions at most tracks are by groups (according to speed potential of various classes). Usually, sprints and enduros will be separated. If there are a large number of enduros, it’s usual for the race director to split them into groups of odd numbers and even numbers. Different tracks use different methods of running practice. It depends on the number of karts available for practice and sometimes the practice methods might even change during the day (if, for instance, more karts show up in the afternoon than were there in the morning).

At Summit Point, we run four separate practice classes, as differentiated by a colored piece of paper that you get when you register. You tape the paper to the nose of your kart. And if your color is, say, red, you go out with the other red karts, if yellow you go out with yellow and so forth.

Each practice session will last usually 6 minutes (varies by track; also, Friday practice sessions tend to run longer, around 15-20 minutes each). After each session ends, there will be a pick up where trucks with tow ropes will go out and tow in disabled or broken-down karts. After tow trucks bring in all the karts, the next session will start. Practice will run like this until practice time is over. Some tracks break for lunch on Fridays so the corner workers can eat. Other tracks run continuously, taking lunch out to the corner workers.

As a novice, your primary aim especially at your first weekends is merely to get around the track, to get seat time.

Motor Notes
Unless your engine builder tells you differently, set the carb needles on a Yamaha thus: one turn OUT on the low speed; 5/8 turn to 3/4 turn OUT on the high speed. Set the kart on the ground, get in it, and have someone start the engine. When you start the engine for the first time, you’re likely to have to spin the starter motor for a moment or two to pump fuel up through the fuel line into the carb. The motor ought to start quickly and easily. If it doesn’t, try choking the carb to make sure it’s pulling fuel (also make sure the fuel petcock is turned on!). Once the motor is running, let it idle (around 3,000-4,000 rpm) for just a few minutes to get everything lubed properly. Then clamp down on the brake and stomp the gas. The engine will spin up to somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 rpm, give or take a couple thousand (depending on where the clutch was set statically). The tach will run up in numbers to somewhere in that vicinity and then stop (the tach will stop, not the engine). Note that number. This is the clutch stall speed.

In an enduro Yamaha Can set up utilizing a Horstman axle clutch, you’ll need to adjust the clutch to an in-the-pits stall speed of somewhere between 10,200 and 10,800. For novices, I’d suggest somewhere near the lower figure. As you gain experience, start driving more smoothly and carrying more speed through the corners, you can set the stall speed higher. The most effective range will be between 10,600 and 10,800. You won’t do any damage to the clutch initially by setting it lower, but you might by setting it higher. Work up to higher stall speeds.

If your clutch is set reasonably close, then just spend a lot of time driving. The only other thing you should do is: keep an eye on the temperature gaugea (CHT or EGT). With a fresh motor, depending on how it’s set up, you probably don’t want to to run it hotter than 340 degrees on the CHT, and that’s after about 30 minutes of break in. (You should ask your engine builder about break-in procedures; if you do not know the history of the motor, run it as if it were brand new.) You also need to know whether your engine has an old-style head or new-style head (new-style heads are thinner and generate much higher CHTs).

Break-in usually takes three 10-minute sessions. First session drive cautiously and at varying road speeds (don’t, for example, keep the throttle flat all the way down the front straight); keep CHT below 270 degrees (all these numbers are for old-style heads); bring the kart in and let the motor cool off to below 100 degrees. Second session do the same things except tweak in the high-speed needle about an eighth turn and get CHT up to about 300-320. Bring the kart in and let the motor cool off. Third session: tweak it a bit more to get CHT up to 340 degree range. These figures are for a normal day, ambient temperature-wise and for a motor with reasonable piston-to-wall clearances (say, .002 to .003). If it’s a cool day, say temps around 50-70 degrees, you won’t see CHTs as high as described above. If it’s a really hot day 90+ degrees you might see CHT temps about 20-60 degrees hotter at each stage. Break-in procedures vary according to the piston-to-cylinder-wall clearance and the ring gap. That’s why it’s important to know those figures. (Generally, the tighter the clearances the slower and more gentle the break-in.)

If you run the engine too hot, you run the risk a great risk of seizing.

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