When everything goes wrong.
Camberley Kart Club - Saturday June 24 2017 by Jez Caudle
We know Camberley well. William practised there, won the IAME Championship. Kenny knows it well too. He has practiced there many many times.
But yesterday that all counted for nothing. I was ill prepared - a simple example, I packed my camera to take some shots for the gallery section and social media but I forgot to put the SD card in. Little acts of preparation that weren't done cost him dear. And none of it was his fault, it was all mine.
Practice seemed to go okay but he was complaining that the engine was slow. That should have rung alarm bells as I had tested the pop-off of the carb and it was wrong. The carb should have been rebuilt during the week and/or the other carb tested. It didn't happen.
In the first heat Kenny had an off. These things happen but I'm thinking he was overdriving to make up for the power loss. The ambulance came out, they were happy with his neck - although he was answering their questions with head movements - and repairs were made.
Heat 2 and Kenny was still slower than he has been in the past although he went faster than Practice and Heat 1. His lap times were coming down as his confidence started to return after the crash, but then the cross bar on his rear bumper came loose on one side was flapping about. He got a black and orange flag and returned to the pits.
I fixed this and went hunting for other things that might be need tightening, something that I should have done during the week.
Heat 3 came and Kenny was faster again on some laps but slower on others. The scruteneers wanted the clutch bells off and I knew then we were in trouble - I was going to clean it during the week, and then in the morning but just didn't. As I suspected oil had got into it, it was picked up and Kenny was excluded.
With the lunch brake I changed the carb. The engine fired and it sounded different in a good way. The other problem I discovered was that the fuel tank cap was leaking air so some electric tape solved that problem. The brake position was changed to give Kenny more bite.
The final came and Kenny's times were good, he was improving every lap until he got another black and orange flag. My mind started racing - what had I forgotten to do? Did I tighten the chain guard properly? I went running down and the MSA guys were looking at the kart. They had heard a noise that they thought was the back wheel coming off although it wasn't. The problem was the front tyres - the bearings are loose and tend to fall out. I had checked the front end during lunch and then put the front tyres back on.
If the bearing comes out I push it back in and then use the wheel nut to push it back in. This has always worked but today it didn't, the bearings can't have been in properly but during the race must have popped back in and the front wheels where moving, banging and that is the noise that the MSA guys heard.
I have been meaning to fix these rims for a while, but guess what? Never got round to it.
By putting things off I completely destroyed Kenny's second ever race and first at Camberley, our spiritual home. Learning for Kenny was low and high for me, totally the wrong way round.
Lesson learned for me!!