Pole Position Raceway – Jersey City – Winter Racing Series – Race 4 – 40 Lap Endurance Race
Last night was the final race of the Winter Racing Series at Pole Position Raceway in Jersey City. It has been a great 3 weeks of racing, so last night was quite exciting. The points value of last nights races would be doubled. The only way for me to win the league was to be first. Luckily, endurance racing can allow for slips of strategy to allow slower cars to technically finish in higher positions – purely based on strategy. We were told to come in at 7pm to go through a briefing.
The rules of the race were simple. 40 laps. 3 pit stops. When the pit stops were to take place were quite interesting. Based on your qualifying time, positions 1 through 5 had to pit in lap 8-9; leaving positions 6-10 to pit in laps 11-12. After the first pit stop, whichever lap you chose, u had between 8-12 laps to pit. Every lap under or over the 8-12 range was a time penalty. So if you chose lap 8, u had between lap 16-20 to pit, and after that you, assuming u chose lap 19, you had between 27-31. Obviously it varied, but the goal was to get the karts to not do more than 12 laps, since battery power could be a variable at that point.
Knowing all this information, I chose to pit at lap 9, then 21, then 29. This would give me 11 laps in my final stint to try to make up any ground I may have lost while pitting. I thought this strategy would be feasible, but once the race actually started, it was near impossible to keep count as you just get sucked into the race. For the next endurance race, I am definitely gonna have to bring someone with me to tell me when to pit.
Overall, I wasn’t thrilled nor was I disappointed with the race. I enjoyed the concept of endurance racing, especially at Pole Position. Harrison and the guys did a PHENOMENAL job running the event, but I think that having such a “new” type of race, count for the biggest race of the season is kinda silly. It would be a shame for someone who was in 2nd or 3rd place to lose those spots after working so hard for 3 races to build a lead, to lose it completely to lack of strategy, but I guess that is the point.
The one thing I didn’t like was not knowing what position I am in. I guess I am spoiled with video games and with the scoreboard at PP, which tells me what place I am, but unfortunately that didn’t work out too well for me, since it showed P1 as P9!
Another thing I didn’t like was that there would be timing penalties for unequal pitstops but no penalty for bumping. I have never been in an accident on that track, so I don’t know what it feels like to go “under” a barrier, but I was the victim this time and was pushed into and UNDER a barrier by the person who eventually took 2nd place. I hurt my wrist and my knee is bruised. Unfortunate. In addition, this same driver was dive-bombing the gentleman who was in P3 of the league, which eventually forced him to crash. Totally uncool. I understand in racing, you have to go for a gap, but that doesn’t mean that you use other people to brake. Take the pass clean, or be a good little child and stay behind me. 🙂
The other thing that sucked was in my final stint, my car seat was moved all the way back and couldn’t move forward. Which forced me to run 11 laps in a bad seating position. That is totally not cool. Every kart thats “chosen” for the endurance should have seat movability at the minimum! At the minimum!! Tires, I can understand. But you shouldn’t be forced to have a bad seat. Plus when timing comes into play in the pits when choosing cars, you don’t want to lose a lap to the guy ahead of you because your seat won’t move forward!
Those are my three main criticisms – knowing what position I was in, no penalties or warnings for bumping, and kart “maintenance”.
So the race went well. I qualified tied for 4th, but since the other guy who had 4th place, I suggested that he be in 4th and I be 5th since he had faster laps than me overall. You may ask why I qualified 4th vs. top 3 which I have done all season. Answer is simple. On Super G, you are given 8 laps. I usually piss my first lap away to keep the tires warm. After that, there was a portion of the track that was jutting out. I was a gentleman and decided to clean it up, so another lap was gone. So 6 total laps. I could barely get a rhythm and faltered. I wasn’t fast enough in those 6 laps.
So I qualified p4 moved to p5. The first corner was a bit hairy. P4 moved to P3, and the rest was chaos! I somehow moved to P3 overall. So I supposedly finished the season 2nd place overall. The video is 30 minutes long. Enjoy it.
I get crushed lap 3.