Part 5 – Typical Day
So, you’ve got a kart, engine, some tools and all the safety gear you need. GREAT! Now, what happens on a typical race day?
- The race day typically gets going anywhere from 7am – 8am. You’ll want to arrive a little early as parking space can fill up and you’ll need some time to set up your gear. Often, the race day unfolds on Sunday but Saturday is a full day of practice for those who wish to get more seat time in the specific track configuration before the race. If you intend on attending practice, simply show up on Saturday morning, pay your practice dues and have at it! If you are a beginner, you should try to talk with another member to get some assistance specially in your first few track outings. If you do not know anyone yet at this stage, get in touch with an NCKC executive, we will point you to someone who will be able to assist.
- Once you’re unpacked, the first stop is typically registration. You’ll need to bring with you to registration race day fees, a completed tech sheet (see Rules and Forms) and any paperwork you may need to hand in (ie. proof of age, etc.)
- Once at registration, the folks at the table will take your money, assign you a transponder number, take your tech sheet, provide you a tech sticker and may ask you to pull a number from a bucket for a qualifying grid position. You will also have to sign the daily waivers EACH DAY you are at the track. In Canada, minors and adults must sign; in the US, adults sign for the minors. Try and have everything ready to go when you get to registration as the folks working the table have a lot of people to get though.
- Once you’re registered, there’s usually a bit of time before practice. Each class gets one round of practice (typically around 5-10 mins per class). Practice is very important for a number of reasons but from a safety perspective, it’s a chance to make sure everything is working on the kart. NOTE: If transponders are being used, you MUST have your transponder on the kart for practice.
- After practice there’s a drivers meeting that all drivers MUST attend. It’s a good idea if crew attend as well as any special announcements will be made here.
- Now, it’s time to go racing. As of this writing, the day is typically divided into 3 heats – a timed qualifying, a pre-final and a final. The grid position for qualifying may be set by the number you drew at registration – the grid marshal will direct you to your slot. Qualifying is typically around 5 minutes in length and your result here sets the grid position for the pre-final. The pre-final is typically an 8-10 lap race and your finishing position in this heat sets your start position for the final. The final is usually a longer race and is the ‘glory’ race of the day for which trophies are awarded to the top finishers.
- After each heat, you need to cross the weigh scales and be weighed. It’s important that no one approaches your kart before you’ve weighed or a penalty can be levied. It’s usually a very good idea to weigh after practice as the scales can have some variance depending on the atmospheric conditions of the day. If in doubt, better to be a few pounds over than get a DQ for being underweight.
- Once your final heat is complete, you may be selected to go to the technical inspection area. A random selection of karts from each class will be selected for technical inspection (typically it’s the top 3 but it’s at the discretion of the rules chair or his representative). If you are selected to tech, move your kart to the tech compound and wait for instructions from the tech inspectors.
- After tech is complete, the final trophy presentations are performed and that’s the end of a typical race day!