Cody hasn’t fired me just yet!
For my fifth CKN Driver Blog, I will be writing about my return to the karting paddock. As some of you may know I have been absent from the karting community for the last few months. The last little while has been crazy, I am competing in the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship with Brian Graham Racing. After a successful first part of the season with two podium finishes, I am now in contention for rookie of the year. Despite my new adventure I still was itching to get back in a kart. This past weekend I returned to the kart track for the third round of the MRFKC series with Prime Powerteam and BirelART in the ROK Senior class. Getting back into the groove of karting was a challenge for me, but I loved it. Recently a lot of people have been asking what the kart feels like compared to the F1600 car. In my opinion, the biggest difference between the two is the weight and the suspension. With the kart, you only have about 300 to 400 pounds to throw around, on the other hand when you are driving the car, there are 1125 pounds at your disposal.
The difference in weight makes for quite a surprise the first time you hit the brakes in either of the two. When driving a kart, weight transfer is something you think about but the kart does a lot of the work for you. The car really makes you think about loading the tire properly and the outcome of your actions. Another large factor is that when you enter most forms of car racing, your track time drops significantly. When your karting you have the option of testing for multiple full days before a large event. This year in the F1600 Championship we get one day with 5 practice sessions, then it’s straight into race day. It provides a challenge to me as a rookie because, before this year, I had never driven any of the tracks on the calendar. Arriving back at the karting track on Wednesday was a weird feeling even though I had only missed a few months. The team quickly got the tents and karts together and were on track. I enjoy both the karting and F1600 paddocks because all of us, drivers, mechanics, and family have something in common, we love motorsports. It was nice to see all of my friends from the paddock and awesome to get back behind the wheel of my kart.
The first few sessions were about shaking off the dust, not to mention it was my first time at CTMP in the ROK senior class. The support from Trevor Wickens and Prime was incredible as always. Being with my team really helped me get back up to speed quickly. Heading into race day my main goal was to be competitive and to have fun. It was great to see a big kart count, there were 23 karts in my class, it made for some great racing. I was happy with my pace in Qualifying but wanted to see what we could do in the mains. In Final 1 I started fourth on the grid. With everyone so close in time I knew I was going to be hard-fought racing. The green flag flew and immediately I slotted into third. After a few laps, the second place kart, my new teammate Patrick Woods-Toth, made a move for the lead, I then followed suit and moved up to second. This is how we finished at the checkered flag, I was very happy to cross the line with a Prime Powerteam one-two, and a podium in my first MRFKC Rok Senior event. In Final 2, it was another very close race up front and I finished up fifth.
Overall I was very happy with my weekend. I would like to thank all my supporters including Prime Powerteam, BirelART, Legree Motorsports, and my family. I enjoyed coming back and doing a karting event, I will see you all again for the Canadian Nationals in August! Once again a special thank you to Cody and Canadian Karting News! If you have any questions about what I do, or karting as a sport, I am totally open to talking about it! Feel free to reach out to me over social media. My Instagram is @_macclark and my Facebook is Mac Clark. This is Jimmy Clark signing off, see you next time CKN Nation!