JACKSONVILLE FLORIDA - DECEMBER 1999
Wednesday 12-22-99 - DAY #1
Today (Wednesday) was the first day of open practice at Jacksonville for the World Championships. We ran 40 laps in 4 sessions dodging rain showers all day. We ran the Fox with the Yamaha engine and just worked on base lining the set up from the November test. We were just getting into testing different engines when the final rain came washing out the rest of the day.
About 10 karts were here today testing. 2 fast guys in our class ran today. Josh Allison from IN and John Beson from OK. With the rain it was hard to tell track conditions, but it looks like Beson was fastest in the Yamaha class, with Colin about .4 sec slower. We are just working on our plan and have yet to try our good engines or put anything but old tires on the kart. The handling was very close and we made no chassis changes.
We plan to complete the Yamaha engine testing on Thursday and start on the HPV class set up.
As you can see today was very overcast and rainy. This is the main pit area. It will start to fill up as the week progresses. You can see our trailer behind the brown roof with the white top and air conditioner. To the left is our Suburban. The Coello Racing trailer will be parked where the Suburban is and we will work between the trailers.
Thursday 12-23-99 - DAY #2
Today the weather was much better and we got a full day running in, with temps reaching 67 deg and some sun at times. We started with the Yamaha and had some fuel delivery problems in the morning. After a range of carburetors and some confusion, we sorted it out and ran our engine test. The result was times faster than we ran in our test in November by about .2 sec. The kart was handling well and we then converted the kart for the HPV engine class.
Our first run in the HPV produced times equal to our best of the whole weekend in 1998, where we ran in the top 5 in the race. After some small chassis changes we ran .2 sec quicker and the day was over. Times are very misleading here as the draft on the long 1000 ft straight can lower the times by as much as 1 second, as we proved today while running with a competitor. Our HPV time was with no draft.
The day saw a few more karts, but the total was less than 15. It was a diverse group. A few enduro karts breaking in engines for the Daytona races next week, some 4 cycle karts getting ready for the speedway races in Daytona, and some sprint karts testing for our races.
Steve Peterson, a friend of ours from the days when we competed against each other on different ASA teams, and now, along with Garry Nelson, running NASCAR tech, was at the track shaking down his 125cc shifter kart. It was great to see him as he has supported the team from the beginning. He offered Jeff a run in his kart. It was a blast to run the track in a kart that fast. The times will NOT be reported here, but Colin did mention that I was only slightly faster than his best HPV time, so all real drivers can breathe a sigh of relief that I will not be competing against them. We want to thank Steve for the chance to run his pride and joy, and wish him a great season in karting and with the NASCAR Winston Cup series.
We will be at the track all day Christmas eve day testing HPV engines and making the first run with the Cadet kart. The weather is supposed to turn colder, so we will have fun dealing with the track as well.
Friday 12-24-99 - DAY #3
Today went very well for the team. We ran 3 different Woltjer tuned HPV engines and found the one we want to race. The best time of the day was .8 seconds faster than we ran here last year. The Fox kart proved very tunable. As track conditions changed with temp, we could make small changes to the kart to keep the handling perfect. By 2:30pm we put the HPV kart away and ran the Comer class kart for the first time.
The Fox cadet kart with Woltjer Comer engine ran well. We ran on very old tires to just base line the engines. We tried some chassis changes and were able to get the kart handling very well. On our 3rd run Colin and John Beason (at left in yellow kart) ran nose to tail for about 10 laps drafting each other and getting some traffic testing. Here Colin leads John on one of those laps.
The weather was very nice, and about 20 drivers took to the track. Well the team gets Christmas day off then back to the track on Sunday. We should have Tony Coello here then with the rest of the Coello Racing team. It will get very busy with over 200 more racer expected. Hope you all have a great Christmas, and we will try to report Sunday night.