So I was back in the seat on Wednesday. Things felt a lot more straight forward this time, but the weather was much colder overall. My objective in this session was to become more consistent at higher speeds and to really hone my braking points. I really wanted to feel comfortable in the kart and be able to feel like I was controlling it, not the other way around. I find it quite similar to riding a bike for the first time, sometimes you’re unsure how to change the situation.
Unfortunately after my first 12 lap run the brakes began to feel very spongy and weak. This problem only got worse until we tried to tighten the caliper. This only served to increase the heat in the brakes and make the kart very aggressive and twitchy under braking. I started to get frustrated but also a little afraid. In my third session the brakes degraded rapidly and when I was entering the pit lane the brakes gave out completely. I’m so lucky that I was already slowed when this happened as I just missed a wooden fence as I couldnt’t slow down anymore. It was terrifying and I can’t stop thinking what would have happened if the brakes had failed 10-20 seconds earlier at top speed.
Luckily I managed to recover myself and the kart with no damage or injuries and we called it a day. Slightly disappointing considering I had such high hopes for the day, but it was pretty cold anyway. I’m happy that I got lucky and will take brake failures much more seriously in the future. It was really surprising how fast the brakes went from ‘ugh, that’s strange’ to nothing at all.