Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Oliver Drives A Go-Kart

For some time now Oliver had declared quite adamantly that he "WILL NEVER" drive a go-kart. We've asked him why and got numerous answers from him. They all seemed plausible--because it's Chloe's thing and he was scared of the noise of the engine and it just generally scared him. OK. So, we didn't push it. In his own time.

In the past few weeks, the stars seemed to align for Oliver and several things began happening that had us and him thinking perhaps NEVER had arrived and he would be willing and was ready to get into a kart-

  • he had developed his own friends at the track, most of whom drive in the Kid Kart class
  • he has developed relationships and built trust with Chloe's kart tuner and driving coach, Chris, as well as OVRP owner, Tim, who would be the one taking him out for his first spin in a kid kart.
  •  he likes volunteering to "fill-in" on the podium and he wants a trophy of his own
  • he is a dare-devil madman on a scooter and couldn't possibly be scared of driving a go-kart after some of his antics 
  • he became generally interested in car racing, watching Formula 1 with Dad
In the past when we went to track and to races, Oliver would chase Chloe and her friends. He had fun and the other, older kids were generally nice to him. But, as it goes, having the little brother around often turned to tantrums and spats. But, as Oliver approaches 5 years old, he nears the age of many of the younger kids driving in the Kid Kart class at the track and he has found his own set of friends to play with. He doesn't need to chase big sister Chloe and her pals anymore. He has his own band of pals to ride scooters with and drive remote control cars.

But, most of Oliver's new friends are driving karts and they would disappear from play time to drive on the track and Oliver was left to watch or chase Chloe and her pals.

Oliver is also a dare-devil and shows no fear when riding his scooter at the track. He smashes into fences, attempts jumps and spins and has ruined two pairs of shoes and one pair of jeans in the last two weeks alone dragging himself behind the scooter at high speeds. If the kid wasn't afraid to go down a hill on a scooter and attempt a jump and use a fence to stop himself, then he wasn't afraid to sit in a go-kart.

Oliver also started watching Formula 1 with Matt on the weekend. He would also make commentary on tracks and started telling us what color he wanted his Kid Kart, race suit and helmet. At first I thought he was just wanting the gear to look the part, but then at the first race of the year two weeks ago a group of us all went to dinner and Oliver asked Tim when he was going to take him out on the track.

What?!

Oliver and Tim have built a bond and Ollie feels comfortable with Tim and trusts him. They are kind of two peas in a pod as evidenced in their after-dinner chase (thankfully the restaurant had cleared).

So, the stage was set for Oliver's first lesson in a kid kart with Tim.

But first, we had to buy Oliver a race suit. Blue. Everything must be blue.
The cutest boy driver I've ever seen.
 

Once we had the gear, we were set to actually get in a kart with the motor on. Tim ran through some drills with Oliver--gas and brake, stopping and going, how much to press on the gas (not much)--before he allowed Oliver to actually take to the track.
Running a drill to learn the pedals.

A rolling drill that teaches Oliver to STOP the kart. Chloe took a chance standing in as the stop sign. He did stop just about 1/2 inch before her foot.

With the motor running, a stop and go drill. Oliver is tethered with Dominic holding on just in case.
 And once Oliver was ready, the announcement was made on the PA, "Clear the track for Oliver!!". He had a captive audience.

Getting help putting his helmet on.

Looking determined. 



And he was off!!

He did great!
He had a blast.
He was very proud of himself.
He declared his drive, "EPIC!"
Oliver got a round of high fives from Tim, Peter & Dad after his drive was complete.

Super proud of himself.
 Look out Kid Karters, Oliver will be racing soon!

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