2016 Endurance Karting 24 Hours of America at NOLA Motorsports Park
The weekend of March 11th to 13th, 2016 marked the 7th annual running of Endurance Karting’s “24 Hours of America” event. This year’s enduro was held at the karting complex at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, Louisiana. While only open since late 2011, NOLA has quickly become a favorite facility for fans and racers alike here in the South.
A fortuitous set of circumstances with a new co-worker at my day job connected me with someone organizing several teams to participate in the event. There was enough space, so I somehow conned my wife, Ainsley, into doing a 24-hour kart race when she has only ever done four track days and not a lot of karting. “Go big or go home” is pretty much our motto, so we wound up in Louisiana getting ready for Friday’s practice with several strangers on team #26, BNL Racers. We eventually eschewed the original “Butt Naked Last” and decided on “Be Not Last.” It turned out to be somewhat prescient!
All teams were “pitted” behind the fence adjacent to the hot pit lane. As the karts are maintained by Endurance Karting throughout the event, access to the hot pit is not necessary, and was not allowed anyway. Here race director and Endurance Karting head Chris McCoy speaks with one of the teams.
This is a real event, and that means one thing – a long, drawn-out driver’s meeting where people ask the same ridiculous questions that they asked at the last event about edge cases that are… you know the drill. Let’s just be safe and have fun, k?
One thing that was not fortuitous was the weather. Friday’s practice sessions were downright horrendous. The rain briefly paused here and there, but usually came back with purpose. Here my wife heads out to start another wet practice session. At least it wasn’t pouring rain at this particular moment.
Rain or shine, the event was going to go on. As if dealing with rooster tails and spray wasn’t enough, teams were presented with several choices of tire: slicks. No rain rubber meant plenty of ginger inputs and lots of sliding and counter steer.