Max Faulkner ’16
Max Faulkner started karting at age 12 and spent four years competing around the Northeast.
“My father had been a long-time motorsports fan and suggested that I give it a go at the local kart track,” said Faulkner. “And later, at full-size race car events, I had the opportunity to work directly with an engineer, identifying problems and fine-tuning engines. This totally piqued my interest in the intricacies of racing.”
Faulkner has been participating in the Tour Car Racing (TCR) category. The four-door, front-wheel-drive “saloon” cars, which max out at about 150 mph, are purchased pre-built from Audi, Hyundai and Honda to ensure that each manufacturer’s vehicles are as uniform as possible.
According to Faulkner, racing drivers’ physical demands are much greater than the average spectator would expect. “Most race drivers spend many hours a week in the gym, building cardiovascular endurance as well as core muscular and neck strength,” he said.
Faulkner is pursuing a mechanical engineering degree at Lafayette College. His racing plans are on hold due to the pandemic, but he hopes to work out a sponsorship deal to get back at the track.
“For me, the engineering side of racing is so fascinating,” said Faulkner. “When I can no longer be a driver, I look forward to building a career as an engineer within the motorsports industry.”
Jack Manzari ’21
Jack Manzari started go-kart racing when he was eight years old. “My dad and I built and have worked on karts for the past eight to nine years,” he said. “The hands-on experience allowed me to learn the ins and outs of the engine’s anatomy. Due to COVID-19, I’ve had to race without a team, which requires me to take apart and rebuild the kart solo.”
Manzari competes in the Senior Tag category for ages 15 and up. The karts are gas-powered, typically 40–50 horsepower and, depending on the track, can top off at speeds between 80–90 mph.
“This is possible because the motors rev very high, to almost 17,000 revolutions per minute,” said Manzari. “For context, the typical car revs to only around 6,000–7,000 rpm.”
Over the past ten years, Manzari has raced in several locations, from New Jersey to upstate New York, Boston, Pittsburgh, Indiana, North Carolina and Baltimore.
“I would like to continue racing as I move into adulthood. However, college must come first,” he said. “I do have my Sports Car Club of America license, which allows me to take the next step into cars. I got it at 15, two years before my road-going license.”