Capri Originals – J3 Competition

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J3 Competition

We recently spoke with J3 Competition, A group of karters with almost 18 years of competition under their belts, which means they have experienced virtually all of karting's highs and lows.

How They Started

J3 Competition was formed in 2004 by Jim Giacomelli, John Giacomelli, and Justin Stefani. The team’s name comes from the three Js in their first names.
 
All three J3 owners grew up in the sport of kart racing. They have a deep passion for the sport, which is why they decided to start their own competition team. Since that start, the team has become a world leader in the sport of kart racing, and their experience is second to none.
 
All three fell in love with karting thanks to the speed, competition, and adrenaline rush that comes from racing. But another major part of what keeps them coming back to the sport is its community feeling. They agreed that it’s the “family aspect that brings you back again and again to the sport. Winning never hurts either.”
Photo: Left to right: Jim Giacomelli, John Giacomelli, and Justin Stefani

Preparing For Race Season

The professional kart racing season is only a few months each year, but between that and pre-season races, extra practice sessions, and prep time, one season often feels like it’s blending into the next one. And for J3’s team management, this also includes budgeting and building new karts for the next season, leaving little time for rest.
 
Another part of every season is development, testing, and races that give the team more data. This data helps J3 finalize their technical updates and materials by the end of August as they prep for the next season.
 
Next, J3 works on production updates for the new year. And if everything goes to plan, they have the new year’s components and models ready by the end of November.
 
Finally, they use November and December to work on the business side of things, including racing goals and milestones and the coming year’s budget.
 
But J3 concedes that motorsport is a fast-paced industry with changes at every turn, so the team has a flexible plan that can be re-evaluated as needed.

Attention to Detail

When it comes to the technical side of things, the work of a kart mechanic is very similar to that of an automotive mechanic.
 
However, one significant difference between karting and automotive mechanics is that karting components require continuous inspection and regular cleaning and resetting. Whereas automotive mechanics primarily work on vehicles with parts that may last up to 100,000 miles.
 
Clearly, karting mechanics must stay on top of their work at all times. But according to J3, a karting mechanic is “normally there for the passion, so the ‘team’ and adrenaline side of the job is at a very high level.”
 
In fact, J3 Competition’s kart mechanics really enjoy making very exact adjustments. Every technical change they make needs to be perfect for the team to see a corresponding performance improvement. The J3 mechanics work to ensure that the team has the best possible kart to win.

Challenges and Rewards

For J3, one of the biggest karting challenges comes when a driver has a wreck because “you never know which tools you need, how bad is the damage, etc. Basically, making sure you have every tool in case of any incident.
 
“It is hard to know what you will need to do and the tools you will need to get a race kart back up, running, and ready to race. Because various things can go wrong, teams must prepare for anything. This is why J3 Competition makes sure that they have any tool they might need when things go wrong.
 
But the need to always be prepared doesn’t stop J3 from enjoying the many highs that karting offers. For J3 Competition, the best part of the sport is getting to see their team progressing: “Watching team members and young drivers have ‘Ah-ha’ moments and elevating to the next plateau. Whether that is a race win or a 15th-place finish, the progression of the team is the most rewarding.”

Inspiring the Future of Karting

As a kart racing team with a strong record of success, J3 Competition can offer valuable advice to other karters. To begin, the team strongly believes that “although it is a business, it is ‘sport’ first and you must have the desire and passion to win and be the best. If you desire a ‘job/money,’ you will not be successful. The success comes only after you sacrifice to be the best…”
 
For anyone that might be worried that they should have started karting at a younger age, J3 Competition offers hope. They want karting enthusiasts to remember that karting is a sustainable sport well suited to all ages. Although they do admit that, if you’re hoping to become a professional kart racer, it does help to start at a younger age, as karting is part of the motorsport “ladder.”
 
When asked what they are most proud of, J3 Competition chose “developing our brand and being known as a leader with integrity and ingenuity.”
 
This professional karting team should inspire anyone with a passion for karting and motorsports. They show exactly what you can achieve with hard work, dedication, and a passion for what you want to achieve.

J3 Competition's Picks

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  • Sliding T-Handle Hex Wrenches

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  • Sliding T-Handles Set with Mechanics Tray, 8-Piece

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  • Kontour 8-Piece Screwdriver Set with The Mechanics Tray

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