Monday, June 21, 2010

Racerdude RACE round 3 report

Last weekend was the 3rd round of the RACE series in Shannonville and also the 3rd round of the joint VRRA/RACE P4 Vintage challenge on the Fabi track. Patrick and Francois decided to sit this one out, so it was just me and RdKetchup on this trip. Because money is getting tight with 3 rounds in 6 weeks, we decided to skip Friday practice and only left after work on Friday. Traffic was not too bad and we got to the track around 9h pm. Our friend Steve Hoffarth was pitted near the entrance and greeted us with a large icepack on his hand, Steve had suffered a big get off earlier in the day and had bruised his hand and literally destroyed his bike. He looked like he was going to sit out the rest of the weekend without the required parts available to fix his bike in time.

We then found a spot for the trailer with electricity close by and started to unload the bikes, there was a lot of mosquitoes out and we left the lights off inside the trailer to try and keep them out. We got the bikes out and set up the rest of our stuff and got ready for bed. We closed the trailer doors and just when we were getting ready to turn on the TV we noticed that some mosquitoes had gotten inside while we unloaded the bikes. I turned on the lights and horror… the trailer was filled with them, and these were zomby/ninja mosquitoes… As we started to kill them one by one, they would A. Disappear from view right when we were about to smack them or B. simply come back to life and fly away after we smacked it. This went on for about 20 minutes and at one point we wondered if there was more and more coming in thru a crack somewhere. At the end the trailer looked like a warzone with mosquito bodies everywhere, we kinda gave up and decided we would watch a couple of episodes of Entourage (season 2) before going to bed, smacking one here and there when the came close enough. We ended up watching the first 5 episodes and went to bed at 1h30 instead of 12h our intended bedtime.

Next morning was a little rough and I had to pedal across to the nelson side of the track to register, it actually felt good to do it and woke me up a little, Sebastien had pre-entered the race so he already had all his paperwork waiting at the gate the night before. The weather bug form Ketchup’s phone was freaking out a little calling for thundershowers throughout the day. Chris Chapelle had warned us that practice times may be used for Sundays grids if the heat races get cancelled on Saturday so we were going to have to get a couple of good laps in just in case. I decided to warm up my bike a couple minutes before the start of practice and noticed my RPM gauge was not working at all. There was not time to see why so I just went out with no RPM’s. Got down to some good laps pretty fast fallowing one of the 250 gp riders and did a couple of low 1:11’s and ended up quickest in the class. Strange thing is on one lap going down the straight I could see a Spider on my RPM gauge , I tried to bat it away then realized it was inside the gauge. When I got back to the pits I took the RPM gauge apart , let the spider go free and cleaned out the spider web that was keeping the needle for going around, I am pretty sure the spider was part of a conspiracy with the mosquitoes sent by Mike burke the night before to try and slow down the competition.

Spyder web cleaning

The first race of the day for us was Sebastien’s heat race in LW sportsman, he got a good start and passed a couple people (while completely ignoring the signs I was giving him on pit wall) he ended up 4th right behind another FZR400, the podium was within his grasp (but I wasn’t holding my breath, the podium had been in his grasp before). Next was the vintage challenge heat race, I was starting fourth on the outside of row 1, I got a good start but Jamie and Stu both got by me, I took a tight line into 3 and went under Stu for 2nd place and started to chase down Jamie. I caught him and followed him a couple of laps before making the pass going into 6 (I think), after that I did a couple of clean laps and got the heat race win with a best lap of 1:10.610. Sebastien got 4th place behind Stu in 3rd and Jamie in 2nd .

Saturday night we turned in pretty early so we could watch the second DVD of Entourage season 2. BTW remember the rain Sebastien’s phone was calling for, well we escaped it all day, but at night there was a couple of big thunderstorms that blew thru, good thing we had prepared for it and tied everything down.

Sunday morning practice went pretty much like the day before , I did a couple of low 1:11’s and pulled in to save my already well worn tire for the race. We also found out Steve had found a bike to use for the race so he could get some points for the championship. Steve is a hardcore Ninja man, so having to use a GSXR didn’t sit well with him.

Before lunch was Sebastien’s LW final, and a chance for his first podium ever. He really didn’t get the start he wanted and had to fight with Ken Hill on the bandit who uses unorthodox racing lines to confuse his opponents into mistakes on the track. I almost worked with Sebastien who got a little frustrated but finally made the pass stick and set off after Brian Peterson In 3 rd place. He finally caught him and was able to make the pass stick, even got a little gap and started to catch 2nd place. But then the old (forever 4th) RdKetchup showed up on the last lap and I could see his lead on 4th place shrinking every corner, he was lucky there was only 8 laps because it was too close for comfort at the line. 7 great laps and one really long one. I was really happy for him. Mike Burke ended up pushing his blown FZR across the line in 9th place just edging out Nicole Pilkington so he could keep the bragging rights (for another round at least). I think he should use Chapelle’s CBR 125 and see how long and can keep her behind in the 125 cup (I’m guessing not long hahaha). Hope you find a motor in time for the Quebec GP Mike.

The vintage challenge was a really weird race for me, I got a really bad start but made it past Stu into 2nd place exactly like the day before, it looked like the race was going to be a replay of the heat race but then Jamie lost the front going into 6 and low sided out of the lead. I tried to get away from Stu chasing me but he came past me on the straight , I passed him again going into 3 and really put my head down to try and get away and he passed me again down the straight and I passed him right back into 3 and I felt I got a big enough gap on him but had a BIG slide in the hairpin and almost went down with my feet coming off the pegs and lost all the time I had gained on the last lap, Stu again came past me at the end of the straight but this time took a wide line into 3 and I couldn’t dive inside on the exit, when I got back on the gas, the rear tire slipped again and I just new I would be able to challenge Stu for the rest of the race. My rear tire was cooked and all I could do is cruise around in the 1:12’s when I could do mid 1:10’s the day before and felt I could have went even faster. If it would have given me any signs in practice or the day before I would have changed it before the race, but this mistake ended up costing me. Stu ended up going pretty faston the last lap and did a 1:10.586 and won the race. I got second and Sebastien was able to hold off Steve Hoffarth who was coming from the last row on the GSXR.

I came into the pits and was a little pissed off at myself for not changing the tire earlier, but it was too late and I had to change it for the last race of the day middleweight sportsman that was coming up pretty soon, I already had a tire mounted on a extra wheel and it only took a couple minute to change. I had signed up for this race that morning so I would be starting from last place on row 5. Start was ok, but a couple guys in front of me wheelied off the line so I passed them going into one and set off after the pack of SV’s in front of me, I was able to pass a 3 more of them and one more pulled off with a mechanical and I was able to get 5th place. I was really happy about that. I went the speed I tought I should of went in the other race and ended up with a best time of 1:10.586, the exact same time Stu went on the GSXR in the vintage challenge.

All and all it was a great weekend, some guys (and girl) had bad luck, some had to start the race from pit lane, some broke their bikes, some fell and got no points and some even got hurt a little. So coming home with second place and in good health is a good thing… I just hope those extra 5 points Stu got for the win this weekend don’t come back to bite me in the ass at then end of the year… only time will tell.

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