Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Racerdude Mosport report

This past weekend was the Mosport Vintage Festival, the biggest event of the year for the VRRA and the one all the Deficients have been waiting for…
Most of us had booked the Thursday track day with riders choice so we could get more track time and be ready for the big event. There was a lot of familiar faces at the track day notably Jamie Barkley, Mike Burke and Steve Hoffarth were there along with a bunch of other VRRA racers.

The track day went well for most of the deficients racing riders, all were working hard to get their lap times down for the weekends races. On my end my bike was slow compared to Sebastien’s and he could stretch out a lead at will on the long Mosport straightaway , which was the complete opposite of what our dyno sheets showed a few months before. Maybe the difference in weight, gear ratio and the different bodywork Sebastien uses played a role in the speed difference, but it still seems like I should have been able to power past the other Deficients FZR’s but that wasn’t the case. To make matters worse , the endurance bike I was going to ride with Mike Burke on Friday was also having problems in high gear which we suspected was an electrical problem, so dad worked all evening changing electrical parts to try and find the problem. On Friday morning we found a broken spark plus cap and we were pretty sure that was the problem and we were good to go for the endurance. Francois also had some problems with a faulty fuel pump and had to borrow one on Friday night and wasn’t sure of his endurance participation at that point, but everything turned out ok.

Mike tried the bike on Friday morning and like how everything felt, he said he would be able to do an hour no problem, so I was going to start the 2 hour endurance and hand the bike over after the first hour. I got a pretty good start and was on a great pace but after 17 laps the bike started acting up again so I had to pull in and we DNF’ed . I felt bad for my Dad and Mike who we getting excited about a potential podium finish the way things were going but it wasn’t to be. A couple of laps after I pulled in the red flag came out for an accident in high speed turn 2. We learned a couple minutes later that Rdketchup had crashed, I headed to the medical center and was there when the ambulance pulled in, I was happy to see there was no serious injury, only some pain from his right ankle (which turned out to be broken). The other Deficients Racing teams did well with Francois and Steve winning the Deficient Cup for the top Deficients team in the endurance (and second place in P4F3). Pictures of Francois and Steve with the cup coming soon.

Saturday morning I didn’t even have time to get out of bed, my tuner (dad) was already suggesting ways we could make my bike faster for the upcoming heat race. We were going to try and use the carbs from the endurance bike in practice to see if they are faster. Tuned out they were faster and I was able to gain about 800 RPM’s in top gear at the end of the straightaway (about 15-20 km/h). But the bad news was that it turns out the carbs were the problem on the endurance bike and my bike started to run on one cylinder at the end of the backstraight on the last lap of practice. So we had to put my carbs back on the bike for the upcoming heat race. We switched the carbs and I got ready for my heat race. A minute before the last call for the heat race I started the bike to warm it up and there was a big gas leak. I shut it off and started to panic a little as the race was literally minutes away. We couldn’t find the leak so I jumped on my dads backup bike and rushed over to tech and had them approve the bike, I then rushed back to my pit to transfer the transponder from my bike to this one, Mary and my dad ended up taping it to the fork leg and off I went to pit-out. I got there too late for the warm-up lap, so I had to start from pit row after the whole field clears turn one. That meant I had to pass about 25 riders on cold tires on a bike I had only ridden 3-4 laps on Thursday just to get into the first wave for the Sunday final. I started from pit lane and went into turn 2 to see maxpat’s bike upside down in the hay bales and yellow flags waiving, looked like Pat was ok so I put my head down and passed about 10 bikes on the first lap and 3-4 more on the second lap, but the red flag came out as a result of Pat fainting on the sidelines. This meant I would be able to take the restart from my original first row position on the grid. I ended up 11th on the softly sprung back up bike, a 3rd row start for the next day’s race was great considering. Sebastien ran away with the heat race with barely a challenge from anyone except Brian Henderson on the RZ350 since the other fast guys started from the 2nd wave. I came back into the pits and figured out we had a loose gas line on my hawk an easy fix. Since dad had time to clean the endurance carbs before the Hare and Hounds race we dicided to give them another try, since this race doesn’t pay any points it would be less of a heartbreak if the bike didn’t work any better. The gamble did not payoff again, as I was forced to pull into the pits after the first lap. We then decided to put the original carbs back on for the rest of the weekend.

Sunday’s weather called for rain so we weren’t sure which tires to put on, I decided to mount the new slicks because it looked like practice was going to be dry. The bike finally ran normal and I got down into the low 1.38’s in practice, but didn’t know if that was fast enough to beat Sebastien since VRRA scoring didn’t post any lap times all weekend. The rain held off until the P4F3 race so we didn’t have to worry about changing wheels at the last minute. I got a great start from the 3rd row and settled into 2nd behind Sebastien after going around Brian Henderson in turn 2, he then stretched out a big lead down the back straight and I had to go into turn 8 and turn 1 real hard to catch up, I was an opening in turn 2 and went around the outside into the lead, I held it until the back straight were Sebastien rocketed by again, we played the same game on the next lap but a red flag was waiting for us at start/finish so we would have to do it all over again.
While pulled over on the side of the track , we talked about the laps we just did.
Dominic -Try not to swing so wide when you pass me so I can stay in your draft.
Sebastien - Well I still want to beat you hahaha
Dominic - Don’t worry, I cant catch you before the finish line unless you make a mistake, I just don’t want the people behind us to catch me.
Sebastien - Where are making up time on me?
Dominic -Turn 1 especially, you can use the cement patch at the end of the corner, gas it earlier and let it run wide at the exit.
Sebastien – Ok I’ll try that

And he did… on the restart I got the same great start and got to second pretty early on the first lap, but thanks to his great drive out of T1 every lap I wasn’t able to pass Sebastien in turn 2 any more. Sebastien ended up winning his 3rd race win of the weekend. I ended up 2nd and and Francois was 7th .

Hope to see you all in North Bay.

Here is the P4F3 video from my bike

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