Friday, September 17, 2010

North Bay report

Last weekend was the last round of the VRRA season in North Bay, after some mathematics I figured I needed 4th place in the race to win the championship. To be honest I was a little more worried about the P4 Challenge championship with the last round on the Pro track giving the big bikes the edge, and with only a 12 point lead (if I got all 2nd place finish and Steve won all the races, we would be tied and he would win the championship) going to North Bay I figured this was my chance to go for it, Steve and Jamie are both very strong at Shannonville , so I would have to take advantage of the shorter north bay layout.

The whole week before the race I have to admit I hoped for rain on Sunday ( I know that’s not very nice) and looking at the weather sites on Thursday it looked like I was going to get my wish.

We left on Friday morning for the long drive from Montréal , since Sebastien Nadeau wasn’t coming , Francois and Virginie decided to join Yanie and I in the truck and trailer . The drive went pretty quick (seemed shorter than last year) and we got there around 6h on Friday evening. We unloaded the bikes and went thru tech before eating a nice paste dinner with Pat’s famous sauce. Saturday was a nice sunny day, there was a lot of crashes in the first round of practice, the pavement was really dusty and the hairpin was very tricky. The Deficients Team managed to stay up and we waited for or heat race to begin in the late afternoon. I got a ok start (not good enough to beat Jamie of the line) but Jamie ran a little wide in to turn 1 and I slipped under, My second lap was the fastest of the race (and new P4F3 lap record) and it was enough to build a nice gap to second place. Every lap coming out of the hairpin I could see where the other riders were so it was easy to manage the last couple of laps and I didn’t have to make risky moves in traffic. Francois beat Patrick for 3rd place and said he was close enough to Jamie so that he may be able to do something about it on Sunday. I had kept an eye on the P4F1 results to see how fast the P4 challenge competitors would be going, and I was a little relieved to see that only one rider had been going faster than me on Saturday. That’s when I started hoping for sun again on Sunday.

Sunday morning it was raining when I woke up so I got up right away and changed to rain tires for the practice. The race director decided to change the course a little and by pass the hairpin for Sundays races, that seemed to work well as not a lot of people went down on Sunday. After the first practice the track was drying fast so I didn’t go out in the second practice. I was having a hard time deciding if I should keep the wets on for the race of go with the slicks, I rode around the pits and most people were going to go out on rain tires. But after watching the first 2 laps of the P4F1 race francois and I decided to go for slicks, it was a mad scramble to get the wheels changed in time for the race, it ended up being a good decision, the track was all dry. The start went the same way as the day before, Jamie got out front but I was a little faster out of the 2 chicanes and made the pass out of the second chicane. Because of the track change I could not see where the other riders were so I had to push a little more than the day before, after a while I could see Jamie going in to turn one so I knew I had a good gap. Just when I was starting to take it easy there was a red flag and they called it a race. I had won the Race and P4F3 championship. It didn’t feel very exciting because of the way the race ended. It started raining as soon as we got back to the pits, and it didn’t look like it was going to stop for a while. Francois got 3rd place and edged out Pat for 3rd place in the championship, way to go Francois…

After a quick lunch we changed the wheels back to Rains and got ready for the P4 challenge, a lot of riders didn’t make the race because of the rain. I got a good enough start and was surprised I was able to get by Steve at the start and Jamie braked pretty early for turn 1 so I slipped under. The rest of the race was pretty smooth, I was keeping a good paste but staying safe, after I lapped a few riders I came up on Steve, that’s when I knew I could really relax and stop worrying about people catching me, I kept the pace nice and quick but took it real easy on the new pavement section. I won the race by a good margin and lapped to 6th place, Pat and Francois got 2nd and 3rd to make it an all Deficients podium ( too bad there is no podium presentation for the challenges, I am fixing that for next year even if I have to carve the trophies myself). I was happily surprised to see Francois do so well in his first rain race, he even got the fastest lap of the race.

So there you go, it was a really great weekend for the VRRA and for the Deficients racing team.

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