BARE BONES MACHINE®
May 7: Race 2 at Pikes Peak Int'l Raceway
Well, After last weeks race crash I
spent a few days hobbling around on my left foot. The swelling went down, and
I felt a lot better going into round two.... this weekend.
Jay and I spent Saturday prepping the bike. We detailed out some of
last weeks crash damage, he made a new foot peg and welded up a pretty trick brake lever.
We went ahead and changed out the front brake fluid, and just general preventative
Pikes Peak Int'l Raceway (P.P.I.R.) is the closest track to Jays shop.
We drove over Sunday morning in less than a hour. We shared a garage with Mark
Erickson. The weather was nice with just a few clouds and warm. Probably got into
the high seventies in the middle of the day.
Practice was routine with no problems. Last year I had a hard
time figuring out PPIR, but, this time it all started clicking. Basically, there are two
very important parts of the track. Probably the most important part is turn 1 and 2.
PPIR is like a mini Daytona, that is, a banked oval with an infield road
course. You attain top speed down the front straight and come down off the banking,
and crank it into turn one (which blends into turn 2). The problem is that there are some
pretty good ripples going in there, plus, it is a blind exit and you really have to have
faith in the front end. I am still probably pinching up a bit on the entrance
(probably about a120 mph entrance speed). I would usually breath the engine a bit going in
and, once I was sure I had everything gathered up, come back hard on the gas. Like I
said, you gotta have faith, and some guys had more than I did in that turn. The other
place on track that is really important for a good lap is the left turn out of the infield
and onto the banking. You really have to get a good drive out of there because it pays off
in top speed around the banking and down the straight into turn one.
The bike was running great and we were ready to race. In the
Formula II race I took the holeshot, put in a few hard laps, took a look behind, and I was
pretty much alone, so, I just put it on cruise and brought it home. The fast guy from last
week, (Tyler Wadsworth) didn't make the grid so I had no problems taking the win.
This was our first win in Formula II ever...
The Formula Colorado race was a different matter. I wound
up third on the start with Mark Erickson and Chuck Shettsline going at it hammer and tong
ahead of me. I was right in there, but, things were pretty hectic for a lap or so.
I don't think I have ever seen Mark ride that hard, and Chuck just was a madman on
the start... We went into turn three with us three-wide, with Mark on the inside. Way to
go, guys! Anyway, I got around Chuck under braking, and started figuring out what Mark was
doing. A few corners later, I snuck underneath Mark, and I was in the lead. I
was kinda worried that Tracy Schram on his RS was coming, but, I found out later that he
and Mark had some kind of a race long battle behind me, and that allowed me to break away.
This is good. Again, we were going through lappers towards the end of the
race, and I got through them clean and went on for the win. Cool!
In Lt.Wt. Superbike Jurgen Wimbaurer took the holeshot, but, I was
pushing really hard on the first lap. I got onto him in infield and really started
pushing. Unfortunately, I guess I got a little too excited, as, I wound up running off the
track at the tightest corner (kinda like a left right combo). I wanted to pull up to
him as tight as I could, to have a chance of drafting with him down the banking, but, I
had a brain fade and locked the front going into the left under braking. I stood the
bike up, and ran over the curbing, and was really lucky to gather it up, and bring it back
onto the race track. Basically, that was the end of the race for me. I put in
some hard laps, but, I couldn't make any inroads on Jurgens' lead. I'm going to have
to find a way to pedal a little harder if we are going to get through Jurgen and his
healthy SV650 twin. (?)At least I think it is a 650, although; there are some pit
rumors that indicate a more liberal recipe in that engine. Anyway, that's racing I
took second in the race...
Next race is May 21st...See ya then!