Hey, it's been a long time since I've updated, sorry for the gap. I've been to Jolly Roger Motorsports Park twice this summer, once in July and again at the end of August.
July 19th my daughter Hannah volunteered to be my pit crew, which was awesome and I did put her to good use. I opted to race the Vintage class as well as Senior "B". The Vintage class looked promising, I won my heat race even though I was in company with an expert on another TT500. He passed me on the beginning of the second lap and I didn't think I'd be able to repass him, but he took a higher line on the white flag lap and I took him pretty easily. Turned out his brake line had come off so he had no binders.
The Senior B class was a little tougher match, with 4 other guys on modern stuff, 450's and Rotax's. I think I took a 4th in that heat.
The Vintage feature race came up and I felt pretty confident, had an OK start but my competition on the TT500 did too. We quickly gapped the rest of the field, and he built a pretty good lead on me, so I was just looking to finish a safe 2nd. Had it in the bag until turn 4 of the last lap. The track was pretty rough by that time and the exits out of turns 2 and 4 were pot-holed and bumpy. I miss timed the last bump coming off of turn 4, got on the gas too early and the bike went out from under me before I could react. I watched the rest of the field race around and over my bike, thankfully missing me, as my leg was kind of trapped under the seat.
The last guy to come around ran over the rear wheel and muffler, which spun the bike off of me.
This was when Hannah came to the rescue, helping me push the bike back up the hill to the pits, gathering up the parts and handing me the stuff I needed to get the bike ready for the Senior B feature.
We had just enough time for me to make it to the start line. That feature didn't go as well, I was pretty well used up by the time I started the race so I didn't have a lot of energy left to race. Got off in 4th, held it till the last lap and got passed, finished last.
Not my finest performance.
On to August, the 30th of, to be precise. This was to be a night of racin' followed by a round of golf the following day at Newport Golf Course with my best man, Bill, and brothers John and Mark.
Bill brought his super cool Trackmaster KX125 for it's debut under him and the night lights of JRMP. I had spotted the bike for him this winter, picked it up for him and he took it home and put the shine on it, so we were looking forward to seeing it in action.
I signed up for Vintage and Senior B class, and Bill signed up for Senior B.
Once again I went out and had the Vintage heat covered, as my main competition on the TT500 had been put in a different heat. In fact there was a big turnout in Vintage, requiring 3 heat races to sort the field.
The Senior B heat was about the same as the last time with me struggling to keep up with the modern bikes and Bill hopelessly out powered. He felt like he'd brought a Pea-shooter to a knife fight. I had to concur.
On to the features, after some typical JRMP shenanigans with generator/lights malfunctions, rain and track maintenance.
I was on the front row for Vintage, had a good start but was in 2nd behind another expert on a Bettencourt Honda (I think) with my TT500 competition behind me. He quickly moved up and passed me on the inside going into turn 3 on the 2nd lap. He had to get a little harder on the brake than I was expecting since he was carrying more speed going into the turn. I didn't anticipate this and found myself getting too close to him coming into the turn. I must've hit the brake a little too hard and the next thing I know I'm crashing.
I picked up the bike, it was still running, and got back into the race at the back of the pack. I was able to pick off about 3 or 4 bikes, but the race had been shortened to 6 laps, so I wasn't able to finish in the top 5.
Senior B race got cancelled due to time restraints because of the lights/rain episodes, with the finishing position in the heat race counting as your final result. At that point it was past 11:00 PM and I didn't feel like waiting around for a 4th place trophy, so we packed up and hit the road.
On a somewhat brighter note, I did win the golf round on Sunday, by one stroke under Bill. It was a good round for both of us considering it was only our 2nd round of the year, the first round played back in June at Lang Farm in Essex.
Pictures and video to follow...