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Monday, September 20, 2010

Electric City, 2010 Memorial Cup



After the rain out last weekend, I returned to Electric City to race the Memorial Cup on Sunday. Despite some threatening overcast, and some really tedious and unexplained waiting around, we got to race the full program.

I signed up for Vintage Light and the 50+ class instead of my normal Senior B class, at Hugh Mackie's suggestion, because at least a couple of the 50+ guys would be on vintage iron. So there was Hugh on his 750 Triumph, another guy on a 750 Yamaha, two guys on Honda CRF450's and a guy on a Rotax of unknown displacement.
In the heat race the Rotax lead the way, followed by the two Honda's, me and the two twins. I got around one of the Honda's early on, to take 3rd and we finished that way.
Once again I discovered during the heat race that my brake was mostly ornamental. Upon closer inspection I thought maybe I could tighten the pivot arm a little more, so I did that and re-adjusted the rod.

The Vintage heat had 3 "cheater" Honda's in it, plus another SR500 and a nice '78 YZ400. I refer to the cheater Honda's because they didn't exist before 1974, which was the original cutoff year for Vintage. And they always seem to show up in Champion frames, which hardly seems fair. Well it turns out that the AMA changed the cutoff year to '79, and they allow twin shock racing frames even if they were built last week, so the cheater Honda's are legal now.

So anyway, two of the Honda's are being ridden by experts, one by a nice fast kid, and they all beat me in the heat race. In fact both the experts jumped the start and were sent back to the penalty line, and they still beat me into turn one, but I was having some trouble keeping the front wheel down, which slowed me a bit. I finished the heat in 4th place.

As we lined up for the 50+ feature, the two Honda 450's stalled and all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn't get those bikes to fire again. That left the Rotax, the two twins and me. I gave chase to the Rotax and kept him honest for a lap or so, then he started to gap me and we finished that way, he got the better of me but I was happy with 2nd.

I had one of my worst starts in years in the Vintage feature. I was the last bike off the line and in my ham fisted attempts to catch up, the front wheel kept coming off the ground so I had to back off. This was not looking good considering I only had 6 laps to make my case. One thing in my favor for a podium finish was that the nice young kid on one of the Honda's didn't make it to the feature because of mechanical problems, but I still had to pass the SR500 and the YZ400 to get a 3rd. I got the SR coming out of T2 on the first lap, but the YZ was a little tougher. It took me a lap to catch up to him, then I followed him around for a few laps, looking for a good chance. He was fairly consistent, I had a better corner entry speed than him but I didn't want to do a slide job on him so I decided to work on a better corner exit, get inside and take his line away. He gave me the opportunity coming out of T4 on the
white flag lap, he just got on the gas a little too hard and opened up a nice hole for me to slip into and that was all I needed.

So I finished the day with a couple trophies, which kind of made up for the interminable waiting around. Hugh had a great day too, with a well earned 3rd place in Vintage Heavy after a race long battle with a Yamaha 750.

Here's Hugh setting up the bike.


The 6th Street Specials racing crew.

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