Monday, July 25, 2011

1st race of the season

I know it's a late start to the season, but this is going to be a very short racing season anyway because of the cross country trip in August. So I wanted to make the best of it by coordinating with Scott and Bill to see if we could manage to all get on the track in one race, which would once again be a first. We got it done on Sunday.

I drove down to Oakland Valley Speedway on Sunday to meet Bill and Scott to race in the regular Sunday series. The track was just as perfect as it always seems to be, and the turnout for the Vintage class was spectacular. Lot's of Yamaha 500's but a good many Triumph twins as well, and one very special RD350. Enough bikes for 3 heats to establish starting position for the feature. Bill and I signed up for Vintage and Senior Plus (50+ yoa) and Scott signed up for Vintage.

Unfortunately we were all in different heats, which is pretty random, but at least we knew we'd all make it to the feature. Also unfortunately, Scott's bike was breaking up at high RPMs, so he wasn't able to run at the front despite several efforts at sorting it out between the heats. We never did figure it out, but he went out and raced as best he could, short shifting on the straights, and had a good time racing with whoever he could. Great attitude there.

I had a decent start in my Vintage heat, coming around in 2nd place after the first lap, but I ran it in to t3 a little hot a couple laps later and opened the door for a guy on another Yammie 500, who took full advantage, so I finished 3rd. My Senior Plus heat was uneventful, good start and I lead from flag to flag.

Our Vintage feature was exciting. I had a crap start but managed to pass a few guys and get myself into 4th place, and then it started to rain and they red flagged us.
We waited for a bit, it was only a light drizzle and they were able to get the track ready fairly quickly once it stopped. We did a restart in single file from our last completed lap, so I got to restart in 4th but I wasn't able to improve on that so that's where I finished.

The Senior Plus race saw some drama too, as there were crashes and mechanical failures right left and center, but I managed to win the thing, and Bill had a solid 4th place finish.

I left before the crack of dawn, but the crack of dawn caught up with me.

Jeff and Fumi made the show, I think they came directly from Mid Ohio where they had raced a Vintage National. This is one dedicated pair of racers, and you won't meet nicer dudes.

Bill Clarke's beautifully prepared RD got lot's of attention in the pits, and he had a great debut at this track, grabbing a well earned 4th place in the Senior Plus race.

Hugh Mackie's Triumph 750, it was the first day out for this bike, but no problems.

Pete Wooten's Triumph 500. Another beauty.

Scott's recalcitrant 500. It needs a little love, but he's lucky to have it. It was stolen out of a van, but was recovered the same night. Apparently the thieves couldn't figure out how to start it and so they abandoned it a few blocks away.

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