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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Race report OVRP 9/18/2011

We interrupt the XC Trip reports to bring you this race update...

Rounds Racing made an appearance at Oakland Valley Speedway on Sunday, featuring the debut of Hannah Rounds, racing the well worn but still beloved XR100. This event was a combined AMA Vintage National and local club race, so I entered my XT500 in the AMA Hotrod Singles class and the local Senior 50+ class.
There was another debut at this race, Scott was the chosen rider for the Royal Enfield "Bulletproof Badger" project street-tracker owned by Leon Stanley, of Cycle Icons. The bike was ridden to the track from Trenton by Leon and my brother Mark, who did the paintwork and some of the prep. Once at the track, the lights were swapped out for number plates and 19" wheels were installed. After assessing the class structure it was decided that the Badger would be most competitive in the 750 Brakeless class, so the rear brake was disconnected.

Scott would also be riding his XT500 in the 500 Masters class.

Practice went smoothly enough, with everybody getting a chance to get a feel for their bike and the track. Scott was able to get two practice sessions on the Badger, the second cut short because the right side footpeg was loose and rotating down, so he couldn't get enough leverage to keep the bike stable. It was also popping out of gear because the rearset shift lever was contacting the track, so the stock forward mount lever was installed, and the footpeg tightened.

Heat races started with Scott in the Masters class, where he got a 4th, which put him on the second row for the feature. My Hotrod Single heat was next, I had a poor start, and trailed the field coming in last out of 5, but feeling like I might have a chance with a better start. Hannah's XR100 heat was next with only 3 bikes, but she went out and gave it her best, showing great form and wishing she had more power from the little XR100.

The Senior 50+ heat was next, and I had to start on the second row for some reason, so I had to pass a couple guys to get a 3rd, which would give me a decent line choice for the feature.

The Brakeless heat was last, and as we were getting the Badger started in the hot pit, we discovered some problems. The clutch felt kind of funny, and upon engaging first gear we heard a loud clunk followed by silence as the engine stalled. The chain had popped off the rear sprocket, so we managed to roll it back on while frantically waving at the gate marshal to hold the race for us, only to repeat the whole thing again. Then we discovered that the rear wheel was cocked in the swingarm because the left side axle adjuster was broken. At this point we waved the gate marshal to start without us and we pushed the Badger back to the pits. After some amount of fiddling and scratching it was determined that the clutch was fried, so the Badger's day was done.

Features! 500 Masters was first, with a full field of 15 bikes at the start. Scott had a good spot on the second row. The race had to be restarted after a crash in turn one on the first lap. Scott had a better start on the restart anyway, this time coming around holding down 5th place across the start/finish line. There was a huge battle for the lead between the 4 bikes in front of him, which kept everybody close the whole race long and kept us on the edge of our seats. On the last lap the leader had caught up to some lap traffic on the back straight and wound up crashing into a rider, taking the lapped rider out and sending him up to the wall, which allowed everybody in the top 10 to move up, so Scott got a well earned 4th place!

My Hotrod Singles feature was next. I had a decent spot on the line, and before the light turned green one of the guys jumped, so he went to the penalty line. I wound up getting a decent start but I was still in 4th place after the first lap. The guy in front of me was on a framed XT500, and he got a little sloppy going into turn 3 a few laps into the race, and I was able to duck under him and hold the inside line as we went back into T1. I continued to defend the inside line for the race and finished in 3rd, which I'm still pretty pleased about.

Hannah successfully raced to a 3rd place finish, no crashes, no drama, so that was an excellent debut.

The Senior 50+ feature was an easy win, my 500 had the rest of the field covered.

So Rounds Racing went home with a 1st, two 3rds and a 4th. Not bad.

Heat race action in Hotrod Singles


Scott's 500 Masters heat


All the kings horses and all the kings men couldn't get the Badger racing again.


Brother and sister, comparing racing notes?


For more photos, go to the Badger facebook album, by Ron Truch...lot's of nice pics in there.

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