Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Oakland Valley Raceway 6-10-12

Sunday June 10th was the rescheduled 1st race of the Vintage Series at OVRP. Hannah and I drove down and met Scott (and his GF Kira) at the track. This would be Hannah's 2nd race on the XR100, and Scott and I would be entering the Vintage Heavy and Vintage Sportsman classes. One nice thing about the Vintage Series is there were no Quads racing, so the program moves along a lot quicker.

As we expected, the Vintage Heavy class was pretty well attended with 15 bikes, requiring 3 heats to establish the starting positions for the feature. Scott went out in the first heat, had a poor start but finished 2nd, which inexplicably put him on the 2nd row for the feature. I was in the third heat and also had a lousy start and finished 2nd, but they put me on the front row for the feature.

The Sportsman class was only 5 bikes, a couple experts on air-cooled Honda's, an amateur on a Rotax, and Me and Scott on Yamaha XT500's. The heat race was a lot of fun, we all got off the line pretty well and I had a great view of a tight race for positions since I was last. I think Scott got a 3rd.

Re-start of the Sportsman heat race. Andy jumped the start and got sent back to the penalty line. It's always interesting to have the fastest guy behind you, knowing he'll be knifing through the pack like a falcon through a flock of pigeons.

Hannah's heat race was good seat time for her, the two other bikes were riden by a couple fast guys and she was pretty much out there on her own, but still trying hard every lap.

Our Vintage Heavy feature was a blast. The same two experts from the Sportsman class, Andy Karodontes and Nick Weimer got the lead, Scott was in 4th behind Fumi Matsueda on a Triumph twin and I was in 5th coming out of T2. It was a 12 lap race and I was able to defend my position from the Rotax behind me, and we gapped everyone else pretty well. Fumi pulled out after a few laps with bike troubles, so Scott and I moved up a position, finishing 3rd and 4th. I was happy with that result.

Hannah's feature was a 12 lap repeat of the heat race, but she was working the bike a lot harder. I had changed the gearing for this track and she wound up getting the most out of that engine. A great effort.

Our Sportsman feature was the last of the day for us and it was another great race. Andy jumped into the lead, but Scott and I both had great starts with him in 2nd and me in 3rd coming out of T2. I was able to hold that position from Nick for almost half the race while Scott tried to stay with Andy. Once Nick got around me he was able to catch up to Scott and make the pass for 2nd. I held on to 4th for a few more laps but the Rotax finally got around me coming out of T4 with a couple laps to go. I was just hanging on at that point, no fight left in me, but it was a ball.

1st lap of the Sportsman feature.

We walked the track after the racing was done, the groove looked and felt like pavement. Love this track.

You can check out the GoPro vids on my youtube channel, 39xt500

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