Scott and I had the honor and privilege of racing in this 4 hour endurance race on the Kart/Supermoto track at Cuddebackville this past Sunday. This was the last race of a 6 race series, and the promoter dedicated this one in memory of Pete Giammalvo of Sideways Promotions, who played a very significant role in the careers of many racers from the Northeast. In fact, a couple of the better known racers participated, PJ Jacobsen and Kenny Coolbeth. It's not every day that you can share the track with a GNC National Champion and a British Superbike Race Champion.
I say share the track, they didn't use as much of it as I seemed to use. It was a constant source of amazement when they would lap me wherever I happened to be, using a racing line that didn't exist, and safely disappear down the track. Lot's of respect for those guys.
Scott and I teamed up with an old flattrackin' buddy, Dave Marcil, and we were riding a modified XR100 owned by Tony and Jane Leary. Tony and Jane were an integral part of Sideways Promotions, working with Pete and Connie Giammalvo to run flat track races at Pete's track in Winchendon MA and all the other race tracks and fairground tracks around New England.
Dave suggested we start off with 20 minute sessions, which worked out fine. We each had a brief practice session on the bike and agreed that the bike was set up just fine, no gearing changes needed. We also agreed that Scott would start the race for us, I'd jump on next and then Dave would go.
This is the line up before the race got underway, modified bikes on the right, stockers on the left. Scott is #144, the sum of the race numbers of Dave Bettencourt (9), Aaron Creamer (64), and Pete Giammalvo (71).
"The King of Cool", Kenny Coolbeth
The start, with Kenny already out of the picture with a big lead on the rest of the field.
Our team owner, Tony, on his stock XR100. Since it was close to Halloween, there was a side competition for best costume on the track. Tony was riding as Charlie Brown, with a pumpkin helmet. He won that competition, and got a new helmet for his effort.
Here's Connie, lighting up the day with her smile.
Dave, handing off to Scott.
PJ looked like this most of the time, a blur.
And this is Kenny, cutting through traffic. He just passed Scott, who is catching up to Sandriana.
Don't know who this kid is, but I heard he was about 16 years old. He lapped me several times.
Another "costume", clever.
There were times during the race that a bunch of bikes would get clumped together for a few laps, and it was fun for all involved on either side of the fence! After the 2nd hour we agreed that Scott would extend his time to help build a lead over the team behind us, which was Sandriana Shipman and Nick Weimer, and then Dave and I would see how much we felt like staying out there in the fourth hour, with Scott bringing it home. We kept our lead and finished 3 laps clear of Nick and Sandriana, for 6th in class.
Team Rolling Obstacle, with Connie standing in for Julie Starzinsky, Pete's niece.
We had a great time. The racing was fun, especially when you could get someone in your sights and track them down and make the pass. The bike was rock solid all day with the exception of an exhaust hanger that fell off or broke (maybe when I lowsided in my first stint). We had to adjust the front brake a few times, I suspect there's not much left of the shoes, since it was a stock front brake and I guarantee nobody at Honda thought the front brakes would get this kind of abuse.
There had been the threat of rain, since Hurricane Sandy was off-shore but headed our way, but it stayed dry and cool for us. Big bonus there.
Many thanks to Tony, who supplied the bike and race food. And many thanks also to Mike and Lisa Weimer, who housed and fed me and Scott Saturday night, with a full breakfast Sunday morning!