Roebling Vintage race report. 5/30

Discussion in 'Race Reports' started by RZ Racer, May 31, 2015.

  1. RZ Racer

    RZ Racer It passed tech LAST time!

    Eileen was on call this weekend and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't get out of it, so I was solo for the weekend. I made it to the track around 9:30 friday night and Steve-O was gracious enough to offer me a spot in his RV, so I cancelled the hotel reservation and hung out. Glad I did, because we all had a really nice time, drinking some adult beverages and catching up! Doug Bowie, Buff Harsh, Steve, Bill, Charlie Y and others all stopped by at one time or another and many stories were told.....

    I had brought my bicycle and got up early to get a short ride in before the races. I slept in a little, so only had time for 10 miles, but it was very peaceful and serene watching the sun come up over the trees when I was cruising through T3. I picked up my registration and got teched and got ready for 1st practice. Turnout was light, but Buff and Scott Reavis were both here and both of them have beaten me pretty soundly in the past, so I was all business in practice, immediately pushing the pace to see how my new gearing worked out. The gearing was great, but the jetting was off and even worse, I had a couple small slides from the rear. Luckily, I had anticipated the tire was approaching the end of it's life and had bought one from Buff that he brought to the track. As soon as I got out of my leathers, I immediately pulled the wheel and brought it to Stickboy. He had it finished in record time and I made a jetting change, mixed more gas and still had time to grab a bacon egg and cheese sandwich from the concession stand!

    2nd practice had some excitement as I took it easy the first lap to bed the tire in. On the 2nd lap, I picked it up a little, when Doug B came by on his big, booming duc. I decided to pick it up and hang on to hiom as long as I could when suddenly I heard another, even louder twin and there went Buff around me on his superquick THR Honda 350 (?) I took off in pursuit with the bit in my teeth and had a really good run on him through T9. Out on the front straight, I was dismayed to see that I could stay in his draft, but couldn't close, even at the end. He was running about 1/3 track going into the braking zone, so I decided to set him up for an outside pass in T1. In retrospect, it probably wasn't one of my smarter thoughts as I ALMOST pulled off the pass and then realized that I just wasn't going to make it and had to stand the bike up and run off the track at about 75mph. I don't know if you've ever really taken a good look at the runoff in T1, but there isn't much! I did everything I could, using both brakes and trying to trade real estate for mph and basically got it all gathered up about 6 inches from the berm! No time to pat myself on the back though because i had fresh plugs in and needed to get in some good laps and get a good plug chop to see what was up with my jetting. The rest of practice was uneventful and I got in 3-4 more laps at a very good pace and finished with a good plug chop.

    Back in the pits, the plugs were showing rich, so I made another jetting change and got ready to race. Checking times from practice, I saw that Buff and I had both but in 1:27 laptimes, so I knew we were going to have a good race on our hands. Sadly, Scott R was several seconds off the pace and when I spoke with him, he said that his tires were shot and he didn't have anything to replace them with. I offered my recent takeoff, but he didn't feel it was worth it without a front to go with it, so just said he would do the best he could.

    My 1st race was F-2stroke/V4/V6LW. I got a so-so start (jetting still isn't right and the bike keeps bogging on the starts...I'll figure it out eventually!) and was leading F-2stroke, 3rd overall going into T1. Some guy wearing a Tshirt over his leathers proceeded to walk away with the overall/V6lw win and I tried my best to chase after Chris L'Arivee on his FZR400, but I just couldn't hang with the killer straightline speed of the fast Yamaha and eventually backed off a little to save the equipment.

    2nd race was V3/V5 and I knew this was going to be "the big one" as it was just Buff and me entered in V3. I got a better start, but not as good as Buffs. We went into T1 in 3rd and 4th overall with 2 EX500's in front of us. I went around the outside of Buff when he had to let off to keep from hitting the slower EX, but couldn't pull off the pass on the ex too and had to let them both go as I got back onto the line. I knew the ex would take T3 a lot slower than me and when Buff again had to let off because he was behind the ex, I shot by both of them on the inside and took off after the leader. (Chris L'Arivee again, this time on his ex) I caught Chris heading into T8/9 and was intending to follow, but he let up suddenly at the entrance, so I ducked under and put my head down. I survived the trip down the straight without being passed, but at the end, I heard the unmistakable raucous sound of Buffs Honda. I kept my head down and put in a good lap only to get passed by Buff at the end of the straight starting the 3rd lap. I got back by in between T3 and T4 and tried to pick up the pace even more. Since he passed me after the stripe, I figured I had a good chance at holding him off in a drag race to the finish so I elected to keep on leading if possible and try to win this thing from the front. Several times in the following laps i heard him come close and one time I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye, but he never actually passed me again until 2 laps from the end, when he showed up right before the braking zone in T1. For a split second, I entertained the notion of trying to out brake him, but memories of this mornings off track excursion reminded me the prudence is often the better part of valor, so broke a smidge early and let him have it. (good thing I did because he broke REALLY late! I never would have made it!) I settled in behind him and waited for the next opportunity. I didn't have to wait long though as again, I managed to slip by on the brakes going into t4. Heading onto the front straight, I could see Ed Bargy had the white flag in hand, so decided right then that I was going to do my best to make sure that I didn't leave anything on the table. Well, not only did I put in a great lap and take the win, but it was the fastest lap of the race for me! (and also a new personal best on an rd!)

    After the race, I went over to talk to Buff and was saddened to see that he was dealing with the aftermath of a mechanical issue. He was too good of a sportsman to make excuses and congratulated me on the win, but knew that if I had had happen to me what happened to him, I would have finished 2nd too. That explains why he dropped off so much on the final lap. Too bad because it was such a great race!!

    I was hopeful that Buff could fix the problem and we could have a rematch in the last race of the day (f500) but the problem only manifested worse for him when he was in the V2 race and also, a thunderstorm rolled through, stopping the racing for a while and dousing the track.

    F500 ended up being pretty uneventful. I got the holeshot, took off and never saw another wheel. The track was pretty interesting as the rain had apparently missed T1and T2, but had really soaked the T4-7, so I was taking the 1st 2 turns at full race pace and then slowing it down to tip-toe through the rest of the lap.

    Great day overall, not just because of the 3 wins, but because I spent a lot of time socializing and also broke a laptime that I set when I was a LOT skinnier! The bike is on rails and my fitness is getting better every day. Hopefully, the lbs will start dropping off like they did last year and I can be a little lighter at every race!

    Special thanks to Steve-O for the luxurious accommodations! Also, Vintage Specialties, Continental Race Tires, Moto Carrera, Buff, Scott, Eric, Bill and my amazing wife, who was gutted that she couldn't come.

    I have gopro footage of all 3 races, but the V3/V5 race is the most exciting, so I'll just post a link to it.
  2. Jeff McKinney

    Jeff McKinney Well-Known Member

    Nice write up,that sounds like a damn near perfect weekend,good for you man!
  3. JBall

    JBall REALLY senior member

    Read your post and watched the V3/V5 race video. Very entertaining!
  4. RZ Racer

    RZ Racer It passed tech LAST time!


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