7/14-17/07, Loudon Classic
The "Classic" weekend of NHIS is the
oldest motorcycle race in the USA. This year was the 83rd year of
the event. NHIS makes Sunday special by lengthening some of the
premiere races and providing a larger purse for these events. Our
weekend schedule was as follows:
GT Lights and Light Weight Grand Prix
Saturday was Supertwins and Light Weight Superbike
Sunday was the Thunderbike Loudon Classic Event (15 laps)
I practiced on last weekend's race tires in both Friday practice
sessions. The tires felt great even though they had 4 races on them.
I was able to run competitive practice times even though there was
heavy traffic in both sessions.
I decided to leave the tires I ran in practice on the bike for the
GTL race (bad call on my part). I got an okay start and was in the
process of chasing down the front pack (I was probably in 8th or
10th) when I tucked the front and crashed in the bowl (turn 6).
The damage to the bike was minimal. I had a bent handlebar and foot
peg and the body work was scratched.
The aluminum handlebars we manufacture are excellent. The bar was
bent, but there was no damage at all to the triple tree.
With repairs made to the bike and a fresh set of tires I went out
for the Light Weight Grand Prix race which had a field of about
29 starters (41 entered). USGPRU was holding an event this weekend
so the field was full of 250 GP bikes, which make 90 HP and weigh
about 250 pounds I think. The race was a tough one. I had to get
back in the groove after crashing out of the last race while dealing
with bikes that were lighter and faster. Needless to say the result
was not one of the year's best.
We determined the tires we used in LWGP were very greasy so Saturday
practice was devoted to scuffing in a new set for the Thunderbike
Classic event on Sunday.
Due to unforseen complications with the Evolution clutch unit, I
had to use the stock clutch this weekend. The stock clutch is basically
a piece of junk. If you decide to practice a start in your siting
lap the plates get way too hot and slip on the actual race start.
Unfortunately I didn't realize this until after the Supertwins race
so I got a bad start. It didn't end there when a guy on a Ducati
nearly ran me off the track in turn 1A making my first lap even
worse. I think I was about last or 2nd to last at this point within
a field of 27. I proceeded to work my way up 11 spots through the
field for a 16th place finish.
Because of the unreliability of the stock clutch I decided not to
do a practice start as I always do with the Evolution clutch unit.
As a result, I got a great start and worked my way up to 5th or
6th into the first turn when the race was red flagged after not
even a full lap and restarted. Of course the plates were too hot
and I got a terrible start off the restart leaving me in about 15th
or 16th in turn 2. Thanks to the Johnson Engine Technology
powered Buell, I was able to pick off a lot of guys on the straights.
I ended up finishing 6th, for the best finish of the weekend.
are currently third in the EX-LWSB Championship points at NHIS (pg12)
This was the first time I ever qualified for a race. Usually at
Loudon they grid you on a first come first serve type basis. Each
class was given a 15 minute session to get their best lap time in.
For the purposes of not wanting to burn up too much of my tires,
I went on the track about 5 minutes into the session. I had
it all planned out. I was going to see about jumping on the back
of one of the faster guys and working on my lap times. Once
I ran a decent time, I would then be given the pit in signal from
my crew. My plan didn't really come to pass as I spent a majority
of the Qualifying session working traffic rather then putting in
a good lap time. One lap I went through pit lane in an attempt to
catch Guyer, but he pulled in the same lap I caught him. I qualified
in with a 1:19 and change; a second off my previous practice session
time of 1:18 flat.
I was grided 11th for the race. I got a good start and was in 4th
after the 3rd turn. After that point I just went backwards. My corner
speed was too slow in several critical places and the competition
was able to pick up a solid second while I was still running the
same lap times. This resulted in finishing 11th in my first Expert
for Next Race Weekend:
For the next race weekend I need to work on carrying more corner
entry speed and mid-corner speed. If I am successful in making this
adjustment, I should be able to run faster lap times.