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ENCORE PERFORMANCE & FABRICATION: A licensed Hyosung Dealer
2929 North Highway 89
Prescott, AZ 86301
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Championship Cup Series - Round 5
Firebird International Raceway - East Track
Encore Performance Racing - June 17 - 18
RACE (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)
PICTURES (1) (2)
I've been looking forward to getting back to the East track all month. I've done most of my laps on the East and was looking forward to setting a much better lap time than my first race there at the beginning of the season. The bike was running well so we didn't do much to it in the month off. If it ain't broke..........
Practice was going well. I could tell I was quicker than the last time here and my confidence was up. It became apparent very early that it was gonna be a hot one. Forecast high was 108 degrees, and it felt like 108 by 10am. I got through practice without succumbing to dehydration and by the end I was running consistent 1:05's.
Race officials recognized it was really hot out and took a poll to determine if they should shorten the race distances. I was going to run the GT Lights this weekend, which is normally a 30 minute race. The other races were sprint races at 12 laps. Race officials were proposing 20 minute races for the GT's and 9 laps for the sprints. I quickly voted to shorten the races, especially the GT. I didn't think that 12 laps would have been a problem in the sprints but I knew I would be whooped if I had to turn over 28 laps in a GT race. Turns out everyone else felt the same way I did, and the races were officially shortened. With that all sorted out, we took lunch and got ready for the first race of the day.
This was my first attempt at GT Lights. The class usually consists of all SV650's, and today was no different. I was a little apprehensive about running 20 laps. I'm not in the best shape of my life, and my most physical activity on any given day consists of trying to keep up with my 4 year old son. Oh well, what 's the worst that could happen? Pass out from heat exhaustion on the straight-away..... I aint' scared! There were only 5 bikes on the grid for the race. Might have something to do with the oppressive heat. I got a decent start and then watched as Wayne and Aron pulled away by the end of the first lap. I was hanging with Jack O'Keefe for the first 4 laps, and it even seemed like I was gaining a little ground from laps 5-9. By lap 7 James had dropped out of the race with a mechanical and Wayne and Aron were way out front. By lap 10 Jack must have seen me really pushing to catch up, as he turned up the speed and started lapping 2 seconds quicker. By lap 12 I had lost touch with him, and since there was nobody behind me, it became a practice session for the remaining 7 laps. By lap 15 or so, I thought my left arm was gonna give out. I could no longer pull the clutch in with just my hand. I had to do this weird arm pull, where I would try to grab the lever with my fingers (that didn't want to function either) and then use my whole arm to pull in the clutch lever. I managed to finish the race in one piece and didn't realize just how hot and exhausted I was until I pulled into the pits and got my leathers off. Luckily, Anette had come prepared (as usual) with a bunch of those frozen ice packs. I quickly applied them to every part of my body that they wouldn't fall off of and tried to bring my core temperature back down to a humane level. I've always had great respect and admiration for professional racers who are out there for 45 minutes at a time, but after running for just 20 minutes in that heat, my appreciation level was bumped up a notch. Note to Self: Get some exercise you lazy SOB.
Thankfully I got a nice break between the GT and Thunderbike and had plenty of time to cool down, well as much as you can in the desert in the summer.... who's idea was this again?? I was 3rd going into turn one, and to make a long story short, that's where I finished. Bob was so far in front it wasn't funny, and I kept Guy in sight for a while but he to faded away. The 9 laps went quick and I got my 2nd podium finish of the year.
By the end of the day I was pretty tired and looking forward to a shower and a bed. But before we left we had to deal with thousand of Gnats everywhere. I mean thousands!! You couldn't talk without swallowing one, and they seemed especially fond of my socks I had raced in! Hot, sweaty, tired and covered in bugs.... in don't get no better than this!!
Its been way to long since this race and I haven't finished this page. My memory doesn't go back that far so I am going to leave it as is. I will post my results for Sundays races based of the official results from CCS RRSW.
Lightweight GP - 4th
Lightweight Superbike - 5th