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Archive for February, 2009

February 15, 2009

My First Race…. Part II

I rode through the mornings practice and tried to finalize my braking markers (see Braking Markers) and shift points (see picture-006.jpgshift points) in my head to get ready for the races ahead of me. The first race came up the redo from Saturday’s mishap. I knew enough now to look for the starter. The flag dropped and I left my grid spot. I managed to get moving okay but just forgot to shift this time so I was traveling through corner one in first gear, so needless to say I was last again. I lapped the first lap behind the riders at the back and realized that I was much faster than these guys & girls and I was being held up all over the place. I put my head down and actually started to move forward up the grid. I finally cleared the big pack and pretty much had the entire back straight of Shannonville to the next position in front of me. The clear track did me good as I put my head down and I caught up the next position in two lap’s time. As I was starting to close on him I noticed the last lap flag coming on to the front straight. I only had one lap to go!!! We were pretty even in the first part of the track so I wasn’t able to really gain anything on him. But I was much faster on the second half of the track and gained so close that I was able to try and make a move on the second last corner. He left me room on the inside so I came up and showed him a wheel. He started to turn a little early and I felt that I was too close so I braked hard to let him go through. But he stood the bike up slightly making room for me, which meant that I could have taken the position…if I didn’t brake that is. He had the line into the finalpicture-011.jpg corner and I couldn’t challenge any further and ended up fifth!! Out of 15 bikes

Friends on mine were telling me that I did a 1:56:00 which I told them was impossible because I’d been doing 2:01 & 2:02’s all weekend. I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at the results and realized that I lapped at a 1:55:992 for the long track at Shannonville the fastest lap in my race.

I was looking forward for my second race of the day as I really wanted a better start this time. The flag dropped, I got a decent start and actually got into second gear this time going through corner one. Yeah, I wasn’t dead last time there was a couple of guys behind me. I found the same guy whopicture-012.jpg finished 4th in the first race so I made sure to stay right with him and move through the field together and hopefully pass him to better my position. He tried to shake me by braking late at the end of the back straight and passing two guys on the inside going into the corner. I didn’t want to let him go and shake me, so I followed. It was very late and I was carrying a lot more speed than I normally do so I could try and make the pass with out any incidents. I just snuck through in front of an acquaintance of mine from street riding. I went up to him later and apologized if that was too late and too close, but he said it was fine, but though that I was going to crash because I showered him with sparks on my way by. I actually felt the same way, I was either going to make the pass stick or I was going to crash. I know I was dragging lots of parts, because I could hear & feel the sensation. A later inspection of the bike found scrapes on my foot peg and on my exhaust can.picture-016.jpg

Upon making the pass I continued to follow my mark until I saw the last lap and I new I had to make a move now. I approached the second last corner again and noticed that he was holding a tighter defensive line. So I decided to take him on the outside of this left corner and hopefully hold the position which would become an inside left for the final corner. I made my move just a little too early and he saw me coming and pinched me a little wide. I would either hit him or run off the track. I had to touch the brakes and give up the position. This left me with a second 5th place finish on the weekend. Not to bad especially after I found out that I set the fastest lap in the Novice Open race with a 1:56:209 on the Long Track at Shannonville.

The funny thing was that I knew I had the fastest times in both my races that day but it wasn’t until the first Long Track race of 2007 that I realized that I broke the two lap records that day in 2006 when I looked at the records in the Racing program. My glory lasted for a whole hour until Jodi Christie broke both my Long track records in the Novice classes in 2007.

It turned out to be a decent weekend at Shannoville and I was happy with the results. I had accomplished my goal for that year which was doing a single RACE round. So it was back to track days for the remainder of the season and plan a few more races for the 2007 Season!!!!

 

 

Bryan Fil

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February 2, 2009

My First Race….

picture-015.jpg…Was well actually not my first race ever…approx. a month earlier I did a small stint on an endurance race with the VRRA with a friend, where he started and finished and I filled in, in the middle of the race for about 30 mins. or so. But my first flag to flag race was an 8 lap sprint race to the finish. It was on July 22nd & 23rd 2006 and officially the John Nelson Memorial weekend and we were running the Long Track Configuration.

 

So I showed up on Friday morning with my newly acquired race license and got signed up for Novice 600 and Novice Open which are production based racing classes. Friday practice was fairly uneventful just trying to get as many laps in as I could to build up my confidence. Saturday however, was a different story. The skies opened up and rain began to fall creating a wet track.

 

With no spare rims or money for rain tiresrains.jpg I had to qualify on DOT race tires. These tires are basically grooved slicks to make them street legal and are extra sticky compared to your run of the mill street tire. Riding on these tires in the rain creates a very slippery situation and my best comparison would be riding on the ice. I was sliding both the front and the rear wheel through turn slicks.jpg1 at Shannonville which is a third or fourth gear (depending on the rider) pretty much pinned. Yes, it’s pretty fast and the only thing I was thinking was “easy…easy….there Bryan, don’t want do anything to crash” The bike was sliding pretty stable and I didn’t want to change anything until it hooked up again incase I caused it to crash by changing something ever so slightly.

 

picture-001.jpgA friend was watching from the outside of turn one and said that he could see me sliding and wondered every time I went by if this was the lap I’d go down. (Can you feel the faith in that comment??) I’ve got to omit that it was great once I came in and I didn’t crash!!! I actually qualified 5th for both my classes and the fastest guy not on rain tires!!

 

Due to scheduled special presentations on Sunday for the John Nelson plaque unveiling, etc., R.A.C.E. decided to run one Novice race on picture-002.jpgSaturday late afternoon. Too soon it was time for my first official start. I pulled up to the start after our warm up lap on a semi-dry track getting ready to go, the rev’s went up around me and I quickly realized that I was looking at the wrong official…where’s the flag quickly !!! Oh above me as all the bikes screamed by me before corner one putting me dead last…nice. During the first lap there was a huge crash further up the grid in front of me that brought out the red flag (due to injury a highside) caused by too much throttle and a semi-wet track.

 

picture-007.jpgBy the time the track had cleared it was getting too late and we were bumped to restart on Sunday morning. After a good night’s sleep camping out at the track for the pure racing experience and the cost savings of a hotel all weekend it was officially race day !!! With a few butterflies in my stomach and excited about the events to come….I was ready to go racing!!!!!

 

C’ya … Bryan……..To be continued….* Some Photos Courtesy of Flair Photo.

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