Racing 2000

May 7: Race 2 at Pikes Peak Int'l Raceway

    Well,    After last weeks race crash I spent a few days hobbling around on my left foot.   The swelling went down, and I felt a lot better going into round two.... this weekend.
    Jay and I spent Saturday prepping the bike. We detailed out some of last weeks crash damage, he made a new foot peg and welded up a pretty trick brake lever. We went ahead and changed out the front brake fluid, and just general preventative maintenance...
    Pikes Peak Int'l Raceway (P.P.I.R.) is the closest track to Jays shop.   We drove over Sunday morning in less than a hour. We shared a garage with Mark Erickson. The weather was nice with just a few clouds and warm.  Probably got into the high seventies in the middle of the day.
    Practice was routine with no problems.  Last year I had a hard time figuring out PPIR, but, this time it all started clicking. Basically, there are two very important parts of the track.  Probably the most important part is turn 1 and 2.    PPIR is like a mini Daytona, that is, a banked oval with an infield road course.  You attain top speed down the front straight and come down off the banking, and crank it into turn one (which blends into turn 2). The problem is that there are some pretty good ripples going in there, plus, it is a blind exit and you really have to have faith in the front end.  I am still probably pinching up a bit on the entrance (probably about a120 mph entrance speed). I would usually breath the engine a bit going in and, once I was sure I had everything gathered up, come back hard on the gas.  Like I said, you gotta have faith, and some guys had more than I did in that turn. The other place on track that is really important for a good lap is the left turn out of the infield and onto the banking. You really have to get a good drive out of there because it pays off in top speed around the banking and down the straight into turn one. 
    The bike was running great and we were ready to race.  In the Formula II race I took the holeshot, put in a few hard laps, took a look behind, and I was pretty much alone, so, I just put it on cruise and brought it home. The fast guy from last week, (Tyler Wadsworth) didn't make the grid so I had no problems taking the win.   This was our first win in Formula II ever...
     The Formula Colorado race was a different matter.  I wound up third on the start with Mark Erickson and Chuck Shettsline going at it hammer and tong ahead of me.  I was right in there, but, things were pretty hectic for a lap or so.   I don't think I have ever seen Mark ride that hard, and Chuck just was a madman on the start... We went into turn three with us three-wide, with Mark on the inside. Way to go, guys! Anyway, I got around Chuck under braking, and started figuring out what Mark was doing.  A few corners later, I snuck underneath Mark, and I was in the lead.  I was kinda worried that Tracy Schram on his RS was coming, but, I found out later that he and Mark had some kind of a race long battle behind me, and that allowed me to break away.   This is good.  Again, we were going through lappers towards the end of the race, and I got through them clean and went on for the win. Cool!
    In Lt.Wt. Superbike Jurgen Wimbaurer took the holeshot, but, I was pushing really hard on the first lap.  I got onto him in infield and really started pushing. Unfortunately, I guess I got a little too excited, as, I wound up running off the track at the tightest corner (kinda like a left right combo).  I wanted to pull up to him as tight as I could, to have a chance of drafting with him down the banking, but, I had a brain fade and locked the front going into the left under braking.  I stood the bike up, and ran over the curbing, and was really lucky to gather it up, and bring it back onto the race track.  Basically, that was the end of the race for me.  I put in some hard laps, but, I couldn't make any inroads on Jurgens' lead.  I'm going to have to find a way to pedal a little harder if we are going to get through Jurgen and his healthy SV650 twin.  (?)At least I think it is a 650, although; there are some pit rumors that indicate a more liberal recipe in that engine.  Anyway, that's racing I took second in the race...
    Next race is May 21st...See ya then!