Race Report - WMRRA Sounds of the Past 9/28/02
I have been incredibly jonesing for some racing action ever since last month when NMRA lost its YSR/Mini venue for the rest of the season (it _will_ return in '03), so when Tim Keane put his Ducati 250 vintage racer up for sale that little bug in the back of my brain started yammering, "Buy it! Buy it!" and so here I go embarking down another path of iniquity...I've been watching this year's influx of Honda 160 riders seeming to have a grand time, so it seemed like this would be a shoo-in so long as the little ducky spoke to me well when I gave it a shot!
This Saturday was Sounds of the Past vintage day at Pacific Raceways, so I hooked up with Tim and signed up for the whole program. The first practice session was spent getting used to the little things like the right-side shifter and the revised track layout as I haven't been there since it was SIR - other than my lizard-brain screaming at me "You're on the hot pit road you fool!" a couple times coming onto the new straight it went well, though the chain was so slack it was trying to jump teeth and there was a mysterious false-neutral issue that had been bothering Tim all season. Shortening the chain fixed the former, but the latter got really worse in the second practice and I almost highsided in Nine when thinking I was in a false neutral I shifted into 1st, eek! But the bike still called to me and I felt stable and confident on the track overall, though the pegs were so high I had to fold my legs up like a little monkey-boy - so much so that I got a cramp in my right hip as soon as I got on it for practice, ouch! New hangers should fix that...I walked around massaging it and the cramp went away. Tim got a kick out of my coming in after practice and taking my Celebrex with an Ensure, whose grampa is that? He also gifted me a cool Bill-The-Cat doll who is now my team mascot - why? See: http://www.bimc.org/bimc/oldweb/bill.html
In the first 250/500 heat I got my first clue that he who hesitates is lost as I was wussy into Two and the 160's sped away. I suppose riding someone else's bike had something to do with it too as I wasn't sure how well those leetle tires would stick...as soon as I got to the Three-Four transition I got another clue, namely that second gear just wasn't there anymore! So after a couple experiments it became clear I would have to slip the clutch in third, the establishing of which slowed me down even more but I still managed not to finish last, so that was ok.
After lunch the next heat was 750 Vintage, which all the 250/500 riders were entered as well -I was gridded on the second row but decided to start at the back. I got a decent launch, but lost all that trying to go from 1st to 3rd and hung at the back though this time I managed to pass a couple 160's then lost that when the no-second-gear thing bit me coming in to the Bus Stop and I had a little "agricultural excursion". Still, I managed to save it but was having a misfire so I pulled in on the white flag lap. That proved to just be a loose plug cap so right back out for the second 250/500 heat.
This time I got another decent launch, didn't lose the drive in the 1st-to-3rd slip-shift and was right in the thick of things into Two, with 160's racing four wide in front of me as well as on either side, with nobody backing off - yowsa! This was more like it! Bateman, Fowler and the fast guys pulled away, but even with the shift issue I managed to pass five other bikes, including a great position-swapping dice with (sorry, I don't remember who) right to the checker! This was my best race of the day, I was hooked.
The last heat of the day was the second 750 Vintage race and I don't remember much except it started well with another Turn Two melee but I blew several shifts at various spots and fell more to the back and ultimately motored around pretty much by myself, very conscious that sooner or later the 750 class bikes would be coming by so I managed not to balk them when they did. But there was no escaping it, this was the class for me and I told Tim I'd buy the bike!
The second gear issue we determined to be the gear dogs having been grinding away all season and gave up the ghost this weekend, so I couldn't race Sunday's program and instead worked as Pit Bitch for Tim, Sparky, John Jennings and various others, though Michael Bateman generously and bravely let me test ride his 160 in morning practice, damp track and all, trusting me not to wad it before his races - thanks Michael! As promised I didn't flash strobe lights at him all weekend, heh.
I'd partiularly like to thank Bobby Hawbaker and John Jennings for facilitating my return to WMRRA racing, as well as the whole 160 tribe for their comraderie and support, and all my other racer friends I haven't seen in ages! I had Bateman print up a picture of a Dragon Ball Z Messerschmidt with "Mr.Satan 666" on it for Fowler, my only sponsor for now is Capsule Corporation so it was apropos.
You can expect to see me at all the 2003 races that don't conflict with the NW-Mini schedule, and maybe at Portland Vintage Days if we can get second gear fixed in time! I think I'll bring the '63 T-120 Rat Bike for the Concours regardless, so, see you there!
Ian Carcosa Team Spawn Racing NMRA #H23 http://www.micapeak.com/ysr/