Round one of the WMRRA series was this weekend at the Ridge. For anyone thinking of going down and trying a round, I strongly recommend racing with these guys. They are a class act who really have it sorted.
There is a new registration system that most WMRRA licensed racers use. This means that only a few racers are registering the morning of the event, so it does not take long. If you do a trackday the day before, you can often get your bike teched that night. And best of all, their TAG Heuer timing system posts results to a smartphone app... apparently there will be real time access to lap times, positions, and grids from your phone soon. In current practice, race results and times are posted before you have your warmers off...
Transponder rental is pretty cheap, they use AMB transponders. They will accept a WMRC licence.
Tech is super good as well. They don't nit pick stuff that does not matter, but are zero tolerance for anything that has an effect on safe bike performance. I base this comment on witnessing several bikes go through tech and hearing what the tech's concerns were. It felt like they want to get you out there and get out of the way.
After a crash, they came over and teched me in my pit! Super nice.
Once you tech your helmet and gear it is good for the season, unless you crash. But the best thing is that your bike gets a quick lookover each time you leave the track. I never saw them catch anything, but I am willing to bet that stuff gets caught on exit tech that would not otherwise.
Starting is a little different: they use a light, and when it goes out, you go. This took me a while to get used to. Starts at the Ridge feel super safe though, as most people wind up with fairly gentle braking into turn one, and there is a lot of track there. I saw one dude ride off the track outside on the superbike start, but nothing like the carnage you can see at Missin as the whole grid tips into a 90 degree right hander. By the time the pack gets to T2, things are largely line astern. I did witness crashes in T3 on L1, but the crash tends to take you out of the pack... or rather you would go straight, and the bikes behind you are turning rightish. All in all, as said, it felt safe. Large grids as well, and a broad spread of speeds, so there is always someone to race with.
Red flags are a second gear roll off the track... not a stop. Otherwise you should recognize everything the corner shows you.
The people are super nice. I am sure there is politics in their club, but so far I have not seen any race director tantrums, petty arguments, or anything like that. Their club is pretty big, so there is room for both the super competitive elite racer as well as the casual racer like myself.
And the elite guys are there... holy crap the Formula Ultra race was fun to watch. Won by a 600... on slicks when everyone on the big bikes was on rains...
Fees are dirt cheap, and here is the best part: they are refundable! Practice, but don't start? You get some money back. Race one race and not the other? Money back. Register online, pay, don't show? Most, if not all of your money back. No play, no pay. Don't feel like riding in the rain? Don't! Feel too tired to do the race you registered for? Don't! Play safe and ride when you desire without your wallet pushing you out there.
8 lap races, but expect to expend considerably more energy than 8 laps at Mission. It is a big fast track. You can probably run street gearing and be OK. You cannot run Mission gearing.
The only downside is the drive. I would get a nexus card. Be sure you get the travel insurance with a contest of speed rider... and have fun at what is beyond a doubt the best track in the Northwest, if not the West.