Just a quick note to tell you how the weekend went.
The island guys were super happy to see us journey over to the forgotten land. We started off the night with 6 bikes but that soon grew to 8 when a couple of guys showed up late. It didn't last for long though...... more later.
The track was much as I imagined. I've been to a couple of 1/4 mile oval races in Penticton so it was no surprise to me to see how small it was. Jumby and I snuck in for a peak and his first reactions was that it was pretty small. I'm a vetran of attending a couple of races at Penticton Speedway so I wasn't surprised at what I saw. It's a basic 1/4 mile tri oval with a small hairpin section added on one end.
The pits were..... well.....they were the pits.....literally. The bikes are a support for the main car attractions so we have a VERY small little area of concrete that the island guys have put in themselves and after that you pit on the dirt/gravel. I must say it was cozy though
Hot laps started soon after I got the bike off the truck and set up for the night. The circuit (see below) is basically all left hand turns. Turn on on the left has a 10 or so degree bank so you can really get the bike over. Gotta watch the transition back to level though. If you're still too leaned the front can wash out. From the exit of one you bring the lean up a bit but use the extra traction to accelerate into the top of second or into third and hit the next apex on the back kink. You need to aim this one right as there's no forgiveness going into the hairpin. There's a hard transition to an uphill chute, then the hairpin and then it's back down and onto the front straight. The map shows a bit of a right hand coming onto the front but it's really not there at all for the bikes. Just a little redirecting is all. The brakes get a workout going into one and the hairpin. Other than that it's hanging off and acceleration.
This was my third ever track session on the bike so my performance was pretty much what I expected...... last. I did hold off liquidracing for one heat but on the next one he held me off. We were both better at certain spots but neither of us had enough extra to pass the other it seemed. At one point he didn't turn far enough going around the kink and had a little off course excursion for a few feet and a wobble as he came back on. I think I could have passed there and I did think about it for a split second but then I damped down my killer instinct and rolled off to give him room in case there was any problems as he hopped back onto the track.
We ran much the same sort of heats and races that the stock cars run. That is there's qualifying then heat races in groups of 4 then a trophy dash of about 12 laps and finally a 15 lap main event. (sorry if I got my terms mixed up guys) For a guy that screwed up the hairpin on both my timed laps in qualifying I was quite happy. The fastest qualifying time was 22.5'ish and I got 25.2'ish if I remember right. Not bad for botching the hairpin and riding probably the least powerful bike there. I'm pretty sure that with a little more time at the track and a couple of more track days in general I could get my times down to the mid to high 23's.
Part way through the night Jumby had a problem. His new rotor and caliper were working a "little" too well. Seems the caliper bracket was not quite right and the pad retaining pin was touching the high spots on his new wave rotor. This was tearing up the tips of the rotor and the retainer pin was about 1/2 chewed through. To add insult to injury something shifted slightly when he put the brakes on once and the front end almost locked solid. Can you say somersault? Jumby almost did..... So he packed it up early and left so he could hit a motocross race in Naniamo the next day.
Towards the end of the evening a couple of car related incedents chewed up a good hour of the night and left some auto tranny fluid on the track. To help us out the organizers ran the stock cars for their 50 lapper. This scrubbed the track clean for us. Earlier they had said that because of the oil they bike final was cancelled but things picked up so well that they ran the bikes later.
I wasn't in the final. The oil and the opinion of Dean (Racer62) had made up my mind to quit while I was ahead. For a short while I reconsidered running the final but by that time it was getting quite dark. My eyes have a problem with depth perception in the twilight so I decided for a second time to just stay in my civvies. You guys DID have me about a hair away from pulling the bike back off the truck though.... I did go and work flags at the hairpin and learned a bit from watching the others. As the race progressed it got progessively darker to where I was happy that I'd decided to stay out of it.
I know I've missed most all the names here but I'm terrible with names at the best of times and so I apoligise. Perhaps If T-bone reads this he can fill in the heat info, names and places for me. At least that way it'll be accurate instead of my guessing and mismatching.
It's not a big glitzy road track like Pacific Raceway or Portland International or Spokane Speedway but it is close and it is different and the price is very reasonable. And if we can organize a little better to put two riders, bikes and gear into one vehicle we could keep the ferry costs down and make this a super cheap and fun track outing.
The best part is that tech is super simple and you don't need an official racing license. As long as you trust your tires and your skills you can try this out.
PS: so much for quick........