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Old 10-23-2018, 08:26 PM   #31
PeaPod
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Trackday

Friday was the Team Hammer practice/trackday. I attended this in order to familiarize myself with the track. I was told this was a simple track to learn, but I am a slow learner. I watched some videos prior to coming down and the corners looked pretty open and easy. Well videos do not convey the experience very well. The corners were a lot more challenging than I expected and required me to do a bit more work than I thought would be needed.

I was disappointed to learn that we only get four 20-25 minute practice sessions on track for this trackday. I was not sure that would be enough time or me to learn the track very well. In addition, we lost a session to one of those pesky FL rainshower, so I actually only had three sessions on track before raceday.

The first session was a feeler of course. Didn't know what to expect when hitting the banking for the first time, but it was not as mind blowing as I had been led to believe. It was definitely exciting and different, but I always seem to inflate these things in my head beforehand. I was comfortable on the banking fairly quickly and since the bike only really hit between 120-130, maybe 135 in a draft if I was lucky, the speed was not mind bending. Now I would not want to crash on the banking or at that speed, don't get me wrong, but I did not feel like my face was going to peel off if you know what I mean.

Going back to watch the video of the first session was quite comical. It looked like a bunch of racers in a red group, lol. We were all tiptoeing through the corners trying to figure out which way to go. I was glad it seemed like most of the other riders had not been to the track previously. I rode most of the sessions with basically no one in front of me and no one behind.

The second session was me knowing where to go now and starting to think about markers and moving things around.

The third and final session was when I started to get somewhat comfortable with where I'm going and now can start to pay attention to the bike as much as my inputs and surrounding. This is when you start to realize things are shaking and making funny noises and whatnot on the bike at a continuous 125mph, haha! I also finally had a chance to pick up a draft for a few seconds. As I knew this was going to be a skill I needed, I was glad to finally be able to follow someone, but that only lasted for a few seconds as they kept on trucking.

I could not imagine trying to race with only two practice sessions under my belt if I had not done the practice trackday. Heck just trying to find pitout on a track this large is hard. At one point I started slowing down for the first turn before I even passed the start finish line. Luckily this was early no one was on my ass drafting. And so while the practice trackday was ridiculously expensive for three sessions, I definitely needed it to learn the track and would recommend it to any newcomer to get yourself up to speed.
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Old 10-27-2018, 10:39 AM   #32
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Amateur GTL

Only 8 entries for this race. The race was still a feeling out of the track for me and learning how to draft, where and when to pull out, and basically finding out what racing on the track was all about. It was really the first time I would be close to others on the track so I was excited to see what would happen.

Start of this race went well, I was in the third starting position and came out of turn one in third, even steven. Knew I was in for for some straightaway hurt from the others behind me, and that is exactly what happened. Almost made it to the back chicane before the first guy passed me. After coming out of the chicane I was passed by two more riders before the start finish line. Actually three if you want to count Teagg Hobbs on his Kawi 400!! That 400 pulls down the straight for crying out loud. He came in after passing me and said "you know, your bike is really slow", haha! Unfortunately, I know, I know.

The race progressed with a few more riders passing, and then settling in with me and the sixth place finisher duking it out. He had the straightaway speed, I had him on the brakes and the corner speed. About 3/4 through the race, we came upon an expert who must have skipped the trackday practice as it seemed he didn't know where he was going. I made an inside pass going into turn three and he came across my front causing me to brake a bit and run wide out behind him. This sent me out towards and into the grass. Luckily I somehow did not slip in the grass as I was still in somewhat of a lean going through it. There was some pavement on the other side and I just wanted to make it there so I could finish the turn. Well I made it still upright, finished the turn and was now pissed off, I was determined to hunt this guy down and finish the pass I had on him.

The expert and my fourth place position got away a bit from me with the little excursion I had, but I could still had them in my sight. Within a lap, I had closed the gap and was bearing down on the two of them. The hunt did not take as long as I expected and just around a lap and a half later I took both riders on the brakes going into the back chicane and regained my spot. From there it was my race, finished fifth out of eight.

AM GTL pt 1

AM GTL pt 2
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Old 10-27-2018, 09:33 PM   #33
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Amateur Lightweight Supersport

So this is one of the races I thought I had decent chance of placing well in. Had 25-35 minutes to remove my gas tank and air box to fit some snorkels into my air box for legality after the GTL race. Finished that up pretty quickly with time to spare. As I went to grid out I noticed my Fi light was on, it dawned on me that I never plugged my MAF sensor back into the airbox. Oh well, I'm not wasting a race so I'm going to find out how the bike runs without a MAF sensor. It didn't blow up!

Never ran this class at Loudon, so I had the last starting position in seventh position. There were three waves to this race and apparently I do not know CCS starting procedures that well. I was in the second wave watching as the first wave went off, well so did my whole wave... It seems that the CCS starts are not necessarily based on which wave you are gridded with, but there is a black line separating the actual starting waves on the grid sheet. I did not know this and the first two waves were starting together, so I was unprepared for the start. I actually did not fare too bad considering I started from a dead stop with no anticipation. Watch the video for the start as that is all the action there is in this race.

So after my "start" I managed to take three AM riders in the first turn and two EX by turn 3. This first turn is so much like Loudon turn 1, my experience from Loudon certainly paid off. Coming onto the back straight one of the AM riders on a Ducati 1100 powered by me solely on horsepower, I'm just jealous cause I wish I had some, lol. But that was pretty much it for this race. The pack was broken up and I had no one to draft with, so I ran by myself for the remainder and finished fifth out of seven. Disappointed because if I had been prepared on the start, I think this would have gone much better for me. Live and learn, checked those grid sheets real hard the rest of the weekend.

AM LWSS
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Old 11-04-2018, 12:25 AM   #34
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2nd Practice 10-21-18

Nothing exciting about it except I thought I almost broke my thumb from a piece of kicked up debris. Guy in front of me either lost a part or kicked up a piece of debris down the straight, hitting my thumb like a hammer. Can even hear it go "thunk" on the video.

https://youtu.be/X04QYEyqNVM
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Old 11-04-2018, 01:47 AM   #35
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Amateur Lightweight Grand Prix

Started this race in 4th position on the far outside of the first row. I like this spot to be able to power on the outside of the group into left hand turns. Lots of Loudon experience has helped in this situation. I had a pretty good start slotting into second in the first turn, however my bike had been running wide in the corners and this allowed third place to get me going toward the flop after the first turn. I think the fact that I put a shorter sprocket on but did not remove a link from my chain meant the wheel was pushed further back and had an effect on my handling.

It was a pretty good race from there on with dicing between third through fifth the whole race. Although the straights were tough because of my lack of horsepower, my entry into turn one helped gather some lost distance back. According to my speedo I hit 140 going across the start/finish line. Not sure how accurate it is, but it was damn fun however fast it was!! After this I kept saying I wanted to come back here with a 600 at a minimum next time.

Finished the race fifth out of seven. Screaming in my helmet go!, go!!, go!!! on the last lap as we were coming to the finish line and I was trying to draft for a spot. Didn't have it in the tank, but had a ball trying!

CCS ROC AM LWGP 10-21-18
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:53 PM   #36
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Amateur Ultralight Superbike

I had a second starting position in this race which is so-so. Luckily for me we tagged along with the expert group when starting and I had a decent launch. Was a little busy through turn 1 and 3 and then settled in. However, coming out of the turn onto the back stretch I "ran a bit wide", lol, and hit some rumble strips. Initially I thought these were just paint lines but as I came on top of them I realized they were actually grooved like the rumble strips down the center lane of highways these days. Didn't really want to be turning on this surface so I stood the bike up a bit and ran even wider. Happy I didn't lowside it over this surface, I got back in the gas on the exit and almost ran myself into the outside wall in my eagerness to get going!

After my little mishap, I actually managed to stay in second place in my wave until the backstretch when third place drafted past me. I tracked him down for a lap and a half and managed to pass in the infield. Held that for a bit then got drafted past again. We went back and forth like this for the remainaing laps which was pretty damn fun. I really learned how valuable the draft was with this race and also how important it is to get back into it as soon as possible.

On the last lap I pushed wide coming out of the final kink on the run to the finish line. I lost the draft quickly and finished about a second behind for my first podium of the weekend. Scored third place and was pretty happy with the performance this race seeing that I was able to finally keep up with an SV on the straights, just had to be sure to keep in the draft.

CCS ROC AM ULSB 10-21-18
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Old 11-08-2018, 10:12 PM   #37
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Sick pass in T1 I’m ULSB. Fuck yeah!
Where was the GoPro? It seems like it was preventing you from leaning 100% flat on the tank. Good late breaking. Definitely seemed to run a bit wide in some cases.
Thanks for sharing.
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Old 11-09-2018, 06:24 AM   #38
PeaPod
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The camera is mounted where the handlebars would be. I cut a section of tubing and used the handlebars clamps to hold it and mount the camera on the tubing.

Part of my issue getting flatter on the tank is my leatt neck brace, it does hit the tank first. I have the road version, so probably the race version would be better in this case. I am also 6’4” so positioning on a little bike like this is cramped to say the least.

Glad you liked the video! I will say that “Loudon definitely helps prepare you for the braking and turn sections of this track I thought.
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