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Old 06-17-2010, 07:50 PM   #1
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Default RSP #781 Loudon Classic

Classic Weekend

It’s starting to become the norm for me to drive up to the track on the day of a race. I got 4 hours of sleep Thursday into Friday then drove the 3+ hours to the track. I arrived shortly after 7AM and started to get ready to race.
I have to say that there was definitely a different feel in the RSP garage this weekend. Not as many people as usual and with only 4 bikes racing that day it was pretty empty.
Practice went as it usually does. With no real incidents and shaking off the cobwebs.
This was a fun race. Nothing too special happened, at least nothing that stands out in my mind now that it’s been a few days. I finished 4th with a new personal best of 1:22.9. At this rate I don’t think I’ll hit my end of season goal of 1:19.9. Hopefully I’ll at least hit the 20’s.
Saturday night was fun, poker in the garage with a bunch of friends is always a good way to spend a Friday night.

#535 Dave showed up over night and was racing today. It added another bike to the mix and it started to feel more like a race weekend. We had a pretty good turnout of friends to watch. I also had my family coming up to watch my 2 races.
Because of the horrible weather, wet enough to not run slicks but not quite wet enough to run rains, I decided to sign up for ASRA Thunderbike on Sunday. I know it makes no sense but it gave me an extra qualifying session on Saturday. By the time my qualifying session rolled around it was raining and I was on rain tires. I put down a 1:36 in the 3 laps that I ran, not bad for only using the rains 1 other time and that was 2 years ago. I qualified 12th out of 19. That high grid position was mainly because 14-19 didn’t bother running in the rain.
It was a dry race but unfortunately everyone had their rains on except for 2 or 3 bikes in our class. On one of the first three laps I come into turn 11 and watch #519 Brian sliding along the pavement. My first thought was that his pace was too great for the rains in the dry and it definitely held me back a little. It was pretty humid out and as the race went on my visor started to fog, stupid me didn’t take note of this and figure out a way to resolve the issue but that won’t come into play until the next race. I finished 4th with a best time of 1:27.1. Yeah I was afraid of rains on dry pavement…and they’re pretty much shot now but at least I earned a little contingency to offset that cost.
Wow, I think that will sum up this race for me. The weather started to turn a little bit but we all went with DOT’s this time. The humidity was intense and that previous fogging issue became horribly clear for me. I earned myself a big ole DNF, my first of the season in any class. The best way I can describe what happened was when you watch a show on TV and they describe someone losing vision and show it, they slowly fade in the edges and it shrinks in on the center until the screen is all black. Well that’s how this race went. By lap 6 I was going down the chute into 3 WoT unable to see ANYTHING. I couldn’t even see the orange glow of the cones. Luckily I hesitated a bit and someone passed me, if they hadn’t I would have gone into the wall at full speed. I used them as a marker to brake and made it through the turn. I was trying to play with my helmet to get visibility back but the inside was already condensed water, not just fog. I turned one more lap and was passed by the rest of the field and my times dropped off considerably. I pitted in just before my final lap but I honestly feel that if I did that lap I could have seriously injured myself. Apparently you do need to see to race.
Saturday night
More fun. Lots of hanging out with good people and telling stories. Really this is what race weekend is all about. I HIGHLY recommend everyone come up for at least one just to experience it.
Practice. They put all of the amateurs in one practice group and we went out and had fun. I still wasn’t at 100% but I was out there trying to get into the groove. I worked on some things with #817 Lorna and also worked on clearing up my fogging issue. Apparently I need to open the visor LONG before it starts to fog.
ASRA Pro Thunderbike
This was my first ever time lining up with the experts. I was 12th out of 19. I was in row 4 slot A, directly behind #187 Pete. The flag dropped and I got a great start. Going into turn 1 I was in the top 10. Quickly the lead pack broke off, as well they should since they all ran sub 1:17’s. A few others running 20’s and 21’s took off and I knew I had a pack behind me. I pushed as hard as I could without making mistakes for more than half the race. My best time was 1.5 seconds off of the pace I put down just 2 days earlier. I made a few mistakes and a huge train of bikes took advantage and passed me. I ended up finishing where I started, 12th. For me that was a gigantic victory since I was shooting for second from last. There ended up being 3 crashes/DNF’s in that race which definitely helped with the positioning. After looking at the way the race broke out if I hadn’t made my mistakes and kept in front of that pack I would have finished 8th out of 19 in my first ever 15 lap ASRA Pro race. It was definitely a good time and I’m super happy I did it. I’m already looking forward to doing it next year. I just hope I’m faster and can hang with the second group by then. It was a good feeling to know that I held off a few experts for over 10 laps.
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Old 06-18-2010, 08:11 AM   #2
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I am glad that you had a fun and safe weekend and with a new personal best to boot!

Thank you again for all the help that you gave me over the weekend as well, it is greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-18-2010, 09:11 AM   #3
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Old 06-18-2010, 09:32 AM   #4
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Nice Jim, it was good hangin out with everyone and seeing you guys in action.

Like you said it was kinda a slow weekend, hopefully I can make it up to another one soon.

Good Job though!
R.I.P Matt V - 9/19/10

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Old 06-18-2010, 01:27 PM   #5
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nice job dude!
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Old 06-18-2010, 09:37 PM   #6
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22's, bro! Movin right along! Well done, Jim
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Old 06-18-2010, 09:42 PM   #7
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Nice. Maybe with some sleep....those times will drop more.
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Old 06-21-2010, 04:10 PM   #8
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Nice Job Jim. It was good to see you out there on the grid.
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