PCRA BRA NSW Commuterlite Championship Round 1 2014 Race report

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Round 1 of the Post Classic Racing Association /  Bucket Racing Association championship was a very bittersweet affair.

For the last 3 months I have pushed as hard as I could to increase my fitness. Cycling most days and monitoring my input had me in what I felt was a better state than the final round from last year.

Happy overall with the 2013 season I wanted to finish in the top 10 for the champioship from last years 12th. Due to an increase in numbers the class was split into Pro’s and AM’s. This being based on previous race results and lap times. I was graded to the AM class.

Goulbourn greeted us with a very cool and crisp morning. Walking through the town to get coffee saw just about every shop that was open being patronized by riders and support crew. Every why you liked on the streets, the traffic was some form of motorcycle transport.

Qualifying
The last time I went to Wakefield Park was late in the 2013 season. My best lap for that outing was a 1:33.6. However this was achieved with what was later found to be a dragging front brake. My main goal for the day was to get my PB down under the 1:30 mark. I also decided to try out Harrys GPS Laptimer on and old iphone to give me real time lap information.

This proved to be quite useful and very accurate. I was able to get a 1:31.71 which placed me 27th on the grid and 9 com and 5 Com AM. I was happy to beat the PB but felt I had more.

Race 1
In race 1 I had a great start making up some positions by turn 2. Going up the hill on lap one was full of traffic. The best plan seemed to be avoid where possible till the race thinned out somewhat. At the end of lap 2 I cam in hard to turn 10 when the bike suddenly stopped mid turn. I put my hand up and was quickly overtaken by the other competitors. Thankful that It was clean. My now stalled bike rolled into the back of pit-lane.

As I looked up the race had been red-flagged, due to an accident at turn 2. I pushed the bike into the garage and my awesome pit crew and I set to work to figure out the problem. After locating a very suspect lead that was no longer connected to my battery we fired it back to life. At this point the announced that the race would be a full race restart.

Chasing down #888 Jack in race 1
Chasing down #888 Jack in race 1

A few minutes later we headed back out to the starting grid. This turned out to advantageous for me. By the end of turn 2 I found myself chasing down #888 Jack Robinson. Jack and spent the next 4 laps exchanging places on the circuit. Going to lap 4 I was able to hold him at at turn 2 where he had been getting a much better line. Once I was past I spotted #171 Arthur Cook in my sights. Cookie is a mate of mine but I have never been able to beat him. I pushed the next lap as hard as I could, setting my fastest lap pf the day a 1:27.7. Second only to Ron Pulido for the class for the outing. Coming in to turn 10, the penultimate corner of the final lap I was able to get right on Cookies heels. I missed my gear change, hit the limiter and felt it start to slip away. I was close enough to get the draft on him and made myself as small as I could. Catching him in the slipstream I pulled out at the last second pushing as hard as I could to get it over the line. We were wheel to wheel as we crossed the line. Unknown if I had in fact beaten him I was happy to have had chase.

Pulling into the Pits I was notified that I had beaten him by 0.020 seconds! This gave me 3rd outright in Commuterlites and 2nd in the class.

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Race 2

Coming of the back of the previous rate I had mixed feelings of increased confidence mixed with a feeling of having to meet my own expectations I had just laid down. However the heat had risen significantly with the track temp now about 55c.

Rolling to my grid spot for race to I clicked down into 1st gear. Checked my clutch friction point and prepared for the start. The lights went out, clutch came off and everybody went around me. Right, turns out I had selected 2nd not 1st. I lost 8 positions off the start and was now in pursuit of my rivals. I found focus and had passed 6 bikes by lap 3. Coming up the hill I got around another riding before taking a sweeping arc at the top of the hill. I had just caught sight of #888 and #171 and felt that I was catching my places.

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Overtake on turn 10

Unbeknown to me I was now coming 1st in the AM class with 2nd and 3rd very close on my heels. Coming down to the hairpin I setup to go a little wide and deep to take a sweeping exit across the hairpin into the second left corner. As I came and committed to the corner I heard another bike very close. I looked up to find my next apex to see a black bike on the edge of my vision. Next thing I know I felt a massive shunt to me left rear and I was being thrown to the right. The asphalt came up very quickly as I hit the ground and slid across the turn. I remember rolling once however the video shows me rolling several times.

I was pretty stunned and whilst I had feeling everywhere I felt very dizzy and found it very difficult to get back up. I saw my bike laying in the track in pieces. When I did mange to get up I signaled to the Marshall and was able to go and pick the bike up and get it into neutral and off the track. At this point the medics arrived and felt it best to have a check over.

Once cleared of anything major I left the medics clinic and went to the tower to see the final standings. It turned out that the decision to red flag had in fact declared our race for the day. The officials had deemed to to hot to continue and the last few races were run, ending the day early.

I was in disbelief. I had not known that I had made up the necessary places to take first place in the class. Additionally the 2 riders behind were in 2nd and 3rd. This gave me the race win and enough points to take out the round 1 win for Commuterlite AM!

A big thank to Jye Lawrence for all the Pit lane help, bike setup and fitness coach, Drew Lawrence for driving home and general work avoidance, Ken Lawrence to the mechanical help, Will Russell for getting me of my butt onto some training and finally Andrew Wilson from PyhsioXtra at Erina from my pre-race physiotherapy.

Round 2 6/4/14. Sydney Motor-sport Park South Circuit. Entry is free for this event. Qualifying starts at 9