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Finally! Finished An Endurance Race!

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For those of you that are newbies to the site, I have been missing for awhile. I haven't had much to add but lately thought I would finish the topic I started on endurance racing.

Our team had a rough start and middle but we are ending the season on a good note. We entered the WERA National Endurance Series race at Barber and finished 12th out of 19 entrants. It wasn't an easy start seeing that old faithful wouldn't start again and that a friend and fellow rider had to bring his "beater" up from Louisiana that was 99.9% bone stock except for a slip on can. We had our priorities straight going out to eat Mexican food and drinking margaritas before we came back to safety wire the bike at 10:00 pm the night before the race. HAve you ever tried drilling 1/16th holes in nuts and bolt heads with vice grips under a canopy using rope lighting? I don't know what we were thinking except that we wanted to race and memories are made from this.

We got up the next day and mounted a set of Dunlop N-Tec take offs I donated for race practice. The stock chain was a little short and we found that the 195/70/17 rear tire wouldn't fit....of course this is all happening at about 10 minutes before race practice first call. We get that sorted out and all the while friends and wives and kids are hauling everything we need to the pit wall, a canopy, generator, tool box, ice chest, chairs, helmets, race suits, a table and chairs, fruit, fire extinguishers, gas cans, lap timers, and a home made team pit sign made out of a license plate and duct tape "112". The sign was suspended form the canopy using a coat hanger and duct tape.

We all took a turn on the 07 Yamaha R6 that was very different from my CBR1000RR. Being that I am 6'2", I felt like a big frog on a small lily pad. There were two issues that concerned me on this bike, fork travel and steering dampening. We had way to much fork travel and not enough dampening. It's funny how you can have everything working good except for that one place on the track that takes your base settings to the limit, turn 4 at Barber demands steering dampening and turn 5 demands good spring settings. The front end gets really light coming over the top of turn 4 and just makes the front go crazy with stock equipment. Thanks to the young man from the second level paddock that loaned us his steering damper for the race!

This race was many things to many people. It was a challenge and fun event for us because we never expected to win. We just wanted to finish. There were teams that were in the hunt, teams that were there to test AMA equipment for next year and young riders who were there to prove themselves.

Riders Meeting! I'm standing at the riders meeting and start recognizing some of the celebrities around me, Josh Herrin, Elena Myers, Garrett Gerloff, Corey West, Jason Disalvo, Brian Stokes and a gentlemen standing to my right, Scott Russell. I talked to him after the meeting concluded and asked him if he was enjoying this more than commentating and he said "Hell Yeah". I asked him how he was doing on the track and he told me he was a little rusty running 1:31's in practice but hoped he could get into the 1:28's during the race.

The time to race came and we had a simple strategy, have fun and don't crash. The faster riders on the team were very aware of the stock forks and we monitored the travel throughout the race. We were going to try and run the race on one set of tires and we did. It is funny but now that I think about it the one thing that probably helped save the tires was the stock suspension because we tried to manage a lap time that kept us from crashing! The rule in endurance racing is if you crash and it's your fault, you pay for the repairs. I was not going crash! Over all we averaged on track about a 1:43 lap time which is not bad....the trick is to finish so you can run track records all day long but if you don't come across at the checker, it doesn't mean a thing.

Another goal completed...as I did in the sprint races the next day but that's another story for another day. Cheers.

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Congrats on getting into and through an event even with dynamics. I can't imagine what a person who has a 'beater 07 R6' has otherwise? A bemmer SS with Ohlins all the way around or something? :huh: Thanks for sharing, I was invited to saftey crew that event and didn't jump on it.

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