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Endurance Racing


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Hi mate,

 

 

 

not sure where you are in the world, and different countries and organisers do them differently, but I'll share what I know as I've raced endurance in the UK, and will be doing a full season in 2013.

 

in terms of tracktime vs sprint racing, there's no denying, you just can't beat endurance racing, certainly in value for money terms. When I sprint raced, I was doing 10mins qualifying/practice, then 2-3, 8 lap races a weekend, yours for around £200 entry fees, plus all your costs.Essentially, you're getting about 35-40mins of track time for your money. For endurance racing, we pay around £500 per event, and we get 30mins practice per team, and then a 3 hour race split between two riders. Clearly it doesn't even compare.

 

 

What I will say is that endurance racing isn't as cuthroat, and ultimately not quite as fast as sprint racing. I can't ride for 30 minutes at 100% pace for 3 sessions, so what you end up doing is riding at about 95% and being consistent and not making mistakes. With sprint racing, you've got to get to it, and get to it quickly. There's no time for being nice, or making sure your overtake is corteous and acceptable. You see a gap, you think you can make it, you take it. With a 3 hour race, it's not neccesarily the end of the world if you don't do it in that corner or that lap.

 

The endurance racing we do requires two bikes, and you swap the timing transponder. It's a great team effort, and you and your crew ( you need helpers for endurance), have a real sense of achievement and fun when you finish. Personally, whilst I enjoyed the real selfish buzz of sprint racing, overall I prefer the more laid back and fun approach to endurance.

 

Will it make you quicker, sure. Riders will be there whom are quicker than you no doubt.

 

Bullet

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I am in the U.S. and from what I was told on another forum your pit crew has to be wearing full fire gear for refueling a hot bike in the pit lanes. Of course every organization will be a little different but maybe sprint racing is the best way to start out then since it's more cut throat and forces you to get in there and be aggressively controlled in your passing and cornering.

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Fossil have been doing a couple of endurance races this year in the US - maybe he can confirm what the rules are in the organization that he rides with.

 

Kai

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For a novice in particular, I think you also need to take into consideration the amount of time you need to stay alert doing endurance racing vs. sprint racing. Racing is tiring and if you become tired your focus drop and with that comes a greater risk of making a mistake. This may or may not be an issue depending upon each individual, but I think it's worth bringing into the equation.

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Good point! I didn't really think of that too much, I rode my 600RR from CA to MN which is 2200mi in a little over 2 days. I spent from roughly 7am to 7pm on the bike only stopping for gas, snack and water. Of course that is just averaging a 90mph speed and occasional turns but I have spent a lot of time on the seat of a bike.

 

It was just a thought, merely more for bang for your buck on track time and experience rather then worrying about winning an endurance race.

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  • 3 weeks later...

There is an extreme amount of intensity in sprint racing.It is not the place to be thinking about anything. It is a place where the skills you've honed at track days and schools take over. It's not to say that once the race is over you can't critique your performance.

 

Endurance racing is a little different. The field is spread out and the riding is a little more laid back. At Barber I might average a 1:38 lap time over an 8 lap race. In an endurance race our team might average a 1:41 lap time over a 4 hour or 6 hour race. The pace is slower and you ride for longer distances. My last Endurance race at Road Atlanta was 6 hours. My first rotation I rode 1 hour and ten minutes. In order to go for long rotations, it is good to have a goal. I work on specific areas of the track that I need to improve on. My problem areas at Road Atlanta are turn 1 and the chicane after turn 2.. I spent my time concentrating on those two areas while maintaining consistency and good technique on the rest of the track.

 

The procedures for fueling are not that complicated, a long sleeve shirt and pants are required. The rider has to be off the motorcycle when refueling which means the rider can refuel but someone else needs to man the fire extinguisher. No big deal. I hope this helps....

 

Fossil

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Post Script :rolleyes:

I have written about my experiences endurance racing in this same forum so one can look back at the exploits if you wish. Endurance racing is fun, a team sport where the riders try to maintain consistency with the other team members. Decisions made on tire changes, fueling, rider exchanges and your on ability to stay out for as long as the fuel will let you has a very real bearing on your outcome. In our 6 hour endurance race, we finished fourth missing third by three laps, five minutes. We could have done it but we chose to let a team member ride his turn. it was the final rotation and he had paid his share.

 

Above I talked about how I worked on certain turns during the time I was on the bike. There are so many challenges and areas one could work on while endurance racing...a specific turn, hitting apexes, challenge your brake marker move it up, can I trail more, work on wide view, what is my gearing, how can I tell by where I shift if I am going faster or slower. I don't think you should be thinking per se, such as where are we going to eat after the race or be obsessed by the bug that hit your visor. Working on drills keeps your concentration on the track. Once you get in the mindset much of this becomes a defense mechanism against pain and fatigue. Think about getting dry mouth on lap 4...you have 45 to go, arm pump at lap 12, you have 37 to go. Concentration is the key and it does make you a better rider. I think the key is that the more seat time you have, the things you learn go from being a drill that you have to think about to a reflexive action.

 

An Endurance team for WERA takes an owner, a captain, and riders. The owner can be the captain, can be a rider. someone needs to stand across from pit lane and count laps, man the pit board, signal lap times and letting the team know the rider is coming in. You need someone to man the fire extinguisher (2 required), someone to fuel the bike and change tires if required or check air pressure. Its nice to have someone to manage your pit area...some of the items you will need to bring to an area you have staked out earlier or the night before is a canopy, generator, ice chest, fan, table, fire extinguishers, tools, spare tires, snacks, a pit bike, gear, a pit board, IBUPROFEN and bike stands...a lot of stuff to haul to and from the pits...In most cases 4 riders so everybody is bringing something.

 

I hope this helps....always a pleasure. Cheers.

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