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Wera At Nola April 6-7


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Well, I'll try this another way... If there is anyone here who is, or was, racing with WERA and who would be willing to share their wisdom, you have my attention :). I can't for the life of me figure out how I've been talked into this, but a friend has convinced me we should try some WERA novice racing :blink:. Our local AMA pro has offered to give us his advice, but I don't mind hearing from others about what's worked for them; especially those things which may be unique to a given race organization. If I do sign up to race then I'll be on my newly acquired AMA Supersport-spec 2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R; I think that puts me in C Superstock (or Superbike) Novice. My wife thinks I've lost my mind... she's probably right :lol:

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Hey, just remembered something: this might be WAY out of date, but some years ago, ROADRACING WORLD did either an article (I think it was series actually) on racing, might have been racing on the cheap even. I thought it was well done, had tons of good info, give a good idea of things to prepare for, etc.

 

You might shoot them a note, see if they still have any of that article, or if there is another updated one?

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Brad;

 

I can't speak about WERA but when I started at CCS/LRRS (Loudon NH); to get a Novice Competition License you had to attend the Penguin School the day before to "learn" about flags, protocol and then a half a day of track time with their instructors. Midafternoon the track converted to Race Weekend open practice so you had track time with all of the competitors who were there to race that weekend. This was pretty eye opening because it gave you a keen sense of how much quicker things were going to be on Saturday and Sunday.

 

On Saturday, you still didn't have a racing license so you weren't allowed on the track for any of the practice sessions leading up to the first race of the day; The Rookie Race. You had to finish this race upright to qualify for your Novice Competition License. Only then you could grid in any of the other race classes your bike was approved for (supersport, thunder bike, etc.) The Rookie Race was gridded randomly and we were released in three waves to make the dash into T1 a little more tolerable.

 

Hopefully some WERA veteran will chime in here to help you get a lay of the land and whatever you do - Let us know how it goes. We all build on each others experiences here.

 

Good Luck!

 

Rain

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Well, I'll try this another way... If there is anyone here who is, or was, racing with WERA and who would be willing to share their wisdom, you have my attention :). I can't for the life of me figure out how I've been talked into this, but a friend has convinced me we should try some WERA novice racing :blink:. Our local AMA pro has offered to give us his advice, but I don't mind hearing from others about what's worked for them; especially those things which may be unique to a given race organization. If I do sign up to race then I'll be on my newly acquired AMA Supersport-spec 2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R; I think that puts me in C Superstock (or Superbike) Novice. My wife thinks I've lost my mind... she's probably right :lol:

 

I race currently with WERA, I may be able to answer some questions, feel free to ask away.

 

Do you have a race license with anyone currently? WERA does accept licenses from some other organizations, but if you have never raced before, you either need to attend a new racer school with them or get an exemption based on something else you have attended, like CodeRace. You can't just show up and race, you do need a race license. Often they have a school the day before the races, so you can do school and a new racer race on Saturday and race as a Provisional Novice Sunday. You are supposed to wear an orange jacket or orange tshirt to identify yourself as a Provisional Novice so everyone knows to give you a little extra room. :)

 

WERA does a good job running their events, very professional and very organized. The rulebook is online at www.wera.com and there is a terrific forum, which has a whole "New Racers" section where you can read tons of info and post questions.

http://forums.13x.com/forumdisplay.php?forumid=12

 

The 600 class is usually very large and very competitive. Often the turnout is big enough that they run Novices and Experts in two completely separate races, instead of just two waves. Sometimes the 750 class (B Superbike) is smaller, you are eligible to run in that, too and it coudl end up less crowded.

 

One piece of advice I'd offer - run at least two classes. It's easy for nerves to get to you in the first race and cause errors (dropping the clutch on the start, missing shifts, whatever) so it's nice to be able to go back out and run again after you've shaken off the "first race" jitters. Also you usually have an option of doing a practice start during practice (on your own), that is always a good idea since the first turn often comes at you a lot differently on the race start than it does while lapping or when entering from the pits. If you do a race school they will usually do a practice start as a group.

 

Reading the rulebook is a good idea, it gives you full description of new racer requirements, bike requirements, etc.

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Thanks for all the replies :)

 

I race currently with WERA, I may be able to answer some questions, feel free to ask away.

I wondered when you'd get here :). I actually spotted your name/number on the WERA racers list when I was looking for number choices for my application. I have read the rulebook several times in the last few days, so I've got that covered, if not yet quite fully understood. I have done STAR and CSS in the past 12 months so they said I didn't have to do their race school. I still will get a Provisional Novice license, so I certainly will get the "watch out for the new guy" shirt :). I had not checked out their forum/New Racers section, so I'll do some reading there. I like the tip on the 750 class - I'm not afraid of a big group but I suspect a small group would be easier on the nerves for my first race weekend. A couple things which are on my mind: how much practice time do you get? is it only one race per class per day? I didn't find a daily schedule so I'm curious what a common timeline looks like... My buddy bought a ZX-6R from our local AMA pro and I bought a ZX-6R from a CCS racer out of NC. Both were setup with AMA Supersport specs in mind. Is that likely to put us in Superbike vice Superstock? I don't know the difference or that it matters all that much...

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You should be able to find a schedule on the wera site - if it is not up yet, look for a prior date at the same track - WERA is usually pretty consistent about keeping the same daily schedule at a given track. Different tracks vary a bit though.

 

Yes, one race per class per day. With a 600, though, you have a lot of choices - C superstock, Superbike, B superstock and Superbike, Senior Superbike middleweight (if your over 40). Possibly even Formula 1 but you'd have 1000s in there and I wouldn't really recommend that for a first race weekend.

 

I do not know if your bikes are eligible for superstock, but you could ask that on the WERA board.

 

Usually there are two 10 minute practices in the morning, and that's all you get.

 

You need to know the flags before you come, the rider meetings are NOT informative like a school or track day. They will expect you know all procedures and will just notify you of any unusual track conditions or split races or schedule changes, the meetings are short.

 

 

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WERA approves any of our schools, all you will have to do is their ground school/safety briefing. For sure, going with someone that knows the ropes won't hurt, but you are qualified.

 

CF

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Brad,

Post on the WERA forum that you will be racing for the first time and would like some help. I am sure that someone will reply to your offer that you can pit next to them. This was how I did it and it was a great relief to have someone to show you where you need to go, what forms need to be filled out, what passes inspection etc etc etc.

WERA has a course that you must complete to get your provisional novice license. You must then race in two races on seperate weekends to get your novice license. Remember that you can race in any classes for bigger displacement as well as your own. So, with DOT tires you can run C superstock, B superstock or A superstock. With slicks you can run C superbike, B superbike or A superbike. I suggest that you do not race your first race in C superstock. Race in B superstock or B Superbike. It is less crowded and not as me waves as in C superstock. There is a reason they call C superstock the "Meat Grinder" class. Last year I saw a three wave start in the C superstock race....try to avoid this until you get used to the experience.....

I wish I could be there to help but I am racing the AHRMA Thruxton series this year and will be missing the WERA series except for two endurance races at Road A and Barber...Good luck.

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Brad,

Post on the WERA forum that you will be racing for the first time and would like some help. I am sure that someone will reply to your offer that you can pit next to them. This was how I did it and it was a great relief to have someone to show you where you need to go, what forms need to be filled out, what passes inspection etc etc etc.

WERA has a course that you must complete to get your provisional novice license. You must then race in two races on seperate weekends to get your novice license. Remember that you can race in any classes for bigger displacement as well as your own. So, with DOT tires you can run C superstock, B superstock or A superstock. With slicks you can run C superbike, B superbike or A superbike. I suggest that you do not race your first race in C superstock. Race in B superstock or B Superbike. It is less crowded and not as me waves as in C superstock. There is a reason they call C superstock the "Meat Grinder" class. Last year I saw a three wave start in the C superstock race....try to avoid this until you get used to the experience.....

I wish I could be there to help but I am racing the AHRMA Thruxton series this year and will be missing the WERA series except for two endurance races at Road A and Barber...Good luck.

Thanks for the info. Sorry we won't be seeing you this time around.

 

Have you crossed paths with Ron Rink, our local AMA pro? Ron suggested he'd coach I and my friend but we haven't talked lately to discuss how much time he can spend with us. He may well be racing himself so he may be concentrating on his own tasks.

 

Friday is a track day event run by TrackTactics and I'll be using that time to practice. Saturday I may only sign up to practice and then just watch how the day is run and also get a look at the size of each class race. Based on the volume I see in each class I may use that info to choose a race or two for Sunday. You and Hotfoot both have suggested trying the B class so that's how I'm leaning.

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I know Ron very well. It's hard not to see Ron at NOLA. I think he lives there! :) It won't do you much good to watch unless you understand the process so find someone who can explain things to you. Hang out with someone who is actually racing. See what they do when they do it and how they do it. What do they eat before a race? How do they prep their bikes? How long on warmers? When do they leave for the sighting in lap, How do they keep up with grid positions, What is the procedure for scuffing in tires etc.

It's great to be excited, it doesn't hurt to be cautious but it is definitely not advisable to be scared. You can't make good decisions based on fear. You need to react and ride rooted in a calm controlled intensity. If you can do that, you will be fine.

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I know Ron very well. It's hard not to see Ron at NOLA. I think he lives there! :) It won't do you much good to watch unless you understand the process so find someone who can explain things to you. Hang out with someone who is actually racing. See what they do when they do it and how they do it. What do they eat before a race? How do they prep their bikes? How long on warmers? When do they leave for the sighting in lap, How do they keep up with grid positions, What is the procedure for scuffing in tires etc.

It's great to be excited, it doesn't hurt to be cautious but it is definitely not advisable to be scared. You can't make good decisions based on fear. You need to react and ride rooted in a calm controlled intensity. If you can do that, you will be fine.

Ron surely is a prominent member at NOLA, and (unless riding) he always is wandering about chatting with folks. I was thinking the other day if NOLA had a mayor, you might think Ron was running for office :)

 

No argument from me on being able to shadow another racer to get a feel for routine. In military terms I think of it as reconnaissance. We're hoping Ron will do this for us, but haven't gotten word from him about his plans. I'm hoping to see him tomorrow and talk about this more.

 

Perhaps I'm being naive but I'm not concerned about the riding. My only real concern is the conduct of the day. Where are you supposed to be, when are you supposed to be there, what are you supposed to be doing, etc.; much the theme of things you mentioned. My military mind is quite attuned to having a well defined plan... even if the plan falls apart under execution :o

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