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2006 Race Report #2 - 5/6-7 Blackhawk Farms


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Full report with pictures:

 

http://www.cbr600rr.com/forum/index.php?page=70

 

 

Text only:

 

2006 Race Report #2

May 6-7, 2006

Blackhawk Farms, Rockton, IL

 

Welcome home!

 

Those were the words from Tom, the Blackhawk Farms track employee who we see every weekend there. And in some odd way, that's how it felt. Just like home.

 

We got to the track a bit late on Friday as I was out of town in CA all week and just flew back on Friday, and had to make a couple of oil changes, one on the RV generator and the other on the racebike. We set up pit in our normal spot, but little did I know the ground was absolutely saturated so the RV was quickly stuck. Uh oh! Well, let's hope the ground dries enough to get out on Sunday.

 

This year, CCS has introduced a new championship series at Blackhawk Farms track only (in the midwest), where each class has its own championship just at BHF, as well as a separate championship for the midwest region. Because of this, I opted to add 2 additional classes at Blackhawk only.

 

This weekend was also a VERY CRUCIAL double-points weekend. Last year, this same double-points weekend ruined my season due to mechanical problems. Above all, this weekend I had to finish EVERY RACE. No crashes, No mechanicals...

 

My other goal this year at BHF is to break my record of 1:14.00 and run a 1:12.

 

 

Saturday 5/6:

A PERFECT day for racing! The sun came out bright and early, despite a very chilly evening down into the 30's. Looking at the bike, I realized I needed a gearing change before I hit the track as I was still geared for the huge straights of Road America.

 

I pulled the rear axle, and the nut felt very funny. Like it was galled or cross-threaded. Looking at the axle and the nut, they were shiny, so something was definitely wrong. I did not have another 05 axle, so I just figured I would make this one work for the weekend.

 

I was putting it back together and never did get it tight before it locked up. It basically welded itself together. It would not go on, and would not come off. This was NOT good. I even tried a 450 lbf-ft torque wrench and it was NOT moving.

 

There goes 1st practice without me...

 

Refusing to give up, I looked at the axle like a mangled appendage and said "cut it off!". Johnny swung into action putting his Sawz-All to use on my bike. 5 minutes later and the axle was off. Now to find another axle...

 

 

I had an 03 axle, but it is different from the 05. To make a long story short, I ended up taking my 05 axle blocks over to the Lithium Motorsports trailer and having them milled down until I could use it with the 03 axle. They literally stopped what they were doing to make this work for me. I can't say enough how great these guys are.

 

 

About that time, Mike (Sindarin) from the CBR600RR.com Forum came out to hang with us and lend a hand. Mike would also be the first Personal Sponsor of the season! If you're interested in becoming a personal sponsor, click here!

 

With that, I'm out for 2nd practice. The track seems a bit bumpier, but still has the same turns, so it's all good.

 

Middleweight GP - Race 1:

This was one BHF only class that I'm running. I was gridded on the front row, came around the track and sat at my spot settling into my normal launch routine. 1 board comes out, I pull in the clutch and toe it into gear (so I thought). For whatever reason, when the 1 board went sideways (which is about 1 second before the green flag flies), I look down and my NEUTRAL LIGHT IS STILL ON!!!! Oh my GOD!! I whack it into 1st right as the flag flies. A terrible start as about 20 people go by me.

 

I finally get up to pace and make my way around a few guys trying to make up ground. I came around TWICE and thought I saw the checkered flag. Since I was making mistakes left & right, I was all ticked off and would sit straight up after the start/finish line just to have people FLY by me as the race was still on... ######! I hammer the gas again, and ended up doing the same thing all over again. I just wanted this race to end...

 

Finally it ended with me crossing the line 17th out of 30. It was literally a terrible race that I should not have been a part of. I was not into it at all.

 

Getting off the track, I had to take some time to get my head together for the 30 minute GTO race coming up.

 

IMG_1423

 

GTO - Race 2:

Okay, head in the game let's RACE. My launch was pretty good. Still getting used to the throttle & power of this bike. The Bridgestone BT-002 Soft compound tires were sticking like glue. I started running some good paced laps, dropping into the 15's and 14's, and then BAM! Lapped Traffic... By lap 3, we were into lapped traffic as they combined the experts with the amateurs, and this race ended up with +60 bikes on the grid. I was trying to hunt down Deni DeBuhr, but just couldn't make the lappers work for me. Traffic was an absolute nightmare. From my perspective, this race was pretty unsafe with the disparity of speeds and amount of bikes. My lap times dropped into the 1:17's because of traffic. But I did manage to get across the line 6th out of 24.

 

Since there was a 2 hour team challenge on Sunday, a few other sprint races were pushed into Saturday, so I had one more race today.

 

Heavyweight Supersport - Race 3:

This was the second BHF only race that I would run this weekend. I left the same Bridgestone BT-002 Soft rear tire on that I had run in 3 other sprint races and a 30 minute GTO race. That proved to be a bad move.

 

I got a good launch, and started pushing my way around, but was sliding pretty good the harder I went. The best I could manage were low 1:15's and I needed to be in the 1:12-13 range. The tire was done.

 

IMG_1429

Picture courtesy of Sindarin

 

Well, we ended race day 1 completing ALL races upright despite the initial problems. A quick swap to a new medium compound Bridgestone BT-002 rear tire, and then it was time for a shower, dinner and some tall-tales before bed.

 

Sunday 5/7:

I could only dream that the weather would be this good for the entire season. A touch warmer than yesterday, but still VERY reasonable. Sunny and 73-75.

 

With just 2 races today, I went out for practice to scrub in my new rear tire. I ran a quick 10 laps, touching the 1:14's in practice which was pretty decent. Today would be a good day so it seemed.

 

Heavyweight Superbike Race 4 - Sponsored by Mike - (Sindarin from the CBR600RR.com Forum):

I lined up for the race and got a GREAT launch. I didn't get the holeshot, but I was hanging tight on the leaders through the 1st lap. Around lap 2, Deni DeBuhr & Nate Dobert (1st year expert, but was amateur champion of many classes in 2005) came around me. I hunted Nate down and held about 1' off his tail. On lap 3, somebody went down hard in turn 1 and they red-flagged the race. I was in 6th at the time, so that's where I started this race.

 

My launch was pretty good, but Simon Kowalski got around me on his 750. If you've read any of my reports, you know that if Simon gets in front of me, I have a tough time getting back around him. I ran the wheels off my bike in this race. Crossing my lap timer beacon, I see 1:14.00. This has been my record for 2 years now. I yelled into my helmet F**K NO I am NOT settling for a 1:14! And pulled the throttle cables tighter. Flying around the track, the next time across the beacon I see 1:13.65. FINALLY!! Now .35 seconds might not be a big deal to you, but let me tell you, races are won or lost over HUNDREDTHS of a second, so it counts. Additionally, the faster you go, the tougher those big jumps are. Going from 1:20 to 1:16 is one thing. Going from 1:14 to 1:12 is another which is exponentially more difficult.

 

I ran 2 more 1:13 laps right on Simon's tail, but couldn't get around him and crossed the line again in 6th place out of 14 people.

 

IMG_1430

Picture courtesy of Sindarin

 

Back for a quick sip of water and right back out for

 

Middleweight Superbike - Race 5 - Last race of the weekend:

This was a crazy race. I ran in the high 13's and low 14's for the entire race, but did not get under the 13.65 time set previously. There were a LOT of crashes in this race (like 6 or 7). I again came across in 6th place out of 18 riders.

 

IMG_1436

Picture courtesy of Sindarin

 

Calling it a weekend, we packed everything up and then the moment of truth came... Would I be stuck or not? Well, the RV wasn't going to push or pull my trailer ANYWHERE. I was stuck. We unhooked the trailer and tried to get the RV rolling. After a few minutes of rocking and a half a dozen guys pushing, I finally got enough movement to get it out of where I was. I tore up the joint pretty bad in the process (Sorry Tom!!), but hey, getting 20,000 lbs of RV un-stuck is not an easy thing to do. Greg then hooked his truck to my trailer and brought it around.

 

We made it home, unpacked and sat in the hot tub before retiring. I do have to say, of all the expensive purchases that I've made and later regretted, this hot tub has been one which I am SO GLAD we bought. It's a little slice of heaven we enjoy a couple of times a week, and enjoy the MOST after a long weekend of racing.

 

This weekend was great. Again I've dropped my lap-time, resetting my fastest lap. I believe I can continue this through the season and will be running 12's within the next weekend at Blackhawk.

 

Our next adventure will be 5/27-28 in Pacific Junction, IA. We will again tempt fate and head to Mid-America Motorplex which is the only track in the country which seems to really hate me... I shall prevail!!!!

 

#42 - Jeff Kufalk of CBR600RR.com Racing is proudly sponsored and supported by:

 

* Bridgestone Tires - www.motorcycle-karttires.com

* Leo Vince exhaust - www.leovinceusa.com

* Sportsbike Tire Warmers - www.tirewarmers.net

* Woodcraft-CFM Clipons & Rearsets - www.woodcraft-cfm.com

* Moto Liberty Racing gear - www.motoliberty.com

* MD Racing Engine building & tuning - www.mdracingstp.com

* Lithium Motorsports trackside support & VP Fuels - www.lithiummotorsports.com

* Trackside Engineering suspension services - www.tracksideengineering.com

* Badger Cycle OEM Honda parts - www.badgercycle.com

* EMA-USA performance parts - www.ema-usa.com

* Yoyodyne performance parts - www.yoyodyneti.com

* California Superbike School racing/riding training - www.superbikeschool.com

* Godfather Bodywork - www.godfatherracing.com

* ON2-Racing performance parts - www.on2-racing.com

* Clear Alternatives tail lights - www.clearalternatives.com

 

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