Just got back - whatta AWESOME weekend!
I can't believe how SMOOTH our F-USA guys are... rocketing through corners at impossible speeds... they made it look SO easy!!! I'm still sifting through my notes on the top finishers in each class but DAMN! THIS is some heady stuff!!
My report on RA:
After much debate, I left the crew chief and bike at home... spent the weekend flagging with our Midwest Safety Crew. Arrived at Siebkins on Thursday afternoon, in time for registration and an evening of benchracing with all my cohorts. It was great seeing everyone again after the long winter.
Friday was quite "crisp"... spent my first day "on the job" assigned to Turn 12 (aka "Canada Corner") - with the cool temperatures, the track was pretty "greasy" especially in the morning and we pulled nearly a dozen bikes out of the "kitty litter" (pea gravel) in the runoff area. Watched SuperGrover take (and pass) the race licensing school, and cheered on all my peers during the various endurance races - including Learning Curves instructors Brian McLaughlin and Jason D'Amico who ended up with a 2nd-place finish in the Team Challenge! This was a particularly sweet victory for them in that it was Jason's first race since sustaining serious injuries over a year ago... and Brian's first outing on his new '03 SV650.
Saturday was even colder - the sun never quite broke through to warm things up... my assignment was Turn 10A (the "Bend" - a recently-created modification designed to slow down riders heading through Road America's legendary "kink"). It's a tricky set of turns - a hard left followed by an even harder right, and I was glad to have had the opportunity to watch and learn the "fast" way through. Apparently, word had spread through the paddock that I was there - was getting lots of waves and such on the warm-up and cool-down laps as folks went by. We had plenty of run-offs but only one "incident" where a guy high-sided in the second half of the turn and I had to call for the ambulance. Fortunately, he was only shaken up, not hurt. "Bike down, rider down" is a radio call that sends a chill down my spine. We were unable to run all the scheduled events because of computer glitches (scoring is done electronically via transponders, with human "backup"), which placed an even bigger burden on Sunday.
Grasshopper was lookin' pretty good out there. And was that "our" "PUGSLY" out there on the blue Yammy?
Best of all was Dave Ebben's TLR that took first in Expert SuperTwins! OH YEAH BABY!!!!
On Sunday, I was assigned to Turn 14 - the final corner before heading up the hill to the checkered flag on the front straight. It had rained the night before, and we were delayed for at least three hours waiting for the fog to clear. The damp track combined with cold temps presented an even greater challenge to the riders. From my post I could see a steady procession of trailers and tow vehicles belonging to racers who, for one reason or another, simply threw in the towel rather than wait for the delay and harsh conditions to improve. To make up time, the sprint races were shortened from the usual 6 to only 3 laps. Despite the best efforts of staff we were unable to get all of Sunday's events in, due in part to the weather and several incidents which required extensive track clean-up.
Cornerworking is a big responsibility requiring a full day's commitment - but there is no way to get closer to the "action" and it's TREMENDOUS FUN!!!!! I found it to be a great way to give something back to the sport - plus, it's an opportunity for racers to get additional "insight" and perspective on areas of the track that may be problematic. Bill Ritger goes to great lengths to accomodate racers willing to put in a day on a corner.
I'm looking forward to pitching in again when my schedule permits - and plan on flagging at the AMA event in June.
Speaking of schedules... CCS' next event will be at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in South Beloit, IL (just north of Rockford) over the weekend of May 8-9.
See you there!