POST: PTT Blackhawk Farms on 7/2 - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-03-2005, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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POST: PTT Blackhawk Farms on 7/2

I hung out with Grover most of the day. His EZUP was a lifesaver from the beating sun today. I'm not really happy about the way PTT ran this event, but regardless, it felt good to ride BHF for the first time this year. Took the first session to get acclimated to the track, and turned my fastest time of the day in the 2nd session-- 1:17.94. Didn't feel like I was pushing too hard chasing some of the faster guys, so I was surprised to see that time. Most of my other laps were consistently in the 1:18's. It was nice to dip into the 17's, but need to get a couple things sorted w/ the brakes & tires (slicks, here I come) to push a little harder confidently.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-03-2005, 12:29 AM
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what did they fall short on of doing it better bro?



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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-03-2005, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
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It seems like they overbooked Intermediate, so they had to run 4 groups and cut the sessions to 15 minutes. Also they don't have CR's for the beginner and int groups, so a lot of the sessions ended in red flags b/c some were getting in over their heads... and then landing on them.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-03-2005, 09:12 AM
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Leon tries to have around 20 people per group. During his other track days that wasn't a problem because they were on Wednesdays and didn't have the attendance. This time it was a weekend and sponsored by three groups. While a typical NESBA day has a lot more people there, for one of his events it was pretty packed. They made the decision to have two Intermediate groups, there were 28 riders. A friend from work moved to Advanced after one session, a few more did after lunch.

There were a lot of crashes and they weren't pretty. At least two locked brakes, an oil/coolant spill on the WAY outside of T1 (if you hit it, you were heading towards Wisconsin anyways). An SV lost all the plastic above the lower (cool new option available), a 749S lowsided and didn't look to pretty. The ambulance never took a trip out, so that was good.

There were a couple of control riders per se in the B and I groups(Leon and the tech guys). But there was only one or two per session, which makes it difficult to keep control. His events are also becoming more popular with dealers and groups because he handles all the cooridinating with the track, they just give him the money.

I've also learned that to get my head back on straight I need to get some personal attention. Downside of racing a lot is that nobody on the track with you is really going to give you tips on how to go faster! I'm still not down to the lap times I had by this time LAST year. If I have time I'll probably do a super dave school this summer. I'll try and hit a NESBA day (non Blackhawk, I'm thinking a later Putnam or Autobahn day) and bug a control rider for advice.

Tires are shagged after 2 race weekends and 2 trackdays, although I'm SLOWER than last year. The intense heat of last weekend's Autobahn might have contributed to that.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-03-2005, 10:57 AM
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I had a discussion with Leon about the behaviour of some of the riders in the I group. I think there was a group of friends trying to keep up with each other. So if 1 or 2 made clean passes you might get 1 or 2 try to sneak by with a questionable pass. One of them passed me at T2 riders right on the grass. So I complained to Leon. They did try to make the riders understand that a trackday is not a race. The thing is PTT philosophy is aimed at a more unstructured setting. He is trusting you to do the right thing. That is why they prefer smaller groups. Leon was pretty cool about the whole thing and he is going to let me take their Sportriding 101 class for free. So I plan on doing that and going back for the next midweek trackday.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-03-2005, 12:50 PM
 
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Leon is a great guy, but earlier this year, a trackday I did was over sold as well. I am doing one on the 27th, hope it goes better.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-03-2005, 01:08 PM
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Glad you had a good time, guys. But I'm sorry to hear about the crash-fest. At least no one was seriously injured.

I've never run with any track day group other than NESBA, but I can say I like having all of the CR's out there. Trackdays need to be supervised, especially I and B groups. Some of those riders out there are dangerous.

Never a bad time to climb... unless the weather is really horrible, and then you climb inside!

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-03-2005, 11:24 PM
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I rode the Busa out to BHF today to hang out with one of the co-sponsors, ACE Powersports from Kenosha. Delivering the Busa to it's new owner on the 9th, so I didn't go on the track today. That was hard not to do, but had a good time anyway.

I got to meet Leon, and he seems like a nice guy who is trying his best to make the whole thing work as smoothly as it can. I watched Leon as he tried to mediate two different issues throughout the day. It looked as though he takes complaints very serious, and tries to get them resolved as quickly as possible. Leon was even giving body positioning tips to some of the guys in our group between sessions.

The only issue I have, is PTT's policy on gear. I was a little shocked at seeing the B group wearing jeans on the track. I spoke to Leon about it, and he said he would rather see them in leathers, but doesn't have the extras to rent out. I think he's trying to figure out a solution without losing his customer base.

Sorry to be long winded. Just thought I would share my experiences with PTT. If I do ride with them, I think I'll be trying for "their" I group as soon as possible. Shouldn't be too hard after I finish my Learning Curves school in August and get my CCS license.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-04-2005, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stkr
Sorry to be long winded. Just thought I would share my experiences with PTT. If I do ride with them, I think I'll be trying for "their" I group as soon as possible. Shouldn't be too hard after I finish my Learning Curves school in August and get my CCS license.
Honestly, if you don't plan on racing, I'd do a couple track days first before getting your race license. You'll get more out of track days. The school doesn't really make you faster, it instructs on the flags, boards, bike prep. You don't get feedback really, usually there is only one instructor out there per class.

And if you do race, race heavyweight. 3/4 of them are middleweights anyways, and the class is less of a crashfest.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-04-2005, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grover
Honestly, if you don't plan on racing, I'd do a couple track days first before getting your race license. You'll get more out of track days. The school doesn't really make you faster, it instructs on the flags, boards, bike prep. You don't get feedback really, usually there is only one instructor out there per class.

And if you do race, race heavyweight. 3/4 of them are middleweights anyways, and the class is less of a crashfest.
I think I typed that wrong...it was late.

What I meant was...After a couple of track days with NESBA, then the track time with the licensing class, I should be ready for PTT's intermediate group. I watched some of the B group, and would just like to be in a smoother group.

I'm getting the race license to be able to do CCS practices and maybe do a race or two this year just to see what it's like and get my feet wet.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-05-2005, 07:12 AM Thread Starter
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Well to follow up on my experience with PTT, I contacted Leon Winfrey (the coordinator of PTT track events) and let him know my disappointment with how last Saturday's event was run. Having 4 groups instead of the 3 like the PTT website states, and overbooking more than 60 riders when the website declares low track density of 60 riders.

He responded positively and thanked me for my input. He even took my suggestion for control riders/coaching, and is seriously tossing around that idea for future events, and asked me if I wanted to help him out later in the year.

Despite the downfalls of this weekend's PTT event, Leon has shown himself to be an upstanding guy and is doing his best to create a program (by listening to complainers like me) that caters to the inexperienced track rider without intimidating them. Now that's someone everybody would love to work for!
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-05-2005, 08:07 AM
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Leon is a good guy running that. His whole goal is to get people onto the track for the first track experience for as little cost/intimidation as possible. Hence the 2 pairs of jeans and usually low track density. On the weekday sessions there are usually a couple cruisers, several sport tourers out there.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-05-2005, 09:30 AM
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Any way to contact this Leon guy about Control riding for him. Also a schedule of event that he has going on. Is there a website? Thanks
post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-05-2005, 09:36 AM
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http://www.privatetracktime.com . He has a contact link there. He's fairly quick to respond. The schedule is posted, most of his dates are on weekdays, although he did just announce a Blackhawk Sept. 10-11th date.a

He races CCS on a XB9R a couple times a year.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-08-2005, 02:05 AM
 
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Anyone that puts a Buell on a racetrack is ok by me.
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