This was our last race for the season with the Sidecar Racers Association – East (SRA). Phil Marr was back in the chair. Phil does amazingly well for only racing once or twice a season. Saturday we were 1.5 seconds off pace. I dropped to a 15-tooth primary gear. We were getting phenomenal drives out of the corners and the rev limiter was just kicking in when I’d start braking at the first turn. I have finally found the correct gearing for that track.
Saturday was warm but a beautiful day. I think the SRA racers are getting tired of me blasting up through the grid on the start. This time I only got around one bike but I managed to lead him one full lap. As I got to the end of the straight, I was starting to think I was going to lead him two laps but he out braked me and came around. Fran Hall (owner of Superlite Cars) has gotten his F1 dialed in really well and was putting down some blistering times. Unfortunately the handlebar mounting plate broke and he DNF’d — most likely the only time I’ll ever beat Fran in a race.
Continue reading Summit Point August 2016 – SRA Race
check it out! I’m bike #375 – we had a great time doing this with Translogic
This was our first race of the season with the Sidecar Racers Association – East (SRA). It was great to have Phil Marr back in the chair again. Phil is my original passenger and team co-founder. It was also very special to me personally as this was the first race in 5-years that my bride was able to come watch! I want to send a special thanks to fellow racer Peter Essaff (Essaff Racing) for taking my bride around the track to different spots to watch and providing a running commentary. Peter got to the race on Saturday too late to practice and therefore could not race until Sunday.
With the modern racers, my one really strong point is how torquey the GS1100 motor is. With the moderns, I always am in the last grid row — fact of life with a vintage bike. On Saturday, I was able to come from behind to be 3rd into turn one. I has an F2 and F1 to get there. I’m still gloating over that. No wonder the drag racers love this motor. Sunday I was a bit late on the start and backed off at turn 1 rather than create a dangerous situation. I didn’t have a chance of winning so there was no reason to stuff myself in there and cause problems for the other racers.
There was another first for me. On both days, I ended up within sight of the pack at the finish-line. Until last year, they would lap me. Last year was the first season I did not get lapped. This year I’m close to being in the hunt! I attribute the change to improving skills, but mainly to better brakes. At Gingerman I noticed I was locking up the rear brake. Most of the braking pressure should be going to the front brake. I have no idea why the original builder didn’t install a proportional valve but I fixed that. At Summit, I had a lot more confidence in the brakes and could brake deeper into the turns. My times show it as I was anywhere from 1-2 seconds faster.
Our first race of the season was with AHRMA at Gingerman Raceway in South Haven, Michigan. Gingerman is a tight track with short straights. This is a drivers track meaning you can’t take advantage of a bigger motor when racing against the P2 sidecars; skill and skill alone wins this race. Tim Joyce and Brad Phillips proved that.
Fortunately we came in second P3 both days. We had a new racer in the P3 class, Brad Phillips. Brad is a former AMA pro racer and danged fast. He was racing a bike I could beat previously and he was 1/2 lap ahead of me both days. That man is fast! Tim Joyce is my traditional nemesis. He races in the P2 class (a class below me) and unless the track has long straights, will quickly pass me on the first lap.
I managed to be first into turn one both days. However on Saturday both Tim and Brad passed me in the turn – disgusting. Sunday I did better and managed to get out of the turn before they past me. I think they are aliens. I managed to finish third overall on Saturday. On Sunday I slid off track and immediately was passed by everyone. I watched the last bike go buy and became intensely motivated. I proceeded to put down the two fastest laps of my weekend and clawed my way back to 4th overall.
It was a great racing weekend and can’t wait for the next race which will be with the Sidecar Racers Association (SRA) at Summit Point, WV.
Two of the guys I race with, Peter Essaff (driver) and Jeff Gillard (passenger) are trying to qualify for the Isle of Man TT. Yesterday was the newcomers speed controlled lap. Pics below. Jeff passengered for another friend last year but they didn’t qualify.
The season is on! The opening race for the season is Gingerman and will see Patrick Whitehead (aka Wingfixer) in the chair. The motor has been dyno tuned by RnR Cycles and is in top form. Now to find out if the driver and passenger are too!
Installed BS36 carbs and ported the head. Took it to RNR Cycles for a dyno tune. He is the only guy around with a dyno that my sidecar can fit on. Suzuki claimed these motors got 100 HP in their literature. Hmmm … maybe they stretched the facts a bit?
Anyway, I’m almost ready for Gingerman in 2 weeks. A few small things todo and then it will be race ready.