After the beating (spanking is the term my friends have been using) that I took from Keith at Barber Motorsports Park, it’s good to have a trip to the podium for recovery.
May 2nd was another failed chance to bring home some bacon in vintage racing. You see, we don’t normally race for money in this old man’s game of "Take the Checkered Flag". It’s for the fun, glory, and the trophies (or plaques, if the economy is not so good). So, when vintage racing greats like Jim Hinshaw and his company "Fast from the Past" offer $300 for first place, $200 for Second Place and $100 for third place in the vintage classes, you get to see the racers come out of the wood work.
This past event at Barber was no different. Serious racers like Tim Joyce and Pat Mooney were flying past us like we were standing still. On the other hand, you could not have asked for a better view of the action then to be on the track as they came flying by. All I could think was "Their bikes are sticking to the track at those speeds, get your butt in gear Jack!"
The weather was simply there for mood and suspense. The continual shouts from Keith "Turn around, I’m not going to be racing in the rain" we not only in vein, but they were always followed with a resounding "That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you! You’re not going to be racing in the rain!"
Practice went well considering my SL350 went from a bike in the shake down mode to my main course ride after the CL350 exploded the motor at the Grand National Finals last October. Still not rebuilt, the CL350 sits in the garage collecting dust. In the meantime, the SL350 sat outside in the weather (my bad) all winter waiting for me to either get over the real live cold winter (unheard of in Atlanta) or to make space in the basement which never occurred due to the ample projects lined up inside already.
Back to Barber MSP, the most beautiful campus we only get to race at once a year, with WERA.
The pits were not overflowing, but between the previously mentioned cold winter, the freezing race at Talladega, and the eleven weeks between races, there was some motivation to get out and race for everybody. AHRMA racers were also out visiting us. I believe that WERA opens up the track and allows AHRMA racers that do not have WERA memberships to participate without any additional costs. As such, we had some racers ready to play on the track.
As it came time to race, Keith was happy about sporting his newly painted "True Blue" fuel tank. He recently let me borrow the rattle can to touch up a similarly colored resale bike, now available on Craigslist. http://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/mcy/1769375433.html
Not being super motivated to work on aesthetics, both Keith and I have been traditional "Functionality First" kinda guys.
Keith still is not sporting a photo on his stats page http://www.wera.com/racers/racerprofile.asp?x=1098&rid=1660212 while I am, but it is a shot of the Maroon Monsoon, the CL350 whose motor blew up last year. http://www.wera.com/racers/racerprofile.asp?x=1098&rid=1673480
This should let you know that we aren’t pretty boys, were fast racers…
With nine bikes registered for the GP350 and ten bikes for the GP500, we were ready for a bit of a thrill.
Unfortunately, there is not much to say about either race. All of the people that were behind me, in both races, either did not start, or did not finish.
And to make thing more painfully scorching, Keith not only finished in front of me, but he was so far ahead of me that I could not see him.
This was an example of getting what I paid for.
No maintenance on a bike that to date was only in the shake down mode and left outside to boot!
I was… spanked!
Just to prove that he had nothing to prove, Keith did not even go to Roebling Road Raceway last weekend. He didn’t feel any pressure to stay ahead or to rub it in either. As a matter of fact, almost nobody felt they had to show to the hot steamy Savannah race track.
So, I announce the results as boringly as I experienced them…
GP500 I took first place (out of one racer in my class) and in the GP350, I took second place out of three racers in my class. Doug Bowie was as impossible to beat as ever. But Gregg Adams did a very good job of not "showing me up" with his bright orange t-shirt flapping in the breeze, as a provisional novice that still has one more race to go before he can take off his newbie t-shirt.
Short, sweet and to the point, I took some points that will be useful later in the year, but there was not ticker tape parade to go with it.
Stay tuned, next week we are back at Talladega Gran Prix Raceway and going to have some fun.