The last race in the North Florida Region was held on Saturday, September 18th. The race was almost cancelled for lack of preregistration. One racer took it upon himself to stir up a commotion. He took his cause to the BBS, emailed others and called even other racers. His efforts got those who were going anyway to preregister online so the race would go on. Many thanks. I would not have wanted to show up only to turn around…
This trip included an extra passenger. I was to drop off John Cook’s new vintage restoration project. Special mention to a fellow race, Dick Gruhn, who handed me a bike left to die. Although I was in no position to tear apart another motor, let alone another type of motor, I knew the bike I traveled to North Georgia for had value. I “Blasted” it over the course of two week and had something very worthy of photos for Craigslist. Before posting it, I offered it to John and he trusted my opinion.
Dropping off the bike also included picking up John for the run to Jennings. This was the second race John attended while building his 350 Honda racer. Jennings was much warmer than the Talladega, February run. Lots of water, sun protection and bug spray was on the menu.
Entering this race, I was down by two points for the GP500 North Florida Region. I was honored to have that leader with me on the trip to Jennings. My race partner Keith was headed down to Jennings, something that he had no intention of doing the month before. It wasn’t until he had noticed his performance meant he had a “shot at the title” that he decided to join us for Jennings. Headed down as the leader of the class, meant he had to be there.
Both of us were preregistered, so we took advantage of our free time to show John the ropes. We walked him through the onsite registration process. Then he carried our helmets to tech inspection and back. And eventually, he watched the practice process for all classes. Before the races he also filled the job of camera operator for Jamie and Tash.
Uncut Tash video link: at the end of this entry.
Practice was a bit tricky. We agreed to our Jennings technique under wraps when Jamie was in the area. Then it was time to cruise through the track. Remember, it’s Team Old & Oily and we were #1 and #2 going into the GP500. If he needed our spare tire, we’d give it to him. Our technique is another story…
Jennings has a special place in both our hearts (and butts) as both of us have crashed once at Jennings. We were not interested in doing so again! Tire pressure was fine tuned. Fuel was topped off. Gearing was adjusted for the track. We were ready for the races.
This late into the season, and just one week before the final Midwest and Southeast regular season races, many do not show up. As it was, we had three for the GP350 and three for the GP500. It was worth it. We were down to the best of the best, in the North Florida region. The big Three were there for both races.
First on the agenda was the GP500. This was key to the success of the day. It was the race that Keith, Jamie, and myself needed to push hard for as we were fighting for first place in the GP500 NFR. After that, we were just fighting for scraps that Doug left behind in the GP350.
All our money was on the first race. We considered the second as a gravy run. At least until the first race was over…
Starting on the same line, all three of us were revving and ready. Chuck had his usually consistent flag start and we were off! Turn one, turn two, three, four… I could tell you all about it, but I think I’ll let the video tell the details of the story. As such, I can’t even tell you the outcomes until after the video editing is complete. On that note, I’m cutting this short.
I will say the videos are worth watching. Keith and I and Jamie all finished within a second of each other. Who finished where and when and how will require the media player. I can also say that Keith and I ran three seconds faster in the race with Jamie then we did the year before. And when we raced with Doug, we shaved off six seconds from our prior year’s times. We pushed it hard and gave nobody any breaks.
To check it out, stay tune for the videos.
In the meantime, here is an unedited single camera race that occurred during the GP500. The camera was mounted on Tash’s 350 Honda twin and he chased a Yamaha 400 and a Kawasaki H1 500cc triple cylinder super bike. The reviews are available on the WERA BBS Vintage section. All have given Tash Kudos for an unbelievable run on CB350 super tuned as a V1 362cc high performance race bike. But, without the racer’s skills and his capabilities, you would not have seen this amazing performance of all three riders.