Thursday, July 2, 2009

WSMC Report, June 2009

WSMC Report, June 2009

First off, I would like to give thanks to Ed Milich of, Mike Curtis of, Pierre, Kara Harrington, Jesse, Eric Orr, George Beavers, Friends, Cretins Motorcycle Club, LA 2 Wheel Social Club, The Alazzurra List, and the Pantaheads Club for supporting my racing career. With out your support and help; I wouldn’t be racing.

Well, it’s the middle of June, five months into the WSMC racing season, we are ahead in points in Vintage Lightweight with 60pts and Russ Stranger, Honda Hawk 650, close behind us with 40 pts. In Vintage Heavyweight we are barely hanging on with 46pts due to Charlie Barnett’s (33pts) last two month’s wins on his Honda Hawk 750. This is racing and I want to win!

In the past month, Ed once again did a valve adjustment on the blue Ducati, and I have been working on our red bike “Ultimazzira.” (another 80’s Pantah with some trick parts)I have been doing some custom fabrication to Ed old race bike. Rear sets with brackets made by Eric Orr of Strictly Regimental, upper faring including mounts, Bub exhaust with some custom fitting, and a few other things. We are building another lighter bike in hopes of catching the 750 Hawk, and gaining at least a second on Russ’s Hawk. Another great announcement for this month: A Tire sponsor! Fleetserve has donated a nice sum of money to help with the cost of tires which can be up to almost 400 bucks a month. Thanks Mike Curtis for your generosity! Check out their web site:
Also, I have to thank Kara Harrington and Ed for sponsoring a needed set of Vanson Leathers. These leathers are no joke! They are thick, perforated holes, and they match my bike colors. Haha

Jesse and I headed out early Saturday morning since my Cretins Racing member, Eric Orr, is coming out to join the WSMC on a FZR 400, and my neighbor Mark Duncan is joining and taking the new racers school on another FZR 400. I wanted to be there early to claim a spot next to them and help with needed assistance with Mark with his first time out. We rolled in and ironically Eric was coming in on a chase truck. Damn Cretins Racing! Haha. This is the first time Eric has had this FZR out since it has sat for several years waiting for a racer to bring her back to life. Saturday started out with a pinched fuel line and next was over heating; which in turn made it an unsuccessful weekend for Eric, but at least he is out there. Next month buddy! I spent my first hour safety wiring up Mark’s bike, new tires, and made sure he had the correct tire pressure. YOU HAVE TO CHECK THAT before you go on the track. There was over 40psi in those tires after the new ones were installed.

Saturday practice was like battling the winds in the North Sea except it was hot air. It was horrible. It made life in the pits annoying, and the track miserable. Most everyone was running several seconds over their usual times, and wrecks were happening as a result of it. Old Blue felt great; therefore, I allowed Ed to take her out for a spin. I focused on Ultimazzura. Well, things didn’t go so well. I had mounted the wind screen to close to the tank making it impossible to put your head behind the windscreen, and the bike was having some engine issues. For some reason, it was missing around 7 grand and felt like it had no power on the top end. I move the wind screen forward 4 inches making it super comfortable, but the engine problems persisted. I wouldn’t be surprise that the new light weight battery may not have had a full charge now as I think about it since it runs on a total loss system. We finished the day feeling good, but some rest was on my mind.

Ed rented us a room at the Antelope Inn, and I was blessed with bunking with farting and snoring Jesse as Maggie got to snuggle up with Ed. Eric and Mark got a room and apparently Mark snores pretty bad as well. Note to self, let Mark and Jesse get a room next time for snoring out loud!!
Sunday morning. Shitty continental breakfast with crappy coffee. Maggie and Ed stayed behind to sleep in as us racers took off to the track. I always get that feeling inside when we get close to the track. Seeing the Omega up the hill as we turn into Willow Springs always gets me going. As we set up our pit and got the bikes over to tech; I realized that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Racing! Which I realize just about everyday especially when I’m at work at 8AM opening work related emails.

Heavyweight race was first. Lined up on the front row outside with Russ and Charles. Green flags drops and Russ and Charles take me on the line with Charles out in front as usual. Go into one on the outside of Russ and I hold the throttle fully open and pop into 4th just before turn 2. I pass Russ and set my sites on Charles. Ran into 3 as usual and got right up on his tail. As soon as we got to 7 he started pulling away and by the time we got down the straight away to turn 1 he was ahead of me by 10 bikes. I late break into 1, throttled around 2, and caught up to his tail again going into 3. I seemed to be faster through the omega but he had more top end hp to pass. We went for several laps, and he slowly stretched his lead. It seemed like I was starting to catch up to him around lap 6. Charles was about 12 bikes ahead of me. I remember thinking I was going hit 9 just right and start trying to draft him. I popped down to 4 at the top of turn 8, and sure as shit would happen. False neutral! Tried to pop it into gear and the tranny was stuck. Pulled up and down and it was locked. I made it through the turn but was quickly slowing down. Finally, I was able to unlock the tranny and find 4th. Slammed it into 3rd and grabbed 4th by turn 1. I was afraid that I was going to give up second to Russ; so I kept my head down and didn’t look back. Took every turn like it was a race for first place and two laps later I passed the finish line with a second place. It was good race, intense, and a bit frustrating. I wanted to try and pass Charles on the last lap. Haha

Vintage Lightweight. No Charles to compete with, but Russ was there and the RZ 400 must have had engine issues in the previous race because he wasn’t on the line. Eric was lined up right behind me. Green flag dropped and Russ and I went into turn 1 together. I kept my head down and was able to pull off into first again. The bike slid hard around turn 2 and I tackled the omega blocking lines for passers. I was thinking as I went around 8; I wonder if I can lap Eric. Haha. Although, that wouldn’t happen because on lap 3 his modified radiator cap blew off! He was lucky he didn’t get burned or and didn’t go down. The race was a battle with the wind. When you would come over turn 6 it would almost push you off the track, and I tried a couple of different lines to help adjust. I remember being inches from the edge at one of the quickest parts of the track, but it didn’t really seem to bother me that much. Weird. We finished with a 1st place with over a half a lap lead on 2nd and it felt great!!

After the race I talked with Russ. He was battling the wind more than me since he has a full faring bike and decided to take a quite 2nd. Perhaps next month “Windy Sands” will be back to its original name “Willow Springs.”

In the next weeks to come, Ed and I hope to get the red bike running better and get it in the next race. I will inspect the oil in the blue bike and see if there is anything that can show why we are having transmission problems. 3 months in a row of this false neutral in 4th is getting really old. It’s starting to pop out on the up shift to 4th as well right at the top of turn 6.

Next month I hope to get some better pics with our new sponsor “Fleetserve.”
Thanks Jared of for the great pics.

Thanks again to all that helped make this a great race weekend. Until next month,
Rick Carmody aka “Highside”
#394 1986 Ducati Cagiva/Alluzzurra/Pantah

Victory beer! haha
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Eric loading up after his radiator blew off.
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Eric's FZR 400. Nice stickes bro! haha

Mark excited after his first race ever! haha

Maggie giving kisses to Mandy. thanks for coming.
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Ed Milich doing his thing. Thanks buddy!
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Ira and Katie watching me race.

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That's some nice tail!

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Photo by Richard Behrle

Photo by Richard Behrle

Check out those new leathers. Vanson baby! Thanks Ed and Kara. Your the best!

First and Second place finish!