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Waiting for godot


Ottawa Safety Counsil

Shannonville Motorsports Park

Shannonville Thursday August 30st 2012

TSC rider Alan Burns showed up at the track for the first time since 2010. It's been a tough couple of years budget wise and health wise for Team Shouldercheck riders but after scrimping and saving Alan was able to make it to the track for the Labour Day weekend long track round. It was supposed to be a reunion weekend of sorts.

Yves Dagenais was going to come out of retirement. Pat Boyd was going to be Crew Chief, Fellow Racer Glenn Cauley was going to show Alan around the track and OSC instructor Lucy LaFlamme was going to make her Shannonville racing debut. Of course nothing went as planned. Pat decided that if he could only have one weekend away in September then a weekend of watching the AMA pros race in New Jersey was a better option then sitting at Shannonville. ( I agree but I was racing so...) Yves discovered that his diaper budget for Loïc was over taking his race budget and had to Bow out. Glenn crashed the weekend before at Mosport and needed several surgery's to recover and Lucy came down with a serious migraine that put her out of commission. So that leaves..... Me!

I arrived at the track late on Thursday night and settled in for a sleep in the Van. Thanks my Brother in Law I've got a nice enclosed trailer to use for the weekend but it's too late to set things up tonight so the back of the van is my bed for the night.

Shannonville Friday August 31st 2012

After paying large numbers of bills for a license, registration and transponder rental it was time to unload and get setThe Pits up. .

I'm pitted between pro racer Elie Deccache and longtime amateur racer Marco Sousa so I'm not really alone. Friday is a mixed practice day with some track Day riders and a race school as well. I get about 5 sessions on the well used Michelin tires that have been on the bike since the last time I raced in 2010. They still have lots of grip and My times slowly improve as the day goes on. I'm finding my groove and pretty soon I'm grinning from ear to ear despite the heat and my out of shape body. Before The day is done I decide to skip the last session and head to Belleville for some supplies. As I return to the track an Ambulance flies by going in the opposite direction heading to Belleville hospital. Uh Oh! It turns out that Ottawa racer Dean Plater crashed at the end of the back straight when his brakes failed. Dean has some serious injuries but he will recover. Time for a beer and some sleep.

Best lap time 2:01.510.




Shannonville Saturday September 1st 2012

My Son Aaron and his friend Travis have arrrived so I give them the task of taking tires and wheels to Mr. Kennedy. I have swapped the well used Michelins for some less used Pirellis that I got from Pat Boyd. The plan is to get through the day with this set of tires and then mount up some new Michelins for Sunday. However after a couple of sessions it is obvious that the tires from Pat don't have the grip level I need. In desperation I mount another set of Pirellis that Marco Sousa is done with and I use them for the last heat race of the day. They seem to work much better and while battling for second place in Middleweight sportsman I turn my best lap of the day



Finishing position

Best lap time

Heavyweight Sportsman 2
Masters Middleweight 5 2:02.057
Middleweight Sportsman 3

Photo By Aaron BurnsClick images for larger imagesPhoto by Rob MacLennan of http://www.morallyambiguous.net/

There was yet another problem with my tire plan for Sunday. It turns out that there was a run on the DOT rear tire that I wanted to use and there are none available. The backup plan is to use a slick on the rear and the DOT on the front. i've never tried this combination before but I don't have much choice. If I want to run near the front in my races I have to have new tires on the bike

Shannonville Sunday September 2nd 2012

I skip the first Practice session as I just wanted to do a few laps to scrub in the tires and it's still very cool at 8:30 a.m. I go out for the second session that I can be in and do a few slow laps to break in the tires and then I pull off to wait for Race 1.

The first race of the day was Masters Middleweight, just after lunch. The day was going well and R.A.C.E was ahead of Startschedule. I got a great start and as soon as I got up to speed I discovered an issue that I had not had all weekend. Severe front end chatter. I'm in a battle for second place and every corner is an adventure in front end slides. On the 4th lap in the right hand turn 8 I lose the front and slide off the track. The bike tumbles and comes to rest on it's side. I'm fine but the bike has a fair bit of damage. The Right Clip on, Front Brake lever, Right foot peg bracket and the main fairing stay are all destroyed. The windscreen is now in several pieces instead of just one. I believe that the chatter problem was due the the tire combination. Too much rear grip is overloading the front when I get on the throttle andcausing the front to push and slide. I don't have the adjustments I need to correct the problem with the stock rear shock I have on the bike. Masters R.A.C.E results

After the ride of shame back to the pits in the crash wagon, Aaron and Travis quickly get to work and begin stripping the damaged parts off the bike. I have spares for all the broken bits and it looks like there will beenough time to get the bike ready for the next race. As we are putting the last pieces of Duct tape on the Bike the third and final call for middleweight sportsman is made. I hop on the bike and ride to pit lane just in time to see the rest of the field heading into turn two.

The Marshall at the end of pit lane waves me onto the track so I can join the race at the back. Everything seems good and I put my head down and hope to make some good laps at the tail end of the field. On the second lap as I head down the back straight the bike seems to run out of fuel as my speed increases. When I brake for the end of the straight everything is okay again so I continue around the track. Next lap the same thing happens as my speed goes up on the straight the bike seems to run out of gas. Again when I get to the end of the straight everything seems okay. Next lap the same thing happens and I almost get hit as my bike slows and the faster riders are lapping me. I decide it is safer to pull off and try to fix the problem for the third and final race. Middleweight R.A.C.E. results

It turns out that the hose to pressure the air box for the ram air has been pulled out as a result of the crash. We get it back into place and I head back to the starting grid for my last race of the day

The final race was heavyweight sportsman. For this race we are on the track with the PRO 600 hundred racers so I will have to watch behind me. I spent most of the race riding in second place until the last lap when a small mistake allows the 3rd place rider to pass me at the end of the back straight. Heavyweight R.A.C.E. results





Finishing position

Best lap time

Masters Middleweight DNF
Middleweight Sportsman DNF 2:06.758
Heavyweight Sportsman 3



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