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Waiting for godot


Ottawa Safety Counsil
Wednesday July 14th 10:00 p.m. Somewhere near Morrisburg Ontario Rain!!!!!!! Normally I don't mind the rain but searching for a banquet hall late at night while helping Cathy deliver a wedding cake is not the most fun thing to be doing in a Torrential downpour. Especially when we should be at home packing the van and trailer for the weekend.

Thursday July 15th, 2004 On the road again!

We're behind schedule as usual. Not racing on a regular basis tends to make you disorganized and you forget things. Trying to get the bike and all the camping gear ready in one night just doesn't work. Instead of leaving at 0 dark 3:00 we'll be waiting until 9:00 a.m. so we can load in the daylight and head to Mosport to meet Yves Dagenais who is saving us space in the Pits.

We arrive to a very wet Mosport where Yves has managed to stake out some space on high ground right between Sean Heydorn and the Nelson clan. I'm glad I'm don't have to go out on the Michelin DOT tires on the damp track. Cathy prepares a wonderful lunch while I get the tents set up during some breaks in the rain and await the arrival of Dave, Pat and Rich.

Friday July 16th, 2004 On the track again.

The amateur group is divided into odds and evens. As I'm the only odd one on the team ( No Comments!) I get to practice on my own. This is only my 2nd outing on the Honda 600 F3 that I purchased from Rich but I'm quickly comfortable on the bike and the track and manage the 12th fastest time in my group at a 1:35.628. When I pull in I decide that I should get my new set of tires mounted before the afternoon practice session begins. I have a second set of rims so I lug them off to Rick the Michelin Man for some new skins.


The weather forecast for Saturday didn't look great and I don't have any rain tires. I figured that I had better get some good times in the dry so I start to mount the new tires and that's when I discover that the rotors on the front rim are bent.


Now I'm running out of time as the even numbered group is on the track for their 20 minutes of practice while I'm still changing tires and wheels. I finally got everything sorted out and headed out onto the track with just over 11 minutes remaining in the odd numbered 20 minute session. I took it easy for the first 4 laps to scrub in the new tires and then I started chasing anyone I could find, to try and get a good time.

Photo courtesy of cndsuperbike.com

I ended up turning my best lap of the weekend on my last lap of practice 1.33.748. This put me 18th overall. I was confident now that I would make it to the finals.


Saturday July 17th, 2004 It's Sunny! .. For now

Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny. The organizers have now divided the amateur 600 group into fast and slow. That's good for me because I'm in the fast group and have plenty of people to chase. Unfortunately for Dave he's now on his own in the slower group with no one to help him out. I'm not as fast in the morning session but I'm confident that I can make up time in this afternoons Qualifying session. But…….. Here comes the rain again and the whole day is getting delayed. The fast group of amateurs takes to a dry track around 5:30 p.m. under some very ominous looking clouds and several riders crash while trying to set a fast time early in the session. After 2 red flags the organizers cancel the rest of the day and go into hiding while they try to determine the starting grid for Sundays race. They decide to base it on the Saturday morning practice times which means I'm starting in the 9th row in 28th place. Not the best starting spot but I'm in the field which is all I wanted to do.

Sunday July 18th, 2004 Yet Another Sunny morning The Sunday morning practice is the most relaxed one yet. I know I've made the field so I work on some passing lines and practice my drafting on the Mario Andretti Straightaway. I only stayed out for about 1/2 the session to save my tires for the afternoons race. The rest of the day is spent watching, waiting and dodging more rain. Because of more delays due to rain our race is moved to the slot right after the Pro Superbike race. It's a dry race for the pros but just as they pull off it begins to rain yet again. I don't have any rain tires but I head to the grid any way hoping the track magically dries up. As we get ready to head out for the sighting laps I notice that only one other person is on DOT tires. The rest of the field is on rain tires. The rain has stopped but the track is still wet as we get the green light. I'm having fun sliding around as I battle with the other DOT tired rider. On the third lap the red flag is thrown as there are two bikes lying in the track at different points. The track is starting to dry in many places and I was actually hoping for a longer delay so I could put my MICHELIN DOT tires to good use on the dry track. But it was not to be, the track is still wet for the 8 lap restart and once again I'm racing with the other DOT guy. On the 4th lap the leaders go by us on the back straight and both of us pull off to avoid getting in anyone else's way.

I'm looking forward to a dry weekend at Shannonville.


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