Monday, January 09, 2012

CMRA Licensing School with LSTD

I've finally taken the first steps to getting my CMRA race license by taking the licensing class with Lone Star Track Days.   Well, technically the first steps are getting some practice at the track before you take the class, but yeah.

In order to race with the CMRA, you have to take their licensing class which is offered by several track day organizations with Lone Star Track Days, Fast Line Motorcycle School and Ride Smart Motorcycle School being the most popular.  Keep in mind, this is not a racing class on how to go fast(er), it's designed to get you familiarized with the track procedures, flag meanings, safety guidelines, registration procedures etc, to make your transition from trackdays to racing a smooth one.

The cost for the class is $75, in addition to the regular trackday fee which varies by organization and by track.   You'll get a booklet, a yellow t-shirt and a classroom instructor.   In order to pass the class, you must do the following:

  1. Attend all classroom sessions

  2. Correctly answer 30 of 36 questions on the written exam

  3. Wear the yellow shirt at all times while on the track

  4. Do not crash at any time while on the track

  5. Ride the mock-race at the end of the day

Pass or fail is not determined by a minimum speed or lap time.  The yellow shirt allows the corner-workers to easily identify students on the track should they crash which means they have failed the class.   A crash is defined as, 'a handle bar touches the ground'.  If you happen to run off the track but stay upright, that is ok.


Fancy Yellow Shirt

Finally, at the end of the day you get to participate in the mock race.  This is where you put the class room instruction into practice.  From the calls to the grid, taking your warm up lap, finding your grid spot and watching for the starting boards until finally the green flag is waved and you're off!   Run your race, watch for flags and have fun.

Riding along with you and the other students will be control riders.  These are instructors and/or racers that will help ensure that you get the full experience and feel of what it will be like to race.  Unlike trackdays where most groups have minimum distance requirements for passing other riders, there are times when you may only be inches away from another rider. There are no rules for leaving a minimum amount of distance between you and a rider you are passing.  Only that it is a clean pass and it's the overtaking rider's responsibility to make a clean pass. Some control riders may slow down and ride along with the slower riders, passing, and then allowing themselves to be passed by the students.

The mock race is exiciting, and fun, but remember there are no trophies. Finishing 1st or last does not matter. It's not even tracked.  What matters most is that you actually finish the mock race.


My mock race.  The blue shirts are the control riders.



When the mock race is done, that's it.  Congrats!   You will receive a certificate of completion that you will fax/mail into the CMRA along with the membership registration forms to get your actual Provisional Novice license.

Also, hold on to that yellow shirt.  You will need it to fulfill some requirements racing as a Provisional Novice before you get the full novice license.


It took me a few years to gain the confidence to attempt it, but now that I've done it, I wish I'd taken the plunge a lot sooner!   So if you've done a few trackdays and even *think* that you *might* want to give racing a try, sign up!


Sunday, January 01, 2012

2011 Track Season Summary

Since my season is basically done, I thought I'd go back and see where I started, where I'm at and where I want to be.

Starting out 2010 with a new (to me) bike and having not done any trackdays for a quite a few years, I set a goal of getting < 2:00:00, but thinking 2:05's would have been more reasonable by the end of 2010. WRONG!

<some missing data was in the 2:14 - 2:16 range IIRC>
06/05/2010 2:12:51
06/06/2010 2:11.15
07/17/2010 2:11:57
07/18/2010 2:11:25

A little progress, but progress nonetheless.

2011, the goal again was < 2:00:00 and if I was able to do that consistently, then I'd take the CMRA licensing class.

04/01/2011 2:08:30
05/14/2011 2:09:41 <-- 1 step back
05/15/2011 2:03:75 < -- 2 steps forward!
06/18/2011 2:02:36
07/02/2011 1:59:92 <-- was a happy day!

Revised goal to < 1:55:00

10/01/2011 1:57:11  - Best of 2011 and EVER (so far)
10/02/2011 1:59:53
10/21/2011 1:57:84

Took the CMRA class on 10/21.  I'll post a review of the class soon.

My best session of 2011 at Texas World Speedway with a 1:57.11.


2012 goal for TWS is now 1:49:59.   We'll see how it goes.