My first outing with the CMRA got off to a rocky start with my dog getting sick (he has heart failure) on Wendesday and got progressively work throughout Thursday. A lack of sleep on his part, and mine meant I slept right through Friday morning practice. But once I got him stable, I hit the road to Texas World Speedway 1.5 hours away in College Station. A fuel stop and heavy doses of traffic delayed me long enough that i arrived at the track just as the last practice session was starting. Oops.
I setup my pit area, unloaded my bike and things and drove 1.5 hours back home to check on the dog. He was doing much better Saturday morning, so I called my 'baby sitter' to come stay with him and drove back out to TWS Saturday afternoon to camp overnight. 7:00AM riders meetings.. Ooof!
Sunday - Race Day!
We were given two short rounds of practice in the morning. As I was suiting up, I took a moment to think and realized that after missing Friday practice, and missing the previous trackday, this was going to be my first time on the bike this year. And the first time on a bike since November of '11. Rusty much?
The morning was extremely humid and there was a nice layer of dew on the ground. Gearing changes, suspension changes and shiney new tires, what could possibly go wrong?
I basically used the first session to scrub the tires and make sure nothing was going to fall off the bike as it was hastely reassembled while looking after a sick dog. My glasses fogged up instantly though the helmet visor was fine. Session done!
I went out for second practice sans glasses and was immediately happier and more comfortable. It's amazing how quickly you can pick up the pace when you can actually see where you are going. *facepalm*
Race 1 - B Superstock Novice
3rd race on the day's schedule and wow, massive grid. 50 riders lined up in 2 waves for the start. I made a poor start from the middle of the 2nd wave, but made up a few spots going into the very wide, sweeping T1 and T2, but T3 had riders bunching up 3 and 4 deep! I fell inline to clear the first lap and made some progress picking off people here and there. I think the stress of the weekend really got to me as I felt too tired to keep my pace and lost a few positions on the last lap ending up 26th (out of 50!)
Race 2 - C Superstock Novice
The 6th race for the day, and my 2nd was another MASSIVE grid. 54 riders, 2 waves. Again I was lined up about midway back in the 2nd wave. Just like race 1, I lost quite a few positions on the start, but made them up through T1 and T2 and then RED FLAG just as the first lap was completed.
The race was restarted minus 1 lap. I made a much better start and was making decent progress until the penultimate lap when my bikes dash started blinking and then the bike just died. I threw my hand up and pulled off the line, but luckily (?) the race was red-flagged again just at that moment for another incident. I coasted to a stop, but the bike wouldn't start. I had to get the embarrasing push back to pit by the out-rider.
I was credited with 22nd place which is much better than a DNF! As it turned out, the positive lead disconnected itself from the battery. 5 minute fix and I was ready for the next race! *phew*
Race 3 - C Superbike Novice
I made my best start of the day yet from the 3rd row of the 2nd wave of a 40 bike grid. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself with little traffic once we got to T3 and I was able to turn my fastest laps of the day. Fatigue kicked in again and I lost a few places as I couldn't keep my pace but still managed my best finish of the day with a 17th.
Overall I can be relatively satisfied with my first outing with the CMRA given the up and down week leading up to the weekend. My main goal for the year was to finish in the top half of my races and I did that for the most part with a minimal amount of practice. I'm looking foward to the next round... practice AND the races!
I'd like to thank my 2012 sponsors
.. and special recognition to Dante at Bazzaz for going above and beyond to get my Bazzaz unit built and shipped out to me