Archive for September, 2007

Utah Rocked! (aside from being a little sick)

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

I didn’t feel the best for Friday practice after the 14 hour drive out from Santa Cruz. We broke it up into two parts by driving to Fernley, Nevada after work Wednesday night. We left the hotel Thursday morning and arrived in Tooele, Utah shortly after lunch. The combination of all that driving, the elevation, and my chemo inner-ear threw me for a loop and I spent most of my time flat on my back sick only getting out for first practice and last practice. Mike went out with Sean as a passenger to help Sean learn the track and get some time in himself. And for the big ‘media event’ with the local TV news crews and newspapers Mike took the CSR out and gave taxi rides around the track while I hid in Rick’s air conditioned trailer trying to hold down chicken soup.

Saturday went better. I wasn’t feeling much better but I was able to make it through both practice sessions and rest up for our race. I dropped the hammer when the green flag went and was mid pack when all 11 rigs went into turn 1. We stayed packed up for the first half of the track with lots of swapping going till we got past the esses on the back half of the track and we could stretch our legs on the faster section of the track. We were glued to the back of 291/Spicoli Racing (Leon and Steve) and I had an obvious advantage on them on power and left hand corners. I gunned it down the front straight knowing Leon was going to go wide into the sharp to off camber left hand 1a/1b. I pitched it in with next to no brakes, tires howling, and passed Leon tight on the inside and got right back on the power out of 1 using WFO on the CBR1000RR to pull away from Leon into the nearly straight right kink that made up turn 2.

I could only hold off Leon for a full lap before I started to fade and he passed me back. There were two laps left in the race at that point and I just didn’t have the strength left in me to run up to the ragged edge and walk away from Leon so the best I could do was stay on his tail and hope he made a mistake that gave me a chance to sneak by. But experience and treachery won out over youth and exuberance, and Leon crossed the checkered flag with me right on his tail. We finished 11th overall out of 11. Hans finished a race, in 8th place even, having swapped the Rotax/Harley combo he was running in his CSR F1 for a solid air/oil-cooled GSXR-1100 powerplant.

Sunday was much better with a new entry, Larry Campbell from Arizona on a Jean-Guy CSR F2 short chassis. We had a good start again, and it was much the same with us trying our best to chase down Leon who I think was a bit irked by my pass the day before, because he was riding like someone slipped spinach into his breakfast and starting to pull away from me. We got around Larry and his new passenger, this is their first weekend with the CSR F2 so I’d imagine they’re still getting it sorted. Two laps from the finish we saw Hanz sitting on the outside of turn 3 missing his passenger, having ejected Rory on a bad exit from turn 1b. Rory was fine and Hans was able to pick him up and still get in to place 11th behind us. We finished 10th overall out of 12 behind Leon once again. Next race Leon, next race.


Utah Videos!

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Not Sidecar related, but we shot some videos of interesting stuff while out at Miller.

Britten on the starting rollers and warming up (once it fired)

The Britten carefully picking it’s way around the track, only to be snaked by Doug Polen on the 888 Superbike into turn 1. Also included is a flyby of Don Emde on a replica Triumph Trident that he won the Daytona 200 on.

The LeMans start and first lap of the CB-160 race. Go 15 bhp!!!

Utah Photos!

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Here’s some photos from the weekend.

First off, I got to hang out with Doug Polen who was racing that weekend.

And, the rest.

We made it to Utah

Friday, September 7th, 2007

14 hours and 800 miles on the road, and we made it to Miller Motorsports. It’s better than any roadcourse you can imagine. It’s like an amusement park. It’s the most beautiful thing Mike and I have ever seen. We got here at sunset and got things unpacked and set up by nightfall. Quite a few teams arrived today and got set up, it’s shaping up to be a good weekend of racing. Practice tomorrow with a special session with the local TV/Press junket who are interested in sidecar racing.


Prep for Miller

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

Mike is busy getting the CSR ready for the GP race at Miller. A good deal of that consisted of mostly just washing the dirt and dust of Reno off the CSR. Mike put the rig up on the jack stands in the driveway and took the hose to it. Every surface was then attacked with a mix of Simple Green and detergent with what is essentially a large bottle brush. Mike then rinsed the CSR off, and then carefully air dried the entire chassis with a high velocity Toro electric leaf blower. The final step was to give everything a coat of WD-40 to chase away any remaining water and protect against corrosion.

I actually grabbed the camera and got some shots of Mike for a change, since he’s usually the one taking the photos for the blog.

Chain alignment on a F1 sidecar is tricky. Not only do you have to get the chain tension set right, but you have to take into consideration rear wheel toe in/toe out, caster, and camber. It takes Mike two levels, a degree wheel, a Motion Pro chain alignment tool, and a large 90 degree angle iron to set things up perfectly.

Think about that the next time you’re bitching about lining up two marks on either side of your motorcycle’s swingarm.