Utah Rocked! (aside from being a little sick)

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.


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