Archive for March, 2008

New Toys thanks to Wonderful Sponsors!!!

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

Lots of cool stuff this week.

First off, I’d like to welcome Eastwood Co. to our Sponsorship lineup. Eastwood makes all kinds of great Automotive products and tools. Boy Wonder blows a small fortune on their products, so sponsorship will help a great deal.

They were nice enough to send us a box of powdercoating supplies, swivel hooks, C wire hangers, and misc powders that we will use writing up the restoration process of the trailer we use to haul the CSR and associated gear. Mike is well under way with this already. Thanks Eastwood!!!

This keeps Mike in the garage and busy, aka… out of the house making a mess. Thanks Eastwood!

Next our best friend Fred at Yoyodyne Titanium sent us two great products.

First a adjustable cam quick turn racing throttle assembly. And second a Engear Digital Gear Indicator with Shift light. These two products rule. I have had a big problem holding WFO in right hand turns, and blipping the throttle for downshifts with the stock CBR1000RR throttle assembly due to the amount of ’turn’ the stock throttle requires to go from 0 ~ 100% Sometimes I have to re-grip to get 100% throttle and be able to control the 8 inch wide Yokohama front slick on the CSR at the same time. This throttle assembly will really help. The gear indicator with shift light is going to be great as well. It’l help me get my gearing down around the track faster, and it has a built in shift light. Mike is fiberglassing up a custom streamlined pod for it to mount in that will be right in my line of sight up on the nosecone.

Thanks Fred! You Rock!

Last but of course not least Teri over at Scorpion USA sent us the coolest thing ever.

First for my helmet she sent me a smoked EXO-700 visor and a lepoard print KwikWick helmet liner. Mike opted for a desert camo KwikWick helmet liner and a mirrored EXO-700 visor for more of the Daft Punk look. Dig it. No more helmet confusion in the pits before going out on the track.

I love these helmets! Thanks Teri!!!


Oh, and PS… they gave out the 2007 medals last weekend =D =D =D

Willow Springs Race Report

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

Sarah and I loaded up the Outback for the last time for the first race of the season. The ScoobyDoo which has served us well the last 1.5 seasons would be retired this year to be replaced by a much more powerful 2008 Rav4/v6 Sport capable of pulling a big enclosed trailer without breaking as sweat. 145 horsepower vs 279 horsepower. Not that the ScoobyDoo wouldn’t try, I’d just feel horrible making a vehicle that has served me so faithfully and flawlessly the last decade work so hard in the latter years of it’s life.

Down in Bakersfield we ran into a tiny fan. A local Supermoto king in his own field who was heading North with his Dad to find worthy competition, having stomped every kid in his region down South.

Arriving in Rosamond we found things cold as hell. Practice was done in the low 50’s with snow very visible at low altitudes on the surrounding mountains. Winds were gusty during practice, blasting up to 40/50 at times, and Friday night there were 90mph gusts. When people were not practicing or tuning, they were huddled in RV’s around heaters. It was cold.

Saturday practice went off without a hitch. Sarah and I were able to blow most the rust out, her remembering her lines and markers. Me remembering my timing and transition points, and getting used to the new bodywork and handholds. The new brakes/pads and new Yokohama tires cut in perfectly, and by the end of the day we were able to actually get up to about 75% race pace and work on some consistency.

Sunday was another freezing morning. Dark clouds off to the South threatened rain, but the track remained dry. We got the rig uncovered and rolled through tech with no issues.

We clicked off two fast morning practice sessions to scrub in the tires and work out last minute bugs, then it was the hurry up and wait game as they prepared to call race 11, our race.

I actually started to get butterflies. A first for me, I’d never got nervous before a race. But Sarah has drastically improved since the last time we were out on the Big Track, and our morning practice sessions we ran at around 85/90% and she was fast. Sliding into corners, drifting wide on the power, lighting up the rear over the top of the Omega. To the point that I knew I was going to be working to keep up with her, to keep the CSR planted. I was actually nervous.

They finally called our race, and it was suit up and shut up. We lined up on the grid, and the announcer immediately started talking smack about me being on the back and Sarah driving. “You’re a better man than I.” I believe was the comment.

We rolled out for the warmup lap, and then gridded up.

I was over the back tire, we were slightly behind mid pack, left of center with Roy to our right, Sean behind us, and Bill in front of us. The 1 board went sideways, and the green flag was dropped.

Sarah pegged the throttle and dumped the clutch, we got a beautiful launch and with me over the back wheel it wasn’t going anywhere but forward. We were all packed up nose to tail WFO right into turn one three wide. We got the inside line with Roy and Sean slipping by on the outside, and way outside them Leon and Steve passed everybody like they were standing still. It should be mentioned that Leon counts his laps around Willow Springs on a sidecar in the tens-of-thousndands.

Out of turn one it was Roy, Sean, and Sarah…

Sean had a novice passenger, and Sarah picked him off quickly on the outside of turn 2 driving up the hill towards three, she didn’t even bother to wait for the Yokohamas to come up to temperature and just put the bottle to it quickly chasing down Roy Janes up into the Omega.

But no matter how hard she tried, or how close she got, or how hard Sarah tried to force the issue down on the inside or around the outside. Roy pulled 40 years of sidecar roadracing experience out of his bag of tricks and made his Formula II very wide, sometimes missing us by inches with surgical precision. Sarah would lose focus and roll off, giving Roy the line. Two laps from the finish I was grabbing Sarah by the back and pushing forward on her leathers telling her to GO GO GO GO !!!! PASS PASS PASS. I knew we were faster than Roy, we had better handling, we had the motor all over him, all we had to do was squeeze by and he’d never be able to catch us. It’d be Streets of Willow all over again with Sarah’s stealth pass for the win over Roy.

The white flag came out, and Sarah was all over the back of Roy, the leaders had come by us, but we didn’t care. All that ment was that we might be able to sqeeze by Roy on their coat-tails, but Roy blocked Sarah before she could swoop in on the opening. We drove down through 7, Roy only 30 feet in front of us, me tucked in behind the intake as tight as I could, driving now for turn 8, two more corners to go. I slid up right, as low as possible, I could tell that Sarah was going out left, she was going do go in deep and late to 9 and try to slingshot out on the exit and pass Roy to the checkered flag on pure horsepower.

Roy pulled in tight to 9, as did Sarah, I went out right just far enough to keep traction on the rear and bias the front for turn in, and as soon as we passed the apex and Sarah was back on the power I slid back down into the platform and curled up into a fetal position as tight as I could for aerodynamic advantage. My legs and ass were hanging off the back of the platform and I was only hanging on with one hand. Sarah was winding the engine out into for her previously unknown territory. The CBR1000RR came to life and really started to sing. From my curled position on the platform I could just see the asphalt going by and I could tell we were going fast… really fast, faster than we’d ever gone before. The engine had to be getting close to the rev limiter, and then it was over. I saw the flagger and Roy’s rig vanishing behind us.

I popped up and braced as Sarah got hard on the brakes for turn one, got hard out left for her turn in, and that was it. The race was over.

We missed 9th place by about 14 inches. A pure drag-race to the finish line. Sarah said she looked down at the speedo (corrected w/healer) as she crossed the line and it said “One Fifty Something” A new personal best in top speed for her.

Next time, Roy. Next time.


New LCR Website

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

LCR has released a new website, which is really cool as the old one was just horrible for a company that makes such high-end Formula I and Formula II sidecars.

Lots of neat pictures on the site, especally under the skin of the new hush-hush Formula II LCR.

Lots of history, photos, and other neat stuff up on the site as well now.

Our Right Coast brothers over at the SRA-East have updated their website as well.  It looks really professional.

What’s really cool on their site is the breakdown of the different machine types.

Neat Stuff!


Rumor Mill

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

So there’s a couple things floating around the Sidecar Rumor Mill…

First, there’s some shake up that French Superside driver, Sebastien Delannoy will be coming over with his LCR for 2008 to do some racing with us for two or three weekends.  He’s a very accomplished Superside racer, with several French Sidecar Championships under his belt. Click here for his stats and details.

This is unconfirmed as of yet, but the whisper comes via EMC Shocks, one of Sebastian’s main sponsors.  Hopefully it pans out, as it will be really exciting to run against a full blown French Sidecar Champion on our home turf.

Second, Tim Lobley and Darren Tritton in the UK with Popsworth Racing are looking to come Stateside as well during the second half of the Superside America season.  They would be bringing over a trellis frame F1 sidecar that Tim designed himself running on LCR hubs powered by a Suzuki GSXR-1000 engine.  Here’s their website with team details and results.  This pair are no stranger to the podium.

So far it’s shaping up to be one hell of a season.  There are a couple other neat things I’ve heard about, but I’ve been told to keep them under wraps.  As soon as I’m able to blurb them out, I’ll post something up.  Lots of exciting things are in the works behind the scenes in the SRA!