Motorcycle Drag Racing Team
This year as Kev was not going to be doing demonstration passes at the Bulldog Bash, I was invited instead. It was more track time before the Open Sports, and will give us a chance to test a few things that we had been meaning to, but unable due to the terrible weather we have suffered this season, and the fact I broke my wrists in May! This weekends crew was Kev and his Crew Chief Chris Pyke. They have a weath of experience and an amazing rapport, and certainly put me at ease......
The first demo I was quite nervous. From watching some of the run what you brungers going up the strip, it looked a bit slippery. I was assured that the track would be prepped so went and got changed, and did the last checks on the bike with the boys. We were called so went and got ourselves situated against the wall.
Kev started me, and burnout done, I forgot to stop and wait for him to get me back into first gear, and rolled towards Chris who was spotting me, and looked quite surprised to see me there so soon! Gears sorted, purged nitrous, and went into pre stage. Everything happened quite quickly after that, I think I hit the shift points, I may have missed a gear, but up to the end in one piece, and waited for someone to come and tow me back. I thought about my run, and what I could have done differently, and then Kev appeared with a serious look on his face, and asked me how fast I thought I went, I thought is may have been an 8.7- he then told me I had run a 7.95 @ 165mph!! My first 7!! I did a bit of a happy dance, the grin is still here !
The tow back is "en masse" down the track, and Jerry Cookson who is commentating introduces the riders and drivers as they are towed back. The cheers were amazing when he said my name. My 5 minutes of fame!! The amount of people who came to congratulate me was over whelming, thank you to everyone who did, and if I seemed a bit dazed, it's because I was!
Bike checked over and all A-ok, the next demo at 5. The weather was very warm and the track was sticky - happy days!
The next run was a bit strange. Although it wasn't said out loud, they boys knew I was putting myself under pressure to do it again. How gutted would I be if I ran an 8.0? It felt very strong, the 60 foot was a 1.18, however I was battling with the bike to keep it straight, and it was a very messy run. Lack of experience and being on the bars for nearly the whole run, felt a bit wobbly and the shift light seemed to be coming on very quickly - so wheel spinning. As it goes, happily I ran another 7, but a 7.96 but 10mph down. Got the bike back to the pits, more congrats, and was questioned on if I was on full throttle. I know I was as I tried to open it a bit more but was there already!
We decided to do a leak down, and it wasn't good, so decided to lift the head off and see if it was something we could repair at the track. Unfortunately this was not possible - The head gasket had gone. To be honest I didn't really care. I had run two sevens, beating my PB by 0.8 secs !!
The repair, we are not going to rush. We are going to order some parts, and seeing we are not in any Championship battles, we don't want to put ourselves under any more pressure getting this ready for the Open Sports. We could thrash to do it, but there's no need. It's a shame, but I'm hoping to be back for the National Finals at Santa Pod.
A great weekend. Big Thanks to Dicko and Sarah for inviting me, to Kev and Chris, you guys rock! I strongly believe that I could not have achieved this without you - To the track crew at Shakey- for their hard work and thanks for such a good track. Thanks also to Richard Stevens at MPM Oil UK, Steve Wood at Motorshack, Debs at Armadillo Ink, Simon at Claron Graphics and Ken Cooper at Cooperized Dyno and Service Centre.
Oh! and to all the people last year I told that as soon as I ran a 7, I would happily quit - sorry, I lied !
Photo Thanks Lizz McCarthy