Motorcycle Drag Racing Team
I arrived at the track late and as usual thanks to the great team everything was ready to go in the morning.
Saturday morning, after Lizz’s first qualifier me and Lou wend out for a straightliners RWYB pass down the full ¼ mile. We had some very close runs, even a few where our 330 ft times where identical! As the bike is not set up for the quarter we decided to change the front sprocket to a 17 tooth instead of a 15.
Despite all our work, the bike actually went slower! Running around 17 seconds instead of the previous 16’s making me and Lou even and all to play for at Halloween!
As usual thanks to Dad, Lizz and my newest crew, Jordan Clark for all their help, and to my sponsors “uncle” Steve Wood at Motorshack and Alan Young At RCP Training
If anyone had told me back in May when I had two broken wrists, that I would run two 7.7's and be in the Final at the Extreme Performance Bike weekend, I would have put a lot of money on it !
What an bitter sweet end to what has been quite a frustrating season.
The problems we had beforehand, at the National Finals where the liner had dropped on number one cylinder, to get me through this weekend, we had a bigger power ring made by Dave Branch, and Kev worked every evening to get the motor back up together again. Thanks is such an inadequate word but thanks to you both so much. When the bike roared into life on Thursday night, it sounded good, and we started loading up the van for the meeting.
The first qualifier, the bike sounded ok in the burnout, onto the two step into stage, and launched hard. Third gear, it started to sound a bit rough, and as the timing ticket, showed a disappointing 8.51 @ 138 mph. Back to the pits to do a leak down test. There was a leak now on number 4 cylinder, so off with the head, and found that number 3 power ring was starting to pull into the bore. We decide that there was not enough pinch on the ring, and after scouring the pits for a thinner gasket with no luck, myself and Kerryanne Frasier, with an emery cloth and a block, set about the head gasket we had, and some time later we had managed to get seven thou off it fairly evenly! Unfortunately I was completely out of time to have another qualifier, but by the evening the bike was back together.
Sunday morning, we were lucky enough to have another qualifier, started the bike up, to put it on the two step, and it kept cutting out. There must be something wrong with the cam timing. Took the cover off, and found it was one tooth out. This was about the same time that we had the call for the qualifier. Chris and Kev worked like men possessed rectifying the problem, I asked if there was anything I could do, I was told to go and get my leathers on! Cams set correctly, Kev had two stepped it, Sarah had set off with the starter waiting for me to get to the line, and I got there a bit stressed, apologized to Harold for being late, shook his hand, wished each other luck, and off we went to race.
I didn't run well I think I hit the 2 step instead of the air shifter, and the bike coughed, in time for me to see Harold whizz past me, and me run another 8.5. No change in the ladder.
I had Harold in the first round of eliminations, Kev told me just to go out and have some fun and stop stressing, it's just another ride.
Who would have thought it - my ride was stonking! - I ran a PB, a 1.16 60 foot, a 7.74 to his 8.0, the bike was pulling like a train, and seemed a bit messy mid track, but I did it. I had also taken him out of the Championship, I was gutted for him but elated for me all at the same time. He was such a gent about it too, thanks hon! Back to the pits to a bit of cheering and a lot of hugs, and my fab team got the bike ready for the semi Final against Phil Leamon, who had already won the ACU Championship, and many congratulations to him.
I knew it was going to be a tough one, I had to keep my nerves about me, his reactions are awesome, and if all went according to plan, I could chase, and chase I did!! I not only caught up with him, over took him, but ran another PB of 7.71 @ 163mph!!! It was all getting a bit surreal! It would have been very cool if it had been a Cooperized Final, but Nige had found form, on Paul Wing's bike, and just pipped Tony Clark at the post, so Nige and I in the Final !
"Keep a hold of this McCarthy, you may just do this", I thought, Just have some fun..... Big hug and a bit of mickey taking with my old friend, and into the burnout box. Strong burnout, up to the line, there was a bit of a commotion going on around me, I stayed looking up the tack, until Bob Day told me to shut off.... What?? he was joking right? He wasn't - he had a handful of oil, the clutch cover had come loose, and was dripping oil. I shut off and Nige took the win.
To say I was beyond gutted was an understatement, however Bob made a good call, the cheers from everyone in VIP, made me smile, and I went back to the pits, amazed that I broken and been repaired, had gone rounds, won a trophy, got a cheque, and run two 7.7's !! Saturday evening I really thought it was all over.
What a fantastic bunch of people I had fighting my corner that weekend. Kev Charman, you are one in a million, and Chris Pyke you are the other one ! Sarah Chapman, who came back to crew for the weekend after 2 years out, please come back soon! Kerryanne Frasier for the gasket work, and being such a mate, Dave Branch, Ken Cooper, Jake Charman, Allan and Clair Davis, Richard Gipp and Nigel Sadler.
Big thanks for the great support I have had this year from Ken at Cooperized Dyno and service Centre, Richard and Sam Stevens at MPM Oil UK, Steve Wood at Motorshack, Debs at Armadillo Ink.
Lastly, as always thanks to the incredible Track Crews, Commentators, photographers and Tog and the Gang at Eurodragster.
It's been emotional !