Chris - SS R5, '02

11th Aug 2002 - Chris, SSRC R5, Taupo

Forgive me reader for I have raced, it's been a while since my last report.

Yesterday I found myself lapping Taupo race track again, I think I've been somewhat pre-occupied with other stuff recently, so I wasn't completely mentally prepared and psyched when we got there... The weather was BITTER cold, dry at least, but the wind was howling.

An early morning tyre change (from wets used in Round 3) was eventful when we couldn't get one of the Brake Calliper bolts undone. The 12mm head on the bolt had rounded off to the point that nothing would grip it. - Greg came to the rescue and with a lot of bashing, and squeezing of Mole Grips, he persuaded the bolt that it would feel a lot less pain if it just gave up, so it did. Thankfully, we had a spare to replace it with. One of Greg's pinch bolts did a very similar thing, it must have been down to the cold weather causing the aluminium surround to grip the bolt harder than normal.

My practice session was ok... Nothing special, but I felt reasonably comfortable. This would sum up my first race too. - Best official time in the first race was 44.0 seconds, which is almost a full second slower than my personal best of 43.02. I finished 11th in A Grade, one off the back of the field. Clearly I needed to pull my finger out. Tim Gibbes gave me the encouragement I needed by telling me that my competition was infront of me, and that I needed to go faster.. - So I did..

Race two saw me beating my personal best; getting 42.99 - This being the first every time that I have ever beaten the '43 second barrier'. - Even the official timing agreed with Stella's hand held timing, claiming a 42.9 on the race data sheets. A much better result too, with an 8th place from 12.

Looking at the timing sheets, everyone sped up toward the end of the day. - I beat my personal best again in Race three. Stella recorded a 42.79, the official timing showing a 42.8. - I finished 10th in A Grade in Race three. 9th overall on the day.

We've said it a few times, that the caliber of riders / machines has improved SO much in the last 4 years. - The times which we're doing now would have blitzed most of the field 4 years ago. I feel like I'm getting worse, but if I'm setting new personal bests, I can't be - right?...

The sub-class of the 600 Sports Production was poorly attended this weekend, with only 5 bikes in A Grade being eligible for points. Within this sub class, I finished 4th, 3rd and 3rd. - 3rd overall. - Which if I hadn't have mentioned that there were only 5 of us, would have sounded really good! :)

We were selected to take part in the finals of this round's 'best presented team' at lunchtime. - We didn't win, but it was fun to get up there and try for it. :) - Thanks to Pirelli for the consolation prize (sports cap), which kept my head warm for the rest of the day!...

Anyway, thanks for taking an interest. - There are a few more pictures up on the website. - Be sure to drop by and take a look sometime.

Thanks! - Chris.

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