Greg - NZRRC R2 '03/'04

No Hair Racing Race Report

National Road Race Champs Rnd 2, December 14th 2003

Attrition the order of the day, of 20 entrants in F3 only 10 survived the last race!

A week since my last report and a lot has changed, Bob went to the doctor on Thursday and found he had broken 2 ribs in last Friday's practice day crash and yesterday my motor failed just before the last race. Thankfully we both have a few weeks to recover before the South Island rounds.

Saturday's unofficial practice at Manfeild started off dry then the rain bucketed down over lunch, then dried in the afternoon. I did 3 practice sessions to get back up to speed with Bob pit crewing and lap timing. Bob felt it prudent to let his ribs heal a bit before going out again. The practice sessions seemed to go OK with me getting into the 1:23's with a strong head wind and some dirt on the track in a couple of places.

Sunday morning we awoke to wet roads and a few showers, but the track dried up completely for my two qualifying sessions...I managed to get down into the 1:23's (3 secs off my best 1:20.5) again to qualify 14th and a 3rd row grid spot.

Race 1 and I had an excellent start getting into the 1st corner in at least 10th place, then dropping back to about 12th when the engine started missing whenever cornering into the very strong westerly wind. It only happened in the mid range ~10,000rpm and cleared above 12,000rpm so I kept on, trying to keep the engine revving above 12,000. If I dropped below this into the headwind I lost a lot of advantage over William Richards on his RGV-250 two stroke. In both Race 1 & Race 2 he managed to pass me on the hair pin, but I managed to get the power back on and just beat him to the chequered flag.

Race 1 I finished 8th due to a number of the front runners blowing engines or crashing. In race 2 some of the front runners were back and riding more consistently...I again had a good start but this time finished in 12th. I again had to over-rev the engine to maintain my position with out dropping into the 'missing zone'. The motor is red-lined at 14,000 and I was having to run to 15,500 at times which I knew wasn't good.

Race 3 and Bob fired up my bike and I went out on the warm up lap, as soon as I revved the motor in the pit lane I heard a slight high pitched rattle from the engine, which progressively got louder as I went round the track. Rather than completely destroy the motor I pulled out and put the bike away. A little dissappointing as even if I had been last I would have picked up another 5 points...still it could have been a lot worse. I'm guessing it's a 'little end' failure but will need to strip down the motor to be certain.

I have a newer motor (thanks to Adam Inta) in 'unknown' condition at home which hopefully will clean up OK, and could potentially be faster than my old engine so should be up and running to chase Bob's fixed ribs down South in January.

I'm still holding 10th position in the series, but know there's a lot of fast guys in the South Island on tracks I've never ridden so, still hopeful of finishing in the top 15.

Thanks again to our sponsors, Haldane Motorcycles - the tyre specialists, WEBDES.CO.NZ ez-Site DIY web site, and SSSLodge - for REAL Horse Power. Special thanks to Uncle Fred for putting up with Bob & I again for 2 nights.

Thanks for reading my report, cheers, Greg

No Hair Racing

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