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Logan - AMCC #3, '05/'06Sunday 12th March 2006 No Hair Racing Report - Logan Bennett Auckland Motorcycle Club Champs, Round 3, Pukekohe
Well it had been a great night before racing, staying up till the early hours having a blast at a good friends wedding reception. With such a great night behind me, and despite a case of the dry-horrors I was soon enough set and ready to rock on out for Formula 3 practise, facing a very wet track, and light drizzle keeping it so. Armed with the faithful FZR400 and a set of wets I rocked on out there although not feeling the best-trying to keep positive, and push myself from go and learn more about racing in the wet.
Well that was a nice waste of 5 or 6 laps around Pukekohe as it turned out the racing from there in was going to be dry-but that's fine because I needed the experience on wets and really enjoyed being out there despite the conditions. So after a fast change of wheels due to the track turning really dry between practise and this first race, Greg and I had the Supercorsa's (complete with sentimental value from a number of rounds at the nationals and also Paeroa!) fitted in the nick of time and off I shot to just make it to the dummy grid in time to get straight out on the track, without being on tyre warmers. I soon saw the mess all around the track a post classic 2 stroke had left in oil after dropping its carb fuel bowl, and quickly lined up ready for my start. The green flag dropped, I eased the clutch out with the revs picking up and managed a good start… slipping up from the second row of the grid into 3rd place, and then tucked underneath frosty on his SV650 to take 2nd place thru the S's and onto the back straight. The back straight soon sorted the boys out from the men, and it has been confirmed that I am definitely just a boy. So I lost a position or 2 on the back straight, and then after making another on about the 3rd lap or so I was coming thru the kink @ full speed (although on low gearing) and as I came across the back end moved a bit sideways lining me up to mow the Pukekohe back straight lawns! (Later to be found out old Alan Z had hit the rear of me-I told ya she was slow!). After I had finished running on the grass and I was happy with the job I re-entered the race losing only one place of which I managed to steal back from Alan Z on his ZXR400, around the outside of the turn 2 left hander, to finish the race in 4th place!
Race 2: This time starting with nice warm tyres and the built up frustration of the old girl not having the legs I wish she did, I pounced off the line to another good start, and pretty much spent every lap being overtaken on the back straight by Alan Z, only to take back my place either going into the hairpin or coming over the hill. Only had one major moment-when on the chase of Alan I kept the gas hard on from the hairpin thru the next 3 corners, and on the third I realised I was dramatically decreasing the distance between our bikes, until I further realised that oh-no, my front wheel is about to run right into his rear.. but with no inside gap to push in on I had to flow the long way around, and as I did so Alan kept pushing outwards coming over the hill and I realised I had over-cooked it for the outside line I was pushing, and with some wriggling around of the bike under me while I sat on top thinking "oh crap, I'm pretty sure this is the bit where I am no longer in control" I flew wide and pushed out onto the grass, luckily not going further and hitting the Armco, I kept the gas on and brought it back onto the straight, a wee way behind Alan now, but still managed to once again regain my position ahead going into Turn 1. The outcome of the race? A 3rd place! It was a great race and I enjoyed it thoroughly! However… The best was yet to come!..
For race 3 I had a plan! The guys ahead of me, were making more time on me when they got away, and that the only chance I had on staying with them, was to get ahead on the first lap – when they have only had 1 chance of running down that back straight ahead of me, then I would have a go at pushing in on the brakes going into the hairpin for the first time. Well it pretty much worked! I stayed up in third place for most of the race, and then managed to get Wiggles on his new ER6-n on the brakes into the hairpin, and then try to pull away wherever I could because I knew with 2 laps to go he wasn't going to just give up 2nd place! Braking later then ever before, pushing into Turn 1 at full top speed of my gearing and keeping the gas fully open from the hairpin to the right around to the Turn 2 left hander, I managed to stay ahead with Wiggles giving it one final blast to try and pass me coming onto the front straight in the run for the chequered flag, and sure if the flag was a further 10m away, with the ER6's grunt he would definitely have taken my place, but unfortunately for him the finish line was where it was… and I managed to score a 2nd place out of it
Well what can I say?! Aside from a big drawback and downer early on in the day, the racing in the races went really well and I just loved every last second of being there!
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