Greg - AMCC R2 & R3, '09

No Hair Race Report from Greg - AMCC Protecta Series Rounds 2 & 3 2009

Back in June the doctor told me to take at least 3 months off from racing to let my collar bone mend but I haven't been sitting around doing nothing. Well over a year ago I started on my plan to convert the R6 from 600cc to 450cc to make it eligible for the Formula 3 class. A few people have gone about this by dropping one cylinder to make a 450cc triple but I decided to keep it with four cylinders and reduce the stroke by 3/4's instead.

This has the advantage of extra piston surface area which should ultimately give more horsepower but the disadvantage that mid-range torque is reduced. The most difficult task was to get a custom crankshaft made and after researching some off-shore options I was directed to an engineering company in New Zealand that designed and machined a crankshaft from billet steel using computer controlled CNC milling.

Along with the new crank I had longer custom conrods made to bring the pistons back up to their original position in the barrels. To cut a very long story short I finished assembling the engine with new bearings, piston pins and piston rings by the beginning of November. A test day at Pukekohe to run the motor showed the need for extensive remapping of the fuel injection settings and John Mc Leod at ZZZ Cycles fired up his dyno to help out.

Next it was off to Hampton Downs on Nov 21st for a ride day and we found that the motor was still running very lean. While wobbling around the track doing stoppies at the blind corners I richened up the top end of the rev range and got the motor running reasonably well but it had almost nothing below 12,000 rpm. The following week I installed an Air/Fuel monitor and set up the low end range by running up and down the driveway at home.

The Protecta AMCC series was scheduled for a 2 day meeting on Dec 12 & 13 at Pukekohe so I went out to the test day on the 11th to continue the Air/Fuel set up. Five sessions later and I had the bike performing much better from about 10,000 rpm onwards. It had been fine all day, but good old Pukekohe weather saw the rain clouds roll in for race day as per usual.

Saturday morning and F3 were the second practice session and I qualified in 4th position out of 25 with a 70.6 second lap time, a bit slower than Geoff, Bill and Wiggles who were doing 67's and 68's. It started raining just before the first Formula Auckland race and we were next out. I managed to get my wet wheels installed just before the final call for our race and as we gridded up, only Bill & Wiggles were on the front row next to me. Geoff didn't have wets and had decided to sit the race out.

The start lights went out and we were off...well everyone else except me, the engine bogged down and as I crept down the track about 10 bikes went past. It took me 4 laps to get past them all and head after Bill way off in the distance, surprisingly I passed Wiggles having engine problems and I finished in 2nd place.

Race 2 and I had a slightly better start with only 6 bikes getting past but Geoff was out on the now dry track and he and Bill were too fast for me and I ended up 3rd. In the last race of the day I tried revving the engine to 10,000rpm on the start line and this time only 3 bikes got past me and I had got them back by the end of the back straight. Geoff and Bill weren't too far ahead but I couldn't make any gains on them as they were 1 to 2 secs a lap faster. Then, on the last lap I saw Bill slowing and fortunately for me I got past and finished 2nd. Just a flat battery for Bill so he was back on Sunday and had a fun day fighting with Geoff up front.

I managed to get my times down into the high 68's but I had noticed the engine was a bit flat at 14,000rpm so on Sunday morning I fiddled with the A/F ratio again and went out in the practice session to qualify in 3rd place (Wiggles hadn't sorted his engine troubles). The 14K flat spot had gone and the motor was now pulling quite well from 12K to the 16K red-line.

The three Sunday races were all much the same for me, I'd lose a few places at the start then catch them up by the hairpin to watch Geoff & Bill slowly get away. 3 x 3rd places and my best time came down to 67.8 which I guess wasn't too bad for the bikes first outing.

There's still plenty of development work to do on the motor as the compression ratio is only about 10:1 and inlet and exhaust dimensions can be further optimised. I've got a long way to go to get to the lap record of 62.9 set earlier this year.

I don't think I've ever had 6 podiums in a row before so a very good weekend!

Thanks for taking an interest in No Hair Racing, and thanks for the support from our sponsors Pirelli Tyres, Henderson Yamaha, Motul Oil, SSS Lodge and WWW.EZSITE.CO.NZ.

Cheers, Greg

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