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Ken's Race Report(s)

  1. #1
    Lifer Ken C's Avatar
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    Ken's Race Report(s)

    Race Report Alert Part 1- LRRS:
    I'll try to keep this short, but it may be tough.
    I spent 5 days at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last week, starting with Open Practice on Thursday where I worked with Michael Drescher to help him reduce his lap times. I had Steven Heider's EX500 Ninja with me for Thursday and to race in the USCRA Vintage Granite State Championship races on Monday. Unfortunately, the EX started making some nasty sounds in the clutch/transmission even before I rode it on the track, so I parked it. Thankfully, Adam Butler offered for me to race Maddie, the mighty Honda Hawk for USCRA, so I was all set.

    What to do? Mike had paid for a day of coaching and I had no bike. Enter Mike Kurtz who loaned me his mighty Yamaha WR250X motard (it's for sale, BTW). After one session, it became apparent that the 250 was too underpowered to effectively coach Mike on his Hawk, so Mike offered to let me use his Kawi 650R. Ah, that's better. The rest of the day went well with Michael knocking 3 seconds off his lap times! I would share what allowed such a dramatic improvement, but I'd then have to kill you.

    I could have driven 2 hours home on Thursday night, but Matt Blake was doing his The Penguin Road Racing School and Rookie weekend with LRRS, so I stayed to offer my encouragement and advice. Matt rocked his SV to the tune of two race wins (not including his Rookie race). His lap times were good enough for LRRS to move him directly into Amateur class for the next event. Congrats, Matt.

    As fun as it is to watch my friends rce, I'm not a great watcher. I'd rather be riding. So, Graham suggested that I go ahead and renew my LRRS license and borrow a bike to race in LRRS. I figured I had a choice to either stand around all weekend until Monday or burn some rubber and gasoline. I chose to ride.

    I started giving LRRS what felt like the equivalent to the GNP of a third world country for the license, race entry, transponder, and other various items. It turns out that my old race number #375 was available. Nice. All this for one race in LRRS? Yeah. Having my LRRS license is a good professional move and, besides getting on the grid with fast guys is worth every penny.

    I practiced on the WR on Sunday morning in preparation for the Formula 300 challenge. (Mike was going to race the bike in the regualr Formula 300 race to secure his points lead). Unfortunately, 27hp isn't nearly enough to keep the Ninja 300s at bay. Even though I got along with the WR well enough in the corners, it fell flat on throttle. I managed a 1:31, which seems embarrassingly slow until you consider that the faster 300s aren't going that much faster.

    Formula 300 Challenge
    I got a good start, but was quickly overtaken by the 300s by turn 3. I kept the group in sight for a lap, even thinking tht I may stay with them throughout the race...that is until the front straight where they simply walked away. But, it was a great experience and I had a blast hustling the WR through the corners. Thanks again Mike.

    Stay tuned for part 2- USCRA
    Photo: Race Report Alert Part 1- LRRS: I'll try to keep this short, but it may be tough. I spent 5 days at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last week, starting with Open Practice on Thursday where I worked with Michael Drescher to help him reduce his lap times. I had Steven Heider's EX500 Ninja with me for Thursday and to race in the USCRA Vintage Granite State Championship races on Monday. Unfortunately, the EX started making some nasty sounds in the clutch/transmission even before I rode it on the track, so I parked it. Thankfully, Adam Butler offered for me to race Maddie, the mighty Honda Hawk for USCRA, so I was all set. What to do? Mike had paid for a day of coaching and I had no bike. Enter Mike Kurtz who loaned me his mighty Yamaha WR250X motard (it's for sale, BTW). After one session, it became apparent that the 250 was too underpowered to effectively coach Mike on his Hawk, so Mike offered to let me use his Kawi 650R. Ah, that's better. The rest of the day went well with Michael knocking 3 seconds off his lap times! I would share what allowed such a dramatic improvement, but I'd then have to kill you. I could have driven 2 hours home on Thursday night, but Matt Blake was doing his The Penguin Road Racing School and Rookie weekend with LRRS, so I stayed to offer my encouragement and advice. Matt rocked his SV to the tune of two race wins (not including his Rookie race). His lap times were good enough for LRRS to move him directly into Amateur class for the next event. Congrats, Matt. As fun as it is to watch my friends rce, I'm not a great watcher. I'd rather be riding. So, Graham suggested that I go ahead and renew my LRRS license and borrow a bike to race in LRRS. I figured I had a choice to either stand around all weekend until Monday or burn some rubber and gasoline. I chose to ride. I started giving LRRS what felt like the equivalent to the GNP of a third world country for the license, race entry, transponder, and other various items. It turns out that my old race number #375 was available. Nice. All this for one race in LRRS? Yeah. Having my LRRS license is a good professional move and, besides getting on the grid with fast guys is worth every penny. I practiced on the WR on Sunday morning in preparation for the Formula 300 challenge. (Mike was going to race the bike in the regualr Formula 300 race to secure his points lead). Unfortunately, 27hp isn't nearly enough to keep the Ninja 300s at bay. Even though I got along with the WR well enough in the corners, it fell flat on throttle. I managed a 1:31, which seems embarrassingly slow until you consider that the faster 300s aren't going that much faster. Formula 300 Challenge I got a good start, but was quickly overtaken by the 300s by turn 3. I kept the group in sight for a lap, even thinking tht I may stay with them throughout the race...that is until the front straight where they simply walked away. But, it was a great experience and I had a blast hustling the WR through the corners. Thanks again Mike. Stay tuned for part 2- USCRA
    Ken's Race Report(s)-ken_hawk-pose-jpg

    - - - PART 2 - - -

    Race Report Alert Part 2- USCRA Vintage:
    Picking up where I left off from Part 1. Remember that I said that I had a Honda hawk to ride for USCRA on Monday? Well, I did, until Adam Butler was taken out by another racer who abruptly crossed in front of him in turn 5/6 on Saturday. The bike and he crashed hard enough for Adam to take a ride to the hospital. Adam spend a not so enjoyable afternoon getting a gash cleaned by nurse Ratchet.

    But, while he was gone, Superhero John Linn swooped in and made Maddie the WonderHawk all better for me to practice on Sunday and race on Monday. This meant taking the radiator, belly pan and front brake master cylinder off his racebike and putting it on Maddie. Tony Iannarelli and I attempted to straighten the forks before I took it out for LRRS practice, but no go. Mo biggie. I've ridden worse. Curiously, after first practice, the forks seemed to have straightened themselves out. Paul Duval says it is probably from the brake forces. Cool.

    First Practice went well enough. I had never ridden the bike before so was happy enough with a 1:26. Second practice on Sunday netted a 1:24.1. I was happy, but knew I could easily get her into the 22s if I could get the suspension set up a bit more to my liking.

    We were watching the last LRRS races of the day when Steven Heider crashed hard in turn 4. Amy took him to the hospital while we started packing up his stuff. It turns out he has 4 fractured vertebrae. Jeannine Condon, Matt Blake, and I went to the hospital to bring Steve's mom, Joy Vinciulla Heider back to the track and to see how he was doing. They released him while we were there, so we went back to the track to finish packing Steve's stuff. The plan was for Jeannine and Matt to take Steve's car and trailer with the unfortunate SV racebike to Steve's house on Monday evening.

    USCRA on Monday

    Back to racing...Morning USCRA practice was foggy and damp, but I went out to make sure the Hawk was running well and to try some suspension changes. Paul and I raised the rear ride height in an attempt to get the bike to finish turns a bit better (it worked). We also had the bright idea to decrease preload (bad move). This made the bike waaay to busy over the bumpy sections, so we put the preload back.

    Intermission (wow, this report is long. Smoke 'em if you got 'em)

    Period IV, Formula 3
    This race includes various bikes, including Hawk 650s, EX500s, and a few other bike types. I got a great start and was in turn 1 well before any one else. This is partly because I studied the race starter who dropped the flag verrry quickly after Sandy MacPherson tipped the 1 board. The other reason is because Rick Patrolia had trouble launching his EX. Rich is a very fast LRRS regular, so I was expecting a battle. Unfortunately, I was quite far ahead by the end of lap 1, so no battle ensued. I ran 1:25s and mostly 1:26s. I wasn't motivated to ride any harder than I had to.

    Formula Middleweight
    Repeat of Period IV, Formula 3. Checked out and had no one to race with. Again, did mostly 1:25s and 26s. The Hawk is a terrific motorcycle with a great motor and good handling. Maddie popped out of gear every now and again, but other wise performed like a champ.

    So, I ended the day (and my USCRA season with 6 starts and 6 wins. I brought home some nice plaques designed by Douglas Donelan for my trophy wall and am now ties in points for the lead in both class championships (I didn't race on June 14). One with Michael Drescher, the other with Joe Ruth. Unfortunately, I won't be going to NJ, so I don't expect to win either championship. No biggie. I sure had fun.

    Whew, I need a cigarette.
    Ken's Race Report(s)-ken_hawk-t11-12-jpg

    5 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Last edited by Ken C; 09-04-14 at 01:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Lifer nt650hawk's Avatar
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    Re: Ken's Race Report(s)

    Not the first hawk you rode

    Great job Ken. Wish I was there to watch

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Gino
    HAWK GT Racer Expert #929
    2012 CCS LRRS ULSB Champion
    2012 CCS LRRS P89 Champion
    2008 CCS ULSB National Champion
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