Monday, 4 May 2009
Oh man, what a day
First round of the UK Short Track Series at King's Lynn, Norfolk yesterday. For those who don't know there are two classes - short track and thunderbike. The short track is dominated by DTX bikes, modern 450s with lowered supsension (sometimes forks from 600cc supersports bikes) and 19in wheels with Maxxis DTR-1 tyres. The Thunderbike class is for framers with either air-cooled singles, any kind of multis and homebuilt crackpots. Oh, and there are juniors, quads and minibikes.
Since the introduction of the Thunderbike class entries have hovered between about 8 and 14 bikes. Yesterday there were 24, two full grids. The pits and car park were packed with racers, bikes and their haulers. The sun was shining, everyone felt good.
There's been a move from evening races to Sunday day in an effort to attract more fans, families on a day out, bikers on a ride. And it seemed to work. The racing was intense. Semis looked like finals. The ambulance carted off a couple of unfortunates with cracked bones, but nothing too serious (maybe I wouldn't say that is it had been me).
Some of the newcomers were super-fast and loose. Like Wayne Drake, 72R, on this XS. He has old Halvarssons leathers that reeked of grasstrack class, so I wasn't too surprised to see him hanging it out. Didn't get chance to photograph them or talk to him, but I will.
Luca came with Marco from Italy. Which, in turn, encouraged Ben C to drive all the way from Dorset (5 hours one way) to spectate. This is Luca's new Circle F framed Rotax. (This is practice, so that's why there's no one in the stands)
Paul Sheldon brought along his CCM 710 based Flatliner on 17s. It looked mean, but it took some starting compared to the DTX bike he's used to.
And this crazy cutdown GSX-R750 turned up. I didn't see it race. I hope it comes back.
Glyn P - from Helmets4U - turned up with his finished and rejuvenated TL1000. One session was enough to let him know why he was the third owner in about six months. It's brutal, but if anyone can ride it - in the UK - it'll be him. He's one of the most stylish riders we have.
Proud parents Anthony (of the DBA blogspot) and Geoff turned up with their beautiful homebuilt Co-Built Rotax. They have a jig for this bike now. It could be the most cost effective way to get a framer racebike in the UK.
Sideburn reader Paul Baleta turned up on a Ducati Monster, he highsided in testing yesterday. He went well and cut a dash in those old RS Tacihi leathers.
There were some shocks. The Wainfleet Megabowl's own Justin Hargate beating Marco Belli. Andy Moore winning the Dash for Cash on his Rotax. And Sideburn's own GI (me!) winning two heats from holeshot to flag, including beating Peter Boast in a straight race. If anyone has ever seen me and Boastie race together will find this hard to believe, but there were witnesses. The standing ovation from the pit was something special.
Less of a shock, but still a great result was Skooter Farm's Captain Highside winning the Red Max Thunderbike final (I placed a proud 4th). Next race is a two-dayer at the BMF, Peterborough. Can hardly wait.
Team Skooter Farm (L-R) - Joe (team tactician), Captain Highside, Gary, Dave (shadow is cheerleader Louise)