I arrive at Willow Springs Fri. and Gary Roper had already set up in the garage with Karl Engellenner arriving in the afternoon. In Gary's first practice on his Indian, the front wheel locked while braking down from the Omega and he fell, breaking his collar bone. He went to the hospital in Lancaster and I picked him up mid day. With him out for the weekend, his Velocette MAC was available and I readily agreed to race it.
|Gary Roper's '51 Velocette MAC|
|My original ex-works ERTT in foreground, my ex-Mike Bungay Aermacchi behind, and Karl's Aermacchi behind that.|
|Walt Fulton III getting ready to race my ERTT (left) after Karl's Aermachi broke it's gearbox|
My first race was on the MAC in Class C foot shift in the 2nd wave behind F-250, 200GP, and Historic Production Lightweight and ahead of Class C hand shift. The Velo ran great and I was able to pass both of the Prod LW.s and 9 of the 200GPs to finish 13th overall and 1st in class.
For the 350GP race, we were gridded in the front with Vintage Superbike Lightweight behind us in the first wave and 350 Sportsman, Classic 60s and Classic 60's 650 in the 2nd wave. I got into a great dice with Pete Homan on his VSL BMW. He had a little acceleration on me and I had top speed on him, being on a narrow bike with a fairing and he having two cylinders sticking out in the breeze. We went back and forth several times. Then we came upon a back marker in turn #8. Pete went to the outside of the lapee and I was to the outside of Pete. It seemed that Pete moved over into me as maybe the lapee moved over towards him, or maybe the brutal wind blew him my way or blew me his way. But, anyway the front of my fairing contacted the rear of Petes bike and I ricocheted off the track at what certainly had to be over 100 mph. I held it up for a while, trying to scrub off speed, but then went sky/ground/sky/ground/sky/ground. It's not the speed, but he sudden stop that hurts you, and I had no sudden stop and was virtually unhurt. The bike however, was a bit dinged up.
|crushed Cone Engineering muffler|
|bent right clip-on, in addition to broken fairing and windscreen and dirt in the motor.|
There was one race between this and the last race of the day, the 500 Premiere race and we quickly took Walt's numbers off the ERTT so I could race it.
The race was all one wave with the Motards in front of 500 Premiere and 500GP, Historic Prod. H.W. and 250GP behind. I rode an uneventful, somewhat subdued race to finish 2nd in class behind Jeff Elings on a G-50 Matchless and 4th overall with the Motard winning overall and Jim Neuenburg, on Fred Mork's KRTT Harley between me and Jeff. My arch nemesis and good friend Andrew Mauk ran out of gas on Keith Lieghty's CB450 Honda based Premiere bike.
Sunday, the wind was even more brutal than the typically windy Will-blow Springs. I just did one short practice on each bike.
In the Class C foot/hand shift race, I got into a duel with Ralph Wessel on his Indian.
|Ralph Wessell's Indian Scouts|
|The Velo MAC post crash|
So, within 8 days, I had three days of racing and I crashed each day. Not good. I average about 3 crashes a year and this year I did that in 8 days. I hope that means that I'm done crashing for the year.
|We weren't the only ones to have problems at Willow as these thoroughly broken crankcase from a British twin show|
|a side view of the broken crankcases|
|Steve Arnett's 750SS Ducati upon which he won the F-750 class each day.|
|Virgil Elings had a very interesting twin cam 250 Moto Guzzi in what looks like a Norton featherbed chassis|
|it has a small outside flywheel|
|looks like a crankcase repair from a thrown rod|
|Sears Allstate Puch and Kawasaki G-3 90cc pit bikes|