Saturday, November 3, 2012

I finally got around to writing a Daytona report after dealing with hurricane Sandy.  I made out better than most with no flooding and no tree through the roof, but I do have some big limbs down and lost power for a couple of days.
I went on from Barber to Daytona, doing a little sight seeing on the way.  Wed. I went to the Hollingsworth family race shop in St. Augustine and changed the gearing on my bikes while Al plugged away at repairing Don's and Dick's 250 Sprints.Their matriarch and team leader, Myrtle, fed us and put me up for the night.  Thurs. morning, I loaded up and drove to Winter Park where there was an excellent exhibit of David Delong moto art.                        
David was someone I raced with at Bridgehampton, Pocono, and Summit Point and probably other places back in the '80s and '90s.  I never knew then that he was an artist; he was just a motorcycle racer to me.  And, he was a real racer, racing into the last year of his life at age 70.  His widow, Harriet, has made a great effort to get David's work shown and has organized a terrific show at a lovely gallery in Winter Park that will run to next April.
From there, I drove up to Daytona, got my credentials and set up my pit.
The AHRMA Daytona event has gone from being a curious side show on amateur day of the March Speedweek, to being a huge curtain raiser for the 200 that attracted tens of thousands of spectators in the mid/late '90's, to being a huge anti-climax to the Barber event during the Fall 'Biketoberfest'.  Entries weren't great last year, when they first went to having the event in the Fall, but this year they were way down from that.  It seems unsustainable.
Fri. practice went well and I didn't do any changes before the races.  It didn't go so well for the Hollingsworths and Al's work was for naught in the case of the '66 short stroke (the last four stroke to win the Daytona Novice race).  When Dick was practicing on it at Daytona, it dropped a valve.
The Hollingsworth's short stroke 250 CRTT Sprint after it dropped a valve at Daytona
First race for me was F500/Vintage Superbike Lightweight/Historic Production Heavy Weight/250GP/Class 'C' Foot & Hand.  We had 22 starters among the six classes.  It was an amusing race for me as I diced the whole way with John Stephens on his 250 Ducati.  I got by him on the Dondolino soon after the start but he drove past me near start/finish completing the first lap.  However, he waited way to long to brake into turn #1 and nearly ran off the track trying to get it slowed enough to make the corner, letting me by.  Again, John drove by me near start/finish completing the second lap, but this time he brake way too early and I passed him going into #1.  Same deal on lap three.  On the fourth and final lap, he came by not long after the chicane and I tucked into his draft and closed right up on him but, when I pulled out of the draft, I couldn't pass him.  He beat me by nine hundredths of a second.  Not that it meant anything as we were in different classes and he won the 250GP and I was 2nd to Alex McLean on Bob McKeever's Norton in Class 'C'.
Next up was the 350GP/F-250/350 Sportsman/Classic 60's/Classic 60's 650.  There was a grand total of seven starters in the five classes and five riders finished the five laps.  I started on the pole on my 350  H-D Sprint ERTT and I didn't see anyone during the whole race.  Alex McLean's fastest lap was almost 2 seconds  faster than my fastest lap, but he started in the second wave on McKeever's Classic 60's Norton Manx and couldn't overcome that deficit.
Originally, I was scheduled to race the Dondolino again on Sat. and the ERTT on Sunday, but they changed the schedule so that both of my races were on Sun. with none for me Sat.  Then I discovered a broken exhaust valve spring on the Dondo and decided to blow off Sunday's race and leave Sat. morning.
I took no photos of my own bikes at Daytona, so I'll include a couple of more from Barber:
Bill Doll photo
my brother Doug and me with the '70 ERTT. Rich Hosley photo

Bill Doll photo

1 comment:

  1. As always - good narrative! Some good racing. Oh, painful --250 CRTT Sprint's holed piston! Like close up photo of Dondolino motor fm Barber. Thanks for all and taking in David Delong's exhibition at the Polasak.