Rob Iannucci decided that Team Obsolete should race a couple of bikes at the United States Classic Racing Assoc.'s mid Sept. race at New Jersey Motorsports Park's Lightning circuit, run in conjuncture with the vintage car racing group, the SRA. It was decided that we would take the ex-Don Vesco BSA A50R and a AJS 7R in a lightweight frame. The BSA had never been raced by T/O, only paraded by Don Emde at Mid-Ohio years ago. I had raced the 7R many times, but not since 2002 when it had a G-50 motor in it; the 7R motor had last run in 2001.
|The AJS 7R on the left and BSA A50R on the right with my new van on it's inaugural race in the backround.|
|The Team Obsolete AJS 7R LW#1/4830A|
|T/O's ex- Don Vesco BSA A50R|
The 350GP was the last race of the day. As I went to start the bike, after pulling it back on compression, when I pulled in the clutch, the barrel came off the end of the clutch cable. I figured that I was done as we were already on third call and, even if I had a spare cable, there was no time to install it.
But, Erik Green came up with an idea: bump start the bike in the hot pit lane and ride without a clutch. I was game, so they pushed me and I kicked it in gear and rode down to pit out while the bikes were forming up on the grid, having completed their warm-up lap. I tried to ride as slow as possible so that I wouldn't have to stop before they threw the green flag and I could just motor out the pit lane onto the track. But, no; they were taking too long to form up and I had to kill the motor. When they finally dropped the flag and everyone took off, I pushed the 7R as hard as I could in neutral, jumped on it, and kicked it in gear. It was slightly uphill and the motor just barely fired but I was able to enter the track after everyone was long gone. I got to chase down a bunch of bikes despite having some problems downshifting and often exiting corners a gear high, and ended up 3rd 350 behind Rich Midgely on Frank Giannini's CB77 Honda with a GS 400 Suzuki head on it, and Jim Jower's Seeley 7R.
|Jim Jowers' Seeley short stroke 7R|
I decided not to race the BSA Sunday, as it was pointless with the gearing we had. So, I raced the 7R in 500GP race, again in race one. I won the 500GP class and got well up among the Lightweight Supervintage and EuroCup bikes.
I lined up for the 350GP in race #5 pretty confident. But, on the first lap I had a big slide, which I initially attributed to cold tires, but then my foot started slipping on the shift lever. Towards the end of the second lap, I took a good look and saw that my boot was covered with oil. The 'D' shaped cover that gives access to the magneto vernier on the timing cover had fallen off and I pulled off immediately. We found that the threads in the magnesium cover had failed and the 2BA bolts pulled out. But, Jim Jowers had seen something fall off my bike and described approximately where so, after the racing was over, we were able to go out on the track and look for it. After a fair amount of looking and starting to think that we were beyond where Jim had described, I spotted it, on the track with the gold painted side up.
|Jim Jowers' 250 Ducati|
|Randy Hoffman's KTT Velocette in a featherbed frame|
|Randy's Vincent Gray Flash|
|Louie Saif and Ralph Stechow arranged for the 7th annual Ducati TT & F1 symposium to be at NJMP|
|The ex-Jimmy Adamo/Reno Leone Cagiva GP bike|
|An odd couple of spectators|
|A Sunbeam S-8 from the late '40s or early '50s|
|The well used H-D. Note the 2X4 shimming the battery.|
|Looks quite original to my untrained eye.|
|Me with my new van, a Ram Promaster 1500 short wheelbase, low roof, the first new four wheeler I've owned.|