|Stu Carter's bikes from right to left: Honda 200, VanTech Motobi 250, and Framecrafter KTM 450|
Likewise, the Honda never ran right, one cylinder cutting in a out. We played with the jetting but ultimately had no spark on one side and it was parked for the weekend.
Stu had better luck with his KTM single which seemed to work well, though he didn't get a lot of time on it and gearing seemed marginally short.
Saturday in my first practice, I took it steady as I had new tire on the rear and a 'take-off' on the front that someone had given to me at Barber last year. The bike seemed to work fine, but when I came into the pits, it was spewing gas. Stu had offered me a practice session on his KTM single and I went out on that immediately without determining the source of the gas leak on my bike. The KTM was alien to me with slicks and tirewarmers, disc brakes, fuel injection and modern suspension. I had trouble being smooth, esp. with the brakes, but after three laps I started to appreciate it. The bike is fast and has a very broad power band. However, I wanted to get back to the pits to figure out why my bike was spewing gas. It didn't take long to see that the banjo bolt on top of the remote float had come loose and simply re-tightening it ended the crisis.
In the second practice, the motor died after a couple of laps and I look down to see that the ground lead had pulled out of crimped connector. after a long push across the infield grass back to the pits, Stu and John Stephens gave me a tutorial on proper crimping techniques and that crisis was over.
Stu was in race #3, Sound of Singles 1, and, after getting a terrible start, was making up ground, then pulled off after a couple of laps. He reported that his front brake went away with the lever coming to the grip, but when I squeezed it, the lever felt fine. He thought maybe something was wrong with the master cylinder or it needed bleeding, but that didn't make sense to me because that would be constant, not happening all of a sudden. After futzing with it a while, Stu went out for his primary class, SoS 2 and it was the same deal: terrible start, making up ground, then brake goes away and he retires. My theory was that the brake fluid was boiling. Maybe his new carbon fiber front wheel wasn't conducting the heat away from the rotor as well as a metal wheel and he had a new rotor and pads, which seemed very aggressive.
My first race was my 'bump-up' class, 500 Premiere, which was gridded in the front of the 2nd wave with Vintage Superbike Middleweight and Novice Historic Production Heavyweight in the first wave and 500GP, Sportsman 500 and Formula 250 behind us in the second wave. Andrew Mauk, on Keith Leighty's CB450 based bike, and Wes Orloff, on Dale Coffman's CB450 based bike, took off and apparently had a ding dong with much passing back and forth and Andy finishing less than 0.2 seconds ahead of Wes. I was able to track down Helmi Niederer on his Seeley G-50 and, after some back and forth, finished 3rd in class and 12th overall.
|Keith Leighty's CB450 based racer which Andrew Mauk rode to two wins|
|Taking the checker flag on my ERTT. Artful photo by Judy Ganance|
I didn't go out for the first practice as the track was well wet and the forecast was good for the afternoon. I went out in the second practice on a drying track just to check that the bike was OK, and on the second lap the motor died again at almost the same spot it had on Saturday's practice. This time the positive lead to the battery had come off and I again had a long push through the infield grass back to the pits.
The change of brake pads and fluid had cured Stu's problem and, while the brake was less aggressive, it was consistent and he got a 3rd in SOS 1 and 2nd is SOS 2.
In Sunday's 500 Premiere race, Helmi quite blatantly jumped the start and though he led for a while, I figured that he was going to be docked a lap. At the end of the first lap, Wes Orloff got into that last corner too deep and ran off the track, so I was running 2nd to Andy Mauk in class. Then Alex McLean came by on his 500GP Norton Manx and I couldn't let that go unanswered, could I? I had a couple of front end slides and told myself to be smooth, but on the second to last corner of the race the downhill, off camber right, I lost the front and low sided into the grass. I made out quite well, just banging the tip of my right middle finger, and the bike wasn't too bad either and didn't even break the windscreen. But, it had broken the short brake cable between the lever and the splitter box for the two cables that go to each backing plate. They weren't able to pick me up immediately and I watched race #7 from the cornerworker stand. My consolation was that I was still scored as 2nd as Helmi was indeed docked a lap and Wes Orloff and Ron Melton didn't finish before I didn't finish.
|Dale Coffman's CB450 based bikes which Wes Orloff rode|
|The safety wire on the adjuster was a futile attempt to keep the cable from coming out of the slot and allowing the splitter box to cock sideways|
|Stu Carter and Kevin Calloway look on as Francis and I debrief after our cut throat duel. Judy Ganance photo|
|Stu, Francis and myself. Judy Ganance photo|
|Helmi Neiderer's Seeley G-50s prepared by NYC Norton|
|Ron Melton's Manx Norton|
|Paul Germain's beautiful DT-1 Yamaha|
|Paul seems to consider the improbable|
|Juan Bulto broke on his 250 Bultaco Saturday, but won the 250GP Sunday|
|Art Kowitz's pristine Combat Wombat Hodaka|