Racing in the swamps….

CMRA goes to the Swamp

NOLA#1

 

For most clubs in motorcycle racing it’s not often that races are held on unknown territory.
When a racer goes to compete there is usually a long history behind the track and the facilities. The racer can, even if they never actually raced there, prepare for race day well in advance by poring over the statistics of the track in question. The racer can confer with others who have competed there before and can get all the tips and tricks on running a particular track….what lines to run. where the danger zones are and what to look for or watch out for. The history of the track is out there for all to see and it makes the unknown less of an issue.
Racing on tracks that you know well allows the racer to focus on being fast. You have the luxury of knowing where all the slick spots are, where you can really get it on and where you have to thread the needle of speed and patience. Knowing a track and it’s quirks is a good thing and it how records get broken….
This coming weekend you can throw all that out the window. The CMRA is breaking new ground by holding the 5th round of it’s schedule at the new NOLA Motorsports Park, a track the club has never run at before. There is anticipation throughout the club membership and more than a little apprehension too.
The NOLA facility Which was opened in 2011 has already hosted a number of motorsports events and this year AHRMA, WERA and several motorcycle specific trackdays have held events. That’s a good thing for sure. Those clubs have given racers at least some idea as to what to expect from this new venue. But being the first time for the Texas based clubs’s to roll on the fresh asphalt, CMRA members may well be just like a teenager on a first date. After putting four meets to bed the season is not young for these racers and the track’s new smell may just be fleeting to them but when they get on the tarmac the apprehension might be a little more evident. A lot of questions need to be answered and they won’t be until the green flag drops.
I posed a few riders the question of what they looked forward to most about the trip to NOLA. Some mentioned going to the French Quarter for some fun, and others commented on the chance to run a course different from the tracks they have been on for years the one thing most of the racers told me, the one thing they looked forward to most was the chance to race on smooth undamaged asphalt. The chance to see just what their machines could really do on a track without ripples and chunks of track littering the course, weeping water making fast curves into slow ones and they look forward to pristine pavement where they could really go WFO…corner to corner!
There will be a little bit of schooling in all this. Riders won’t have that plus of history to back up on. There really be a truth the the term “learning curve” when they get on the track. But the CMRA is a pro outfit. They always put on a class meet. Nancy, Walter and all those officials have so much knowledge in how to make rough things smooth for the riders…so all the riders have to do is show up and race! Many of the racers have already spent time at NOLA doing trackdays or even racing the course with WERA or AHRMA so they are probably been answering dozens of questions from others about the special spots and what to look for.
So everyone had a chance to tell me what they are looking forward to.

Now I get my chance.

#1    
Danny & Ty

Ty Howard @ Hallett

Ty Howard @ Hallett

Danny Kelsey @ Hallett

Danny Kelsey @ Hallett

   I have been lucky to watch this tandem battle all season in the Formula 1 series. Last meet in Hallet was amazing and Danny was blazing fast. He broke Ty’s old record there and Marcus McBain has that bike of his smoking! Ty’s no slouch and if it wasn’t because of a few unexpected things he would have had his KTM in front for all the meets. This time around I expect that the two will be engaged in an all out war for dominance and it will be an epic race… There won’t be any room for excuses and the clean track can only help to give the rider who brings his best another win.

 

 

 

Conner Blevins @ HM

Conner Blevins @ Houston

#2
Conner Blevins & his ZX-6R
   This youngster have been a pleasure watch. I watched him at Hallett kick butt and give Danny a run for the money in the Track Tactics- B Superstock Expert.
More recently Conner cracked the top ten in the last AMA meet showing he’s no fleeting flower child. I am excited to see what he can do on this track and how he will fare against others who are probably looking to ratchet up their power to edge him out…. if they can.

 

The Village Idiots

The Village Idiots

#3 Big Bike Endurance

   It’s been a while since the BBE series has been on the track. At the start the current champs, The Village Idiots showed they were no one trick pony. Right out of the gate they punished the competition with bistering time slips and showed what a well oiled team could do in the pits and on the track… the competitors were not johnny come lately… the Idiots were just had some better polish on their program. That was then and this is now. Not only do they have a brand new track to learn they also have that wait between rounds on their backs. The old adage ” sitting bikes rust” really is true! Well so do sitting race teams… will the Idiots be able to shake the cobwebs out and pick up where they left off? Or will one of the other teams come on strong,better prepared and knock the Idiots off the top rung?

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