Dirty Girl Motor Racing
Dirty Girl Motor Racing...
. . . you try working on your motorcycle without getting dirty!
Dirty Girl Motor Racing 2006 Season
North Bay Runway Romp - Mosport Vintage Festival - Quinte TT 2006 - Mosport Trackday - 2006 Dates - 2006 Sponsors - The Bike
North Bay Runway Romp
Sept 15, 16 2006: The Runway Romp
The airport at North Bay makes for a classic venue for vintage racing, and I always look forward to this round. The various airport surfaces (taxi-ways and runways) that make up the racing circuit provide a challenging course which I thought I was familiar with since I raced at this venue in 2005. I arrived at the track mid-afternoon on Friday, after a beautiful 'fall colours' drive up from Toronto and got through registration in time to walk the track. Only to discover a new chicane had been added to the track configuration, presumably to slow the entry speeds onto the side runway straight towards the hair-pin. It looked a bit hard to make out the line amongst the pylons and straw bales, but I had that trouble last year, and it worked itself out.
By 8pm on Friday night the pits are filling up, teams filling up the grass either side of the paved pit area, and a central row of teams in RV's.
Saturday morning dawned thick as pea soup, we groped our way to the riders meeting through deep fog, and got a rather late start to the day due to the weather. Walking in the fog was hard enough that no one complained about missing the chance to ride through it.
After the first practice session had run, the new chicane was removed. An interesting feature of a temporary race circuit, the ability to remove or change an offending or dangerous corner. All the riders I spoke to felt the removal of the corner was the safer option, as riders converging lines at the wide entrance to the narrow corner had made for some pretty scarey moments in the first practice session. By the second practice session the track had returned to the layout I was familiar with from last year, and I was making it work better for my gearing than I had last year.
In the Vintage Challenge race on Saturday I started out in 31st place, in the 9th row on the grid, and I don't think I improved upon that position much through the race. The bike ran well, although I gave the suspension some extra challenges, managing to hit the taxi-way frost heaves every lap. It's always exciting to race with bikes from different classes.
In the P4-F3 heat race on Saturday I started in the 4th Row. I was last or near last by the end of the first corner, but the bike ahead of me was still in sight. I was chasing hard when I found the end of my suspension clearance under braking, on my way into the hairpin. A novel sensation on the NS. I don't think I gained much ground on the bike ahead of me, but I was pleased with my effort by the end of the race.
Sunday night wasn't as cold as Friday night, and the the Rider's meeting was fog-free. Practice session went well and my bike was running great; I think it liked the cool weather better than I did. In my final race on Sunday I made a fairly decent start, but was still near last by the first corner. I kept the rider ahead of my in sight, and it turned out to be my friend Bruce, bumped up from Period 3. I chased him down for several laps, and passed him on the short-straight on the back taxi-way. A very gratifying pass but good for bragging rights only.
The 2006 North Bay round was a lovely end to a wonderful season of racing, and already I'm looking forward to next year.
Mosport - Endurance Race
August 18, 19, 20: Mosport Vintage Festival
Dirty Girl Motor Racing fielded an 'All Women's' team again this year in the Vintage Endurance Race August 18th at Mosport. Joining me aboard the NS250 was guest rider Aliki Karayan, fellow RTI instructor and WROAR Ride committee member. Our crew include Karen and Jeff, who crewed for 'Team Dirty Girl' last year, and new additions Bruce, who helped with lap-scoring, and Timothy who helped with timing and pit stops. Endurance racing wouldn't be possible without crew, thanks everyone!
The NS ran well in practice during the Friday morning. Aliki got used to the bike quickly, and had good lap times in morning practice. We'd planned to spend Thursday calculating fuel and oil consumption rates, but a cancelled trackday meant we had to race without that information, so our strategy was cautions. We planned for 30 minutes between fuel stops, so we sacrificed a fair bit of time in the pits.
With the most standing start experience, I decided to start the race for the team. We were gridded about 2/3 of the way down the field. A standing start in any kind of racing is exciting, but the sound of a standing start in a vintage race is special.The air fills with sound, and there's a flurry of motion all charging downhill to focus into a line of bikes by the apex of the first corner. Being in the centre of it is truly thrilling, but I'm not very good at it yet. I had a good view of the official starting the race, and I got the bike moving promptly. I was focused on the space in front of me, looking for a gap through the other bikes, a pattern in their motion. I needed to focus more on the bike, 'cause I didn't get the shift to 2nd gear quickly enough. I'm still a bit overwhelmed by all the stuff I have to accomplish between the start and the first corner.
I settled into a steady pace, thinking I'd be tired and loosing focus by the end of the 30 minutes planned for my first stint on the bike. I was enjoying a mostly empty space on the track, and saw my pit board ushering me into the pits much sooner than I'd expected. The extra crew I'd conscripted at the track, Bruce and Timothy, were really helpful. It was easier for the riders not having to help with fuel/oil as well as the rider change.
Aliki's first session on the bike went really well, her lap times were fairly consist ant, and faster than mine. The NS hadn't consumed as much fuel as we though in the first 30 minute session, so we decided not to gas the bike at the second rider change, hoping to reduce our time in the pits. When Aliki came in from her first stint on the bike, she noted the tires were starting to feel slippery. I was bearing that in mind, balancing it against the motivating influence of my team-mates faster lap times. I focused on more throttle in a few places on the track, and managed to squeeze a few seconds off my lap times. I was riding hard, and got a hip-cramp part way through my second session, but I managed some of my best lap-times ever at that track, a high 1.57.
Aliki's second session was red-flagged with about 8 minutes left on the clock in the endurance race. Unfortunately Aliki took the chequered flag for the team while parked in the pits, not while under full power along the front straight. It was a really exciting race, but the end was a bit anticlimactic. It was hours before we found out we'd finished third in our class.
Mosport - Sprint Races
I was hoping for a strong mid-pack finish at Mosport. It's a track I've spent a lot of time at, and while it's not particularly well suited to my small displacement bike, it is well suited to my riding style. My personal-best laptimes in the endurance race on Friday kept me hopeful after a rather dreary practice session on Saturday morning. The P4/F3 class was pretty deep at Mosport, with 43 bikes registered. I ended up near the back of the second wave for the start of the heat race on Saturday. My start wasn't great, and I lost track of where I was in the group. I had one bike in sight ahead of me, so I concentrated on chasing that rider down. I was gaining on him, almost ready to pass when the race was red-flagged. Saturday night I still wasn't sure where I'd finished up after the heat race, and I was surprised to find myself gridded at the back of the first wave of the start for the final race on Sunday. The rider I'd been chasing in the heat race was on the inside of the same row, and I aspired to get ahead of him right off the line. My start wasn't good enough to accomplish that, but I did manage to keep him in sight through the first corner, and I chased him down and passed him by the third lap, and I was gaining on the rider ahead of him by the end of the race. I finished 23rd, suitably close to my mid-pack aspirations.
Photo by Flair Photo
Shannonville Racing Report:
June 16, 17, 18: Quinte TT at Shannonville Motorsports Park
Week before: scrambling to get everything done; arrange new welding equipment from Lincoln Electric, getting numbers custom made, new helmet, etc.
Day before: packing, organizing, sorting through equipment... can't find last year's packing list and can't figure out why I'm not more organized, darn it! Remembered food this year; another errand to run for groceries. Managed to get out of town pretty much in the thick of the rush, arrived at the track by 8pm. I'd hoped to get registered and through tech on Friday, but I only managed the registration part.
Saturday: up early hoping to get through tech before the rider's meeting at 8am. A few additional dabs of silicone requested by tech, otherwise no problems. Rider's meeting then get my riding gear through tech in time to suit up for my 'slow' group practice session. I got to practice passing! Discovered leaky break line after first practice - miraculously a spare was found, and with a lot of help I made my second practice session on time. I wasn't feeling confident of my standing start, so I started from the back for my heat race. I managed the start o.k. and ended up qualifying 13th for my final race on Sunday. I also started from the back in the vintage challenge, hopelessly out-classed by faster riders and bigger bikes, but I enjoyed the extra track-time, and discovered the cornering clearance limitations of the bike, scraping the peg in a left-hander.
Sunday: practice went well, lap-times seem to be improving. Lunch-break highlight... I got two laps as a passenger (monkey) on a sidecar rig with Brian Brahma - really exciting, and way more work than I imagined. I'd definitely be interested in trying sidecars again sometime! Final race end of day on Sunday - took my grid position (or as close as I could get - someone already in my spot) and then I had my worst start ever. I think I must have been in 3rd gear and I floundered for what seemed like an eternity before I got a gear that would get me going. Once I got moving I charged off and apparently there were still bikes behind me. Race was red-flagged just after half way. Disappointing, but probably just as well - I had trouble recapturing my focus after the bad start, and lost my concentration more than once in the laps we ran. I was probably lucky the race was stopped when it was.
Photo by Flair Photo
Results: I ended up 15th out of 24 to finish the race, and I was pretty satisfied with that - considering my bad start and poor concentration in the race.
Photo by Flair Photo
Photo by Flair Photo
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Mosport Trackday - July 2006
Photo by Flair Photo
Photo by Flair Photo
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The Bike: Honda NS 250 F
2 stroke V-twin liquid cooled street bike converted to VRRA racing specs by Ken Livingstone.
The Rider: Andrea Goodman
2nd season VRRA member and vintage road racer
The Number: Racing number 418
2006 Race Dates:
- June 16, 17, 18: Quinte TT at Shannonville Motorsports Park
- August 18, 19, 20: Mosport Vintage Festival at Mosport
- September 16, 17: North Bay Runway Romp at the North Bay Airport
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Dirty Girl Motor Racing is proud to acknowledge the support of Lincoln Electric; top quality welding equipment is a necessity in vintage racing, and Lincoln Electric's support of my racing efforts is greatly appreciated.
Also, I'm proud to have the support of the Rider Training Institute for the 2006 Season.
Returning sponsors include Team Dirty Girl Clothing; their ongoing support is much appreciated.
Please see my 'Thanks' page for more sponsorship information, links and more.
If you would like more information about sponsoring Dirty Girl Motor Racing, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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