Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Cadwell Park - September 25th / 26th - Where Did That Tyrewall Come From?

Everything forward over the Mountain!

Well....... hasn't  2010 flown!  It really doesn't seem like a year since we were here on the brilliant full Cadwell circuit.

I was still feeling under the weather in the runup to Cadwell with a lot going on and very busy work wise.

The good news was that Dave Crampton was to be back on track on the super tidy Group 6 bike.  He'd managed to somewhat comprehensively destroy the engine on the Cadwell club circuit earlier in the year, which had looked like it would be ending his year !  But good old Chalky White at Replay Scooters stepped in to rescue things and build Dave a brilliant new RB250 motor to borrow for the weekend.  There was a bit of last minute rushing around for him, but the motor sounded crisp and sweet.......   and it was great to see such a beautiful bike back on track - albeit much modified now from the winter when I painted it!

Dave Crampton readies the Gp 6 on Sunday

Saturday dawned cold!  So with the two scooters loaded it was off on the familiar roads to Cadwell, where things were misty and like something from the arctic!

Being Cadwell everyone had to be noise tested again - which is a bit tedious!  I was a bit concerned as I'd only just scraped through in previous tests earlier in the year.  John Howe had sent me an emergency special muffler just in case of difficulties ;-)

With a bit of choke applied ( sssshhhh one of the secrets to quietening the things down!) I was 104 decibels ! 1 under the limit......  Good to go!

Now the fun starts!  Heading down to practice whilst sitting in the holding area the throttle cable snapped whilst sat stationary!  Damn and blast.......  as i started the long and hard push back up the hill - the scooters went out on track!  

After just about needing an iron lung by the time I'd pushed back up to the paddock, it was handlebars apart, and new inner cable to fit and adjust up.  Trouble is - I didn't have too long to do it as i needed to get out to do a practice with the bikes now that i had missed the scooter session.

It felt strange lining up to practice with 40 vintage bikes but once on track the fun started as I started passing a few of them!  then coming down into Mansfield under braking the engine faultered and stopped so I coasted to a halt behind the cones by the temporary chicane.  Looking down I could see the problem - in the rush to get the new cable in, the outer can't have been home properly so it had popped out of its housing.  I was able to push it back in, and then bumpstarted the engine again and managed to get another lap in!  Brilliant - job done.....  now I can race.

So...... onto the first race and it was a really full grid - 39 bike I think, including Stoffi and co from Austria with  a trio of Vespas..  Theres a resurgence of Vespa small frames at the moment and unbeliably we had of them out with the 3 from Austria.

So as we lined up after the sighting lap - we waited..... and waited ..... and waited.... until the signal came from the startline officials to cut the engines!  A medical emergency had taken the doctor off to the paddock.

So we stood around on the start line waiting anxiously - these are exactly the sort of things that get the nerves jangling!

Eric popped up and we managed to get the riders all posing on the start line for a very rare chance for a group picture - the Class of 2010!

The class of 2010!

After quite a lengthy delay - another sighting lap and we were away......  I got a good start - getting past a few bikes off the line and up the left hander.  The pack howled down the Park Straight and round to the Gooseneck where a huge accident happened with 4 riders going down.  It has been a chain reaction really but was pretty nasty.  Ed Hocking came off worst suffering a broken collarbone and wrist .  Subsequent hospitalisation and operations mean sadly he is likely to be out for most of 2011 - Get well soon Ed and come back fighting!

So after a lengthy delay whilst Ed received treatment we had yet another sighting lap.... this time I didn't get such a good start, and wherever I went I seemed to be blocked.  As the race went on I drifted back a bit -0 it was only to be a 3 lap race after all the delays!  On the last lap Adam on one of those pesky Vespa's came by after I drifted a bit wide and up through the woodlands I was determined to make up the gap and repass him.  I managed to make all the distance back again and going around Barn I opted to go round the outside and go for it in a last bend of the last lap all or nothing move!.

Well...... it came to Nothing!

Adam went into Barn a little hot and had to stand the scooter up a little, which pushed me wide and onto the damp part of the circuit under the trees where I speared straight off track!

As soon as I hit the wet grass it was like ice and I was immediately down and sliding to the tyrewall.  I kept hold of the bike as long as possible until it dug into the soft ground and spun me around so I was now heading backwards towards the wall .  These things happen in slow motion and I remember thinking the wall looked soft..... big mistake...... the rubber tracking was pretty damn solid as I crumpled into it followed by the scooter hitting me - which was kind of handy as I managed to use myself as a cushion to prevent damage.

I came to a rest on my side in the mud, dazed and winded.  The marshalls picked me up and moved the scooter off the racing line and surrounded it with bales of straw.  I was to be there for the best part of an hour before being recovered back to the pits where I could set about bending the legshields back into shape and straightening things out!

I felt shaky and started to feel stiffness in my neck and back pretty much straight away, although after a trip to teh medical centre was signed off as fit to race ! ( More like fit to drop really!) 

So I was to make it out for Race 2 later on!

Race 2 was altogether less eventful!  I just concentrated on riding round in 1 piece and getting the points.  I had worked out that missing Pembrey race  meeting and now a DNF in race 1 had lost me enough points that I would drop to 8th in the championship, and unless Replay team mate Rob Sumner had a non finish realistically I wouldn't score enough points to over take him.
Chasing Roland Davis through the Woodlands!

So...... onto Sunday.........   rain forecast!

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