Round 2 had us return to Buttonwillow for the weekend of April 13th and 14th. I made a few changes to the bike since round 1; it now sported a cheap eBay exhaust that I’d cut and welded into a low-mount system (which actually turned out pretty well), an Annitori QS Pro 2 quickshifter, and some spiffy new spraypainted novice plates (the yellow duct tape I was using for Round 1 didn’t hold up for very long). I arrived Friday night, deciding to skip that day’s practice. It was surprisingly warm the next morning, and the Saturday pactice sessions were more than enough time for me to reacquaint myself with the bike and work out the kinks in the new quickshifter setup (forgot to tighten the shift linkage – oops).
I didn’t place very well during the Clubman Middleweight race in Round 1 (if I crashed I wouldn’t receive my license, so I played it safe), but I decided to kick it up a notch in Round 2. I started 14th in my class and managed to work my way up to 7th by the end of the race. I would have had 4th or 5th, but I borked the entrance to bus stop on the last lap, went sailing off into the dirt, and lost 3 positions before I was able to get back on the pavement.
This race was originally red flagged due to a crash (which sucks because I was in 3rd before they cleared the track). The video below is of the restart. Also, my GPS randomly disconnected halfway through the race, so there’s no overlay (which sucks even more, because I set a PB of 1:55.375 during this race). I got a decent start, kept up with the leaders for two laps (I set my PB the second lap), and then got too greedy entering turn 1 and endo’d off the track into the dirt. I lost two positions for this mistake. I almost clawed one back during the final lap when I reeled Stu in on the front straight, much to his protest. However, I didn’t get quite enough drive coming out of sunset and he squeaked by the finish line .004 seconds before I did, leaving me in 6th.
I didn’t race Formula 1 during the first round, so I was gridded dead last. This wasn’t the worst thing in the world though, because it allowed me to get in some much-needed passing practice. I managed to work my way up 15 positions before losing focus and going off into the dirt once again, this time in the entrance to sweeper. I (luckily) only lost one position because of this and hustled to the line for a 5th place finish.
I started to get a bit tired at this point. Weary of engaging in any more off-track shenanigans, I decided to turn it down a few notches and concentrate on getting smoother. I took 5th after a less-than-stellar launch and subsequently uneventful six laps. I didn’t leave the pavement, though, which I consider a success after my last few races.
I didn’t bother uploading the video for this race, because I only got half a lap in before the bike quit on my way into bus stop. Complete loss of ignition. A later postmortem revealed that my quickshifter +12v connection had come loose. Always check your crimps kids!