CVMA 2018-2019 Round 5 at Chuckwalla Raceway
A return to Chuckwalla Raceway brings a new set of challenges! This time we ran the track counter-clockwise, so it was almost a whole new track. Due to the assymetrical nature of the track’s corner complexes, I had to completely refamiliarize myself with getting into and out of the corners at speed.
This was my first round as an expert racer, up against the big kids! Furthermore, my 2009 R6 was finally up and running. While considerably more powerful than my erstwhile 600RR, it was still needing a considerable amount of setup, so I spent as much of the weekend learning the bike as re-learning the track.
Chuckwalla’s gorgeous February weather brought racers in from as far afield as Calgary Canada, and there was no shortage of pro riders either. Between the experts and the pros, I never placed better than 13th, but that didn’t make the weekend any less enjoyable as I hurtled around the track with friends both old and new!
Saturday Race 2 – SuperSport Open
A tough intro to expert racing! I spend this race swapping positions with and then chasing #464X Cody Cochran. I finish 14th with a PB of 1:56.6.
Saturday Race 4 – Formula Middleweight
overtaking #224 James Hinton and #11X Mark Szilveszter, I get the track to myself for the second half of this race. This was frustrating, since I really wanted to chase someone to learn more about the track! I finish 16th with a PB of 1:56.5.
Saturday Race 8 – SuperSport Middleweight
I try to catch #29 Jack Bakken, almost making it past in the final corners of the last lap. I finish 17th right behind him with a PB of 1:56.4.
Sunday Race 3 – SuperSport Middleweight
Some tricky maneuvers in the first lap or two give way to empty track for the remainder of a relatively uneventful morning race. I finish 20th with a PB of 1:56.85.
Sunday Race 6 – The Shootout
The Shootout was the first premier class race of my career. A 10 lap race in an unlimited class, this was a test of my endurance and consistency. I was in the thick of things for the first couple laps, then basically had the track to myself for the duration of the race until the leader passed me at the end of the final lap.
I was able to finish the race in 21st with a new PB for the weekend of 1:55.7, which is still a full second slower than I was on the 600RR! However, speed comes with time.
My consistency goal was met: my laps were more or less within 1 second of each other for 8 of the 10 laps! There’s still a ways to go, but this was a solid start in preparation for AFM’s Formula Pacific.
Sunday Race 10 – Formula Middleweight
The last race of the weekend, quite uneventful and also the slowest with a PB of 1:57.2! I was able to pull 13th place, my best finish of the weekend, so it was nice to go out on a high note.