Team IKA at Portland

Mon, 22 Jul 2002 14:54:39

It was a beautiful summer weekend for racing at Pacific Raceway in Seattle.

Team Ika was out for practice on Saturday and we had our first encounter with a modern bike which required some discussion off the track. Coming into turn 9, a very fast sweeping left hander, a sportsamn passed me from inside (cool) but then came right back in front of me and starting chirrping his back tire on the brakes as he realized he had (once again) overcooked the turn. I ended up very wide and almost in a serious off track situation. After session discussion followed, which remained civil but firm.

Saturday practice was pretty slow for Team Ika as we we worked on turn combinations.

Sunday was clear and hot, great track and no headwind. Race heat One was a long time sitting on the grid while they cleaned up a rider who crashed on the prior *cool-down* lap. How do you crash on a cool down? We had a good start, not great but good, running just behind the leaders. First lap was fine, doing some nice passes on the back side where WFO is the only rule. Lap two in the straight I heard a bike and then Dave on a 125 Sachs powered Penton got by me and I dropped into his draft. That little stroker had the juice down the straight, more than me. Hitting the wide sweeper of turn two I buried him and didn't see him again until the next straight, where he drafted me again and got a slingshot away.

I took him again on the back side, along with some slower guys, but that little Sachs motor tore me up on the front. He was getting more each time and on the last lap I couldn't draft with him to the finish and had to settle for a fifth place. We were both grinning and high-fiving like a couple of baboons after the heat. Clean fast competitive racing!

A long wait for heat two, which is an afternoon race, was spent messing around, smoking cigars and talking with Idiot Delf. Crew chief Don Marr showed up for the second heat as did the beautiful Pit Betty Lynn Potts. Both had prior obligations that infringed on their race duties. ;-)

Heat two was a fast start, but no matter how fast, Team Ika is weighing in at 185# plus bike and racing against a few guys who are 135# and 150#. Off the line they always get a few lengths on me. Traffic was very heavy into turns two and three with the hairpin at four clogged. I squirted through with a good drive and hit 5 WFO, passing two hesitators, pulling clean through 6-7 and finding myself in third, way ahead of the mid pack racers. Two laps brought Tim Keane on his Ducati 250 up behind me on the back straight and he passed me with his bigger displacement. Lap three brought me into turn 2, a big left hander which the 160's can enter at WFO off the straight if you have the line and the mental discipline. I have been working on this turn in practice. The inside line was badly clogged and I knew that there were people after me. I hit that turn like never before, knee down and 20 feet outside my usual line. I passed three bike who were on the inside, two of them modern sportsmen. I showed them tire, ass and number plate while screaming "Outta my way motherfuckers" inside my helmet. Oh, did that feel good!!

I was steadily gaining on the third place rider, Brian Halbert, but we ran out of race before I could make up the time between us. I settled for a fourth, with a fourth for the day overall.

Team Ika progress is good and this week was the best line and racing ever. There are still some difficulties on the power shifts from second to third at the exit from turn four and the exit from the bus stop. The trick is a maintaining pressure on the shifter during and just after the shift. More time is going to be harvested from turn three, which is a tricky downhill right hand almost hair pin. Look for Team Ika to be faster and faster through this combo. Team Ika is three to five second off of the winning pace at Pacific, less in the rain. I am hopeful that this gap can be shaved to 0 by the end of the season. This is our first season on a 160 and we are hear to win.

Look for Team Ika at Mission Raceway in British Colombia next weekend. Mission is a tight 1.2 mile circuit with limited run-out and walls without air fences. This is not for the faint of heart. Practice and qualifying on Saturday with racing on Saturday and Sunday. This is a small bike track with great fan support for Vintage racing. This will also be Team Ika's debut at mission.

Our next Northwest appearance is Pacific raceway on August 11th and Portland on August 18th.

Remember, race hard, race often, and GO Team Ika!!