Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Flattrackin - GNC at King's Lynn

Saturday afternoon we headed across to King's Lynn for teh next round of the flattrackin Grand National Championship. It was the 'TT' round with a few right turns, some concrete and a jump or two for the shorttrack bikes. Just the standard oval for us Thunderbikes.
The paddock was it's usual bustling self with a lot of fettling going on.
I considered doing the TT on the KTM... but after a practice, decided against it. The bikes lands with a mighty thump teh jumps and the rear tyre was catching the undertray. I din't want to risk breaking anything - I don;t have any time to fix bikes this week and I don't want to miss the All Stars meeting at Rhyl, North Wales this Saturday night.

'Drakey' lending a hand again...

This sweet lookin' machine is for sale - buy it! You know you want to...
My first heat of three and I'm drawn on pole in the beautiful evening sunshine... my opportunity to get some points in the bank to make that all important final.

Line up on pole position... under starters orders... "Brrrraaaaapp-paaap-paaap-paaap"... watch the tape... watch the tape... watch the t... "Brrrrrraaaaaaaaaaapapapapapapapap". Fuck! We ain't movin'. Fuck! The field blast past me... roosting the shit out of me... shouldda been me doing the roostin...

WTF? No gear? Bloody eeeedeee-yote!
(Thanks Steve Baldock for catching another embarassing moment on SD)
I somehow got the bike in neutrral and I'm going nowhere, revving the tits off the innocent bike. Still on pole. I stamp down on the gears, she hooks first and I tear off the line in a valve-bouncing fury. I'm 10 yards off the last place.

Team '97' - Guy Sutherland and Carina
I chase. After 2 laps I'm on the six of Paul Sheldon in second-last place... the racing is close. Every turn I can see the leaders... they're just there... and I'm still last... we're a freightrain of thunder.

Paul doesn;t make any mistakes and I finish on his wheel... bagging a few points and 8th.

Wilky had a great ride on his bad-ass Harley XR... winnand coming 4th in the final. When that beast gets hooked up, he flies!

A nap between heats...
Next heat and I have a back-row start. Again... the train of thunder booms around the 400 yard track... tearing up the Norfolk clay. The grippy, evenly surfaced track that allows good close racing with loads of overtaking. After a mediocre start (last into turn 1) I work away at it and come home 4th. The bike's feeling good... I got some speed.

I love the evening events especially on a warm, clear night... the atmosphere is surreal...

Ain't she purdy!?
For my last heat I have a middle row start... on the far inside... in the shit. I make as good a start as I can and still follow the pack last in to turn 1. Every heat and I'm last into turn 1... we gotta change that!

Again... the racing is fast and close. I capitalise on every mistake in front of me and pull some graet overtakes to finish 3rd. Now that's what I'm talkin' about! Yeah!

The bike is working swee-eet!

Thunderbikes are cool!

Team Suzuki GB - Pete was up front on his 35 year old ride!

Assembly area... waiting to do battle...

As always, ex champ Pete was on the bussiness end in the Shorttrack TT and on the old TrackMaster Suzuki in the Thunderbikes
I qualify for the final in 9th. Back row of the grid, but as the best qualifier on that row, I get to choose the gate. There is grip everywhere, but I choose the far outside gate... on the racing line.
Night-time meeting are special

#26 'Cockney' was going well... but crashed out of a heat in front of me... taking Co-Built Geoff out on his way to the fence
I get a good start on the tacky racing line and am onto the bikes that were on the second row in turn 1. We go hell for leather! I fight past Alan Birtwhistle on lap 2... nobody gives an inch and the action is hot! I get another place on the exit of turn 2... squaring the bike up and unleashing her 640 cee-cees on that Norfolk clay...
KTM... 'S'... dinky rads... flattrack weapon!
We look, we see, we try... getting the better of Drakey and Guy in the heats - I couldn't amange this in the final
Stevie Coles is the next carriage on the freight-train... we ding-dong in the last few laps. I manage to get him on the exit of turn 4 when he spins up and get's his heavily customised Honda BROS sideways a little too much. I'm on the back wheel of Drakey who in turn is behind Wilky's booming Harley... I manage to hold Stevie off till the flag four turns later.
Even the bugs want a piece of them stars!
With the leading group only 1 turn in front, the KTM brings me home in 6th :-) Co-Built Anthony Brown got the hole-shot and led from start to finish with Pete Boast and Guy snapping at his heels all the way. The track produced some great racing :-)

After a crap start, it was a great night on the clay!
Boastie, Co-Built Anthony and Guy on the rostrum

1 comment:

  1. good ride m8, maybe its time to look at a 450 now aswell for the shorttrack.
    i know where there's a lovely one comin up 4 sale at the end o the season!!.