Up with the gazebo on arrival and by about 09h00 the usual suspects (minus Wayde and his teeth) were sheltering out of the rain. Kevin was making an appearance with his twinshock CZ and I’d managed to sort out the MX250 so had both bikes ready to race (well to go round the track).
As is normal the track was laid out on the side of the hill, making for some excellent spectator viewing and a good long course. The off-camber bends are interesting, and became a lot more interesting later on the afternoon.
Kevin managed to develop a fault on the CZ during practice and a sheared woodruff key was identified as the culprit. A search for a suitable replacement ensued and with some assistance, the bike was ready for the first race.
Despite the rain, the 4 practice sessions had taken the top off the grass, the track was surprisingly good and by the time of my first race (the <250 pre74 race) it was good with a lot of the slippery bits taken out. A couple of the off camber corners were interesting, but track was riding well. Not the best start as got taken out in the 2nd corner by a rampant CZ handlebar.Quick remount and the bike was a lot better after the engine change (and frame change). The clutch was still sticking slightly but all was good.
Out with the 500 and the bike was ballistic off the line, though only 4th into the first corner was down to timing on the tape. Lost a few places early on, but the track was much more suited to the 500 than Pontrilas but still need to tweak the bike around a bit. Suspension much improved.
Mike, Mark and Kevin all headed out for the 1st twinshock race, though a repeat shearing of the woodruff finished Kevin’s race early. Good riding from Mike on Alan’s XR500 kept Mark at bay, but problems with a spark plug cap meant that he was a lap down at the end.
Before the interval and the 2nd 250 pre74 race, saw the the track in top form. Poor start but a consistent ride with again the bike going well, though may have to look at the gearing as dropped out of the power band a bit too often. Good fun though.
The interval saw some reflection and probably the most annoying PA system, which was way-too-loud and one they played Abba though. Actually, after 10 minutes or so it wore you down. The commentary of the races is a good idea, but shouldn’t forced on eveyone and broadcast for the whole of the valley to hear. Ah well.
The first race after the interval saw the heavens open with an almighty shower. I decided to delay the trip up to the box, but it was wet. The exposed earth of the track was suddenly really slippery. Race speeds were down and the finishing corner was really slippery as I snaked my way through. One of the off camber sections was very interesting and didn’t get any easier for the last two races as it kept on raining.
Kevin hopped onto Alan’s XL350 for the 2nd Twinshock race and after a first lap misfire he managed to step on the gas to finish infront of Mark and Mike. Alan started the marketing campaign when he got back to the pits.
The track and weather got worse and though I did all 6 races, the last 2 were a bit of a war of attrition, but at least I was on the line; the Twinshock contingent decided to hide in the Gazebo rather than riding the last race.
Racing finished at 17h30 and headed back to Hereford; took 1 hour to clean the bikes up and longer to dry up all kit. Great track (when its not soaked), shame about the PA, but a good fun.