Well it’s a little before seven on Sunday morning and I am sat here typing as I can’t really sleep or get comfy, so why not. Bit of a long one here….
Where to start… Many of you know that I have a bit of a thing for speed and track riding and from Weeksy’s tales and Jen’s efforts I decided I wanted to do a race. Now you must understand this was ‘do a race’ not ‘be a racer’ It was always going to be a one off and after the stress I have put Jon through this last few months that’s something we have definitely agreed now!!
After the usual amount of faffing and preparation the bike and I were finally ready to race so off to Oulton Park on Friday for my first practice day. Bearing in mind I have never ridden in the fast group on a track day this was a bit of an experience but despite being super tense I got out there and held my own and put in a good few sub 2 minutes laps which I was happy with.
Saturday dawns and with Dibble keeping the spirits up we head to Oulton and get set up in the garage, plenty of space as I have it to myself – good job! Next thing Ian (DCR) turns up and before I know it everyone is sporting team t shirts with ‘Lily 155’ this really boosted me up and I can’t thank Jon and Ian enough for doing that for me. Bike is all prepped and after some shots from Guy we were ready for the off.
Ten minute practice and my aim was to get back to my usual smooth self which worked well and I was happy and relaxed.
Race 1 – Allcomers Heat 3 – basically a free for all race! Mate came to holding area to pick my grid position for me and what does he get – Row 1!!! I don’t think so, so back it went and next choice is back of grid 38 out of 39, oh well, at least no one behind me to hit me! Manage to go grass tracking on the warm up lap – don’t ask how or why, I don’t know…lol.
So race is underway, lights go out!!! And I do a bit of an Aussie mammal impression before I get going, but still make it into turn one with people behind me – wahey!! Start to get in the swing of things and relax and all is going well, have passed some people and although I get into a bit of trackday mode and start plodding round I am fairly happy. Managed to take some bloke through Fulstons, but obviously he is not happy about it as next thing I know as I am turning into Hizzy’s he is there and nudges me out of the way – grass here I come again! Back onto the track and a bit wobbly and a few have gone back past, but I get back to relaxed mode and pass one more before finishing. Slow race, but I did it and I finished 28 out of 39 starters and 35 finishers!
Race 2 is the Thunderbikes (750 and twins) and I am 26th on the grid, slap bang in the middle of the dirty great oil spillage that is now most of the way round the track
Start gets underway and I am off, its going well and I have passed people and smiling before red flags are out in lap 1. Back to grid, another warm up lap and we are off again. Not such a great start, but I take a fair few into turn 1 and even more down the avenue and I am well up for it, next thing I know bloke cuts in front and takes the bloke in front of me out, so they are both sliding down the tarmac in front of me EEEK I picked the bike up and hit the brake very hard, nudged a front wheel out of the way and the path was clear, although I was in 3rd and virtually stationary and everyone had gone past again – Oh well!! Get going again, but with only a short race I only manage to get back past a few and I race a bloke over the line for him to beat me by .09 of a second - come home in 24th although as someone took a short cut I think I move up to 23 out of 29 finishers and about 35 starters.
I now know I am capable of top 20 if I get this right, lap times are still only at 1.59 but I know I can do better.
Race 2 – 24th on grid and a crap position to start from, but I get going eventually. I finally feel like I can ride, relaxed and starting to be the old me again!! Start to pick people off and really enjoying it, apparently well inside top 20 when its red flagged AGAIN! No warm up lap and only a 4 lap race!! Another crap start and we are off, once again I start to pick people off slowly, but with only 3 laps its not looking to hopeful, but I keep going.
Next thing I know I am coming up behind some bloke and I am ready to get past him, he is still cranked over coming out of Old Hall and I am way out wide with plenty of space, but upright and on the gas to go, disaster strikes!! He loses the front end and his bike spins straight in front of me, I have nowhere to go!! Not too certain about the next bit, but by all account with no other path my bike uses his as a ramp and I take off! I just remember landing and telling myself to relax as I rolled and bounced for an eternity! Came to in the medical centre and all is ok!
Bike is a bit bent and I am a little less bent, but in a lot of pain – as they say, fat bikers bounce better! Going to be canceling my track day on the 21st me thinks, but although doctors say 6 weeks I am hoping I will be ok for Jerez in 4 weeks.
Huge thanks to everyone that came to support, especially those that traveled a heck of a long way! Big thanks to all the well wishers who gave me the courage to keep going and finally the biggest thanks to Freak for being there for me, for putting up with my urge to race, for sorting me out on the day and for looking after me when it went tits up!! Cheers Babe, I promise never again
[Edited on 4-9-2005 by Lily]