Friday 9 June 2017

Cadwell Report

Hi all

So it was off to Cadwell Park for the next round of the NG Racing championship last weekend.

I arrived at the paddock at about 10pm and set about setting up the 'Rayner Hilton' as I was staying there for the weekend.

Saturday I woke up later than I thought and set about sorting out the bike.

This is a bit late to start sorting a non running bike, but I had an idea what was the matter before I set off.

Basically to get the bike into the van I start her up, put her in first gear and run her up the ramp.

The day before I left I went to do this but she wouldn't start, just a click from the relay linked to the starter motor. Luckily my neighbour was on hand to help push her up after I had taken the battery off to charge it up, was hoping it was flat, and v twins need a really good battery to get them going.

So first job was to fit the battery, but sadly this wasn't it. Next on the list was to replace the starter relay, which I had brought a spare with me. Sadly this wasn't the issue.

So to plan B, bump her. I used a guy in the paddock roller starter, and sure enough she fired first time.

I had missed one session, but couldn't be helped.

First session I went out in I felt comfortable and the new gearing was working well, catching, passing and staying with guys rather than just getting passed.

During my first session I'd felt something dragging round a right hander, having suffered from dragging the fairing the last time here, I wasn't worried and carried on.

When I got back to the paddock I had a check on the fairing and was surprised at what I saw.

For the less eagle eyed amongst you, you will notice that there is a piece of gaffer tape with a very circular hole in it. Well, when I put it on it didn't have said hole, so I had the bike over far enough to drag the whole fairing on the floor, and the first bit to touch down was the fairing bolt. I ended up having to replace this every time I came in.

Also, for an extra 10 points, you will see the end of the exhaust clamp bolt has a nice chamfer on the end of it. Yep, this too was touching down.

Friday was roasting and all the sessions went well, but as the day went on people take their brains further and further out. The last but one session was carnage. At one point I was overtaken by a guy and he was all over the place. He was quick, but wasn't safe, and sure enough he crashed around a fast right hander, and that was after the red flags were out which means the session has ended.

After practice I had a look at the starter, but there was nothing obvious, oh well at least she bumps easy enough.

Awoke Saturday to a wet day. First up was practice but seeing as I'd spent all day Friday practicing, and the forecast was to dry up I didn't bother going out.

By my first race the track was bone dry, apart from off the racing line under the trees.

I was 8th on the grid so hoped for good things. Sadly the race was red flagged on the first lap so we reassembled on the start line. This meant turning the engine off. Luckily I got a push start before the restart, but as I put her into first gear I stalled her. We tried in vain to get her going and I was pushed into pit lane. Luckily she fired up but as I'd missed the sighting lap I had to start from the back of the grid.

Still I had a good race, caught a few, overtook and stayed with a pack of four.

By the end of the race I'd improved my fastest time by 3 seconds, so was well happy.

Second race was great fun, again with the same four guys, and again improved by another 3 seconds, so 6 seconds in one day.

The Rayner Hilton

One of the good things about staying in the paddock is that, for once, it was me cooking bacon sandwiches, as is horrible when someone cooks them and you can't have one.

Sunday was another dry day and both races went well. Odd thing was I was with the same group as yesterday, but we all went slower by half a second. Still racing was good and when I looked the times I did, it would have put me mid field with BMCRC, who I raced with earlier in the year, so looking forward to September when they race there again.

I maybe up there earlier as Auto 66 are racing at Cadwell in August, so will see how things go.

Back home and I'm now starting to get ready for The Southern 100 in July. Not much to do to the Supertwin, but the 400 is running, but doesn't seem quite right.

It has the engine I rebuilt fitted, but she seems reluctant to start, which is odd for her.

So I have a couple of weeks to find out what is wrong, and if I can't I will put my spare engine in as I know that one was running fine when I took it out.

Hope you are all enjoying the coverage of the TT. Have been watching it and can't wait to get back on the roads, so roll on Southern 100.