Cadwell Park 26 - 27 July 2003, Derby Phoenix
Go Star racers in attendance: were:
Cadwell Park, 26/27th July 2003 – Time to
Build the Trophy Cabinet
A cracking weekend with more silverware coming my way (although it's
more wood and gold coloured than silver, but hey ho).
Looked like it was going to be a nightmare on Friday because as we drove
to Cadwell, in the newly purchased Pikey Van, it was heaving it down
with rain. However Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny and the
track was soon drying out nicely.
First race was the Allcomers - a steady race for me to get used to the
track (1min 45's - bit slow) but did see me perfect what was to become
my trademark lightning start. I'd get away reasonably well, maybe
getting boxed in a little, but once we hit the first corner most people
braked and that was where I went up the inside of loads of them to get
up nearish the front.
Struggled with the mountain section all race and went from 11th to 17th
because of this (complete fear of lifting the front wheel or flipping
the bugger). Still, qualified 3rd row for the B final.
1st steel frame race saw me 12th on the grid and 9th in the race - still
struggling with the mountain (lost 3 places there). However, I was 2nd
novice and more importantly beat the guy behind me in the championship.
The afternoon I got my head together for the Steel Frame final. A good
start saw me in 10th and then I worked my way backwards to 12th, but
more importantly I started to master the mountain (basically stand on
the pegs and lean right over the front of the bike to keep the damn
thing down. Nobody else quite did it like me but it worked, and a few
people commented that I was taking the mountain well). Still more to
come over the mountain - I can get the front and rear in the air, but
not both at the same time. Anyway, also started suffering from ground
clearance - I was grinding my rear brake lever on a few of the corners.
However, that was cured by hanging off more, but got to work on that
At the end of the race I crossed the line 12th (out of 33), 2nd novice
and a trophy, so well pleased.
Sunday morning dawned cloudy with a little bit of rain in the air and
the track was a little damp. First race was Saturday's B final, moved
over to Sunday because there was a delay whilst they airlifted one bloke
to hospital. We heard later that he'd bust a rib and punctured a lung so
thankfully nothing too serious. Got a poor start but worked my way up to
11th I think, and saw my times get into the 1min 41's.
Next was the All Comers heats for Sunday's race. Got an OK start and was
in about 13th, took a couple of places and then had an interesting
moment. I was catching the bloke in front of me and as we entered Chris
Curve (about 70'sh) I could see a gap to get through so dived up the
inside. However, the move meant I had to change down a gear to keep the
drive but as I did it I hit neutral - and lost all drive. Result was the
bloke and I hit each other, full broadside (can still remember feeling
his arm hit mine). Trouble is he was on the outside and so got shoved
onto the grass whilst I got shoved back onto the track. Needless to say
he fell off. With him out of the way I came in 10th but qualified for
the back row of the A final !! Gulp, I was now playing with the big
boys. Lap times had dropped to 1 min 40's/ 1 min 39's so starting to get
there for my class of bike (the top 3 in the steel frames were doing 1
Steel frame race I started 12th (2nd row) but got a poor start. Got my
head together to get myself up to 8th which is where I finished.
However, I was now grinding the gear lever away (must hang off more for
all corners). At least both levers now match each other.
Didn't go out in the A final - no point as I wasn't going to win
anything and it was a 12 lapper anyway. Plus I'd done 3 races already
and I wanted to concentrate on my novice championship in the steelies (I
was getting good points over my nearest rival and didn't want to ruin
Final race saw me 2nd row with a reasonable start but a great 1st corner
that saw me 5th and right up with the leading bunch. That lasted for
just under a lap when the bloke behind me did a suicide pass on me at
the bottom of the mountain. I had to brake hard to stop hitting him, he
got through and so did 2 others as I had bogged right down and lost all
my drive. I then had a fantastic 3 lap battle with a bloke behind me -
he'd come under me at one corner and I'd get him back a little later on.
Was great, except on the last lap I was concentrating so much on trying
to get this bloke back that I left the door wide open for the bloke
following me and he nipped under me at Mansfield. Couldn't do anything
about it as I'd run out of laps, but still crossed the line in 9th and
1st novice - my first proper trophy cup thing.