Monday, 16 September 2019

Days 4 & 5 (Wed): Let's go again

Once again, a pre-sunrise alarm call got everyone up and heading for the salt in the dark.  The cool air, and quiet surrounds, of the early morning flats is something special and both riders were pretty much front of the line each day, hungry for as many runs as possible, and hopeful of more records.

Wednesday morning saw Miki nailing his own record again from 102.4 to 105.2 after a very successful 107mph on the first run up.  The salt continued to be fine and and both racers got multiple runs in as the courses got a little quieter.

Despite several attempts, Phil's bike just wouldn't remake the 100mph+ success of day 3, but not for want of trying.

On the final day (Thursday), Miki nailed his record once more, taking the final digits up to 105.8.

As the extreme heat of the day ensued, both racers decided not to risk the bikes any further and started their clean-up and breakdown.

The Bonneville track experience was over, but oh what an experience!

Friday, 6 September 2019

Day 3 (Tuesday): About those records...

Post-work-up, Phil was straight out early on the course, with the air much cooler, and the start area quieter. He nailed his first run, gaining a 100.52, 3.5mph over the record time, and ensuring a ‘return run.’  With no delay he was up to the other end of course and straight into that return run.  And with a return run of 95.77, he nailed the record by over 2 mph.

Following the AMA requirements, he went straight to ‘impound’ to have the timings verified and then undergo the process of stripping the top end of the bike for measuring.  And somewhere in between was a little Betty special celebration dance.

Meanwhile, Miki completed the 650 rebuilt in the paddock and headed out for his first run of the day.  Again, utilising the cooler air, and with a key determination he nailed the first run at 103.17, beating the record of 101.55 and gaining his first return run.  On the return run, he scored 101.72 going straight to impound to join his team mate in stripping and verifying the engines with Head Scrutineer Drew.

Across the pits, almost everyone seems to know when a record has been gained, as Bonneville has an excellent radio system that broadcasts almost everyone’s results, and it was lovely to see so many people calling past the paddock to congratulate the guys after their major hard work in getting to this point of being record holders. 

A couple of main jet changes and new plugs saw the end of a very happy day three of racing on the salt.

Day 2 (Monday): First in line

There was nothing keeping the guys in bed and the sun was only starting to show itself as they rode onto the salt.

Both Miki and Phil were first in line on Mountain One and after several runs, both bikes were performing well, but neither were quite quick enough to beat the existing records they were trying for.

Phil needed to find an extra 2 mph and Miki needed to discover an extra 1 ph.  So by the end of the day, the guys took both bikes back to Motel 6 and chased the sun, working on both, in the car park, until the light had completely disappeared. 

Phil changed the cam timing on his Triumph 350 and Miki decided to take the head off his 650 Triumph and fit a thinner head gasket, raising the compression slightly.  Lots of the motel neighbours were very interested to see this work happening out of the paddock and lots of helpful advice was given.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

And now to racing…

We knew we’d be queuing a lot, however, the Bonneville system is efficient and you can get set up at the mile one start point, with a support vehicle and all your kit, plenty of shade, water and company and wait your turn.

The first day of racing was definitely a ‘shakedown’ for Team Wildcard.  Both guys took a couple of runs and got to know the system, the course and the salt.